Australians are a pragmatic bunch. We don’t have a long tradition of ghost stories and our country doesn’t share the same history of haunted homes as Europe or America. What we do have here in Australia though is a great deal of freaky homegrown fables and that aren’t found anywhere else in the world. Stories that mix indigenous mythology with our colonial beginnings to create urban legends that are dripping with Australiana.

These stories are whispered between friends during long road trips on deserted roads and told to kids by their playful parents on camping trips. And even though we may not celebrate Halloween with the same fervour of our North American mates, these stories also seem to reappear in print and online around the end of October.

If you’d like to hear about some of the most frightening stories and legends from Down Under, you’ll be pleased to know we’ve compiled a list of 5 creepy tales from the catacombs of Aussie folklore below. So get comfortable, turn off the lights and make sure your doors are locked… because some of the following Australian Halloween stories are guaranteed to have you second guessing whether you really are alone.

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1. Schneider's Alley

Back in the 1900s, a doctor by the name of Michael Schneider purchased a mansion on 40 acres of land in Adelaide, South Australia. After making the necessary arrangements and moving his wife and two daughters into the home, Michael began work in the area and living what many would consider an idyllic life.

It wasn’t before long though that tragedy struck and both of Dr Schneider’s children and his wife died suddenly in an accident. Hit with grief and reeling from the loss of his entire family, Dr Schneider snapped. Unhinged and alone, he proceeded to build a cabin in the woods behind his mansion.

This cabin became his escape, a place where he could retreat to and lose himself in his work. The only problem was that his work included taking patients there and performing insane experiments on them… without any form of anaesthesia.

Torture and mutilation became his prerogative and it’s thought that Dr Schneider murdered scores of people on his property. Apparently, their screams could be heard on still nights by the neighbours. Any form of investigation into where these screams were coming from, however, did not begin until long after the doctor had already passed away.

These days, the mansion, the shack and the grounds are all supposedly haunted by Dr Schneider, his family and his patients. Brave souls that’ve ventured onto the property, now called Andrew’s Walk, have heard strange noises emanating from the forest behind the home and some have even been accosted by an invisible hand. To date there have been over 100 ghost sightings in total, which makes the tale of Dr Schneider a popular Australian Halloween story.

2. Bodies in the bridge

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of the world’s most iconic structures. Built in 1923 and opened in 1932, it took 8 years to complete and is now a heritage-listed site in Australia, affectionately nicknamed “The Coat Hanger” due to its arch-based design.

Behind this stunning engineering feat, however, lies a dark past. It’s said that during the construction process a total of 16 iron workers died. A fact that’s been recorded in history books over the years. What hasn’t been reported though is that there was apparently another three men who also perished, but whose deaths were never recorded.

One Australian Halloween story says that these unfortunate workers fell during construction of the bridge’s pylons. Because finding the bodies was deemed too costly and they were under a great deal of pressure to complete the project, these contractors were never found or given a proper burial. It’s also said that they were itinerant workers with no roots in the Sydney area, therefore no family members ever pushed for an inquiry.

If this is true, the Sydney Harbour Bridge isn’t just a means to get people from one side of the Sydney Harbour to the other, it’s also a tomb with three bodies trapped inside of its pylons. Some people even say that this has led to the bridge being haunted, which is as good a reason as any not to venture across it during a moonless night.

3. Crown Casino cemetery

If you ever needed incentive to only play with online casinos such as Fair Go, this is it.

According to a local legend that’s been doing the rounds in Melbourne for some years now, the Crown Casino on the banks of the Yarra River is said to include pokies, ample parking and fantastic customer service… in addition to an underground morgue.

Yes, you read that correctly. The Crown Casino is a place where you can win big and stumble upon a frozen corpse all in one night. Legend has it that there’s a hidden passageway in one of the toilets at the Crown that staff use to whisk away the bodies of deceased patrons. Many of whom have passed away from heart attacks sustained after hitting that elusive jackpot on their favourite casino game.

Those that discover this hidden corridor will soon find that it leads to an expansive, refrigerated room beneath the casino. This room is rumoured to be the final resting place of hundreds of dead gamblers. There are even some who believe that the toilet cubicles are purpose built to rotate and dispose of suicidal patrons, sending them down to the depths of the casino to be deposited in the morgue.

Of course, there’s no proof that the Crown Casino in Melbourne is anything but a place for people to gamble, be merry and perhaps walk away with a pocket full of cash. Although this hasn’t stopped guests from sharing this Australian Halloween story to friends and family as a warning that the safest way to bet is with Fair Go casino.

4. The Blue Mountain’s black panther

One of Australia’s most enduring urban legends is that of a black panther that roams the highlands and suburbs of Western Sydney. Possums, young calves and even the occasional human are claimed to be favourite meals of the elusive black panther, but given there are no recorded attacks by rogue felines, it’s hard to take these statements seriously.

Larger than average feral cats, swamp wallabies and even innocent Labradors have all been wrongly identified as a black panther in the past. Large, powerful and as dark as the darkest night, many sightings have been reported and there’s even been a few (very grainy) photos.

In addition, sighting of a black panther has endured for well over 100 years now, with many specialists and armchair experts weighing in on whether or not they actually exist. In fact, the legend of the Blue Mountain black panther has existed for so long that the local rugby league team, The Panthers, is said to have taken their name from this Australian Halloween story… or so the conspiracy theorists will have you believe.

Next, they’ll be telling us that there’s been numerous sightings of dragons in the St. George area.

5. The Bunyip

Australia is famous for its weird creatures. Platypus, kangaroos and even koalas like Kev are all animals that aren’t found on any other continent in the world. But if you can believe it, there’s something even stranger that exists in the most desolate parts of our sunburnt nation… a monster known as the Bunyip.

Considered to be a large mythical creature with roots in Aboriginal mythology, the Bunyip is said to lurk in swamps, billabongs, creeks, riverbeds and waterholes. Sometimes it’s a ferocious carnivore, other times it’s a mild-mannered eater of leaves and plants. All we know for certain is that the Bunyip is one of Australia’s most baffling zoological mysteries.

If you’re intent on finding out whether this Australian Halloween legend has any basis in fact, you’ll need to know what you’re looking for. The problem is that the Bunyip is often thought to be a nominal mismatch of assorted monsters from Aboriginal dreamtime stories. This means that in some regions it could be a giant starfish, while in others it takes the form of a crocodile with a dog’s head.

Bones thought to belong to a Bunyip have been found, but many of them have been either lost or linked back to animals that actually did exist in Australia back in the day, such as the giant wombat or Diprotodon. This doesn’t mean that the Bunyip isn’t real though. Australia is a big country after all and roughly 90% of the population live on its coastal fringes. So who’s really to say that there isn’t a whole pack of Bunyips roaming the country’s interior?

Don’t let these Australian Halloween stories scare you stiff – play at Fair Go today!

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