A mum who uses adventures and outings around town as an excuse to avoid the housework.
Published June 7th 2014
Learn about Brisbane's history and hauntings - if you dare
Unearth some of Brisbane's most fascinating secrets by taking a South Brisbane Cemetery Ghost Tour. This unique experience permits entry to the heritage listed Dutton Park site after dark. It is here that your tour guide will share stories based on local knowledge, historical records, urban legends, and haunted tales as the group weaves its way through the cemetery grounds.
South Brisbane Cemetery, image courtesy of Ghost Tours
Thousands of people pass by the wrought iron and sandstone perimeter of this cemetery each day, yet few know about its iconic place in the city of Brisbane. Sadly I too was guilty of this, so when the opportunity arose to join a ghost tour here, I jumped at the chance.
South Brisbane Cemetery Fence
Our tour group met at the cemetery gates on busy Annerley Road one Saturday evening. Don't let the noisy traffic deceive you though – it becomes very quiet as you move further into the cemetery. It was at the gates that we met our guide for the evening, who looked the part dressed in smart Victorian attire. After a general safety briefing, with torches in tow and the light of the guide's lantern to lead us, our journey began.
The shadowy silhouette of our tour guide with only a lantern to light his way
Fascinating stories of life in early Brisbane were told as we were transported back in time. Tales of tragedy, love and mystery were shared by our guide as we visited places of significance around the expansive 46-acre grounds. Among the souls who rest here are some of our earliest local residents, politicians, artists, and prisons from nearby Boggo Road Goal. This is Queensland's second largest cemetery and one of the oldest (the first burial occurred in 1870) so it holds a lot of history.
Time has weathered the memorials, some damaged or lost to the Brisbane River sitting at the bottom of the cemetery grounds, however the eerie atmosphere remains. While I didn't personally experience any ghostly presence on the night of our tour, the shadows created by the flicking of car headlights between the trees certainly did make me think to look over my shoulder a few times. Ghost stories aside, it was really interesting to know a little bit more about the history of the cemetery and life in early Brisbane.
South Brisbane Cemetery Ghost Tours are held on Saturday evenings from 7.30pm. Participants must arrive at least 15 minutes prior to departure at the front of the cemetery gates. Easy parking is available in the adjacent streets, or the Dutton Park train station and nearby bus stops are available for public transport. As this is a two hour walking tour, comfortable clothing should be worn and enclosed footwear is essential. Check the Ghost Tours website for tour details, costs, and booking information.
This was the most entertaining history lesson I've ever experienced. Ghost-busters and history devotees alike will leave this tour with a new perspective on the South Brisbane area. Special thanks must go to Ghost Tours and Weekend Notes for the opportunity to attend a South Brisbane Cemetery Ghost Tour as an invited guest.