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Boggo Road Gaol has temporarily closed due to a new development happening next to the prison.

The prison will reopen, and once it does, we will offer a range of public, private & education experiences., our other ghost and crime tours in brisbane, ipswich and regional queensland are still running. see our suggested tours below:, for more tours & experiences please follow the links below:, ghost tours australia –  view tours here, crime tours australia –   view tours here, want more boggo content, guest speaking.

Let us come to you with our unique Guest Speaking options. Be transported through story, to behind the iconic and impenetrable brick walls – home to jail-breakers, eerie gallows, riots, protests, and prisoners who paid heavily for their crimes.

Learn More about Guest Speaking Here

Videos & Podcasts 

Join the Director of Boggo Road Gaol, Jack Sim and Researcher, Sue Olsen on our gaol podcast “Boggo” – available on our website, Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Otherwise follow us on TikTok & YouTube for even more Boggo content!

View Boggo Podcast Here

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REGISTER YOUR INTEREST IN BOGGO ROAD TOURS FOR ONCE WE REOPEN

jail ghost tour brisbane

Boggo Road Gaol (Jail) Ghosts & Gallows Tour

Dutton park, brisbane, qld.

Boggo Road Gaol (Jail) Ghosts & Gallows Tour - Boggo Road Gaol Ghosts and Gallows Tour

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Boggo Road Gaol (Jail) - one of Australia's most notorious prisons and today a heritage listed site located in Brisbane, Queensland. Ghost Tours Australia strives to showcase this historical site and its 116 years of history.

This 2 hour guided tour takes visitors through Division 2 (the last remaining section of Boggo Road Gaol) via torchlight. Inside the original cellblocks you will hear historical ghost tales as told by former warders and inmates dating back to the 1930s.

  • 2-hour historic ghost tour with experienced tour guide through this haunted site
  • A copy of book: Ghosts of Boggo Road by Jack Sim
  • Restricted tour size
  • Donation to Ghost Tours’ Heritage Fund
  • See Gallows Exhibition including artefacts from the original gallows

"Tours Start Here" sign at the Gaol Forecourt - 21 Boggo Road, Dutton Park QLD 4102.

Toowong Cemetery Ghost Tour - The Original

All prices, availability and tour and product information are subject to change without notification, and while every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the prices, availability and tour and product information displayed on this website they are not guaranteed to be accurate.

Ghost Tour Bookings is not a provider of tours, experiences or products and has no responsibility for any tours, experiences or products provided or not provided by the tour operator, supplier or any other party. The tour operators and suppliers provide services and products directly to customers.

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6 Of Brisbane’s Best Ghost Tours To Get Spooked On

By Samantha Chariton 1st Oct 2022

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jail ghost tour brisbane

When everything goes dark and Brisbane falls quiet, the chills and thrills come out to play. Every week, tour groups on tenterhooks wander through Brisbane’s most haunted spaces, exploring graves, gallows and an island you can’t escape.

Ready to find out what goes bump in the night? Take a breath: your next night out looks like a scream on one of Brisbane's best ghost tours.

Boggo Road Gaol

Dutton park.

Sidle close to your trusty tour buddy: this spine-tingling Brisbane ghost tour is enough to make anyone jump. Three nights a week, torch-lit groups are led through one of Australia’s most notorious prisons. We’ve heard whispers of ghostly wails that echo through these halls, a reminder of the infamous gallows and the prisoners who never left. 

Editor's note: Boggo Road Gaol is temporarily closed due to a new development happening next door

Toowong Cemetery 

It’s a familiar sight to those on the west side, but when daylight isn’t on your side, Brisbane’s biggest cemetery is anything but comforting. After dark, groups step through the gates of Toowong Cemetery for Brisbane’s O.G. ghost tour . Think you’re up to the task? You’ll explore the moonlit graves of governors, convicts and the city’s oldest residents, including those still rumoured to wander the grounds. Gulp.

South Brisbane Cemetary

There's more than one creepy graveyard in Brisbane, and the South Brisbane Cemetary happens to be the second largest in Queensland—and the creepiest. You'll hear ghost stories about former grave diggers as well as the spirits of criminals and the executed inmates of Boggo Road Gaol on a  two hour walking tour through the thousands of graves.

Ipswich Cemetery 

Your date night with the supernatural awaits. Ipswich residents swear that the town’s oldest cemetery, sprawling over six acres of haunted trails, is your best bet of catching some paranormal activity. Follow the lantern light as your guide leads you through a nail-biting ghost tour of Ipswich’s most haunted graves—but watch your step. In the shadows of the old city asylum, you won’t want to be left behind.

