8 Nope-Worthy Stories About Australia’s Scariest Places From Punkee Readers

Brought to you by Pet Sematary

Based on the terrifying novel by Stephen King, ‘Pet Sematary’ is in theatres April 4.

Thought Australia was all sunny beaches and beautiful bushland? Oh honey, no. We regret to inform you that our sunburnt country is packed full of abandoned asylums, cursed stretches of road, and underground tunnels, all said to be seriously haunted.

To celebrate the release of downright terrifying flick Pet Sematary, we asked the Punkee community to submit their stories about Australia’s scariest places to win a trip to Dia de los Muertos in Mexico and, boy, did you guys deliver. Below you’ll find 8 that totally creeped us out. Just maybe don’t read them before bed.

#1 The Tunnel Maze Where A Cult Used To Hang Out

“Markings made on the walls are attributed to the cult and are still visible today.”

— Rachel, Hawthorn


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Back in the 1800s, the Hobart suburb of Battery Point was home to a military battery and, beneath the surface, a series of tunnels that could be used as an escape route by soldiers if the city was ever attacked.

The battery was eventually decommissioned and the tunnels fell into disrepair, but they weren’t sealed off to the public until the 1930s. And who do you think made use of that network of pitch-black subterranean rooms where no-one can hear you scream? A cult, of course, who, according to local legend came here to conduct animal sacrifices and other such nefarious business. Even if the cult part isn’t true, a maze of spooky old tunnels is still a big fat nope from us.

#2 The Abandoned Hospital That Is Absolutely, Definitely Haunted

“Inside the hospital, it was like many other abandoned places, full of graffiti and rubbish, but it had the most eerie feeling. The whole time we were walking through, we heard knocking and doors slamming… It was honestly terrifying.”

— Deane, NSW


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Before advances in antibiotics in the 1940s, tuberculosis claimed thousands of lives in Australia. As the disease was contagious, sufferers were often quarantined and sent to live out their days in remote medical facilities away from the city. One such facility was Waterfall Sanatorium, 90 minutes south of Sydney, which operated from 1909 until 1958.

The Sanatorium also had its own private cemetery, where hospital staff buried some 2000 tuberculosis victims over the years. The cemetery still stands today and, while it’s not officially open to visitors, those who ignore the ‘No Entry’ signs (read: trespass) can still find old headstones and eerie gravesites covered by overgrown scrub.

Haunted? Probably. Freaky as hell? You betcha.

#3 The Entire Town Built On A Freakin’ Graveyard

“They had to destroy some of the gravestones to build my primary school, but the bodies remained in the ground – under the school building. Apparently, this made the spirits angry [as] we would always have spooky stuff happening around the school. We blamed it on the grumpy oldies buried beneath us. My favourite excuse was, ‘The ghost stole my homework, Miss!’”

— Tahlie, Burwood


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If there is one thing we as a society should have learnt from horror movies by now, it’s to never, ever, build something on top of a burial site. Apparently, this is a memo the town of Albany, WA, did not receive.

Albany is home to the state’s oldest consecrated cemetery, where the dead were buried between the years of 1840 and 1959. However, the cemetery is located in the centre of town and, as Albany’s population grew, it became necessary to divide the graveyard and build roads and even a school between its two “halves”. You know, right on top of the bodies.

Locals driving through the area at night have reported seeing ghosts, which is enough for us to put Albany on the Do Not Visit list.

#4 The Road Haunted By A Little Girl

“My mate and I decided to go check it out one night…We got half way down the dip with high beams on and suddenly everything went black – I could not see a thing in front of me. I immediately put my car in reverse and headed home.”

— Abbey, Glen Iris


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In 1921, a 13-year-old girl named Chrissie Venn went missing after she left her rural home to walk to the nearby village of North Motton, Tasmania. Her body was later found close to the road she would have been travelling down but, tragically, no-one was ever convicted of her murder.

