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Toowong Cemetery Ghost Tour

Home > Brisbane > Family | Fun Things To Do | Halloween | Outdoor | Teenagers
by Vee Cawood (subscribe)
I moved to Brisbane in 2009 having through the years lived in The Netherlands, UK, South Africa, Qatar and now Australia. I'm a single mum with three kids always looking for penny pinching ways to have fun and discover new places and things to do.
Published October 24th 2017
On the edge of our city, lies a grand graveyard …

"Here, in many a height and hollow sleep the remains of Brisbane's silent hundreds." Ghosts, ghouls, spirits and apparitions… The stories of Toowong Cemetery can only be truly appreciated on the Toowong Cemetery Ghost Tour. For all other living souls, the Cemetery is locked after sunset until sunrise, and it is illegal to enter during dark.

With over 120,000 burial sites (not all only containing one soul's remains), spread over 108 acres, laid out with avenues and streets; it is a true Necropolis and celebration of the Victorian age. Originally a military training facility at the base of One Tree Hill (the name Mt Coo-tha was given in 1800's), the first grave was that of Samuel Wesley Blackall (1809-2/1/1871), Second Governor of Queensland. Gov Blackall suffered from Consumption (now known as TB), and would visit the top of Mt Coo-tha and the highest hill in what is now Toowong Cemetery, as it was believed that the breeze in high places offered relief to the symptoms. During one of these visits Blackall expressed a desire to be buried there, and when a mere 6 months later he died, that wish was granted by way of a grand memorial commissioned by the Parliament of Queensland. Four years after his wish to buried there, Toowong Cemetery was officially gazetted as a place of public burial.

Brisbane View, Toowong Cemetry, Ghost Tours
With a view like this, who could blame Governor Blackall for wanting to have his eternal resting place here?


It is only fitting then, that the first ghostly tale is that of Governor Blackall and his grand entombment. Once a year, on the anniversary of his death, January 2nd, if you are lucky enough to be able to visit the Cemetery with Toowong Cemetery Ghost Tours, you will be able to see a pale light emanating from his tomb. Noises of laughter and shouting can be heard coming from within, where if you peak in, through the small gap where his grave plaque has been removed you will have goosebumps as you look upon him and his friends playing poker – a favourite pastime of his. It's good to bear in mind though the dead need no money, and one must wonder... are they possibly playing for the souls of the dead?

Graves souls dead brisbane halloween cemetry ghost tours
The souls of these dead?


Maybe the mysterious figure of a widow dressed in black lace, face covered by a fine black veil pale and hands obscuring her features knows something we don't? For many years she has been seen slowly walking up Twelfth Avenue to the memorial of the Ralstons – where Walter Vardon Ralston and Julia Mary Ralston are laid to rest, they had no children. Upon reaching the grave, she kneels before the crypt where she begins to cry and sob. Visitors who have not seen her during their visit to the Ralston grave, have reported hearing her wailing as she mourns for her husband. When she is not heard, she is felt – not only by the unnatural chill in the air but the overwhelming emotional sadness, which have caused many a patron to sob uncontrollably until they leave Portion 20 Section 23 Grave 13/14. It appears in life as in death, Lady Rolston continues to mourn the love of her life – Walter Ralston!

Grave Ralston Brisbane Scary View
Is it the fact that they had no other family or children that has Julia Ralston still mourning her husband to this day? Is she mourning a loss we do not know of...


No ghost story could be complete without the Grim Reaper, the Dark Angel, the Angel of Death or as the children who came to the dead centre of Toowong Cemetery during the early 20th Century to raise "Death," called him – "The Angel." With the rise of medical science in the Twentieth Century death could easily be explained and understood but until then "The Angel" was the grim reaper that came in the dark to take your soul away. It was custom during the Great Depression to bring food and lollies for the dead, so they could not go hungry. Seen as a waste by poor hungry children, they would come and steal away the food to settle their hunger and share with their family. During these scavenger hunts was when the kids swore they saw something sinister, something evil on the hill between the graves at the centre of the cemetery. It wasn't long before the kids had figured a way to conjure this sinister being; they stood in a circle, hand to hand, flesh to flesh with their heads bowed down eyes cast away, speaking certain words, The Angel would appear. BUT... dare not break this circle while The Angel was there, for this would result in him visiting the foot of your bed in the dead of night and mean certain death! The cousin of a child, who came along one day, was so frightened by this apparition, this overwhelming feeling of death that appeared at the sight of The Angel, that he broke the circle and ran away. True to the warning, a week later he was thrown from his horse, his neck broken.

