Author Topic: The Lady in Black: Mount Victoria: NSW  (Read 795 times)

Offline KANACKI

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The Lady in Black: Mount Victoria: NSW
« on: November 05, 2020, 11:23:42 AM »
Deep into depths of the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, a ancient road snakes above bushland, dropping away at each side into a forested gully. Cars careen through here, supported from beneath by a sturdy, stone causeway, built by convicts nearly to 200 years ago. Countless people has past over this pass.

The Victoria Pass is a piece of NSW heritage, an engineering marvel. But it has a dark past. This snaking stretch of road serves as the setting for one of the region’s most horrific crimes; one that has carved a place in local folklore, and sparked the urban legend of “The Woman in Black”.

Many riders reported that their horse became restless and unsettled, before the figure appeared on the road in front of them; “Some reported that her long, dark hair streamed out in the wind and that her arms were raised in a suppliant gesture. Some said that her eyes shone in the dark like a tiger’s and a few said that she was headless. As suddenly as she appeared the spectre would disappear.”

Here is some old photographs of the pass below. For those who cannot see I suggest joining up to the forum to see interesting insights in Australian ghosts and history of such haunted places ingrained into our folklore.

Who is ghost of The Lady in Black on the Victoria Pass?

To be continued.....

Kanacki

Offline KANACKI

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Re: The Lady in Black: Mount Victoria: NSW
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2020, 11:32:22 AM »
While stories about an alleged ghost haunting the pass would could be seen by many as a myth, there is a haunting truth to the tale. The savage murder of a 13-year-old girl named Caroline Collits.

Caroline’s short life was one marred by tragedy. She was one of six children, to parents Mary Hopkins and William James, who ran an illegal liquor shop west of the Blue Mountains. Mary, an alcoholic, died by suicide in 1835 when Caroline was just eight.

After suspicions were raised that William may have played a role in her death, he was arrested, convicted and sentenced to death by hanging. But before the execution took place, the conviction was overturned on a point of law, and William walked free.

It appears William abandoned Caroline and her siblings. They’d been left to fend for themselves on their Bathurst-region property; they had little food, and her newborn brother had died. Caroline and her younger sister, Mary, were sent to work as servants for the Collits, a respectable local family and proprietors of the nearby Hartley Inn.

And that is where more troubles began.

To be continued....

Kanacki

Offline KANACKI

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Re: The Lady in Black: Mount Victoria: NSW
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2020, 11:38:27 AM »
It was there, around 1820, they met John Walsh, a freed convict who groomed and had a sexual relationship with both girls – then aged just 10 and 12 (the latter being the age of consent at the time). Maria ultimately married him a year later, while Caroline married the Collits’ 25-year-old son, William. Deeply unhappy in her marriage, Caroline left him for a time and went to live with Maria and John, with whom she continued a bizarre affair.

In 1842, the Blue Mountains Library notes, it seemed there was hope for a reconciliation. John, Caroline and William met at a tavern near Hartley for drinks, but on the return trip the men fought, and as John picked up a rock to strike William, Caroline urged her husband to flee for his life. He did, leaving the pair behind.

Early the following morning, the bloodied body of a young women was found by a postman at Victoria Pass. She’d been raped, beaten, her head struck with a rock, which lay covered in blood nearby. That young women was later identified as Caroline.

John Walsh had returned the previous evening, claiming to have been attacked by son of the tavern owner, Joseph Jagger, whom he said abducted Caroline. But witnesses placed the Jagger boy at the tavern all night.

John was arrested, convicted, and hanged at Bathurst on May 3, 1842

So one would think this sorry and saga would end but it didn't

To be continued....

Kanacki

Offline KANACKI

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Re: The Lady in Black: Mount Victoria: NSW
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2020, 11:43:13 AM »
The Collits name is still well known in the Blue Mountains area. Collits Inn is a heritage-listed building that now serves a function centre. But it’s Caroline Collits’ tragic story and tales of her ghost – The Lady In Black – that have captivated locals and visitors. Here is a picture below.

To be continued...

Kanacki

Offline KANACKI

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Re: The Lady in Black: Mount Victoria: NSW
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2020, 11:58:12 AM »
Today after nearly 2 centuries people still claim they have encountered the lady in black on the Victoria pass road which in itself a location of many fatal accidents.

Truck drivers would still occasionally claim to see her; especially on cold nights, when the threat of black ice would force them to travel slowly along the Pass. White face, black dress, pleading.....

Pleading for help or for justice 2 centuries now and counting.

