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BOGGO ROAD GAOL, QUEENSLAND
On Sunday April 23rd, 2000 (Easter Sunday) Castle of Spirits and some other daring members of the public took part in this rather spooky nighttime ghost tour.
We arrived after dark at the old prison which is located in an older area of Brisbane. Having never been to the area before we took note of the old spooky cemeteries with gravestones reaching up from the ground in the pitch black darkness that we passed on the way to the gaol. The area looked old...........it also looked....well......haunted............
The gaol is located on top of a hill opposite the local Dutton Park Police station. It is quite breathtaking to see and the first thing you notice is the way it stands out and seems to claim the hill as it's own. We are greeted by a dark figure dressed in long black coat, face mysteriously hidden behind a tall collar and under the brim of a black hat. We soon find out this is our tour guide Mr Jack Sim.
Torches are handed out along with warnings about falling over on the cracked concrete. And suddenly with a shout and yell - the tour begins..........
I would describe the tour as "Theatrical" - but extremely enjoyable and very haunted (of course!)- other members smiled with delight as Jack yelled and seemed to possess the personality of the local Warden ghost. We were formed into a line and asked to hold torches up and give our faces an eerie glow, much to the amusement of Jack Sim. He then marched us in single file through the iron gate and over the vicious ankle breaker step which we all managed to somehow survive unscathed, we were then inside the walls of one of Australia's most notorious prisons.......and maybe one of Australia's most haunted.
The place was eerie, quiet and unsettling. Looming dark buildings and blackened top floor windows glared down at the tour group waiting to swallow up another victim after it's many years of swallowing up prisoners who had to endure quite horrific conditions inside this dismal place.
As we proceeded further into the gaol area many real life, true ghost stories are told. Regular ghosts include "The Warder" who appears as a black spectre with glowing red eyes and rifle slung over his shoulder. He's been spotted looking down from windows and lurking about in the many shadows that envelop the entire place. Other people have not seen the ghosts but heard him as he's stomped through the gaol, crossing the yard doing his endless rounds.
Jack gives an in depth history of the prison and it's residents, he also gives you and idea of what conditions would of been like and it's really quite interesting to have a look in all the old yards and buildings.
We are led around the prison where we file into a small exercise yard - the yard actually was an open area (no roof) but it did have a "feel" to it. I commented to others around me and found that they had the same strange feeling about the place. Nothing was seen as we exited the area (after more ghostly stories) and went into the cell block. A wonderful place for ghosts - you almost expect to be greeted at the iron doorway by one. We eventually make our way up the old stairway and are each placed in an old cell. The doors are locked and you are left to contemplate the place in complete darkness. Only a small amount of light filtered in from the tiny window. We thought of inmates that we actually went to school with who we knew had actually been in the prison at one stage. I didn't feel anything in the cell we were locked in but greatly enjoyed Jacks wonderful true stories of encounters (they seem all the better whilst sitting locked in a dark cell) others had had whilst in the prison, all the time stomping around in circles and probably frightening the pants off a few of the tour group.
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