It was about this time of the year, that four young boys decided to camp for the night on Jenny Dixon Beach. It would prove to be a night they would never forget.
Raymond Grove was twelve-years-old the night he and his three friends were invited to a party in the car-park at Jenny Dixon Beach.
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It was late in the evening, the party had broken up and Raymond and his three mates had decided to camp on the beach for the night. They built a huge bonfire and huddled together around the flickering flames.
“I was almost asleep when for some strange reason I felt compelled to look up towards the surrounding bush,” Raymond said.
“That’s when I saw the woman. She was dressed in a long flowing dress, similar to that worn by women in the early 1800’s. She was obviously not from our time.
‘Her arms were outstretched and she appeared to be seeking my help. I woke the other three up and I admit we were all pretty frightened – my mates began throwing sticks from the fire at the woman, but the pieces of wood passed straight through her. That really scared us, and we ran as fast as we could back up the stairs to the car-park.
‘And as anyone who has been to Jenny Dixon Beach will tell you – there are a quite lot of stairs to climb before you reach the top. But I reckon we broke a record that night.
“After we caught our breath, we decided to take one last look to see if she was still there, and slowly headed back down. We’d only descended about halfway when we saw her standing in front of us blocking the stairs.”
“She seemed to be beckoning for us to come with her, but there is no way we were going to hang around that place a minute longer. We bolted home as quickly as we could.”
Since that night in 1973, Raymond has been investigating possible reasons behind the appearance of the ghostly woman.
It seems Jenny Dixon Beach was named after the coal schooner Janet Dixon that took refuge in Cabbage Tree Passage during a fierce storm. Despite dropping both anchors the schooner was swept ashore. All aboard were shaken but safe.
Prior to the lighthouse being installed several other ships sunk in what was described as a notorious stretch of water in front of the beach. At least fifteen people are known to have died during the sinking’s.
Mr. Grove has made it his quest in life to solve the riddle of the phantom woman.
And it appears he may have already uncovered a major part of the puzzle. ‘I discovered a record that I believe documents exactly what happened to this woman and why she lingers on the beach. According to the research I have conducted, the woman is searching for her young son who was swept off a schooner.
‘That is why she was holding her arms out the night I saw her – she was pleading for my help to find her son. I am very close now to solving this mystery, although I doubt I can ever give that poor woman the peace she seeks.’
Tragically, there is another ghostly connection to Jenny Dixon Beach.
A young girl was brutally raped and murdered in the surrounding bushland. For decades she has haunted a stretch of road called Wilfred Barrett Drive where she was allegedly abducted.
Raymond, who lives close to Jenny Dixon Beach, insists the girl that haunts Wilfred Barrett Drive is not the same spirit he witnessed on that fateful night in 1973.
“The ghost I saw was dressed in clothing of the 1800’s – there were four witnesses to the event, and it definitely wasn’t the hitchhiking ghost that got us spooked”, man says.