On Wednesday December 13th 1916, Emily Bollard died. She was run over by a train in the Redbank Range Tunnel in Picton and it is believed that her ghost occupies the tunnel. The tunnel is also known as the Mushroom Tunnel and the Picton Tunnel.
There are so many different stories about Emily you wonder where the information originates. According to the Picton Post she was 51 years old when she died and had been ill. She had been staying in Wollongong but had recently returned and was staying at her sisters. It is believed she was taking a short cut through the tunnel to her old home – where her brother was living. Her body was found at 6.35 am on December 13th by a fettler Mr T. Walsh. The newspaper story goes into the state of her body at the time – I won’t go there. The coroner, Mr Antill, returned a verdict that she died from the effects of being run over by a train – whether accidental or otherwise, on her part. This leaves speculation that she might have taken her own life. I mentioned this to local historian Liz Vincent in the tunnel one night – Liz would not reply – until we left the tunnel. Liz believed Emily’s spirit was there – and not to upset her.
The Spirit of Emily Bollard
There are some who hear and see a train in the tunnel. Others see orbs. Many feel cold. And others leave in a hurry. When I have been in the tunnel I have not felt anything other than a sadness for Emily and her tragic death. I have also heard of two other deaths – a suicide by hanging when it was a mushroom farm and another connecting a tube from a car’s exhaust – these are unconfirmed reports. Many psychics and film crews have visited the Mushroom Tunnel. Most come away with more questions than answers. Some years ago the Psychic Reporter visited the tunnel in company with the late Liz Vincent. Liz was a magical character who developed the Picton Ghost Hunt. Her walking tours became famous and Picton was named the most haunted town in Australia – Emily Bollard and the tunnel were the key attractions. There is more interest about this outside Picton than inside – I think some of the locals are fed up with tourists coming to find ghosts. In fact, the Picton Tunnel became so popular the Council now closes the area from 2 pm daily citing safety as the main reason. A sign also reads that through access is prohibited. After Liz passed away the tours continued to run but some of the guides left a lot to be desired. Liz added her historical charm but untrained guides were a let down. One night the guide stood at the tunnel entrance and summoned Emily Bollard to come out – we walked away in disgust. I believe the tours are on hold for now.
A song sung right where Emily Bollard died
Greg Windred is a musician from Picton who enjoys writing about things with substance. We spoke of Emily Bollard and the conversation ended in Greg writing a song. Greg has performed the song live on two different radio stations – both times there has been an equipment failure. I think he does her soul a great honor with this song. During the filming of the music clip the wind came up – was that Emily or just the wind?
Is there an After Life?
Barry Eaton is a Psychic Medium and he has written a few books – one is “After Life”. I quite like Barry as he has been around the traps for decades and practices what he preaches. If this is a ghost of Emily is that all there is? Is there another Emily in the afterlife and this is an energy of her. You might find his video interviews interesting also.
Interesting Interview: Barry Eaton – Psychic Medium
Is the Macarthur Area Haunted?
Some believe the entire area of Macarthur (Picton, Camden & Campbelltown) is haunted. There are many historic buildings and homesteads that some claim are alive with ghosts – I am not so sure. The Menangle House ghost tour is a happening event organised by Psychic Medium Tracey Lee – the tour has become very popular. In Campbelltown a parade and festival is held in honour of Fisher’s Ghost. You will find more locations on my page finding a picton ghost.
Emily Bollard rests in the Catholic portion of the Upper Picton Cemetry.