Is Picnic At Hanging Rock A True Story, Is The Boarding School Real And Did Any Girls Go Missing?


PICNIC at Hanging Rock is a classic mystery which was first a novel written in 1967 and then became a popular film in 1975.

The story involves the mysterious disappearance of some Australian schoolgirls in 1900 who go for a picnic. But is the story based on actual events or just a work of fiction?

netflix In the story a group of schoolgirls go for a picnic at a mysterious Rock in Australia

Is Picnic at Hanging Rock a true story?

Despite many attempts to find a historic account of the disappearing schoolgirls, no-one has succeeded and it seems that only the locations are real.

There is one record of a young man falling and dying from Hanging Rock in the early 1900s, but this was recorded and solved and had no connection to the Hanging Rock story.

In 1907, a 19-year-old man murdered another man near the rock and was caught by police.

Alamy Hanging Rock near Mt Macedon Victoria Australia

Is the boarding school a real place?

No. The pupils are meant to be from Appleyard College for Young Ladies, a girls’ private school, near the real town of Woodend, Victoria in Australia.

The rock is real too but mystery surrounds it and strange things are said to happen there.

The six million year old rare volcanic formation rises up on a plain between two tiny townships 70km northwest of Melbourne.

Less commonly known as Mount Diogenes, it comprises several distinctive outcrops including the ‘Hanging Rock’, a boulder suspended between other boulders under which is the main entrance path. Close by are other rock formations — the Colonnade, the Eagle and the UFO.

It was a sacred Aboriginal site for the Wurundjeri people.

Wikipedia Martindale Hall aka Appleyard College

Did any girls go missing?

In the film, on February 14, 1900 the girls prepare for a picnic at nearby Hanging Rock with their mathematics mistress Greta McCraw, and French mistress Mlle. de Poitiers played by Helen Morse.

At the rock Miranda and three other girls, Irma, Mario and Edith, decide to explore.

They are observed by picnicking English tourist Michael Fitzhubert to lie dazed on the ground before moving, in a trance, into a recess in the rock face.

One of the girls, Edith screams and flees down the rock and a depleted and hysterical group returns to Appleyard College.

Alamy A still from the 1975 film

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