Many Brisbanites have strolled though Toowong Cemetery during the day. On a breezy summer afternoon, the pale headstones against the green grass under a brilliant blue sky present a serene, if a little morbid, landscape.
However, after sunset it is another story. Every headstone could hide a horror; the darkness, crumbling crypts, eerie silence and, ah, dead people creates a menacing combination that most people would prefer to avoid, and usually have to, as cemeteries such as that at Toowong are usually off-limits in the hours of darkness.
But a necropolis at night need not be a place to avoid. With a spooky stroll with Brisbane company Ghost Tours, you can explore some of the scariest sites of Brisbane, all with a knowledgeable Ghost Host there to show you the ropes.
The Toowong Cemetery Ghost Tour allows you to explore Queensland's largest cemetery with the added thrill of darkness, test your nerves, and take in all of the site's dark charms. Learn about some of the site's more notable people interred (of the roughly 120,000) and their graves: the famous, such as heavyweight boxing champion Peter Jackson and his boxing-ring grave, or the rags-to-riches tale of Edward McGregor, whose lasting legacy includes the striking stone likeness atop his grave; and the infamous, such as the macabre former butcher Patrick Mayne, who paved the way for some of Queensland's most generous benefaction, but not without blood on his hands.
As you wind your way through the 44-hectare site, you can learn about some of the numerous ghosts that have been reported over the years, delve into some of the darkest and most isolated parts of the graveyard, learn the symbolism of the gleaming headstones, and present your questions to the very knowledgeable guides. You can stick to the front or back of the pack and volunteer for the participation opportunities if you're feeling daring, or blend in to the middle if you don't want to tempt fate.
Tours are $35 per person ($30 concession) and run every Saturday night, starting at 7:30pm and departing from the main gates. Click here to book. An extra fee, which goes toward the maintenance and restoration of tour sites, is charged to hire a torch - bring your own if you're on a budget. The terrain is hilly and you certainly don't want to twist an ankle and be left behind, so don't forget closed-in flat shoes. The tours are unsuitable for children aged under 12 years; more FAQ here.
And if you can't get enough spooking out, Ghost Tours, which was established by Brisbane horror historian Jack Sim, also runs other tours of haunted Brisbane sites.