Newcastle's Most Haunted suburb?
Minmi is a small ex-coal mining town 17 km west of Newcastle NSW.
Minmi began as a cattle station in the 1830’s. Coal was produced from the suburb from 1850. It originally was a private town owned by J and A Brown (later Coal and Allied). It is currently home to a school, courthouse and two churches. The population has fluctuated over time. Due to the private owner ship of the coal mines Minmi had no form of local government until 1938.
The Brown brothers sustained their dominance of the coal industry, opening a mine at the Burwood estate near Newcastle in 1852 and acquiring the Minmi mine in 1859, which had commenced operations in 1853. The Minmi mine increased its production levels from 44,000 tonnes in 1860 to 111,000 tonnes in 1862.
In 1857 the first section of the Richmond Vale Railway was opened extending from Hexham to Minmi. This was of great importance to the mining industry as the railways allowed for the improved transportation of coal and other minerals to the wharf. In 1904 the J and A Brown Company further extended the railway to the Richmond Main Colliery and to the Pelaw Main Colliery near Kurri Kurri.
Minmi, from about 1880 to 1910 had been the third largest town in the Hunter it became almost a ghost town overnight in 1924 when the last of its great coal mines were closed.
Minmi is an Aboriginal word that translates as “Place of the Giant Waterlily”.
Minmi cemetery like the town itself was also a private burial ground. A number of the graves record the deaths of mine workers from industrial accidents. The cemetery was originally established on the private property of J & A Brown, who operated a number of coal mines in the area, and was made available by them for public use.
The town of Minmi and in particular the Minmi cemetery has for a long time been rumoured to be one of Newcastle’s most haunted places.
For many years a bright blue/white glow was reported emanating from the cemetery leading many to believe that the cemetery was haunted. Although some believe that this “ghost light” was in fact the reflection of a street light shining on one of the highly polished granite headstones. Whatever the case Minmi cemetery has a very strong feeling of something otherworldly about it.
Also reports of a phantom motorbike rider have been reported along Minmi road. A bright light will appear in front of a vehicle then seemingly pass right through the car leaving it ice cold inside.