Picton Mushroom Tunnel – NSW, Australia

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Picton Mushroom Tunnel, also known simply as ‘The Tunnel’, is quite the renowned location for paranormal happenings. Located just outside of Picton, NSW, Australia, the tunnel has seen its share of suicide, murder and accidental death.
Many of those who visit there tell of strange lights, cold spots, disembodied voices and dark figures. The most frightening phenomena is said to be the ‘lady in white’, who instills a feeling of terror into those she reveals herself too.

A Tunnel… Just a Tunnel

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The tunnel.

The  town of Picton is located in the Macarthur Region of New South Wales.  Although the area was explored in 1798, it was off limits to settlement  until 1821. Picton, developed as the Great South Road, was cut  through the Razorback Range. It was established as the settlement of  ‘Stonequarry,’ but was later renamed ‘Picton’ in 1845.   In 1867, the town started to see faster growth, as the Picton-Mittagong  railway loop line was built. This line was a feat of engineering and  construction, and at the time, it included the deepest hill cutting in  Australia. The line also included the 592 foot (180 meter) Redbank Range  Railway Tunnel, the first to be used by the New South Wales Railways.   In 1919, this section of the line was closed to the railways, as a new  line was built to better handle the heavy load of traffic.   During World War Two, the RAAF made good use of unused railway tunnels,  and the Picton Tunnel was no different. Arms and ammunition were stored  throughout its length, and at times, mustard gas tanks were also stored.   In 1950, after the RAAF moved out, Redbank Range Railway Tunnel became  known as the Picton Mushroom Tunnel, as it was used for the commercial  growing of Mushrooms (as many other closed tunnels are used today.) Picton Tunnel has seen its share of death.


…but Add Some Death and Tragedy…

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From the Electric Telegraph.
The  decapitated and dismembered body of a man was found  in the tunnel, on  the 24th January 1884. Who he was is unknown, and as  far as I can find,  he was never identified by anyone, he no doubts lies  in a nameless grave  somewhere. It is, of course, not known whether the death was suicide, or an accident. Some people used the tunnel as a shortcut when travelling, choosing to go through the hill, rather than over it.    December 13th 1916, Emily Agnes Bollard could have been doing just   that, when she was struck down by a train in the tunnel. It is said that   the 51 year old woman was using the tunnel as a shortcut, on her way  to  visit a relative. Some say it was an  act of suicide.  Regardless, when she was hit, it is said her body was  carried on the  front of the train for quite a distance (Some say into  the Picton  Station), before the train halted and her remains removed.

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1954 newspaper article
20th  February 1954, the body of Olaf Perkman, a researcher with the CSIRO,  was found in the carriage of a train at Central Railway Station, Sydney.  The 2nd March a labourer Ronald Holl, 24, was remanded on charges of  murder. Later that month on the 30th, Holl admitted to killing  Perkman. Holl stated that Perkman had made immoral suggestions, and  advancements on him, and when the train had entered the Picton Tunnel  (this was the second, newer tunnel close by) he had shot Perkman in the  head with his .22 rifle at near point blank range. He also admitted to  rummaging through Perkmans pockets, stealing some money. Holl was subsequently found guilty, and when the judge sentenced him to death, Holl replied saying ‘Thank you’.   Legend also tells of a suicide by hanging, of a young woman, and the  rape and murder of another. Do any of these deceased people still linger  within the Picton Tunnel?

…and Get Some Hauntings

There  have been many reports of strange activity in the  tunnel. Strange  lights appear in the dark, frigid cold spots are felt,  and sometimes the  sounds of a steam train can be heard. It is also said  that the ghost of  Emily Bollard still walks the tunnel, sometimes  looking age 51, and at  others much younger.   Black figures have been reported to loiter  within its depths, with  visitors able to walk up very close before they  disappear before their  eyes. Probably the most disturbing   experiences are those told by people unlucky enough to have met the   ‘lady in white’. This spirit will choose one of the member of a group of   visitors, tourists or trespassers, and momentarily show herself to  just  that one person. An extreme terror will be felt by that person,  and at  times these people have had to be carried screaming from the  tunnel. (please note that entering the tunnel without permission is trespassing and can get you a $300 fine)
Ashley Hall

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