Glen Eden Railway Station

We take a rail journey out to West Auckland to document this famously haunted landmark and one of the city’s last original railway buildings.

History

The station house is a local historical landmark that was restored in 2001. A cafe is in the old station building. When first opened, one of the station’s functions was to service the nearby Waikumete Cemetery. Special trains ran from Auckland on Sundays carrying the deceased and their entourage, and a dedicated platform was constructed to serve these trains. Commuters at Glen Eden railway station are often surprised to see a visitor from another realm.

Glen Eden cafe workers say it is the ghost of a railway worker, Alex MacFarlane, a railway porter killed during a tragic accident while working there in the 1920s, that is haunting the township’s refurbished railway station. Mr MacFarlane was a tablet porter at the station. He died at 5pm on January 11, 1924, two hours after losing his balance and slipping between the platform and an oncoming train, practically severing both legs.

Some cafe staff members report seeing the ghost – a man with a grey beard and a trench coat – and others say there is a definite presence. One incident told by café staff, was of a man in an old-fashioned top hat entering the cafe, ask for a timetable and, when the waitress turned away, vanished into thin air. Another staff member has seen the ghost’s face watching her through a window.

All agree he’s a friendly soul.

     

10 Comments

  1. James

    I lived in Gleneden for many years and i think but dont quote me on this that the spot where Alec was killed was across the railways lines beside the Salvation Army.I think the railway stop was moved to its current position.Also i think Alec’s gravestone resides at Waikumete Cemetery.So does that make it a residual haunting?I got married in the Chapel”Faith in the Oaks” just further up,which is also apparently visited by a woman in black.

  2. Ruth and John Snashall

    Alexander McFarlane died in hospital from his injuries when the lower part of his body was run over by the Henderson to Auckland train. The railway station was in a different position. It was near the rear gates of Waikumete Cemetery and had a loop track as well as the straight track past the station. On the day of the accident McFarlane thought that the train was on the loop and he stepped onto the main line to pass the tablet to the engine driver. He realised his mistake and tried to regain the platform but lost his balance and the train ran over his legs. A family member contacted Matthew Gray (Tales from the Crypt, Western Leader) and said that the description of the ghost in the station did not match Alexander McFarlane. He did not have a beard and always wore his porter’s uniform and as a porter he would not have needed to ask for the train times. There were other deaths at Glen Eden train station. One was a man named Hare who was killed while running to catch the train. Alexander McFarlane did, it seems, play a ghost in his real life. He apparently played a trick on a friend by dressing in a white sheet and rattling some chains behind the cemetery fence. This tale may have got mixed up with the story of his death. His house was very close to the cemetery and the station. Alexander McFarlane and the driver of the train that hit him and the coroner at the inquest into his death are all buried at Waikumete Cemetery. It must have been a terrible experience for the train driver as he would have known Alexander McFarlane well. There have been stories of many ghosts at Waikumete Cemetery. One is the lady at the Chapel of Faith in the Oaks, another is of one in the crematorium office. Many visitors to the cemetery have told us of encounters they have had there. One is of a ghost dog. We ourselves have experienced what may have been spirits in different parts of the cemetery.

  3. Jerome

    I’m not sure if if this is any relevance but my grandfather Marke Hemi was killed by a train at this exact location 1 year after they had moved it from its previous location. My grandfather was a heavy drinker and on the 19th of July 2002 was walking home from a long night at the local pub his house at the time was situated on Brandon road and it was alot quicker to cut along the tracks. We are still unsure how it happend he may have stumbled or been involved in an altercation and may have been thrown on to the tracks as back then glen eden had a problem with troubled youth or at worst it may have been a suicide. The train coducter told us before he was struck that his body lay strewn across the tracks and he was thought to be rubbish bags untill he got closer but it was too late. There was an article written in the old Sunday star times wich featured a picture of my grandmother walking across the tracks I cant remember what issue however I thought it goes may be interested in this bit of information and may want too look into it.

    1. John Snashall

      Hi Jerome, I worked with your Grandfather at Waitakere City. We were told that he tripped on the rail and was knocked unconscious. He was greatly missed by his work mates.

  4. Garry

    I would be interested in where Ruth & John got their information as it is the closest I have seen to what i have been told. I would love to have as much information as i can get on the incident. Alexander McFarlane is my Grandfather.
    i put the photo of Alexander working at his desk in the Cafe.

    1. John Snashall

      Hi Garry, We sent away for the police report that was recorded at the time. It contained statements from a witness and the train driver, and also the coroners report. Happy to e-mail you a copy if you wish. Contact us on Friends of Waikumete Facebook page.

  5. Haunted by my past

    Years ago around 2001 on a thursday night after rugby practice I and some mates headed to our favorite spot “spoilers” in glenmall upstairs the bakery for a few drinks.. anyway it turned into a binge night and before you know it we are all smashed of our rockers.. heres where it gets scary.. I cant remember what happened after midnight.. I came into conscience walking in waikumete cemetry not far from that chapel.. as soon as I realised where I was stumbled to the road in horror running through those hedges cutting myself.. I stood in front of the jehova witness hall staring back at the cemetry trying to make sense of how I came to be in the cemetry while assesing the cuts I recieved from the hedges still intoxicated n breathing heavily I could sense that whoever or whatever led me into the cemetry was still standing in that darkness staring back at me… weeks after that I never mentioned anything to anyone and quickly dismissed that night as one of my many drunken episodess.. untill a friend of mine said that his uncle (a bread delivery driver) he overheard his work collegue tell how thy had almost run over a drunken male on westcoast road 3am same night who was yelling at someone across the road.. when I heard that the hairs stoodup on the back of my neck.. .

Leave a Reply