With reports of shadow people, whispy apparitions and people being touched as they walk the scenic trails - is it all in the name?
Dead Man's Pass
The Kuarna Aboriginal people lived in the area for thousands of years prior to european settlement. It was an important location for their 'Dreaming'.
Colonel William Light, the first surveyor general of South Australia visited the area in 1837 when he was exploring the Barossa area. The pass made for a great camp site plus was a perfect spot for crossing the South Para River being that a pass is essentially a ford, a shallow point in the river where horse, oxen, pedestrians and cart could cross with relative ease.
Why Named as Such?
In the later part of the 1830's a exploring party was returning back from the Barossa Ranges when a a wanderer from the scrub fell at their feet with exhaustion, hunger and thirst. After tending to the mans needs they placed him on one of their drays and took him to a ford in the South Para River. When they arrived the man was dead and with no implements to bury him they placed him in the hollow of a tree and covered him with bark and sticks.
(This account was written approx twenty years after the events took place)
A few years later Colonel Light had returned back through 'The Para' on a surveying expedition and upon hearing of the dead man his party went to have a look for themselves. They found the body, in their words, 'buried in an upright position and plastered with clay. No part of his body was visible except the toes. The wild dogs had evidently discovered the corpse and had somewhat mangled the feet'. The clothes of the dead man were said to be stained with blood and the pockets turned inside out.
In 1869 The Bunyip (the regions newspaper) wrote that the remains of a man were found after earth had been disturbed by workers. It was found to be that of a white man and the remains exhumed and taken for inspection. There is no mention of the previous reports by Colonel Light or the earlier exploration party.
Thats a brief history of the location but is it haunted?
There is also the story of a young boy who witnessed the spirits of a man and woman just after he closely avoided death. He had been riding his bike along the gully path as he had done many times before when he had a voice in his head tell him to 'go right!'. He did so even though it caused him to crash his bike. However he had also just missed a car travelling in the opposite direction. The urgency in the voice telling him to turn had saved his life...