The Spirit of Brekky Creek Hotel (image by writer)
Jack Sim doesn't need an introduction if you have ever visited Boggo Road Gaol or been on a Ghost Tour in Brisbane. For those of you who aren't familiar with his work, this is a perfect introduction as he takes us on a journey to the darker side of Brisbane. Haunted Brisbane (Volume 1) is his first book in the Ghost Trails Series. He is also the publisher of the Murder Trails and The Boggo Road Gaol Series. Over the past decade, he has published ten titles under these series, including The Ghosts of Toowong Cemetery: Brisbane's Necropolis.
Guards, Ghosts and Gallows at Boggo Road Gaol (image by writer)
Haunted Brisbane is about real haunted sites and real ghost stories. The book has many black and white photos, both historical and more recent by the author. There are also drawings, press clippings, poems, interviews, quotes and epitaphs. The variety will keep you riveted. It is over 100 pages of ghosts at 13 haunted places around Brisbane. They include the obvious places you would expect to find tormented souls such as Toowong Cemetery, South Brisbane Cemetery (now Dutton Park Cemetery) and Boggo Road Gaol.
Newstead is a Haunted House (image by writer)
But there are many unexpected modern urban sites (Warning: spoiler alert) such as a couple of government buildings, a pub, some bridges and Lang Park (now Suncorp Stadium). Who knew that this area of Milton was previously Paddington Cemetery and then a stinking garbage dump? There is even an elephant buried there! You'll need to read the book to find out how that came about. You'll also discover other fascinating facts like who was "The Silverman', why Captain Patrick Logan was called the "tyrant of Moreton Bay" and what is a will o' wisp.
A Haunted Hall (image by writer)
From a notorious penal settlement to the vibrant capital of the Sunshine State, Brisbane has certainly had a checkered past. The creepy stories in this book don't come from Jack Sim's imagination or internet searches but from real people and his researching of archives and long-forgotten sources. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, you'll be captivated and entranced by these deliciously disturbing tales. You have been warned. And what better time to read them than in the month that leads up to Halloween (or All Hallows Eve when ghosts and spirits are believed to walk the earth)? It certainly ran a shiver up my spine.
The Haunted Mill on the Haunted Hill of Springhill (image by writer)
Jack Sim the Author
Brisbane's famous "Man in Black", Jack Sim, walks round and round, up and down, through the streets of your town (like The Go-Beweens). He searches out stories and tales of Horrible History. Since childhood, he has been fascinated by the past, especially crime stories, ghost tales and gaol birds.
He has dedicated his life to preserving the details of subjects that most of us find both macabre and thrilling. He has become an iconic character, seen late at night undertaking his eerie Ghost Tours and Murder Tours of the region's most haunted sites, such as Boggo Road Gaol, Toowong Cemetery and Dutton Park Cemetery. His work promoting history and heritage to locals and visitors has been seen in national and international media and documentaries. He has strived to gain greater recognition for the value of storytelling and oral history and he has been the longest running operator of ghost tours on mainland Australia.
Lulu the '39 Studebaker Hearse (image by writer)
You may even catch Jack around town sharing ghost stories, showing off his beloved 1939 Studebaker President hearse affectionately called "Lulu". Check out Jack's blog here, Jack Sim's website, or to book tours click here.