Looks can often be deceiving; belying its exterior as a beautifully renovated Victorian mansion, Monte Cristo has become well known as Australia’s Most Haunted House. Many who have visited here have experienced disturbing phenomena, and in April of this year I visited it for the first time. It has been on my ‘must see’ list for some time now and I was even more enthusiastic to make the visit when I discovered it was only about a three hour drive from where I live.
Built in 1876 by owner, Christopher Crawley, he became one of Australia’s richest men. His wife, Elizabeth, was believed to have ruled the household with an iron fist. When the house was newly built, it was already showing evidence of ghosts. A photo taken during the time reveals a figure standing in a position where nobody can possibly stand. It is believed that the ghosts of both Mr and Mrs Crawley, staff members and other unidentified personalities haunt the premises.
After the deaths of the original owners, the furniture was sold at auction in 1952. It eventually stood abandoned, vandalised and in ruins, until the current owners bought it in 1963. The owners have lovingly restored it and furnished the interior with antique and Victorian furniture representative of the periods up to the 1880s. The coach house and stables contains one of the finest collections of horse drawn vehicles within Australia.
At the top of the stairs is a bedroom known as ‘the boys’ room’, where my husband and I were amazed at the heavy wooden furniture. They were big, solid antiques and when questioned, the guide told us that they had to be lifted by crane over the balcony. A guest had apparently once put in quite a substantial offer for the bedroom suite – none other than Russell Crowe!
Here is just a glimpse of some of the photos I took inside the house and around the grounds of Monte Cristo.
Monte Cristo has been visited by journalists and film crews, as well as investigators from around the world. The house is now open for daily visits and ghost tours. To find out more about this fascinating house and its many hauntings, visit their website.
Be sure to stop by again next month when I’ll be discussing my experiences within Australia’s Most Haunted House.
Have you ever visited or lived in a haunted house? Do you collect antiques? Would you fancy having to say ‘no’ to Russell Crowe?
All images ©Debbie Johansson.