If you take a trip down the Hume Highway to mid NSW and stop at the small, friendly country town called Junee, just outside of Wagga Wagga, you will notice what a quaint, delightfully peaceful place it is to visit. You also can't help but notice the looming mansion perched high up on a hill looking down upon the township and it's residents.
The mansion is MONTE CRISTO and is known to Junee and Australia as "Australia's Most Haunted House". It has gained it's spooky reputation from hundreds of encounters that visitors, friends and relatives have had with it's spectral residents who still dwell in and around the spooky old mansion to this day.
Visited annually by well over 100 ghost hunters per year, it is one of the most popular Ghost Haunts in Australia today. Owners Reg Ryan, his wife and family welcome ghost hunters and those interested in Paranormal Research. They have a collection of ghostly photographs that have been taken at the house over the years and are always on the hunt for more. Reg Ryan will happily sit and talk openly about his spectral friends who often make themselves known to him and on occasion have made themselves known to members of his family.
Reg and Olive Ryan agreed and welcomed the Australian Ghost Hunters Society to stay with them in the old house. In April 1999 we organized a group of fellow ghost hunters to accompany us to investigate this haunted homestead for the weekend.
None of us knew what to expect as this was one of the first times the house had ever been investigated by ghost hunters
[START HERE TO READ WHAT HAPPENED]
This homestead was built in 1884 by Christopher William Crawley. He built the house for himself, wife and children. He built the house on the hill overlooking Junee so he could enjoy the view of the township that he owned at the time happily from his top balcony.
Mr Christopher Crawley
Christopher Crawley was born in Sydney in 1841, he died at Monte Cristo Homestead on the 14th December, 1910 at the age of 69. The cause of death was heart failure brought on by a gangrenous abscess on his neck caused by the rubbing of his starched collars.
His wife was Elizabeth Crawley, she was often described as a very "Queen Victoria" type figure that wore a black lace dress, lace cap and a cape with a stand-up beaded collar.
LEFT: Mr. Crawley's Grave
The graves of Mr & Mrs Crawley and their daughter who died in an accident and an early age can be seen at the local Junee cemetery
She was an extremely hard woman and ruled the house and servants with an iron hand. She was believed to have only left the Homestead on two occasions in the 23 years following the death of Mr. Crawley.
Mrs. Crawley also passed away at Monte Cristo on 12th August, 1933 at the age of 92. Her cause of death was heart failure due to a burst appendix.
ABOVE: Mrs. Crawley
Reg and Olive Ryan bought the abandoned and vandalized property on 3rd June, 1963. Reg moved everyone, including his young children and Olive into the run down old house immediately after purchasing it. The conditions were terrible. There was no running water or electricity at the time. There was also no doors or windows, the place was in sever disrepair but Reg was determined to restore it and live in it as a family residence from the beginning.
Above: Reg and Olive Ryan. Who own and maintain Monte Cristo to this very day.
Reg admits to having a strange connection with the house and it's unseen residents. He always tells of how when he first set eyes on the abandoned house that he was somehow called back to it again and again. This was a calling he could not resist or stop and he knew at the time that he would someday own the ruined and vandalized mansion. He felt as though something supernatural lead him back and made him the guardian, protector and carer of this beautiful old building.
Reg admits to quite often feeling the presence of others, especially in the Drawing Room, but has never gotten a bad feeling or had a bad experience with the ghosts of Monte Cristo himself. The ghosts certainly do like Reg and his family and have never caused them any distress or harm over the many years that they have resided inside.
For more information visit: MONTE CRISTO HOMESTEAD website
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[Monte Cristo 2000 report]
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