Posts Tagged ‘1903’

Today the gaol in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia is open for guided tours and is the only surviving intact goal for the period of the 19th Century in Queensland. It was officially known as Brisbane Jail but gained a more local name of Boggo Road.

In 1903 a female prison was built, later known as Division 2 and is the surviving building. It has been heritage listed. Division 1, built in 1883, was demolished during an overhaul to provide an oval and recreation facilities in the 1960’s. Division 1 saw 42 hangings one of those was Ernest Austin who was the last man executed in Queensland in 1913, under the oval on the former site was a facility that became known as the black hole. It is where the prisoners were subjected to punishment of what I presume was pretty darned awful. It was used until some time in the 1980’s.

During the 1970’s the inmates undertook protests, hunger strikes and riots hit the headlines. The prison conditions were outdated and inadequate. In 1989 Division 2 building was closed down and 1992 they closed Division 1 and it was demolished in 1996. A modern prison for women operated adjacently until 2000 and was taken down in 2006.

Ernest Austin is alleged to be a member of the Boggo Road Gaol ghost collection. Legend has it that he was not at all sorry for his crimes and mocked the crowd that gathered at his the gallows for his execution. He said he would return from the grave to cause more suffering, he went on to haunt the prison, lock eyes with his victims and then drive them into madness.

It seems this story doesn’t fit so well with the records that suggest his last words were to beg forgiveness. For some reason he is said to haunt Division 2 but was hanged in the demolished Division 1. It seems this story may be an urban legend or an old story that crossed into the area after the original building was destroyed.

StateLibQld 1 111256 Entrance to Boggo Road Gaol, ca. 1936.jpg
By Item is held by John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland., Public Domain, Link

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia has a tale about a ghost story on a site now partially destroyed by an inner-city bypass. The site is locally famous for an event in November 1965, when local children went ghost hunting. The group heard about a ghost in a tunnel beneath the rail line bordering Victoria Park. The explorers hoped to catch a glimpse and off they went.

One of the boys fell behind and as he paused into the tunnel he was caught up in a weird event. An armless, legless and headless misty-green thing floated his way and he was mesmerised, his friends dragged him back to the nearby Royal Brisbane Hospital and they thought he had somehow been possessed by the strange green ghost. The sensational story made it into the headlines the next day.

For a while after, thousands of people went to the tunnel, all hoping for a glimpse of the bizarre. It was a talking point in Brisbane and an opportunity for some to undertake a family outing. Bizarrely the events led to all sorts of rubbish appearing in the nearby lake. Oil drums, broken furniture and rubbish were set alight to try to bring the spectre out. One man even turned up with a flame-thrower! He made people stand clear of the tunnel mouth, he planned to force the thing from it’s slumber.

The events went on for a week before a local paper printed what they called the answer to the riddle. A long exposure shot of the tunnel showed a strange mist might be gasses from rotting vegetables, but some say that this doesn’t explain the sightings from 1903, 1922 and 1932. It seems though that the ghost, if it’s there, hasn’t been sighted since.

Another cool website for information

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