NewsWitch and ghost make merry on this last of dear October's days

Witch and ghost make merry on this last of dear October's days

I was speaking to a friend this week about Halloween and with furrowed brow he informed me that he didn’t like Halloween and it was “just another American thing” invading our shores. I appreciate the sentiment but my view is, if it brings happiness to people then why not.

When my kids were all under 10 years old, I announced one year that instead of doing the rounds of the neighbourhood and asking for lollies, we were going to give back. The kids dressed in their scary costumes and I marched them down to the local age care facility and they walked around handing out small cellophane bags with white marshmellows in them, labelled as “ghost poo”. To this day they haven’t forgiven me.

These days I buy a couple of kilo’s of pre-wrapped lollies (can’t have e-coli getting around on those little hands) and put them in a big bowl. When the children drop by I say to them “you can have as many as you can pick up with one hand”. Some kids go to a lot of trouble with their costumes, others are pretty pathetic really but I don’t’s a lovely way to meet the neighbours..

So just for fun…and because it’s Halloween this Monday October 31, I’ve gone to great lengths (googled it) to fine the most haunted places in Australia…one for each state.

For all you members in the Top End, the best I can find was a ghost called Kevin who was after a bit of nooky…apparently….would only happen in the NT….lol


The history: A boy burned alive in the stables, a small girl was “pushed” out of a maid’s arms and down the stairs by a mysterious unseen force, and most recently in 1961, the gardener was shot by a young man who was obsessed with the film Psycho.

How it’s haunted: Guests often report seeing strange lights, feeling strange presences, and many who choose to stay overnight report seeing former lady of the house Mrs. Crawley.


The history: Ned Kelly and 132 other convicts were hanged there.

How it’s haunted: People have reported hearing disembodied voices and other strange noises, as well as cold spots.


The history: Prior to becoming an art centre this was, you guessed it, an insane asylum, and is believed to be one of the most haunted buildings in the Southern Hemisphere.

How it’s haunted: People have reported unwelcome feelings, cold spots, figures being mysteriously added to photographs, feelings of being touched, and doors opening and closing. There are also reports that ghost-hunters heard voices saying “those are chains” and “it’s not cold.”


The history: Until 1984, this building was the Australian Institute of Anatomy, so yeah, they collected body parts.

How it’s haunted: One contracter claims to have been pinned against a wall by an unseen force, while others report that the downstairs corridor, once used to house hundreds of human skulls, is a hotspot for paranormal activity.


The history: Originally sold as an an ‘inescapable prison,’ many convicts died here over the years. Port Arthur was also the location of Australia’s worst shooting massacre in 1996, which prompted the introduction of stricter gun control in Australia.

How it’s haunted: Over the past 20 years, 1800 apparitions have been spotted.


The history: 17 people have died here since 1959, the most recent being in November 2008.

How it’s haunted: Aboriginal folklore says that a woman drowned herself here after being separated from her lover, and now she haunts the pool, luring men to the pool to join her in death. People have reported seeing strange apparitions and the sound of someone crying.


The history: Oscar Benno Seppelt allegedly went insane after a prolonged amount of time in his private retreat, hidden away behind a trophy cellar.

How it’s haunted: Guests report the sensation of being watched and pushed by forces that are not there. The lights will not turn on after 7pm. Moans, whispers and gunshots have been heard, as well as sounds of machinery working in a building that has been locked for over 150 years. There are bloodstained walls in the mausoleum that are wet on the anniversary of their deaths.


The history: Jennifer Mills-Young claims a ghost, named Kevin, once tried to drag her out of bed in the middle of the night.

How it’s haunted: Jennifer says she was sleeping when suddenly she woke up to the feeling of someone grabbing her wrist. “I thought, `Hmmm, hubby wants a bit of romance’, when I suddenly remembered he wasn’t even at home. I yelled at Kevin that he was not welcome in my bedroom and that he couldn’t come into bed with me.

