Who Is The Poinciana Woman, The Evil Ghost Haunting Darwin’s East Point?

If you head out to Darwin’s East Point Reserve after dark, it’s said you may encounter a mysterious woman. Known as the Poinciana Woman, stories differ on what she looks like and what her back-story is. But one thing is for certain – she does not come in peace.

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A cautionary tale that’s long done the rounds in the Northern Territory community, the most common description of the Poinciana Woman and her back-story is this, by Darwin writer Roland Dyrting, as told to ABC Radio Darwin.


Once she was a beautiful brown-skinned Asian woman, but long ago she was raped by Japanese Fishermen at East Point. She became deranged after this event and when she discovered she was pregnant she hanged herself from a branch of a Poinciana tree. She has since become a wraith who stalks and kills men at night. She entices them by initially appearing as a beautiful white-robed, long-haired young woman but then transforms into a hideous wild-haired eagle clawed hag just before she eviscerates her victims and feeds on their still-steaming guts. She has a distinctive shrill scream and can be summoned on moonless nights by spinning three times and calling out her name…

FEEDS ON THEIR GUTS? Hectic as all hell.

The origins of the Poinciana Woman story are uncertain. Some like Dyrting suggest the tale was brought to Australia by Filipino and Malaysian fishermen in the 1930s, and over time has turned into a local legend. But there is also the Poonchearni Lady as explained by ABC, a local Indigenous legend about a woman who turned into a Banyan tree, luring men to die beneath their branches.

Is the Poinciana Woman real? Or an urban legend? We cover the local stories about encounters with the ghostly figure on our new All Aussie Mystery Hour podcast episode, available on iTunes, Spotify, or below now: