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Looking for haunted places near you? Here are Canberra’s top 5 spooky spots

Many people who are interested in paranormal – or just plain creepy experiences – will usually venture out of their way to find places that are haunted. Canberra, however, has a rich hidden history, and with that comes the paranormal.

There are several places in the nation’s capital that are renowned for being haunted, with many locals alleging sightings, all recounting the same experiences.

Here are the top 5 spots around Canberra that are infamous for presence of the paranormal.


1. The Air Disaster Memorial

The site of a tragic aircraft accident in 1940 has become known as an unsettling, haunted site. A plane went down in Fairbairn Pine Plantation killing all ten people on board. At the site is a commemorative plaque to remember those who lost their lives. The site is interesting in itself, the walk there can fit in your daily steps, but there is another reason that people go.

There is something unsettling about venturing into the middle of the bush to a site where a tragedy has occurred.

The eerie sign off of Pialligo Avenue immediately sets the tone for the entire experience; unsettling. If you thought the various signs saying not to stray from the path as there is military testing, and touching things may kill you isn’t scary enough, there have also been lots of paranormal experiences.

If you decide to drive there via a different route, be sure not to turn your car off, as they have been known to stall and not turn back on.

Reports of ‘The Burning Airman’ have been popular since the late 60’s, with visitors saying they have seen a figure who appears to be on fire flash before their eyes. The cliché of being in the middle of nowhere with a tragic background definitely makes the site a creepy one, and my number one pick for the capital’s spooky spots.



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2. Blundell’s Cottage

This cottage next to Lake Burley Griffin is a classic for locals when it comes to haunted spots around Canberra. Built in 1860, Blundell’s Cottage was home to the Ginn family, then later passed onto George Blundell and his family. The cottage had multiple other residents, but coined the name Blundell since the family lived in there the longest; 59 years from 1874-1933.

The paranormal presence that many visitors seem to encounter at Blundell’s is believed to be that of the eldest Blundell child, Flora. Voices and a ‘burning’ smell are present in the house. This can be linked to the story of Flora. When she lived there she got too close to the fireplace and accidentally caught fire. Visitors have sworn to hear her ‘scream’ accompanied with a scent of burning.

Anyone can go to Blundell’s Cottage, however, it is only open from 10am to 2pm on Saturdays,  so first in best dressed.



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3. Hotel Kurrajong

This luxurious hotel located in Barton is loved for it’s lush interior, fancy functions such as high tea, and amazing food from their bar & grill. However, this hotel is hiding something more ominous.

Australia’s 16th prime minister, Ben Chifley, lived in his own room for 11 years at the hotel. One night, he suffered a heart attack, and passed away in that very room. The hotel offers The Chifley Experience, where guests can book his room overnight and experience how Chifley lived.

Many people who have stayed at the hotel have reported seeing a figure they believe to be the ghost of Chifley, walking around in a grey suit and often near various balconies and windows.

Even without seeing or hearing anything, this experience is still eerie. If you want to experience staying in the room and potentially seeing the ghost of Chifley, the room is always available for bookings.



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4. National Museum of Australia

This building is one of the newer ones on the list compared to others, having been founded in 1980 with a modern design. Looking at the building, it’s the last place visitors would expect to have creepy experiences.

However, the site of the museum used to be the Royal Canberra Hospital that opened in 1914, closing in 1991. The happenings that visitors claim to see can easily be linked to the old hospital, as there have been reports of nurses in clothes indicative of the era.

The most common appearances for this site are the nurse and a boy who appears to be in very old clothes. These two have been reported to walk up and down corridors, and some witness accounts suggest they even walk through walls.

Next time you have a visit to The National Museum, why not make it a creepy one as well?



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5. Duntroon House
This building is the oldest in Canberra, built in 1833, which already hints at a spooky aspect. The house has a special place in the Australian Army’s heritage as it served many purposes, but is now used as the Officer’s Mess at the Royal Military College.

But, with it’s rich history comes a haunted one, too.

The ghost that resides here is one of  Canberra’s most well known ones, believed to be Sophia Susanna Campbell, grand daughter of Robert Campbell, who built the house back in 1833. She died after falling from her room’s window in 1885, although many still speculate over whether it was accidental or deliberate.

Her presence is very active at this site, with numerous reports of sightings and activity believed to be from Sophia, such as a messy room and ruffled bed. She has been seen in the very room that is speculated on, through hallways, and wandering in the gardens.

Guests can visit the house and wander through the gardens; the same spots that Sophia will allegedly be.

These five spots are some of the spookiest in Canberra, so if you visit all five, it’s almost guaranteed you will have some sort of experience. Even if you don’t experience anything, these sites are all very interesting and rich in history; the paranormal is just a nice addition and shows a different side to history.


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