Lemon Tree Passage Ghost
Ghost Rider or a Break in Line of Sight?

by MurrayByfield

Lemon Tree Passage Ghost

Ghost Rider or a Break in Line of Sight?

At the time of writing there is currently a media frenzy concerning the legend of the Lemon Tree Passage ghost. I personally have spoken to two local radio stations, Channel Nine News and NBN News. The story also seems to have gone international with the UK Daily mail reporting it on their website. Also there is a mention of it on the American Sy Fy Channel website as well.

The story of the Lemon Tree Passage ghost (LTPG) goes back at least three years but more likely back some twenty years or more. I can safely assume that the media buzz was created by the various You Tube videos that have been posted by users showing the apparent appearance and disappearance of this “ghost” using mobile phone cameras and hand held digital movie cameras. The spin on the story which is the concern by the media that young inexperienced youths are traveling at very dangerously high speeds to try and catch a glimpse of the phenomenon.

I first heard of this story a few years ago when a visitor to this site mentioned it to me in an email and asked if I had investigated it. At the time I had not and it was not until a few months ago another visitor to Unexplained Australia mentioned the story to me again. This visitor directed me to the few You Tube videos that were available at the time at this point only two or three had been uploaded.

This prompted me and another Unexplained Australia team member to take a drive out and see if we could find the “ghost”. After scouting Google earth and looking for land marks in the current You Tube videos. I was fairly certain I had the right part of the road.

We did a few dry runs to see if we could see the “ghost” I personally saw the light appear and disappear twice in the rear vision mirror before we started filming. I was not traveling fast and as far as I can remember. John then got in the drivers seat and I got in the back of the car strapped myself in and pointed our video camera out the back window. We did the same run three times and video taped our entire experiment. What resulted were the Unexplained Australia You Tube videos that you can see online now. Only a week or so later the media frenzy began. Now I am not saying it was because of our video that this buzz occurred. But what I will say is our video at the time was the only one which was trying to logically explain the apparent phenomena. I received my first phone call to discuss the LTPG with Newcastle’s KO FM Radio Station the next week.

Urban Myths and Rumors about the LTPG:

Must have P plates on the car to see the “ghost.” (Or be a Provisional licence holder)
Must be under a certain age 25?
Must be doing in excess of 100 km ph
Must be late at night
The ghost’s purpose is to warn people to slow down when traveling too fast.
The “ghost” is that of a 20 year old man who was killed on a motorcycle traveling along this particular road.

Some things to consider about the apparent paranormal origins of the LTPG.

“Ghost” only appears when heading towards Lemon Tree Passage (east) not heading the other direction towards Newcastle (west).
“Ghost” is only seen in the dark.
“Ghost” only is seen to appear then disappear whilst driving.
“Ghost” not seen when standing still on side of road not traveling.
“Ghost” seems to disappear as it reaches the eastern end of Brownes Road Street Light.

The supposed back story of the LTPG I believe is a possible merging of two actual events. Both involving the death of motorcycle riders. According to a contact I have within the Emergency services two deaths have occurred along Lemon Tree Passage Road involving motor cyclists.
The first accident occurred in the late 1980’s (possibly 1987) Involving two 20 year old men. One the rider of the bike the other the Pillion passenger. My contact was unsure as to what caused the accident but the pillion passenger was killed in the accident. The rider lost one of his legs and subsequently died many years later. Perhaps unrelated to the accident.

The second accident involving a motor cycle rider along Lemon Tree Passage Road occurred 26 Nov 2007. This incident seems to be what most people associate with the “ghost”. Again according to my contact. An unregistered, uninsured 20 year old trail bike rider was traveling north-east along Lemon Tree Passage Road near the Tanilba Bay commemorative stone gates. A young female provisional licence holder traveling in the opposite direction indicated and turned right into the Tanilba Bay turnoff. Because her vision was obscured by the Sunset (it was around dusk) she did not see the young trail bike rider coming towards her since he had no headlight on his motor cycle. The young rider hit (T-boned) the side of her 4wd. He was killed instantly.

So what is the LTPG?

In my opinion from the experiment we conducted. As seen in our You Tube video. The LTPG is simply regular Car and or Motorbike headlights. Which are initially seen in the rear vision mirror of the vehicle you may be traveling in?

A light will appear approximately 500m to 1km behind you (maybe further) whilst traveling north-east along LTP Road. (And again I will state that you don’t not have to go over the speed limit of 90kmph to see it) This road is very long and straight but does have a slight bend in it. As you are traveling and the vehicle behind you is traveling as well as your vehicle goes around the slight bend. It is then the light seems to disappear. It effectively leaves your line of sight. Keep in mind that the vehicle behind you is still a good distance away. I am fairly certain that the terrain i.e. the trees and bushland obscures the light.

If you leave the experiment there it does appear quite creepy and very convincing. You’d be forgiven to think that the ghost light has disappeared. Until you pull over on the side of the road and wait a few minutes. Eventually and every time we did this a vehicle eventually came past. See diagram below.

At the X labelled “Started here” we would pull over wait for a light to appear and drive off heading north-east. The light would follow until it “appeared” to reach the X labelled “Street light” then promptly disappear. We would pull over at the X labelled “Stopped here”. Wait a few minutes and a light would reappear a vehicle would always come past. We did this three times in succession with the same results. If you get out of your car stand still and face south-west and look at the “Street Light” no cars disappear, cars just appear around the bend as they would on any other road. Hence the reason why you have to be driving to see the light disappear because at this point any oncoming traffic is obscured by the terrain and bushland.


This unusual but easily explained phenomenon combined with the two motorcycle accidents which have most likely have been combined from Chinese Whispers plus of word of mouth have created an Urban Legend. If this legend has any paranormal legitimacy at all the accident that occurred in 2007 is another good kilometre down the road from where this phenomenon occurs. The other motorcycle accident which occurred over twenty years ago was actually closer to where the supposed ghost appears. However I am satisfied by our investigation which clearly proves that the “Ghost Light” is simply a “Break in the line of Sight”.

Copyright: Murray Byfield 2010