Kanacki

Offline KANACKI

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Re: The Lady in Black: Mount Victoria: NSW
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2021, 10:34:18 AM »
The lady in Black.

Is the only haunting I know had inspired a famous Australian author Henry Lawson to write a poem about the haunting.

        You'd call the man a senseless fool, —
               A blockhead or an ass,
        Who'd dare to say he saw the ghost
               Of Mount Victoria Pass;
        But I believe the ghost is there,
               For, if my eyes are right,
        I saw it once upon a ne'er-
               To-be-forgotten night.

        'Twas in the year of eighty-nine —
               The day was nearly gone,
        The stars were shining, and the moon
               Is mentioned further on;
        I'd tramped as far as Hartley Vale,
               Tho' tired at the start,
        But coming back I got a lift
               In Johnny Jones's cart.

        'Twas winter on the mountains then —
               The air was rather chill,
        And so we stopped beside the inn
               That stands below the hill.
        A fire was burning in the bar,
               And Johnny thought a glass
        Would give the tired horse a spell
               And help us up the Pass.

        Then Jimmy Bent came riding up —
               A tidy chap was Jim —
        He shouted twice, and so of course
               We had to shout for him.
        And when at last we said good-night
               He bet a vulgar quid
        That we would see the "ghost in black",
               And sure enough we did.

        And as we climbed the stony pinch
               Below the Camel Bridge,
        We talked about the "Girl in black"
               Who haunts the Second Bridge.
        We reached the fence that guards the cliff
               And passed the corner post,
        And Johnny like a senseless fool
               Kept harping on the ghost.

        "She'll cross the moonlit road in haste
               And vanish down the track;
        Her long black hair hangs to her waist
               And she is dressed in black;
        Her face is white, a dull dead white —
               Her eyes are opened wide —
        She never looks to left or right,
               Or turns to either side."

        I didn't b'lieve in ghosts at all,
               Tho' I was rather young,
        But still I wished with all my heart
               That Jack would hold his tongue.
        The time and place, as you will say,
               ('Twas twelve o'clock almost) —
        Were both historically fa-
               Vourable for a ghost.

        But have you seen the Second Bridge
               Beneath the "Camel's Back"?
        It fills a gap that broke the ridge
               When convicts made the track;
        And o'er the right old Hartley Vale
               In homely beauty lies,
        And o'er the left the mighty walls
               Of Mount Victoria rise.

        And there's a spot above the bridge,
               Just where the track is steep,
        From which poor Convict Govett rode
               To christen Govett's Leap;
        And here a teamster killed his wife —
               For those old days were rough —
        And here a dozen others had
               Been murdered, right enough.

        The lonely moon was over all
               And she was shining well,
        At angles from the sandstone wall
               The shifting moonbeams fell.
        In short, the shifting moonbeams beamed,
               The air was still as death,
        Save when the listening silence seemed
               To speak beneath its breath.

        The tangled bushes were not stirred
               Because there was no wind,
        But now and then I thought I heard
               A startling noise behind.
        Then Johnny Jones began to quake;
               His face was like the dead.
        "Don't look behind, for heaven's sake!
               The ghost is there!" he said.

        He stared ahead — his eyes were fixed;
               He whipped the horse like mad.
        "You fool!" I cried, "you're only mixed;
               A drop too much you've had.
        I'll never see a ghost, I swear,
               But I will find the cause."
        I turned to see if it was there,
               And sure enough it was!

        Its look appeared to plead for aid
               (As far as I could see),
        Its hands were on the tailboard laid,
               Its eyes were fixed on me.
        The face, it cannot be denied
               Was white, a dull dead white,
        The great black eyes were opened wide
               And glistened in the light.

        I stared at Jack; he stared ahead
               And madly plied the lash.
        To show I wasn't scared, I said —
               "Why, Jack, we've made a mash."
        I tried to laugh; 'twas vain to try.
               The try was very lame;
        And, tho' I wouldn't show it, I
               Was frightened, all the same.

        "She's mashed," said Jack, "I do not doubt,
               But 'tis a lonely place;
        And then you see it might turn out
               A breach of promise case."
        He flogged the horse until it jibbed
               And stood as one resigned,
        And then he struck the road and ran
               And left the cart behind.

        Now, Jack and I since infancy
               Had shared our joys and cares,
        And so I was resolved that we
               Should share each other's scares.
        We raced each other all the way
               And never slept that night,
        And when we told the tale next day
               They said that we were — intoxicated.

A ghost haunting that has become part of our folklore.

Kanacki

 


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