Echoing Judith Wright, David Crouch identifies two twisted strands in the Australian postcolonial condition - a love of the land and an invader's guilt. This 'non-indigenous desire to belong to a stolen land' gives the Australian ghost story 'a particular resonance ... In this country the presence of ghosts can be read as traces of historical traumas, fears which are often exposed in expressions of apprehensive (un)settlement.' Crouch aims to draw out some reflections on this perturbance in the Australian consciousness 'by reading Hume Nisbet's mobilisation of a phantasmic topology in his story "The Haunted Station" alongside the unsettling ghosts of Tim Winton's Cloudstreet.
Crouch concludes, in part, that both stories 'seem concerned with the continuity and legitimacy of settlement'. The haunted houses in both tales 'navigate the tensions surrounding the occupation of place in Australia' and both are 'undercut by the awareness of displaced indigenous habitation and suggest a moral disturbance in the non-indigenous Australian relationship with place'. It is conceivable, Crouch argues, that 'the ghost story itself is a way of silencing an indigenous presence within a discursive structure that asserts the legitimacy of non-indigenous occupation.'