Jenolan Caves

How Can You Measure the Ghosts at Jenolan? With a Spirit Level!

October 12, 2020

Halloween is coming up.  It seems a very appropriate time to share a few of Jenolan’s ‘ghost’ stories.  Our tour guides have heaps of them – tales of the unexplained - some that have been passed down for years.  We have so many ‘ghost’ stories, that it’s hard to know which ones to pick for a short article like this.

Some people believe ghosts are the lost souls of those who have met a sudden death, yet no one is known to have died inside any of the caves, at least in modern times. Visitors come to the caves and fall in love with their beauty and find themselves constantly drawn back. Some choose to work at Jenolan and find, even when they finish working, they keep coming back. Maybe it’s the spirits of these people, that now ‘haunt’ the place.  Here are 3 short stories.

The Naked Mist

In 2011, cave guide, Geoff Melbourne, was leading a tour through the Lucas Cave.  The group stopped to look around a chamber. It was The Proscenium, famous for lots of beautiful crystal shawls.  Everyone took photos, as usual. There was nothing out of the ordinary in the chamber – nothing visible - but the woman standing next to Geoff turned to show him the photo she had just taken (see above). When he looked at the photo on the digital camera’s LCD panel, it showed a tall, narrow cloud of mist on the path in front of the formations. The mist seemed to be in the shape of a naked man or woman with arms raised into the air above its head.

The lens wasn’t smudged or fogged.  Zooming in, they saw that the image wasn’t out of focus. On occasion, in the caves, a mist may appear near a light, caused by moisture, and the guides say it means it’s raining outside. But the mist in the photo was not near a light and was only visible in the photo.  If you look closely, you will also see a tiny ‘orb’ in the background.  Such round blobs of light are common in photos taken in dusty areas, as in our ‘adventure’ caves. But the Lucas cave is not dusty.

Sometimes people send photos of Jenolan ‘ghost’ images to us, but when we look at them, it’s easy to see they have been modified.  But this image was different.  The woman kindly let us keep her photo, which remains unexplained.

The Thrown Rocks

One evening, having just taken a small group of visitors down a flight of stairs from the Orient Cave, cave guide, Geoff Melbourne, was in the Mud Tunnels, below the Orient Cave.  Suddenly a piece of cave crystal came flying over the top of the group and hit the wall behind Geoff’s head.  “Who threw that?”, Geoff asked, annoyed, “Come on! Own up!” Sometimes on evening tours, after a drink or two with dinner, some visitors have been known to do silly things.  But no one owned up. 

The following Saturday night, the same thing happened, but with a different group of visitors. At the bottom of the same flight of stairs, a small piece of crystal came flying over the heads of the group and hit the wall behind Geoff.  “Who threw that?”  Again, no one owned up. 

The next Saturday, Geoff was, once again, speaking to yet another group, at the bottom of the same set of stairs, when a much larger piece of crystal, the size of a cricket ball, came bouncing down the stairs behind him, landing at his feet. He heard a low chuckle, “Huh uh” coming from the top of the stairs.  He gave his audience a hard stare but realised they could not have been responsible.  “Did you hear that?”, he asked.  They said they had heard it too.  He ran back up the stairs expecting to confront a laughing rock thrower.  He called out, “Is anyone there?” Utter silence. 

Some cave guides have been known to play harmless practical jokes. But any member of staff caught throwing anything inside a cave, especially a large piece of priceless cave crystal, would get in serious trouble.  To this day, he believes that no one was there.

The Young Girl

Trish Sanders has managed the Front Desk in Caves House for several years.  She said that every now and again, guests report seeing a little girl, around six to eight years old, wearing a white long dress, with black boots and carrying a porcelain doll. The girl has been seen on many occasions, mainly in Caves House, but also in the caves.  One day, out of the blue, a guest approached Trish at the reception desk, told her she was a psychic and that the little girl drowned in the Blue Lake and was looking for her mother!  But we have never heard of anyone drowning in the Blue Lake.

We had a staff member a few years ago in Chisolm’s Restaurant, Emily, who claimed that she communicated with the hotel ghosts.  Emily claimed that the spirit of Lucinda Wilson is looking after another spirit, a 5-year-old girl, named Marjorie. Lucinda was the wife of Jeremiah Wilson, who was Jenolan's first manager, or Keeper of the Caves. The ghost of Lucinda encouraged Emily to talk to Marjorie, who is quite shy. Emily said that Marjorie has dark hair with a straight fringe, came to Jenolan Caves in the early 1900s, was an only child with wealthy parents, so she had a woman who took care of her, like a governess. Emily said that Marjorie accidently died in a bathtub in Caves House and does not know how to ‘cross over’. But the fact is we do not know of anyone, of any age or from any era, who has died in Caves House, except for Miss Barbara Chisholm, after whom Chisolm’s Restaurant is named. 

Fun, Love and Adventure

Now, don’t let these stories put you off visiting Jenolan and staying overnight. Jenolan is a place of fun, love and adventure.  The caves are Australia’s most spectacular. They are the biggest caves in Australia that are open to the public, and they are the world’s oldest caves – 340 million years.  Caves House also is a romantic and relaxing place to stay overnight – full of authentic historic ambiance, and warm country hospitality. We only hear reports of strange incidents once in a blue moon, and there could be perfectly logical explanations. 

In fact, there is one possible explanation called the Stone Tape Theory, which may explain some weird things.  The theory is that some minerals, especially limestone and quartz may somehow absorb energy from living beings, thus ‘recording’ traces of their strong emotions, such as screams or laughter.  Under certain circumstances, sensitive people might experience the replay of this energy stored in the stone. Maybe it depends on how much energy the stones have absorbed. But how can you measure the energy of ‘ghosts’? With a spirit level!

Everyone loves a spine-tingling ‘ghost’ story.  Next time you visit Jenolan, ask for Geoff Melbourne or Trish Sanders and they will be happy to verify the experiences you’ve just read about. When we reopen our cave tours, we hope to restart our ‘Legends, Mysteries and Ghosts’ tour. You can purchase gift vouchers for any of our tours. They are valid for 3 years. Keep this in mind for Christmas, and please keep an eye on our website.  

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4655 Jenolan Caves Road, Jenolan Caves, Blue Mountains NSW. Ph: 1300 76 33 11 or +61 2 6359 3911

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