Big cats, bunyips & secret tunnels: Some of Perth’s spookiest urban legends

Perth's Spookiest Urban Legends, Bigfoot Yowie
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We heard a story from a friend of a friend of ours… As we celebrate Spooktober, we’re getting into everything spooky and mysterious about Perth. We’ve explored some of Perth’s most haunted places over HERE, and now we’re looking into some of the peculiar stories we’ve heard about our fair city over the years.

Big Cats Of …

The suburbs of Perth are rife with tales of big cats prowling through the night – from the Toodyay Tiger and Dwellingup Panther, to the Jarrahdale and Capel Cougars, the Kojonup Tiger, and the Yanther (the Yanchep Panther), and of course a little further south – the beloved Nannup Tiger. Theories of how the mysterious, enormous cats came to be roaming our suburbs range from the innocuous to the fantastical. Were cougar kittens brought to Australia by US servicemen during the Second World War as mascots? Was there an accident at a travelling circus that caused the cats to escape? Are they actually the last surviving thylacines? Or are they just feral cats that have grown to a giant size? Whatever the truth may be, the continued sightings have made the Big Cats an enduring Perth legend.

Perth's Spookiest Urban Legends, Big Cats

Photo via Bush Heritage 

The Satanists of Kings Park

Another long-standing legend, there have been rumours for decades that Kings Park is the site of unholy Satanic rituals. Allegedly, witches and Satanists gather at midnight to commune under moonlight and summon dark forces. The myth has been exacerbated by the untimely deaths of homeless people in the park, as well as the park’s vast area shrouded in darkness.

East Perth Cemeteries Coven

Another legend of the occult, it’s long been claimed that the historic East Perth Cemeteries are home to a coven of witches who, much like the Satanists of Kings Park, perform dark rituals under the cover of darkness. Perth’s oldest cemetery, the first recorded interment was in 1830 – so there’s been plenty of time for dark spirits to linger in the area. We can’t verify any witches covens in the area, but we’ve heard plenty of reports of mysterious sounds emanating from the area in the night…

Photo from State Library of Western Australia 7394B, via East Perth Cemeteries

Bunyips, Yowies and Bigfoots (Oh My!)

An age-old legend that transcends geography – around the world you’ll hear of sightings of sasquatches, yetis, bigfoots, and the Australian yowie. From towering, dark shapes prowling through backyards, to ape-like figures terrorising campsites, tales of the yowie have passed through communities for centuries. Here in WA, we also hear about a creature called a woodartji– much like a yowie, but smaller.

Similarly mysterious, bunyips also have their roots in Indigenous folklore and mythology. Inhabiting billabongs and swamps, descriptions vary from dog-sized amphibious creatures to large seal-like creatures, with feathers and a bill. Whatever their appearance, they feed on anything that strays to close to their swampy homes – and are particularly fond of women and children.

South Fremantle Power Station

The South Freo Power Station is a behemoth, a monument of history looming large over CY O’Connor Beach – both in its physical size and the amount of mythos surrounding the building. With construction beginning in 1946, the station was in use from 1951 until it was decommissioned 1985. In the interceding years it has become increasingly run-down, with each year building on the mythos of the site. There have reportedly been four murders in the building, as well as a number of accidental and tragic deaths, including one as recently as 2016 – and allegedly, some of the now-sealed rooms still feature the bloodied marks of the murders on the walls. Alongside these grisly details, claims have floated around about Satanic rituals taking place in the tunnels, with plenty of pentagrams spotted amongst the graffiti, as well as claims that the tunnels extend into a network that spans across Perth. Most of the station’s subterranean levels have been deliberately collapsed and filled with sand and rubble, and entrances barricaded with two-inch steel plate in order to preserve safety – we suspect many of the building’s secrets are buried along with it.

Perth's Spookiest Urban Legends, South Fremantle Power Station

Photo via ciwoa /

Min Min Lights

If you’ve taken a long late night drive through an isolated road, you may have encountered the phenomena of Min Min. Fuzzy orbs of light, Min Min can vary from faintly glowing to bright enough to illuminate their surrounds, following motorists either from a distance, or keeping pace with their vehicles as they hurtle down the road. Witnesses to the lights describe the Min Min retreating when followed, only to reappear later, bobbing erratically. Some Indigenous communities in the Kimberley attribute the orbs to the spirits of elders watching over Country, while some scientists hypothesise that they are the result of the Fata Morgana mirage: a layer of cold air above the ground that projects lights (like headlights or torches) over great distances.

Alkimos Wreck

Perhaps this is more apt to our list of hauntings, but there’s been tales for years surrounding the Alkimos Wreck. The ship has a storied history, with rumours that workers were welded inside the ship’s hull during construction and reports of strange sounds and smells throughout its use. It was then used during the Second World War to transport US soldiers and German prisoners of war – it’s said that during this time, a Canadian radio operator working onboard was shot by a crew member, who in turn committed suicide. Since then, the ship has encountered numerous unusual misfortunes, including running aground multiple times before coming to its final resting place off our coast. Bought and sold eight times during its grounding, each new owner had strangely bad luck befall them – including poor health and bankruptcy. Divers have reported unusual sightings and even the sound of screaming, near drownings, boats have had inexplicably engine failures in the area and dogs even become agitated when nearby. You can take your chances, but we reckon we’ll be keeping our distance.

Perth's Spookiest Urban Legends, Alkimos Shipwreck, Yanchep

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Photo by Stanley Perkins via Lost Perth

Perth Tunnels

One of the most enduring stories we hear, many legends link back to a network of tunnels beneath the city – by some accounts, stretching all the way to Fremantle. Some say the tunnels host satanic rituals (an enduring theme), are home to the long-lost, fabled Templar treasures… or even lead to a secret lair below the Council House, where you may glimpse a tall figure in the shadows, a shiny medallion glinting in the moonlight, or a flash of green scales.

Perth's Spookiest Urban Legends, Lizard Mayor

Get more spooky goodness with Perth’s Most Haunted Places.