Author Topic: Wraith of the Poinciana Woman. NT  (Read 6738 times)

Offline KANACKI

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Wraith of the Poinciana Woman. NT
« on: July 26, 2015, 05:45:01 PM »
Ah whats a Australian haunting topic without a tale or two from our top End? The Northern Territory has its own ghosts in mix between western, Asian and indigenous tales from the other side.

The ghost story is just about an institutional right of passage to teenagers living in the top end. Is the story just an urban myth or is there some thing else sinister remembered only today in half legends?

They say she appears on black nights in the Poinciana trees at East Point.

Once she was a beautiful brown-skinned Asian woman, but long ago she was raped by Japanese Fishermen at East Point. other version say it was Australian Soldiers during WW2. No one really knows for sure as so many versions evolved in each retelling.

One such version claims She had allegedly  became deranged after she had been raped and when she discovered she was pregnant she hanged herself from a branch of a Poinciana tree. Since then She has since become a wraith who stalks and kills men at night. She entices them by initially appearing as a beautiful white-robed, long haired young woman but then transforms into a hideous wild-haired eagle clawed hag just before she eviscerates her victims and feeds on their still-steaming guts.

She has a distinctive shrill scream and can be summoned on moonless nights by spinning three times and calling out her name. Such was the urban myth of the Poinciana women that haunts the trees of Darwin's East point.

Top End kids have to deal with much more than the usual trials of adolescence. As well as jumping off cliffs and jettys, no Darwin teenager has any credibility until they have driven to the tip of East point on a pitch-black night and faced the terrifying spectre of the Poinciana Woman. Such is the right of passage for Darwin Youth?

Is it just a urban myth with strange blend of Asian, indigenous and western ghost legends. Or is there some truth lost behind the legend?

To be continued

Kanacki

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Re: Wraith of the Poinciana Woman. NT
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2015, 11:22:33 PM »
Its amazing how quickly over time a Myth can develop? Most legends spring from a seed of truth but over time get exaggerated out of all proportion.

In trying to discover the source behind such story, research deep into Darwin's past. In the stories present context there was nothing to support this story.

However I did find a story The Northern Miner dated 22nd of January 1930, that might be the source of the urban myth developed from. A young married 29 year old Chinese woman poisoned her self, by the name of Lena Lee. She never hung herself or far as we can was raped? However the reasons could of possibly been that or even pregnant? But we will never Know for sure. Some thing drove this young women to Suicide.

And perhaps it was rumours about her life that became the urban legend of the Ponciana women? Others claim at various times to have encountered her one dating back to 1949. I leave that to you to judge

Is Lena Lee the ghost that haunts east point? I suppose those who claim to spin around the Ponciana tree there 3 times will  find out?

Kanacki



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Re: Wraith of the Poinciana Woman. NT
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2022, 09:37:16 AM »
Has anyone had any paranormal experiences at the alleged haunting site?

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Re: Wraith of the Poinciana Woman. NT
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2022, 01:10:04 PM »
Gidday Everyone

The question remains undecided if Lena Lee was the actual real life tragedy that morphed into the Poinciana Woman ghost story?

Headless has found out some more information about her tragic death.

Northern Territory Times (Darwin, NT : 1927 - 1932) Fri 24 Jan 1930 Page 6 Newspaper reported the following.....

INQUEST ON MRS LENA LEE

At the inquest, on Mrs Lena Lee before Mr E. C. Playford S.M. Coroner. Willie Lee deposed: I know deceased she was my wife, we were married in Darwin in 1924.

Lena Pak Fong being her maiden name. She was then 22 years of age. We slept at the top storey of the Eastern Cafe. On Monday morning last (January 20th.) I went to work at 4.30 a.m. I left my wife in bed asleep, a light was burning. About 6.15 a car came to the butcher shop. The driver (Quin Ming) my brother told me my wife was unconscious. I rushed into the car and returned home. I found my wife in bed unconscious. She was fully dressed. My mother and sister were there. There was a smell of opium around the bed. I found a glass with some black fluid in it and a bottle of vinegar. I rang up for the Doctor. That was about a of an hour after I arrived home. The doctor arrived shortly afterwards. I remained in the room till she died.