Venn is still said to haunt that stretch of road, with locals reporting paranormal activity at the spot where her body was found. Legend has it that cars will stall or shudder on Allison’s Road without explanation, while drivers have reported hearing terrified screams coming from the bush as they pass, seeing apparitions and axes floating by the side of the road, or even picking up a young girl hitchhiking — only to have her disappear from the car. Excuse me while I go scream into a pillow.

#5 The Old Mental Asylum That Sounds Suss As Hell

“My friend ran tours at the Sunbury Asylum, so I went once…We were in a solitary confinement room and the medium asked if anyone was there and we got a very distinct reply of ‘yes’ – we were so creeped out we left and went to the old children’s school. While there, I took a live picture and, on later inspection, [I could see] a very obvious tall black shadow of a man with a broad hat on [had] walked straight past me while taking a photo.”

— Maddison, Albert Park, VIC


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Sunbury Lunatic Asylum was a facility that operated in Victoria from 1879 to 1985, back when “mental health treatment” still meant padded cells, straight jackets and electroconvulsive therapy.

For years, the terrible history of the asylum could be explored on ghost tours, which would set off at night to explore the wards and on-site morgue. Many reported paranormal experiences on the tour, while Sunbury made headlines in 2017 after a ghost was supposedly caught on film at the asylum… At least, until the “figure of a woman on the roof” was revealed to actually just be a chimney. Still spooky, though.

#6 The Hitchhiking Ghost On The Central Coast

“Many have stopped and picked her up and she sits in the backseat smoking — only to disappear when you pass the cemetery where she is buried.”

— Peta, Richmond, NSW


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Between Magenta and Noraville on the NSW Central Coast, the ghost of a woman wearing a long white dress is said to flag down drivers, hop in the back seat, but then disappear before the car reaches the nearby Noraville Cemetery.

Legend has it she was attacked here in years past and, while neither that story nor the ghostly sightings can be confirmed, it’s still a good lesson in why you really should not pick up hitchhikers. Ever.

#7 The Mental Asylum Called “Australia’s Most-Haunted Building”

“As a paranormal investigator for over 33 years I am certain that Aradale Asylum In Ararat, Victoria is the creepiest place in Australia. The activity I have witnessed there in the many times I’ve investigated and slept there is amazing and can be pretty terrifying.”

— William, Caroline Springs, VIC


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13,000 people died at Aradale Asylum over its 130-year history, a horrible history that’s seen it branded Australia’s most-haunted building. One ward of the hospital housed criminals unfit for the prison system – murderers included – with 1000 patients enduring terrible conditions in the facility at any one time.

Today, you can visit the facility for a ghost tour — if, that is, you’re willing to risk ghosts getting right up in your business. Many visitors have reported feeling nauseous and dizzy while walking through certain rooms, smelling phantom scents, or hearing sounds like those of patients banging their head against a wall. Then there’s the reports of being shoved or bitten while walking through the facility, as well as some good old-fashioned, unexplained electric interference with cameras and phones. I’ll stay home, thanks.

#8 The Abandoned Factory Where Unexplained Lights Flash At Night

“It had been abandoned for years and was always locked, but every night, a red light would go on in the same room and would turn off in the daytime. Sometimes, you could see someone moving inside if you were there late enough…This went on for years with no one stepping foot inside the building.”

— Mikayla, Burwood, VIC


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Weet-Bix might not be the first thing that come to mind when you think “haunted”, but in the town of Warburton, Victoria, a former Sanitarium Healthy Food Company factory is said to be the site of some supernatural goings-on. The factory closed in the late 1990s and has sat empty since then — and if there’s one thing we know by now, it’s that ghosts love an empty old building. oOooOOo.

(Lead image: Syed Hasan Mehdi / Pexels)

Catch PET SEMATARY in cinemas now. Get your tickets here and check out the official trailer below for some serious pre-movie spooks.