In far north Queensland, surrounded by lush rainforests, sits The Devil’s Pool, part of Babinda Creek. Large granite boulders fill the creek bed, making it a popular swimming and picnic area. Beneath its natural beauty lies deep channels, and a popular myth that is both haunting and terrifying.
According to legend, a young Aboriginal woman, named Oolana, was selected to marry a respected elder of her tribe. However, she had fallen in love with a young man from a rival tribe. Knowing they could not possibly remain together, they ran away, but were eventually found. He was banished, but as Oolana was escorted back to her tribe, she managed to wrestle free. Oolana threw herself into the waters of Babinda Creek, crying out for her lost love, and there she drowned.
Since then, it is believed she haunts the waters, luring young single men to their deaths in the hope that one of them is her lost love.
There is startling evidence to suggest there might be some truth behind this local myth. Police records, dating back to 1959, reveal that twenty people have drowned at Babinda, although the figures could be much higher. Each of the victims, except for one German tourist, have been single men, and the majority have all been tourists or ‘outsiders.’
One such victim was 24-year-old Patrick McGann. A couple of hours before the tragedy, a photo was taken of him with a cigarette in his mouth. Police photographed the area after Patrick drowned, only to find that when the photos were developed, his face could clearly be seen in the water, complete with a cigarette hanging from his mouth.
Today, a plaque lies at the site to his memory, and as a warning to others.
‘Pray for the soul of Patrick McGann. He came for a visit on 22.6.79 and stayed forever.’
Whether the events to this story are mere coincidences or there are actual supernatural forces at play, you can’t deny The Devil’s Pool certainly makes for one compelling, spooky story.