Are Tasmania’s Historic Coal Mines Haunted?

Are Tasmania’s Historic Coal Mines Haunted?

The Coal Mines Historic Site

The Coal Mines are today no more than seaside ruins, offering a striking contrast to the rugged terrain that surrounds them. Yet, there is more than meets the eye to these crumbling ruins, they offer an insight into Australia’s brutal past of convict labor and are claimed by some to harbor ghosts.

Underground solitary confinement cells in Tasmania, Australia.
An underground tunnel leading to solitary confinement cells at the haunted Coal Mines of Tasmania.

These were the first operational coal mines in Tasmania and they remained in service for more than 40 years. The settlement here utilized convict labor to run and consisted of the individuals deemed as being the ‘worst of the worst’ from the nearby Port Arthur Penitentiary. Time spent at the Coal Mines was brutal and unpleasant for many, making it a major deterrent for bad behavior. Hard back-breaking labor, poor living conditions and punishment, which included time spent in underground solitary confinement cells, awaited those unfortunate enough to be sent to the Coal Mines.

Abandoned Coal Mines near Port Arthur, Tasmania.
Ruins left crumbling at the abandoned Coal Mines near Port Arthur.

The first coal shipment came out of the mines in 1834. After this, the site began to grow until it peaked at around 600 convicts, as well as a number of officers who would have also been stationed at the site. Eventually, in 1848, the Coal Mines were closed down due to financial and moral concerns. Athough today the ruins remain empty and abandoned, many still believe there could be spirits from the past continuing to occupy the space.

Barracks at the Coal Mines.
Rows of small cells that made up accommodation barracks for the convicts who once lived here.

Hauntings of the Coal Mines

The Coal Mines would have been a truly bleak place to spend time. They were a place of hard labor, dank accommodation, suffering and even death. A signifier for just how tough life was at the mines is highlighted by the numerous escape attempts and refusal to work put forward by many. Add to this a number of deaths, which occurred by accidents such as falling down shafts or taking a pick axe to the head, you have a seriously conducive environment for hauntings.

Underground haunted cells in Australia.
An underground solitary confinement cell, where punished convicts would be kept.

Many people claim that there could be spirits from the past left behind at the Coal Mines historic site. Given the unmerciful history of the location, it seems plausible that a haunting could have resulted. There are no distinct ghost stories related to the site telling of specific spirits or activity. It remains a mystery just who or what could remain to haunt the Coal Mines. Could it be energy left behind, trapped within the sandstone cells, spirits from past convicts or even jailers continuing to maintain the status quo of the site?

Ruins of Tasmania's Coal Mines.
Ruins scattered across the picturesque coast of Tasmania now said to be haunted.

Visiting the Haunted Coal Mines in Tasmania

The Coal Mines Historic Site lies about a 45-minute drive from the Port Arthur site. Visits are free and require a small and easy hike to the ruins. The ruins remain open daily to visitors and are a truly unique site that offers a different view of convict life.

Coal Mines Tasmania.
Looking for ghosts in the underground areas of the old Coal Mines.

If you enjoyed reading this article you might also like to learn about the haunted Hobart Convict Penitentiary.

Thanks for reading!


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Amy is a world traveller and explorer of creepy locations. She has visited some of the most famously haunted places around the world in search of evidence of the paranormal. Follow Amy's Journey:

Comments (5)

  • Gregory Doney

    Posted by Gregory Doney on July 19, 2020

    I truly love watching your journey and am grateful to be able to watch your videos. Keep up the awesome work. I am patiently waiting for your ghost tub sls for android..love you guys and wish you the best on your journeys.

  • Bertil Hoberg

    Posted by Bertil Hoberg on July 23, 2020

    Very interesting and very instructive as always!! Thank you kindly for all the research and investigations that you do!! 🙂


      Posted by Amy on July 27, 2020

      Thank you so much, Bertil! That means the world to me!

  • Butch Mawyer

    Posted by Butch Mawyer on July 24, 2020

    Really interesting and great photos. I can tell you put a lot of work and care in what you do. Many thanks


      Posted by Amy on July 27, 2020

      Thank you so much, Butch! I do put a lot of work into Amy’s Crypt, so it is nice to know it is appreciated!

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