When you think of haunted places, you most often conjure visions of old asylums and morgues, rickety mansions, large Victorian-era buildings of ill-repute or jails that once housed violent killers.
But not many people think of the roads that take them there.
Here’s a list of five freaky freeways, roads and highways that have a reputation for scaring drivers out of their seatbelts.
5. Anti-Gravity Hill, Woodend, Victoria
Not so haunted as it is freaky, Straws Lane, in Woodend, some 80kms from Melbourne, is known as ‘Anti-Gravity Hill’. Here you can pour water on to the road and it flows uphill. Place a ball on the road and it rolls uphill. You can even put your car in neutral and it will slowly roll uphill. There are even a few people who’ve said that if they run downhill, it still feels as if you’re running uphill. Why?
Some say it’s caused by the pull of Hanging Rock; others say it’s one of many ‘gravity hills’ found around the world. A gravity hill is known as such when the slight downhill slope appears to be an uphill slope due to the layout of the surrounding land. Whatever you believe, it’s a strange phenomenon and a cool place to visit.
4. Newell Highway, Pilliga Scrub, New South Wales
A homeless Indigenous woman known to locals as the Pilliga Princess often wandered the Newell Highway pushing her shopping trolley of collected belongings. One night in 1993, she was hit and killed by a truck, whose driver spotted her too late when she wandered across the road. The truckie who hit her claims she looked directly at him and ran towards the truck with white hair flailing, manic eyes and her arms outstretched. To this day, truckers and travellers driving along the highway swear to have seen her pushing her trolley along the highway.
3. Lemon Tree Passage Road, Hunter region, New South Wales
Just near Port Stephens, in New South Wales, you’ll find Lemon Tree Passage Road – long the subject of local legend and an urban myth that has spawned a horror movie of the same name. According to the urban myth, if you speed along this stretch of road, surrounded by woods trees and woods and running close to the Tilligerry Creek, you’ll see blinding lights that appear quickly from out of nowhere. It’s believed the lights appear from waking up the ghost of a dead motorbike rider (two have died on this stretch of road) who flashes his headlights into a driver’s rear-view mirror, warning them to slow down.
While the story may not seem so scary, the trailer below should get some hearts started.
2. Mount Victoria Pass, Lithgow, New South Wales
Considered a piece of NSW heritage, Victoria Pass, once deemed an engineering marvel, is a road supported by a stone causeway built by convicts close to 200 years ago.
According to local legend and reports from affected drivers, this stretch of the Great Western highway is haunted by the Lady in Black, immortalised in the Henry Lawson poem The Ghost at Second Bridge.
Since the mid-19th century, travellers have reported the phantom of a mournful figure dressed in black clinging to the back of vehicles, causing them to plummet to a fiery death. This apparition is believed to be Caroline Collits, a Hartley Valley girl who was beaten and raped and left to die beside the road in 1842.
The original road has been upgraded, but Caroline still puts in the odd appearance, especially on cold nights when black ice causes truckies and drivers to slow down.
1. Wakehurst Parkway, French’s Forest, New South Wales
Sydney’s infamous Wakehurst Parkway is claimed by many to be Australia’s spookiest road. Drive about 26 kilometres from Sydney’s CBD and you’ll find a road with a dark past known not only for fatal crashes, but also for it’s use as a dumping ground for the bodies of Sydney’s slain.
While the road has its share of urban legends, none are as famous as that of ‘Kelly’ – the ghostly girl dressed in white who appears to people travelling alone after midnight. As the story goes, Kelly appears in your back seat and, unless ordered to get out, will take control of your car and cause it to crash.
A film documentary directed by Bianca Biasi investigated the supernatural occurrences at Wakehurst Parkway. During filming, the filmmaker and several crewmembers became physically ill.
“It was terrifying,” said Ms Biasi, who when confronted with the likelihood of having to return to tie up loose ends for the film said: “I think I can safely say I don’t ever want to go back to Deep Creek Reserve, and I won’t drive the Parkway again.”
Have you ever driven down any of these roads? Or, are you a local in these parts? Can you corroborate any of these tales?
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