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Haunted Brisbane Ghost Tour

Home > Brisbane > Fun Things To Do | Historic Houses | Tours | Walks
Published June 7th 2014
Learn how Brisbane City was built on the blood of convicts
It's an ordinary Thursday night in Brisbane City busker strumming easy listening tunes on his guitar, drunken backpackers staggering down Queen Street, ghosts in City Hall and Satanic printing presses... the latter two, of course, being perfectly ordinary for those of us undertaking the Haunted Brisbane Ghost Tour.

The Haunted Brisbane Ghost Tour is one of many run by Ghost Tours, a company dedicated to Brisbane's history and ghost stories. Haunted Brisbane is a walking tour that takes place on Thursday and Sunday nights, and leads participants through haunted spots in Brisbane's CBD.

The tour commences at 7pm outside City Hall, where we meet our host Wednesday Adams, aka Lily. The streets of Brisbane once run red with blood, she informs us. By the end of the tour, we learn that she is not being poetic.

The tour begins at City Hall ostensibly because it is the most haunted place in Brisbane constructions workers to guests to former employees, there's quite a few spirits sharing real estate here. From City Hall we move on to Brisbane Arcade and learn of its grisly beginnings. The first challenge of the night takes place here who is game to walk the corridors alone? Most of us took up the challenge, and while I didn't experience anything, the area is definitely eerie.

haunted brisbane tour carly ogborne
Image by Kate Nielsen Photos via Wikipedia

The tours wends its way down Burnett Lane to the Treasury Casino. The casino was once part of the Moreton Bay Penal Colony or, as many of the prisoners referred to it, hell on earth. The commandant Captain Patrick Logan would whip his prisoners with the cat o' nine tails at the spot where the Casino now stands; according to prisoner eyewitness accounts, the blood from the whipped men would fill trenches by the end of the day. Queen Street was, literally, build on the blood of its convict past.

From there we move on to the Pancake Manor, formerly St Luke's Church of England, where another challenge is issued. After that, the Brisbane Registry Office, which used to be the Government Printing Press, where we hear a rather delightful story about a gruesome workplace accident involving a printing apprentice (spoiler all that was left was a flayed skull and a finger, still wearing its wedding ring). The Commissariat Store is the final building we visit, although there are a few stops along the way to hear stories and history behind some of Brisbane's statues.

The Haunted Brisbane Ghost Tour blends the history of Brisbane and its ghost stories with general history and anecdotes, making for a very informative night out. Our host Lily was moody and entertaining, the perfect accompaniment to a night of spooky hunting.

"Congratulations on completing what I like to call the 'wimp tour'," Lily says at our tour's completion. The South Brisbane Cemetery and Boggo Road Gaol tours are good options for anyone who would like to move on to something really scary, she tells us. I'm sure some of the members of my tour will take her advice, but the Haunted Brisbane tour was scary enough for me.

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*Carly Ogborne was invited as a guest
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Why? You'll never look at major Brisbane City icons the same way ever again!
When: Thursday and Sunday nights
Where: Brisbane CBD
Cost: $20 for adults, $15 for adult concession, $12.50 for teenagers
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