Over the corpse of October, the East Coast Car Rentals Writing Wraith has been on a perilous pilgrimage across Australia, across heinous highways to discover the country's spookiest spots. The Adelaide Arcade, Sydney's Redback Range Railway Tunnel, Brisbane's Goodna Cemetery and Melbourne's Old Gaol House chilled him to the bone, but he still has time for one more ghastly escapade before Halloween arrives, shrieking and howling in the pale moonlight. The Writing Wraith, for the final time, casts his one good eye to the creepy capital, Canberra. Jump into your hire car, lock the doors, flick on your torch … the batteries have gone? That's too bad … just try to get out alive…
Air Disaster Memorial
In 1940, a plane carrying 10 people mysteriously crashed over Canberra, killing everyone on board, including three prominent politicians. It's still unclear what brought the plane down, and in the years since the tragedy, rumours, sightings and happenings have abound at the Memorial which was unveiled in 1960. Locally reputed to be the most haunted place in the city, the Air Disaster Memorial is found within the dense thickness of a pine forest – a calming, nature filled walk by day, or a cloying, foreboding trip of terror by night.
Alleged sightings at the Memorial include that of a burning airman in wartime garb ambling after hikers through the forest and ghostly figures lurking by the stone plaque. A petrifying tale states that a couple, whilst walking out in the woods at night, heard someone screaming out there in the darkness, so naturally ran to the sanctity of their nearby campervan. The engine refused to start (of course) and a ghostly nurse emerged from the forest. She desperately tried to get into the vehicle, as if the couple were hurt, when the engine suddenly sprang back to life. Understandably, the couple shot out of there. Legend also claims that a phantom plane can be heard crashing on the anniversary of the tragedy, repeating the awful accident, year on year, over, and over and over.
National Film and Sound Archive
This grand building was once home to the grisly Institute of Anatomy, where various body parts were sliced, preserved and collected. The downstairs corridor, which in years gone by was decoratively lined with endless human skulls, is awash with paranormal activity. Poltergeists (German for 'noisy ghost') at play here – one apparently loves to throw Petri-dishes across an upstairs room and another chucks about those cylindrical metal casings used to hold archaic film reels. Alarmingly, a contractor also claims that he was once pinned against the wall by an invisible force.
The National Film and Sound Archive is a fine example of art deco architecture, and is well worth a visit should you be touring Canberra. Housing a collected history of Australia's rich audio visual heritage, you can stroll the famous old corridors, take in a special exhibition and immerse yourself in this national treasure.
This tiny six-room cottage existed even before the city of Canberra itself. Quaint, intricately preserved and one of the very few stone-built buildings to survive the rapid rise of the new capital, Blundell's Cottage is allegedly haunted by a young girl, Florrie Blundell. Florrie's dress caught fire following an ironing accident and, unable to extinguish the flames, suffered an awful death. Florrie manifests herself not as an apparition, but as a smell – many claim to be overcome by the 'disturbing odour of burning human flesh'. According to psychic mediums, Florrie is a friendly, happy ghost and enjoys visitors, particularly teenage girls – those similar in age to her, perhaps seeing them as friends.
Canberra's entry marks the final chapter of the East Coast Car Rentals Writing Wraith's supernatural opus. He hopes you enjoyed his awful accounts and possessed paragraphs, and who knows, maybe he'll open the crypt again should he hear the calling of his masters. All in good time.