My wife was not an opium addict. She would have nothing to do with it. In my opinion she must have got the opium from the steamer. My wife was book-keeper at Yuen See Kee's and a prominent member of the Chinese community. Her life was not insured. She had considerable opposition from certain Chinese over politics. My wife was Vice President of the Kuo Min Tang. We were on friendly terms and always have been so. She had been worried lately over receiving no letters from her step-mother in China.

The glass with the black fluid was handed to Dr Fothergill. I cannot read Chinese. On the table in the room two letters were found written in Chinese. I was present when the Coroner viewed the body. Dr Fothergill stated: I am a fully qualified medical practitioner residing in Darwin I was called about 6.30 a.m on Monday the 20th to attend a case at the Eastern Cafe. I found a Chinese woman lying in bed unconscious breathing stertorously and her color was cyanosed. The pupils of the eye were contracted and eye inactive.

I was told she had drunk some liquid containing opium. I had no difficulty in diagnosing the case as opium poisoning. I left about 8.30. She was still unconscious but appeared to be rallying. I was called again about 10 a.m. and found the patient dead. During my first visit I was handed the glass with contents. It contains opium. Fluid removed from the stomach also contained opium. Death was caused by opium poisoning. I did not know deceased.

J. Lee Hang Gong said: I am proprietor of the Eastern Cafe. The deceased was my sister in law and lived in the top storey of the Cafe. My brother and his wife were a happy couple. On Monday last at 5.30 a.m I heard a noise which woke me up. It was a groaning noise. It came from deceased's room. I thought at first she was dreaming. As it continued I sent the children in to wake their auntie. The children ran back and said they were frightened as auntie looked peculiar.

I sent my wife in and I stood at the door. I sent for her husband for my mother and sister and the doctor. I do not know if deceased procured any opium. She never suggested suicide. On Sunday night sheappeared well and happy and had attended a Kuo Min Tang meeting. The two Chinese letters produced are in the writing of deceased. Mr T. Ming Ket interpreted the letters as follows :

To Darwin Nationalist Party

To the Executive and Supervisory Committees and Comrades.

I joined the Darwin branch of the Nationalist Party shortly after I came here, and it has for several years shown loyal support towards attaining its objects. That is if this branch could support as far
as an inch it will give an inch. I as a member have always tried to do my best towards the party but recently as the result of some alteration I am concerned considerably. So therefore I leave this note to inform you our loyal comrades that I will have to depart from you all forever. Those who are intelligent will follow Sun Yet Sen.
LENA LEE. (Chong Shue Hing).

The second letter was to her mother.

My Dear Mother.

In consequence of being so tired of life you will naturally be sorry to learn that I am compelled to
depart from you forever. You know of course that every individual can only die once so therefore
please do not blame any one for the cause of my death. Ah See has 2000 odd dollars belonging to me and I ask you my mother to get 2000 dollars from him to spend the rest of your life with. Being so many years parted I hoped from time to time to return, but I am now leaving you inevitably. I trust that you together with sister-in-law and nephew will be able to live happily with this money I
now leave you.

Your daughter.

SHUE HING (Mrs Lena Lee).

20/1/30.

Constable Pryor gave evidence regarding being informed that Mrs Lee had been poisoned. Dr Fothergill informed him the condition of the patient was not serious although opium had been taken internally. The matter was immediately reported to the Inspector. Under instructions went to Eastern Cafe. In a room upstairs was shown Mrs Lee on a bed.

She was unconscious and smelt of opium. She struggled and regained consciousness and said something. I went to the Clinic and told Dr Fothergill the patient had come to. About 10 o'clock the Doctor came to the Police Station and reported the woman dead. I was present later when the Coroner viewed the body.
Coroner returned a verdict of suicide from opium poison self administered whilst of unsound mind.

Was the sad story of the above death the genesis for the Poinciana Woman legend?

To be continued....

