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Heard of the Ben Chifley Ghost? – A look at Canberra Folklore

By Alexandra Craig 15 July 2014 25

tunnel-ghost

If you’ve lived in Canberra for any amount of time, you would have a ghost story or two up your sleeve. It seems that Canberra may well be the most haunted city in Australia.

Since taking up residence in the Capital, I’ve heard several rumours about supposed secret tunnels. I’ve heard just about everything: Old Parliament House to The Lodge, Parliament House to the Lodge, Parliament House to DFAT, Parliament House to PM&C, and the list goes on. A credible source did tell me that there are tunnels from APH to the Lodge and DFAT, as well as quite a fancy bomb shelter underneath APH. I’ve tried sweet-talking some security guards and AFP officers up at the House but they’ve remained tight lipped.

Recently I visited the Royal Australian Mint and was told that there are two resident ghosts. One appears more often than the other. Reportedly, if you go down to the basement after hours you can often hear someone whistling as they work. Staff at the Mint believe that this is a former employee that worked at the Mint for over 40 years. I’ve also heard that there are a few ghosts at the National Film and Sound Archives (it used to be a morgue!) and that they tend to party and cause a bit of ruckus at night time.

There are many claims that the ghost of former PM Ben Chifley still hangs out at Hotel Kurrajong. The PM suffered a massive heart attack there one evening (he chose to live at the Hotel, rather than at The Lodge) and passed away. Since then, visitors have reported seeing an older man in a grey suit pointing towards Old Parliament House. If indeed these reports are true, what could poor old Ben Chifley be trying to tell us?

New contributor Alexandra Craig is a twenty-something who has a not-so-secret obsession with cats. She works as a political adviser, collects vintage teacups, and wishes she was Stevie Nicks.

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25 Responses to
Heard of the Ben Chifley Ghost? – A look at Canberra Folklore
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MsJennifer 1:14 pm 22 Sep 15

I have lived in Canberra for 50 years and never heard of such ghosts and my ancestors go back in this area for many generations. Alex the article seemed to be missing the mystery of a ghost story enticing reader in. Maybe writing about cats would be better as it is your passion.

Alexandra Craig 12:00 pm 16 Jul 14

Something I didn’t get to mention in my article (damn word limits!) was that a friend had told me that poor Katie Bender still wanders around. Not sure if she supposedly wanders around Lennox Gardens area or on the other side of the lake where the hospital was. Has anyone heard anything similar?

Alexandra Craig 8:18 am 16 Jul 14

Peter Holland said :

Alexandra, a worthy place to start to gain some fairly interesting insights about canberra’s ghosts is a locally published book called ” A Case for Ghosts” published by Ginninderra Press. (RA did a review on it a couple of years ago – http://the-riotact.com/book-review-a-case-for-ghosts-by-j-g-montgomery/82053)

Thanks! I will have to check it out 🙂

Maya123 said :

More information on these ‘Lamson tubes’.
http://moadoph.gov.au/blog/who-was-lamson-of-the-tubes/

This is awesome. Thank you for sharing!

justin heywood 8:56 pm 15 Jul 14

Peter Holland said :

Alexandra, a worthy place to start to gain some fairly interesting insights about canberra’s ghosts is a locally published book called ” A Case for Ghosts” published by Ginninderra Press. (RA did a review on it a couple of years ago – http://the-riotact.com/book-review-a-case-for-ghosts-by-j-g-montgomery/82053)

Yes indeed, written I think by much-missed former RA regular Thumper

Peter Holland 8:31 pm 15 Jul 14

Alexandra, a worthy place to start to gain some fairly interesting insights about canberra’s ghosts is a locally published book called ” A Case for Ghosts” published by Ginninderra Press. (RA did a review on it a couple of years ago – http://the-riotact.com/book-review-a-case-for-ghosts-by-j-g-montgomery/82053)

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