That was not the last time The Angel was seen. Locals have told of seeing the black-robed figure at higher parts of the grounds amongst the graves – and some have even seen it on the Ghost Tours!

Grim reaper ghost ghouls scary halloween
The spot where The Angel can be seen meandering through the graves. Intersection of Twelfth and Thirteenth Avenue


The ghoulish stories of what Toowong Cemetery has to offer are told by those who have visited these graves and seen or experienced them for themselves. The tour leader, lovely Isabella herself, has met with many of the apparitions during tours and seen other visitors experience their presence. From laughing children being heard in the distance, to sights of mourning widows or moving statues, the stories are set to chill your blood and run shivers down your spine! Of course, there are the sceptics who wouldn't believe a word – but who cares! This is the most fun way to learn about the history of beautiful Brisbane.

COME VISIT....I DARE YOU!

Ghost Tours scary vampire isabella ghoul cemetry brisbane
Isabella, self professed Vampire of Brisbane and Fabulous Tour Guide


FUN FACTS:

Lang Park – now Suncorp Stadium, is not only the 'Graveyard of the Blues' but use to be the old Paddington Cemetery where 10,000 souls were interred. Only 500 were ever moved to Toowong Cemetery before the land was cleared to later become Lang Park! Think about that at the next Bronco's game!
After the 1974 floods, some coffins were exposed in the middle of the field after the flood water receded!
Brisbane's Hale Street road base is made of the hundreds of broken up gravestones left over from Paddington Cemetery!
• Ghost Tours have been operating all over Australia for over 20 years.
• Jack Sims (operator of Ghost Tours) has a passion for preserving all things macabre and thrilling entombed in cemeteries and historical sites throughout Australia. (visit www.jacksims.com.au)
• Jack drives around Brisbane in an old 1939 Studebaker President eighteen foot long straight-eight hearse in search of new material
• The Haunted Heritage fund of Ghost Tours Pty Ltd restores and repairs broken and desecrated graves. A portion of your fee goes towards the haunted heritage fund www.hauntedheritage.com.au)
• Tours which are currently being run:

[LINK=http://brisbaneghosttours.com.au/halloween]-The Original South Brisbane Cemetery Ghost Tour
-Ipswich Cemetery Ghost Tour
-Haunted Brisbane Walking Tour
-Nundah Cemetery Ghost Tour
-The Original Toowong Cemetery Ghost Tour
-Boggo Road Gaol Ghost Tour

GET INVOLVED

Tell us your macabre story.

Your chilling endeavour.

Your family history that you keep buried under cloak and veil – who knows – the man in black himself, Jack Sim may come and visit you to include your tale in a future ghost tour!
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*Vee Cawood was invited as a guest
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Why? Because being ordinary is boring - Ghost it up and have a thrill!
When: Always
Phone: 0401666441
Where: All Around Brisbane!
Cost: Staring at $13 upto $42.50
Your Comment
Perfect Timing for a little Halloween adventure! ;)
by SocialHummingBird (score: 3|1186) 609 days ago
Wow, Vee, happy to see you're back writing again for WEN! Welcome back - great article!
by Elaine (score: 3|6281) 609 days ago
Great article Vee. I have put it onto my To Do List. Jack Sims features Toowong Cemetery in his "Haunted Brisbane" book. May
by May Cross (score: 3|4793) 608 days ago
Great article Vee! I’m not one for scary things but reading article made me want to do this! More like a history lesson in the dark 😉
by Kelli (score: 0|2) 608 days ago
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