Ghostly Brisbane

Brisbane is the capital city of Queensland, Australia. It's a great place to live, but not exactly at the top of everyone's list of must-see travel destinations. Once a penal colony, then a sleepy over-grown country town, it's now a fairly vibrant city affectionately known by locals as Brissy or Bris-Vegas. One thing about Brisbane that may surprise you though is the number of alleged hauntings you will find here, some of which I'll share in this post.

The Brisbane Arcade
The Brisbane Arcade is home to lots of quirky shops and more than a little spookiness. It is said that the ghost of a milliner who used to own a shop in the arcade has been seen walking along its balcony at night, dressed in Victorian era clothing.

Another tale is of the butcher of Brisbane Arcade. In the early 1900s in a butchery behind the arcade it's said that the owner and his apprentice had a fatal fight involving a meat cleaver. Owners of the space since have reported strange sounds of men arguing and horrific screams

City Hall
Brisbane's City Hall is believed to be home to a ghost. In the 1950s, workers reported hearing footsteps in the corridors and feeling an eerie presence some of the rooms. Apparently, a caretaker died there in the 1940s, and it is believed that he has been hanging around ever since.

Tower Mill
Brisbane's Tower Mill is one of its oldest buildings. People report seeing a faint glow coming from a small window with a figure swinging from side to side. Some say this is because the tower was used as a gallows in 1841 to hang two people convicted of murder.

Toowong Cemetery
Toowong cemetery in Brisbane is home to more than 120,000 graves. In one area known as Spook Hill it is said that cars left in neutral will seemingly roll uphill, allegedly pulled by the ghosts of two sisters who died tragically in a car accident.

There are also tales of a veiled, pointy toothed lady who wanders the graves near Avenue 12. Another story tells of a fox that stares at you and tries to lead you down a dark hill. Try taking a photograph & the fox will appear only as a dark, blurred image beside the graves.


Frog's Hollow

Not so much as a ghost tale, but several years ago I was delighted to discover that there is a section of the current CBD that used to be known as Frog's Hollow. This historic neighborhood can be found in the low-lying area around the intersection of Albert and Margaret Streets. A small creek that led down to the river once ran through here and the area was swampy and prone to flooding. It was an area of ill-repute being home to a red-light district, a Chinatown, bootleg pubs and opium dens. It was not uncommon for locals to riot in the streets. The area is now the quieter end of the city center, a short stroll from the Botanic Gardens that were once a convict farm.

The Frog's Hollow district during the 1864 flood.

If you are interested in learning more about Brisbane's ghostly past, I can recommend the book 'Haunted Brisbane - Ghosts of the River City' by Jack Sim. And if you happen to visit Brisbane, perhaps join one of the ghost tours.