Monte Cristo Homestead



Ghosts of Monte Cristo

Monte Cristo Homestead has been explored by many ghost hunters - it has also been featured on the world famous Castle of Spirits website as one of their favorite haunts. The Australian Ghost Hunters Society regularly holds ghost hunts at Monte Cristo and have had some very interesting experiences there on occassion.

Monte Cristo: Australia's Most Haunted House.
Peter Underwood. FRSA.

Peter Underwood FRSAThis historic two-story house in Junee with its wide verandahs and beautiful wrought iron work is now open to thousands of visitors each year - and they all want to know about the ghosts and tragedies associated with this sprawling mansion.

The original occupants were William Crawley and his family in 1884 and it would appear that from the Crawley family most of the stories of ghosts and hauntings and many other tragic happenings seem to originate.

In fact the ghost of old Mrs Crawley has been seen many times in her former room and in recent years. It is believed that after William Crawley died in 1910, from a carbuncle on his neck becoming infected by his starched collar, Mrs Crawley only left the house on two occasions in the remaining 23 years of her life: no wonder her presence still lingers. Then there are the mysterious lights, apparitions. Not without cause is Monte Cristo a favorite Australian tourist attraction for a great number of Australians and other visitors.

The following stories are told by Reginald Ryan, owner of Monte Cristo Homestead.


"We moved into Monte Cristo on June 3rd 1963 blissfully unaware of the Homestead's often gruesome history, those dubious revelations would be some time off.

We had been in residence about three days when we ventured downtown one foggy evening for supplies, on the return trip we turned the bottom corner of the driveway and straightened up towards the house, as we did we saw light streaming out of every door and window; we got such a shock I stopped the car and we sat staring up at the brilliantly illuminated homestead dumfounded.

Olive didn't want to continue, felt sure there must have been a burglar up there, I replied to the effect we hadn't been away that long and had better go and investigate.

As we drove cautiously through the gateway the lights abruptly disappeared, again Monte Cristo was lost in fog and darkness.

We tried desperately to rationalize it, different people suggested the source of light was our car headlights shining onto windows of the house; but there wasn't a single pane of glass in the entire house, electricity hadn't been connected and the only source of light was a kerosene lamp not left lit.

This was the first of many strange, puzzling and sometimes frightening experiences that have occurred over the intervening years we have not found answers for.

Our first experience was eerily replayed 27 years later when our 21 year old son Lawrence was driving home one night the rest of the family were at a ball in Wagga, as he turned into the driveway he discovered all the lights of Monte Cristo ablaze but as he passed through the gates they disappeared again without explanation."


"A local Council worker, I will call John R., came up to the homestead on Council business one afternoon and entered Monte Cristo in good spirits, suddenly he backed out and left. I later spoke to him downtown and his explanation was that he didn't like Monte Cristo and would never go up there again - he never has!.


"On one of the house tours I was showing a mother and daughter through, having covered the ground floor without any problem I preceded to lead them upstairs and waited for them to catch up in the hall.

After waiting a few moments I peered over the banister to see where they were, finding both appearing to have trouble moving and on reaching the landing midway seemed incapable of ascending further. Both said in a worried tone some unseen force was stopping them going up, however once they moved down and away from the steps the problem disappeared.

The stairs often cause us problems, especially with children. Little children around the ages of three or four continually cause an uproar on or near the staircase, I've often wondered since learning about the death of a child on them if there's a connection?".


"Neil, a nephew of my wife Olive, and his girlfriend attended the 1992 Monte Cristo Ball and after it concluded in the early hours of the morning the lass wanted to use the toilet before retiring, however feeling frightened by the dark house asked Neil to escort her.

After waiting in the hallway for her Neil proceeded to escort her back towards the stairs which lead to their room, suddenly from the top of the darkened stairs a voice seemed to drift from nowhere, looking up they both saw a young woman dressed in white who said softly twice: "Don't worry, it will be all right" and vanished before their eyes.


The presence of Mrs Crawley is strongly felt in this room by psychic's, when the ABC brought a group here for the "Big Country" we served them lunch and diner in the room. On several occasions during meals medium Van Blerk got up and left the room without explanation, waited outside a few moments and returned to his seat.

He later told us Mrs Crawley had ordered him out of the Dining Room, so for harmony sake he waited until her "presence" had left the room before returning to his seat.


When we moved into Monte Cristo this room served as our kitchen, it was in this room Olive found dead and mutilated kittens.