Kanacki

Offline KANACKI

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Re: Wraith of the Poinciana Woman. NT
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2022, 01:16:45 PM »
The sun sinks into the ocean below the cliffs at East Point reserve, and the shadows of the Poinciana trees spread like dark talons over the road.Just as the curlew begins its eerie night song, the scream of a woman tears through the humid air.

Out of the shadows she moves, black hair plastered to her face, white dress lit through the dark, her hands grasping for blood. Men's blood.It seems nearly everyone who grows up in Darwin learns the legend of the Poinciana Woman, who haunts the flaming poinciana trees at East Point Reserve after dark.

First of all, it's very hard to find evidence that anything like these events really happened at East Point.

Roland Dyrting who researched the story was that she was a "beautiful brown-skinned Asian woman" who was gang-raped, became deranged, took her life near a poinciana tree and uses those long nails to "[eviscerate] her victims and feeds on their still-steaming guts".

Mr Dyrting identifies the legend as originating from a well-trodden ghost story popular all over south-east Asia, about a vengeful pregnant woman who haunts men. In Indonesia she's known as the Pontianak and is the subject of many horror movies and stories.

The Pontianak was brought to Darwin by Filipino and Malaysian fishermen, whose population was growing by the 1930s and whose colourful ghost stories gripped the locals, Mr Dyrting concluded.

Dyrting's theory seems like a solid explanation but why is she always associated with trees in Darwin? Her abusers change, but she is always Aboriginal or "Malay"? And when did she start to haunt East Point?

To be continued.....

Kanacki

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Re: Wraith of the Poinciana Woman. NT
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2022, 01:20:34 PM »
The Poinciana Woman, however, seems to stick to the clifftop area of Dudley Point and the military precinct, and some tales have her haunting the imposing concrete and gun turrets.

The involvement of soldiers in her demise has a clear starting point.For 21-year-old Emilio Cubillo, however, she inhabits a spot near a narrow walking trail off Alec Fong Lim Drive. Amongst lush vegetation and vines, and half-buried in the soil is an old, rusted oil barrel. Emilio says he's not he only one who believes she's around here; people used to leave little notes for the Poinciana Woman in the barrel.

He was shown the spot when he was a kid, and occasionally comes to visit. Last time he was here, he took a photo of the barrel on his phone and when he later looked at it, saw a mysterious blurry white shape in the background.

So why the Poinciana tree? The she-devil Pontianak sounds similar to poinciana?

In her book Quality of Life: A Reflection of Life in Darwin During the Postwar Years, Maisie Austin writes about her mother saying that when a mother (and her baby) died in childbirth, their spirits met under a frangipani tree, and that this mother spirit was known as the Poinciana Lady.

To be continued....

Kanacki

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Re: Wraith of the Poinciana Woman. NT
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2022, 01:26:38 PM »
By the 1990s, the Poinciana Woman was regularly scraping her nails down the car doors of teenage couples, shrieking from the shadowy doorways of East Point's military turrets, and even appearing to people in their rear-view mirrors.

There is also a parallel, but very different story, that might turn the whole legend on its head.

Poonchearni, spirit of the banyan tree

This is a version of the story of the Poonchearni lady, adapted from a poem by Darwin elder Kathy Mills:

"A young woman from the Philippines was betrothed to a young sailor and was to be married on his return.

"Her love never returned, and overcome with grief, she cried so much waiting for him on shore that she was swept out to sea.


    "When she washed in, barely alive, her body took nourishment from the land and turned into a banyan tree. The roots that drip down are her hair, and her spirit yearns for men to shelter under her.

"But she also has the power to seduce, and some of the clusters of banyan trees around Darwin are said to be her children.

"There was a cluster of beautiful banyans at the end of Cavanagh Street and it was under one these, at Darwin's now-gone Terminus Hotel, where many years ago a Malay man was found dead."



Ms Mills said the Poonchiarni lady had been part of the folklore of the local Aboriginal community since the 19th century, and her spirit is still in the magnificent banyan trees, her branches spreading like a net used by the fishermen from her island home.

One thing for sure the ghost of the Poinciana Woman is a cultural melting pot of a ghost that has taken a life on as its own?

Kanacki

 


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