Clouds cluster and the sunlight vanishes. The two-story building stands empty and alone in a stony field. The front façade made of grey stone veiled under a patina of red dust. White wooden front doors that once welcomed members to this lodge, now closed forever.
Eight darkened windows arranged in perfect symmetry aside an elaborate portico that extends to the roof and is donned with a tower-like cap. French doors once opened onto a small verandah above. Decorative white painted iron filigree now rusting with neglect. Red dusty corrugated iron covers the faded green roof and other external walls.
I ignore the call of the crows as I reach for my camera. Through the lens, a blur; was that a movement behind the upper window? I lower the camera and look to check; nothing. The crows cry out. I take two photographs and turn. Suddenly I feel the flap and puff of feathers against my face as the crow swoops. I look up and the second crow swoops aiming for my face below my hat. I dash along the empty street with hands above my head to ward off the black spirits as they pursue me. I need no further convincing. This is just one of several haunted houses in this once prosperous gold-mining town of Cue.
Gold was discovered here in 1892 and the town was named after Tom Cue who registered the claim. Like other towns in the goldfields region of Western Australia, Cue was a hive of activity during the early 1900’s. Nowadays the town still operates despite a main street of empty shops. Large mining concerns operate in this area and road trains barrel back and forth through town all day and night not slowing to the 60 kilometre limit. Some of these long-wheelers have five trailers attached.
Tourists like us also visit especially during the cooler months of the year. The main attractions are gold-fossicking, aboriginal rock art, heritage buildings, and the wildflower season. At the moment it also has a secondary attribute as a remote recluse during this COVID-19 pandemic.