I'd love you to share how you celebrate Halloween (or not) with us in the feedback forum below!

Join the conversation

FiftyUp Club
Witch and ghost make merry on this last of dear October's days

Share your views with other members. 

Want to leave a comment? or .
Read our moderation policy here.
Anonymous from QLD commented:

Yes, I agree with Alison and others that it's not as harmless as people think it is - there is another dimension to what lies beyondt that people can't see so think it's fun - 

Alison from QLD commented:

Re halloween. It is not as harmless as you seem to think. Satan uses a lot of ways to get people to treat him as harmless. What comes next? People can become involved with witchcraft etc. Read From witchcraft to Christ. It is not that easy to get out of it once you get involved. Christ is the only answer for living in this world and what lies beyond. (It was a Druid festival or similar and people were sacrificed.) AR 

Kevin from QLD commented:

I too agree that Halloween is not an Australian tradition and nor should it be one! Leave the original religious tradition to the British and the American version of events to the Americans. Keep it out of Australia! 

MemberRoslyn from NSW commented:

It was originally celebrated in England as the night beforeAll Saints Day. People would remember and give thanks for those who had lead saintly lives. All this dressing up as scary monsters has nothing to do with the original concept. As to the comment that if its fun its ok is not true. Many things are fun but can have dire consequences. 

Norma from NSW commented:

Halloween is from Scotland, it did not originate in the US. It is also a satanic tradition. 

Janine from SA commented:

I can't believe Australia is taking on yet another Americanism, we are not America, we are Australian, all the kid's are interested in is getting lot's of lollies. 

Anonymous from NSW replied to Janine:

Halloween is a Scottish/Irish tradition which is still celebrated. American TV shows have publicised Halloween in Australia to the extent that most Australians think that Halloween is American. Growing up in Scotland in the 1950s and 1960s, we went out "Guising" at Halloween not "Trick or Treating". We we dressed up to frighten the "boggles and ghaisties" and went around the neighbours. When neighbours opened their doors we had to say "Please give me my Halloween". Before being given our treat we had to perform a song, dance,poem, tell a joke etc. Treats were nuts, apples, tangerines and occasionally money. This was before the European Common Market so tangerines really were a treat. I get quite annoyed at people thinking Halloween is American and when I get children knockion my door here in Australia I really flummox the poor wee souls by insisting that they sing a song. 

Gertraud from ACT commented:

I agree that going door to door in costumes is an American tradition, however, it is celebrated all across Europe as the evening before All Saints Day. Growing up in Austria, we used to put lit candles in the windows. All Saints Day, a public holiday, was celebrated by visiting the graveyard. The next day is All Souls Day. 

David from NSW commented:

Hi, Dave Mathie here. The idea that Halloween is an American invention is just plain wrong. It is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts and has been part of British folklore for centuries. I doubt that it was taken to America by the Pilgrim Fathers, but it may have been. US commercial interests discovered it mid last century and so promoted it. As a child of Scottish parents in Hornsby (Sydney) I remember being quite scared in the late 1940's by the perceived "ghosts" at the door. 

Terry from QLD commented:

Halloween (Scottish for All Hallows' Eve) like Christmas has been commercialized by the Americans. It fell into non observance when the Catholic Faith was banned in England (All Hallows = All Saints) and was revived in some villages later. The trick and treat is remotely referring to the sweetmeats and fruit offered to the jesters and japers who acted as the ghouls and ghosts the knights would be vanquishing, after praying to the saints on the eve of All Saints' Day the first of November. 

lance from VIC commented:

Re Halloween. I don't see it as evil and I understand your point of view about it being fun for the kids. I just think it unfortunate that we celebrate the macabre side of the death experience. I feel the same about Zombie movies. Death is inevitable for all of us and I am concerned that with bats, witches, skeletons etc we may be setting our kids up for handling an event that comes to us all. Lance 

Comment Guidelines