Omakau’s Mysterious Newly-wed Corpse

On our way to St Bathans to investigate the notoriously haunted Vulcan Hotel, we stopped in at the Muddy Creek Cafe in Omakau, for a fish and chip break about midday.

Waiting for our order of blue cod and chips (some of the best blue cod I have ever tasted, by the way), I walked out and wandered around the corner to explore this tiny historical stopping point for a few minutes. I found a small junk shop. A few tables of pretty much worthless trash on sale.

I asked the guy there about local hauntings and if he’d heard of anything or could recommend somewhere close by we could check out whilst in the area. He too claimed to be a sceptic, but had a story to tell that had intrigued him for many years. He told me of an incident which happened about a decade or so back. Something that had shocked those at the scene, to the core…. to the point the local police had been called in to investigate.

On Cambrian Road, a gravel turn-off road just before St Bathans, there was a small memorial graveyard set up on a little hill, just in from the road entrance. The story goes, that workmen were excavating just behind the cemetery, for which reasons are unclear at this point. Unfortunately, due to a lack of suitably visible or accurately placed markers, the digger carved too close to the cemetery land. The digger blade, on slicing downward, uncovered part of a coffin half way up the hill. The workers were shocked and immediately put a halt on the work. The casket was sticking half out of the hill, with the soil crumbling away quickly underneath it.

The police were called, but before they arrived the coffin dislodged itself from the remaining loose soil, and slid a couple of meters down to the ground below; where it broke open. Inside was the corpse of a woman; wearing a full white wedding dress. The thing that struck the men hard at that moment (aside from the fact there was a corpse in front of them) was that the body appeared “fresh” and wasn’t in any state of decay and looked as though she had only just recently been put in the ground.

The men, in a state of shock and unable to look at the body any further, moved away from the site until the police arrived to sort things out. On returning to the scene with the police they found something even more disturbing. (Now here’s where the story, or urban myth, gets a little cloudy). The corpse had now either “disappeared… or turned to dust”. There was no body in the coffin when the men and police officer returned to it!

I found the location. Indeed there is a small hill, a small picketfenced square of a “graveyard,” and right behind it an obvious carved-away slice of the land. How much of this story is true is unknown to me, but hearing about it, and standing on the actual piece of land itself afterwards, sure put shivers up my spine!

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