In culture after culture, people believe that the soul lives on after death, that rituals can change the physical world and divine the truth, and that illness and misfortune are caused and alleviated by spirits, ghosts, saints ... and gods.

STEVEN PINKER, How the Mind Works

Friday, January 22, 2010

Children's 'ghosts' haunt Picton cemetery

DOES this photograph show the figures of two children, born nearly a century apart, walking in their own paranormal playground?

The family who took this picture while on a ghost tour in Picton, NSW, swear there were no children inside the St Mark's Cemetery.

Which begs the question: who, or what, is out there?

Local legend has it that the two children are David Shaw and Blanche Moon, who died 60 years apart.

Blanche was crushed to death in 1886 when a pile of sleepers that she and a number of children were playing on slipped.

David was the son of a minister who died in 1946 from polio.

The woman behind the lens of this mysterious photo, Renee English, said she was "a sceptic" before undertaking the ghost tour on January 9.

"When we were standing at the bank looking into the Cemetery I was just snapping away and making jokes about the whole thing and asking when the ghosts were going to come out," the Port Macquarie resident said.

"I know that when I took that photo there was no-one else in the cemetery. The only people we saw were a family of four about 10 minutes later but those kids were clinging to their parents the whole time.

"When we uploaded our photos and saw the children all the hairs on my arm stood up and I just went cold all over.

"That night I couldn't sleep at all and I'm never watching a scary movie again.

"I wasn't a believer in ghosts, but now I'm intrigued."

Local historian Liz Vincent conducted ghost tours in Picton, claimed to be Australia's most haunted town, until her death last year. Since then, her husband John and daughter Jenny Davies have taken up the mantle.

"Picton's just so haunted," Ms Davies said. "We find people always love to see their photos afterwards because most of these things aren't visible to the naked eye."

One of the tour's most popular figures is Emily, a lady who was hit and killed by a train in 1916 while taking a shortcut through the Redbank Range Tunnel, also known as the Mushroom Tunnel, to visit her brother.

Emily Bollard resided near the railway line and was a single woman aged in her 50s. Before taking her shortcut, she didn't check the timetable and was hit in the tunnel by a train coming from Thirlmere. She died instantly.

"She likes to move among the participants and loves to touch their hair and body, particularly their arms and legs," Ms Davies said.

"Those on the tour often say that they've also felt a cold wind blowing through the tunnel."

"Above taken from " ". )