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Approximately 80 kilometres southwest of Sydney and at the heart of the Wollondilly region lies the tiny rural township of Picton. Its history can be traced as far back as 1798 when the land was first explored by Europeans looking to settle further inland. It was not until 1822, however, that the town was founded when the first land grant was given to Major Henry Colden Antill. Originally known as Stonequarry, the town's name was changed to Picton in 1841, it is believed after Sir Thomas Picton, one of the Duke of Wellington's generals at the Battle of Waterloo.

St Mark's Church and Pioneer Graveyard was designed by architect, Edmond Blacket. Construction started in July 1850 but when gold was discovered most of the workmen abandoned the site and headed off to the goldfields. The church was finally completed in 1856. Built of sandstone in the Old Colonial Gothic Picturesque style, the church and cemetery is located on Menangle Street West, Picton.

There have been quite a few spooky stories about this beautiful old church and cemetery. A woman who was parked nearby spotted a young boy and girl holding hands and walking around the graves. After ten minutes or so the children disappeared behind the headstones. It was not until the woman had left the area that she realised the children had been dressed in old-fashioned clothes. There have been several other reports of these strange spectral children. An acquaintance of mine claims to have seen a small girl dressed in white wandering through the cemetery very late at night.

A large dog has also been seen on more than one occasion and is responsible for the harassment of a few terrified visitors. Could it be the ghost of a minister's faithful St Bernard that is buried on the church grounds?



The historic Imperial Hotel was built in the 1860's and was originally called The Terminus, as Picton was the terminus for the railway from 1863 until 1867. In 1877 the hotel was taken over by Colonel John Hay Goodlet, a wealthy merchant who, after losing his sister to tuberculosis, transformed the building into a home for consumptives. When the building became too small to accommodate the number of patients applying for treatment, Goodlet purchased land in nearby Thirlmere and built Queen Victoria Hospital.

Staff have reported the feeling of someone following them through several parts of the building. Even more mysterious is the jukebox that would begin to play even though it was unplugged.



The ghost of a woman is often seen in the window of the old semi detached Emmett Cottages. Shop owners often find their displays have been moved overnight.


Crying babies and the ghost of an unpleasant matron haunt Picton's beautiful old maternity hospital. Visitors to the residence claim to have been woken up in the middle of the night by invisible hands wrapped around their throats.



The beautiful Stonequarry Viaduct is the oldest stone railway viaduct still in use today. It was built of sandstone between 1863 and 1867 over the creek where in days gone by, people would gather to swim and cool off from the heat of summer. Over the years many people drowned in the creek. The sounds of people swimming and splashing in the water have been heard by locals who upon inspection, find not a soul around.

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Haunted Picton Page 2

Explore haunted Picton with historian and author Liz Vincent.
Click here for more information about Liz's Ghost Hunts.