I have been to the famous Monte Cristo homestead in Junee on several occasions hoping to test the claims made about it and try and capture some evidence. On our first such visit we arrived at Monte Cristo at around 7pm, it was a clear, freezing cold winter’s night. Everyone gathered in the souvenir shop and we were all given name tags. From there we took a walk into the ballroom, it had the biggest fire place I had ever seen in my life. We made ourselves coffee and sat down at one of the many tables.
We met the owners of Monte Cristo, Reg and Olive Ryan. Reg told us of the history of the homestead, about the original owners, the Crawley’s, and about how the home came into his possession. He then put on a video for everyone to watch about their house. They had been on many documentaries, including Big Country, Australian Story and The Extraordinary. They also allowed the people from Scream Test to do one of their shows there.
We felt that the video went on a bit too long as we were all eager to get inside and explore Monte Cristo. We all went outside and Reg talked to us about the history and the ghosts of Monte Cristo. Whilst, he was speaking about a boy being burnt in the shed, out came a man running around on fire. That was pretty good. His son was a daredevil and stuntman and took part in number of mock-ups for our entertainment.
While Dave and I were standing there waiting to go inside, we were standing right in front of the original house. Dave saw a lady in the front window sitting on a chair, looking out at us. He thought it was another of the night’s entertainments until we walked in there. We were split up into groups. Dave and I were in the first group, which was led by Olive Ryan. When we first entered the house, I felt a little odd, but I was more curious. We were led into the sitting room first of all. In there I felt very flushed and squeamish. Dave and I looked where the lady should have been, but to our amazement, there was no lady, and there was no chair in front of the window in that room.
Olive went on to explain about all her antiques and the history of the homestead. Olive refused to speak about the ghosts, so a friend of the family, Roy explained about the ghosts. Roy told us that the sitting room was a familiar place for a ghost to be. Quite often people would sense a presence in that room, and feel a little sick. That was exactly the way I felt in there and also explained the apparition Dave has seen.
We then proceeded to go to the dining room. One of the candles was completely burnt out and there was wax all over the large table. This was odd as there were candles everywhere, and Olive told us that they were all approximately the same and were all lit at the same time, about five minutes prior to all of us walking in. Roy went on to explain, that the room was a bit scary for the children of the family. Once a child put his hand in a record player cover, the cover is not heavy, and suddenly the boy's hand was stuck, a firm 'ghost' had the cover stuck firmly over the boy's hand for about five minutes.
Next on the tour was the breakfast room. I did not feel any thing strange in there, neither did Dave. However, this was the room where Olive walked downstairs one morning and found a cat, with its eyes out of their sockets, and disembowelled. One lady with our group asked her exactly where it happened because she could feel a cold spot. It happened roughly where the lady was standing.
After that we went up the stairs, this was a strange experience for me, as I felt as if I suddenly wanted to cry. I felt like I was grieving, but didn't know what for. Roy stopped us at the top of stairs to tell us about one of the Crawley’s maids, holding a baby, slipped when coming down the stairs dropping the baby which fell down the stairs to its death. This story confirming my reaction to the staircase.
At the top of the stairs, we entered the boy’s room. As soon as I entered this room, I wanted to walk straight back out. I got a sudden headache, felt sick to my stomach, dizzy and faint. I had to really grab on to Dave, so I wouldn't fall over. Roy said that in this room, people, especially females, feel very sick when they walk into here. People have seen a male presence in this room, suspected to be of the original owner Christopher Crawley, again confirming my sensations.
Next we went into the drawing room, this room also made me feel dizzy and faint. Dave wanted to throw up, he felt so ill in that room. I felt something stroke the left hand side of my face and the back of my neck. Roy said that in that room, objects were known to move around of their own accord. There is a huge tapestry picture in there and would easily take two men to life it. However, it keeps falling down. Also in this room, I saw a large lady sitting on one of the antique chairs, she was sort of transparent. I walked right up to the chair and took photos. Unfortunately nothing showed up on film.
Then on to the girl’s room, nothing really strange in that room, but the wardrobe door kept opening up by it self. I don't know if it was a set up or if a presence kept doing it.
After finishing in the Ryan's private bedroom, we took a walk out on to the balcony. We all got a fright, there was this lady standing at the end of the balcony, she looked pretty scary. Then she jumped off. And she landed on a mattress, it was another setup. But the story goes, that on this balcony a pregnant maid jumped off and killed herself, and you can still see the stain from where her blood was cleaned off the bottom step leading into the house.
Around the corner we came to the chapel room. In there was a lady sitting on the bed, another fright for most of the people, it was yet another prop.
That was the end of the tour and we were able to walk around the estate, we came upon the caretakers shed, in here a boy was chained up for over 20 years. No shower or anything. The caretaker had been murdered by this boy, said to have been his son. You can still read what the murderer wrote on the door before he left. Dave was unusually drawn to this room. He saw an old man standing in there.
It was a fascinating and entertaining evening. We did not catch anything on film, but we both had several personal experiences. It was good that most of these correlated with the known hauntings at Monte Cristo.