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Canberra's spooks not just confined to ASIO: the ACT's 'haunted houses'

Spooks aren't only found lurking in the bowels of Canberra's new ASIO headquarters.

Here are five of Canberra's most haunted locations with spooks of a different kind.

1. Blundells Cottage 

Some believe the ghost of a young girl haunts Blundells Cottage.Some believe the ghost of a young girl haunts Blundells Cottage.

The apparition of a teenage girl playing in the English gardens around this historic rubblestone cottage is thought by paranormal investigators to be the ghost of Florrie Blundell, who died in 1892 at the age of just 16 as a result of burns sustained following an ironing accident.

Some visitors to the heritage-listed cottage – now a museum – report being overcome with the "disturbing odour of burning human flesh."

2. Kurrajong Hotel 

Old Parliament House – one of Canberra's most haunted buildings.Old Parliament House – one of Canberra's most haunted buildings.

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Rather than bunk down at the Lodge, Ben Chifley (our Prime Minister from 1945-49) called room 214 in this hotel (which was little more than a basic hostel back then) home for the best part of six years.

Unfortunately for Chifley he not only ran the country from this top floor room, but he also died here, suffering a fatal heart attack on the evening of 13 June 1951.

In recent years, some hotel staff and visitors have even claimed to have seen his ghost which manifests itself in the form of a "grey suited man" pointing towards Old Parliament House (which is also reputedly haunted).

3. Duntroon House

Duntroon House – the haunt of Canberra's best-known

ghostDuntroon House – the haunt of Canberra's best-known ghost.

Built in 1833 by merchant shipper Robert Campbell, Duntroon House is the oldest building in Canberra.

These days it is primarily used as the Officer's Mess for the Royal Military College but it's not just our top brass that wander its stately corridors and around its dark corners.

During the 1970s, residents of the Royal Military College started to report glimpses of a glowing ghost of a young woman in 19th century period costume.

Soon after, some residents also complained a bed, freshly made in the morning, would be found as if it had been slept in later in the day, with pillows hurled around the room.

This room, on the first floor, once belonged to Sophia Susanna Campbell (Robert's granddaughter), who, on May 31, 1885, aged just 28, died after falling from the room's window.

Speculation to this day remains as to whether she was pushed, fell, or jumped.

4. Air Disaster Memorial 

On August 13, 1940, a Lockheed Hudson bomber plummeted into a hill between Canberra Airport and Queanbeyan, burst into flames, sadly killing all 10people on board. Tales abound like the one about the teenager who fled the forest screaming, claiming she was being followed by images of an airman on fire and young couples (prior to the access road being closed to the public, it was once a popular "parking" spot) catching fleeting glimpses of a ghostly figure as it darts across the road.

There are also stories of people claiming to hear a phantom plane crashing, and also strange flashing lights in the old dirt car park adjacent to the memorial.

5. National Film and Sound Archives

This art deco building once housed the somewhat gory Institute of Anatomy from 1931 to 1984 and is home to a bevy of "paranormal" activity. The downstairs corridor is apparently one of the major hot-spots for poltergeist activity, and it's little wonder, given it was once lined with hundreds of human skulls.

Other paranormal phenomena reported here includes a poltergeist that hurls the circular metal containers of the old-fashioned film strips, a petri dish throwing poltergeist in an upstairs darkroom, and the ghostly vision of a child looking up through a grill in the old cinema. 

A collection of Tim the Yowie Man's columns is now available in a book. In the Spirit of Banjo is available at Book Passion or at www.pendragonpublishing.com.au