Residents in Canberra, Australia, were left perplexed and some thoroughly spooked when reports emerged last week of a lone mystery figure dressed as an undertaker haunting the Lake Burley Griffin, a dam of the Molonglo River.
The lone figure was spotted paddling upright in a coffin-shaped paddleboard on the misty waters of Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra.
Multiple sightings sparked speculation about the identity of the mystery figure dubbed “The Lost Undertaker,” because he seemed to locals who encountered him a lost member of a funeral procession.
Photos of the mysterious figure dressed as an undertaker in a tuxedo and top hat have been shared on social media, with many asking whether Australia now has a ferryman of the dead.
This is a reference to Charon, the ferryman of the dead in Greek mythology. Charon ferries the souls of the dead across the river Styx to the afterlife for a fee. The deceased who are unable to pay the fee are abandoned on the banks of the river and wander as ghosts.
According to Canberra Times, a paddler, Jeanne Mclauchlan, was baffled when she encountered the lone figure paddling upright in a coffin across the lake early Saturday morning. Mclauchlan said the figure emerged creepily from the thick fog.
“In the distance, as we came towards the (Canberra bell tower) Carillon we noticed a figure emerge from the thick fog. It was a figure of a man dressed in a tuxedo and top hat on a stand-up-paddle (SUP) coffin, complete with flowers, paddling toward us.”
The brave Australians spoke with the man.
“We asked ‘coffin man,’ ‘Where are you going?’ His response was, ‘To Queanbeyan cemetery as I have a 3 p.m. grave site to prepare.'”
Another resident, Yu Jo Chua, sent Canberra Times a photo showing the mystery figure he dubbed “Charon on the Molonglo,” paddling on the lake.
“I was out on Saturday morning by the Molonglo taking photos of the dense fog. I was walking along the cycle bridge near Duntroon when I saw what I thought was a paddle boarder making his way towards me from Molonglo Reach. It wasn’t till I got home and was cropping the photo in post-processing that I realized it wasn’t quite what I thought.
“A few moments later he crossed paths with kayakers paddling upstream. I wish I could have seen the looks on their faces encountering this in the fog.”
According to Canberra Times, “The Lost Undertaker” appears to bear resemblance to the kayaker.
Simmat left phone calls from the Canberra Times reporter unanswered. However, he appeared to confirm he is “The Lost Undertaker” in an email to Mashable Australia.
“Unlike Superman, Robin Hood, Zorro, Spiderman, Batman and Wonderwoman, who all revealed their identity to the detriment of their purpose; The Lost Undertaker wishes to hide his true identity. His purpose is to give hope to the oppressed and put the fear of God into the oppressors, villains and rogues that surround us all.”
“He appears and searches out cemeteries with spare lots available for such oppressors. If you are at all a villain or a rogue be warned he may appear near you.”
[Images: Jeanne Mclauchlan via Twitter/Mashable; Twitter/Canberra Times]