Liz Vincent was a historian and newspaper columnist who wrote many books on the history of the Macarthur area. She was a respected writer who had a very big following especially with the local historical community. Her writing career started at the Macarthur Chronicle and then in 1997 her life changed.
In that year after a visit to the haunted Port Arthur in Tasmania Liz thought it might be fun to run a one off ghost tour of Picton as she had discovered many references to ghosts in the research of her books. Her first tour was booked out in 24 hours and then 3 months of tours were fully booked within a week. Liz ran the tours until her death in 2009.
In the above interview Liz talks about her Ghost Tours of Picton.
Liz believed in ghosts and experienced them in her home and around the town – she said you can experience ghosts in three ways – by sight, sound and smell – especially perfume, tobacco or food cooking. After her Mother passed away she often caught a whiff of her favourite perfume. She experienced family ghosts turning lights on and off and changing television channels.
Liz Vincent had the licence to run tours in Picton. And it was a common sight in Picton on the weekends to see Liz leading the field followed by a group of frightened tourists protected with torches! And they devoured one ghost tale after another.
The Picton Ghost Tours visited:
- Wollondilly Shire Hall,
- Picton Tunnel,
- George IV Inn,
- the old Post Office
- and many a haunted house – but those on the tour were forbidden to look at these houses, if the residents were home. But Liz had a tale to tell about them all.
Liz Vincent – Skeptics
She would invite Skeptics to present themselves on the tours – she believed the ghosts loved them. But she had little time for them as she felt they were negative. She recalled one tour in the Picton Tunnel (also known as Redbank Range Tunnel) where a skeptic screamed and ran off – Liz found out later than a woman appeared to him – apparently his life was never the same after that. Some say that the woman was Emily Bollard who was died after being run over by a train in the tunnel.
People experienced different things in the tunnel. One girl completely “lost it” and went hysterical after a woman appeared and blocker her exit from the tunnel. Nobody else saw the woman.
One tour of ten stayed a full night in the tunnel. They experienced random lights. She believed that some people were more receptive than others – depending if they were an old soul or a new one.
Liz Vincent and Psychic Debbie Malone
Liz didn’t believe any one area had more ghosts than another but after talking with one of Australia’s most respected psychics, Debbie Malone – she came to believe that the Macarthur area had more than others.
The encourageable Liz, gave the ghost tours much credibility. She was a respected historian with many books in print including – Tale of Wollondilly, Brief History of Picton, Forgotten Village of (UPPER) Picton, Tales of Old Macarthur, Tales of Old Camden and Town of Camden. Years later they are still trying to resurrect her tours – but as yet nobody has shown the passion, knowledge and drive to do them like Liz. She was one of a kind. A local story in the Macarthur Chronicle sings her praises.
Her library, desk and index cards can be found at the Wollondilly Heritage Centre and Museum.
Liz Vincent passed on May 28th, 2009 – she was in her early 60’s. Her funeral was held in the Wollondilly Shire Hall. A haunted hall she often spoke about. It would be lovely to think she is there waiting for us.