Would a rose be a sweet if named anything else? Shakespeare pondered. Would ghost tours be as scary without without a name like Haunted Hills preceding tours? It’s a gift from our area that is well documented in Gippsland’s history, that gave us the Haunted Hills. Whether it’s coal or something paranormal, spiritual or otherwise, its definitely stocked with stories.
Today in our busy, noisy world, thousands of people fly by the Haunted Hills, never hearing the disconcerting sound nor the unnerving sight of “ghosts of dead gums”. That is unless you drove through the Latrobe Valley after the 2014 bush fires that started in Herne’s Oak (the home of the Haunted Hills). The Princes Hwy was an eerie sight with burnt bark on trees that in the middle of summer had no leaves, it changed the landscape. Reviving fears of the day that flames threatened Morwell and then went into the Morwell Open Cut. It was a ghastly reminder of natures power and propensity for destruction, some of the trees today aren’t recovered fully.
Even though the Haunted Hills were renamed in 1939, Gippslanders never let go of the legend of the Haunted Hills, the name has been preserved for over 150 years. The first account I can find is an article from the Gippsland Times that recounted a Journey from Melbourne to Sale referred was in 1872, that they “rounded the haunted hill”.
These days the haunted hills are a different place to the thickly wooded hills covered in native hops. 1931 is the first recounting of the legend of the Haunted Hills. The legend that had run rife, as drovers taking cattle through to Melbourne had a predictable place they’d experience trouble on their route – the western slope of the Haunted Hills. The cattle would walk up the Eastern slope with no concerns, however, at the precipice of the Haunted Hills, the cattle would become agitated, stampeding off, many a cow was lost at this point in the journey to Melbourne.
The experiences of people who do take time to wander or as they’re driving by with eyes wide open, they hear phantom brumby’s galloping, some people have seen a man standing by the side of the road, an eerie noise through the trees, the groaning noise under the ground and in places find their mobile reception is non-existent.
The sounds are dismissed as the coal, however, coal seams travel all the way through Gippsland – in all terrains. I’d love to speak to a geologist about the make up of the Haunted Hills. (The picture I’ve found isn’t very scientific, however it’s a start).
You can stay in the Haunted Hills at Brigadoon Cottages if you dare, and experience it for yourself.
Join Haunted Hills Tours on a Ghost Tour of Yallourn North for the Haunted Hills story.
If you’ve had any experiences on or around the Haunted Hills, I’d love to hear your story. If you want to share you can in the comments below or the contact box.
A resident who lived in the Haunted Hills, recounted on one day they heard the sound of Brumbies galloping, yet none were to be seen, it was a really odd experience.
The first Yallourn North Ghost Tour. These photos were kindly provided by Rodney Lloyd. Thanks so much they’re great!
Thanks to the residents for letting us on their property and thanks to Lynton Gale for the photos.
In January, I ran a competition to decide the ghost whisperers’ costume. Originally, I was trying to go for dresses inspired by the 1910-1930 era which was the start of the Brown Coal Mine and Yallourn. I couldn’t really find any, and none of the choices were from this time period. It’s tough to find dresses from 1910-1930, that isn’t a flapper’s dress – its way to cold to wear that in winter!. I made up a competition and put it out to the people, asking for comments of the communities to pick their favourite.
The costume competition winner was Catheryn Thompson whose comments inspired the dress to speak volumes.
“This dress is school marmish with blood red flowers – the sense of controlled horror & femme fatale, will suit the haunted hills”
These comments captured my imagination as I appreciate the film noir genre where the femme fatale character emerged. Film noir has a particular look, using shadows to change the everyday into something, shady. It’s the genre of most old school detective movies, as they investigate the shady side and disclosed side of life. Anyhow, how does all that relate to the ghost tour setup delivers this film noir look, while it’s a walking tour not a film. The elements of a film noir are all there as walk commences in the twilight setting the atmosphere, casting shadows on the otherwise beautiful town of Yallourn North. The stories shared throughout the tour, take us back in time and to the things we don’t really talk about as the history. You know, things the like the four skeleton’s found in a stones throw from Yallourn, the unsolved murders and the spirits unable to rest lacking justice. The tour covers the sly grog trade as well, according to an article by ancestory.com on Australia day, we like having criminals in our histories. The tour also covers creatures that were in Yallourn, like the Gippsland Lion. That’s the main elements of the ghost tour. Ghost tours don’t usually have a genre but, I would say most are a combination of film noir, horror, thriller and suspense.
“The controlled horror” I most certainly hope the horror is controlled. There are elements in the stories that may horrify people.
The dress has an aspect of looking like school Marm. Well, that comes with other aspect to ghost tours, history. To explore the spirits past some understanding of their life helps, which will be provided to you on the tour.
You can book your place on the next ghost tour below:
Thanks to Star FM Gippsland and Brad and Mandy for the audio file of our very first radio interview, regarding the Haunted Hills Tours and the Ghost Whisperer.
If you don’t want (don’t have time) to listen (I was so nervous), the highlights are:
I grew up in a house that was born in Yallourn and raised in Leongatha.
I think there is more to the Haunted Hills than the accepted answer that the coal and gas caused the sounds that startled the cattle, causing them to stampede.
Below you can hear Tegan explain the Haunted Hills phenomenon, and what you can expect on the guided walking tour of Yallourn North, Victoria.
Last Monday, taking around the Haunted Hills Tours media kit I went to the Latrobe Valley Express. I was interviewed that day by Jessica, and then photographed by Bryan on the Tuesday in Yallourn North at the statue commemorating the fallen soldiers from the Yallourn North area. I chose that place because it represents the stories we know about our area and I’m going to share the stories we don’t know (or don’t know so well.)
The stories that haunt us.
I like this place just in front of the Cricket Ground in Yallourn North as there is lavender (they’re purple), you can see the hills in the distance and to add some extra texture to the photo it was raining, and the hills were misty. This is rather serendipitous as this imagery is connected to the unknown, romanticism and mysticism.
If you’d like a copy of the media kit please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I took photos on that day, you can see them here
Here you can read the article by the Express
We’re kicking off with Ghost Tours in the Yallourn North township on the first freaky day of the new year. Friday the 13th of February 2015. Bonus, we get another freaky Friday in March as well.
We’re gathering some information about how people locally would feel about this, how we can work with them and vice-versa. Yallourn North has a rich history, and there are lots of strange, macabre and interesting things to share. We’re also planning on covering the old township of Yallourn as well.
If you want to be part of giving us your ideas about how these tours should operate, please help fill in this short survey.
If there’s anything you want to know or you’d like to keep in contact send us an email below.
If you’d like to keep in contact with us we’ve been busy setting up on social media
We’d love to hear from you.
With more to come!