Caboolture Historical Village

Want the sun on your side? We don’t blame you. For anyone who can't handle a moonlit night of fright (we feel you), we recommend taking a slow wander through the  Caboolture Historical Village —although anyone who had to suffer through a school trip to this creepy town in their younger days is no doubt still getting over the nightmares. With over 70 buildings that date back over a century, the stories within will have you on tenterhooks. It might be broad daylight, but you’ll still catch those goosebumps as you explore the old hospital, the lockup and the morgue. 

St Helena Island 

St helena island.

If you prefer night shows to nightmares, this is the Brisbane ghost tour for you. On St Helena Island , dinner comes with a side of adrenaline as you tour the ruins of a maximum security prison. Performers showcase some of the island’s most colourful stories—but before you escape the island, you’ll have to wander through the old cemetery. Good luck.

Need to unwind after the fright of your life? Check out Brisbane’s best places to soak and steam .

Image credit: rewindyourtime /Flickr

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jail ghost tour brisbane

Boggo Road Gaol Ghosts and Gallows Tour

May 31, 2020, 7:15 pm – 9:00 pm.

Visit one of Australia’s most notorious Prisons, Boggo Road Gaol (Jail). Hear tales of Boggo Road’s gruesome gallows, and ghost stories told to us by former Officers and former Prisoners dating back to the 1930′s on this 2 hour Guided Ghosts and Gallows Tour. Some time is given during the tour to explore a couple of areas of the Gaol as well. This tour comes with a complimentary book, Ghosts of Boggo Road Gaol, written by Jack Sim, so you can read some more about the stories you hear.

This tour has a minimum age of 10 years of age to attend

Book Now -  http://ghosttoursaustralia.com.au/tour-category/brisbane-ghost-tours/boggo-road-gaol-ghost-tours

Plan Your Visit

Gaol is located opposite the Dutton Park Police Station in Boggo Road, Dutton Park

Event Days and Time

Every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday night from 7.15pm

0401 666 441

[email protected]

Cost: Adults: $45.00 Concessions (Seniors / Students): $40.00 Teenagers (10-17): $25.00

http://ghosttoursaustralia.com.au/tour-category/brisbane-ghost-tours/boggo-road-gaol-ghost-tours

jail ghost tour brisbane

Boggo Road Gaol Ghost And Gallows Tour - Brisbane - With Reviews & Ratings

  • Brisbane Tours
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  • Boggo Road Gaol Ghost And Gallows Tour

Boggo Road Gaol Ghost And Gallows Tour - Brisbane

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Tour Information

Key Details

  • Mobile Voucher Accepted
  • Hotel pickup Available
  • Duration: 2 Hrs
  • Language: English
  • Departure Time : 7:30 PM
  • Return Details : • Clients must be wearing flat-soled enclosed shoes. Thongs, sandals and high heels will not be permitted on tour. • Each guest is required to bring their own torch. Torch apps on smart phones are.. read more
  • Cancellation Policy : This activity is non-refundable Tours booked using discount coupon codes will be non refundable.

Know More about this tour

Visit one of Australias most notorious prisons, Boggo Road Gaol (Jail) at night.Hear tales of Boggo Roads gruesome gallows, and ghost stories from the Warders and Inmates dating back to the 1930s.

  • Donation to Ghost Tours Heritage Fund
  • A copy of book: Ghosts of Boggo Road by Jack Sim
  • GST (Goods and Services Tax)

Additional Info

Not recommended for pregnant travelers

Wheelchair accessible

Service animals allowed

Public transportation options are available nearby

Transportation options are wheelchair accessible

All areas and surfaces are wheelchair accessible

Not recommended for travelers with spinal injuries

Not recommended for travelers with poor cardiovascular health

Suitable for all physical fitness levels

Ghost Tours are not suitable for children under 10 years

All children under and including the age of 15 must be accompanied and supervised by an adult.

All travellers must have be fully vaccinated to attend the tour (unless you have a valid exemption or under the age of 16) - Proof of vaccination or exemption must be shown at check-in or you will be refused entry. No refund granted.

Clients must be wearing flat-soled enclosed shoes. If you are wearing thongs, sandals or high heels you will be declined entry. No refund granted.

Each guest is required to bring their own torch. Torch apps on smart phones are suitable.

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Toowong Cemetery Ghost Tour - The Original

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Traveler Reviews

Great night for a Goal tour, guide was lovely. Very informative. Would recommend to visitors to Brisbane.

I think the buildings are the best part of this tour, I wouldn’t call it much of a ghost tour as I think money could be better spent elsewhere for this type of thing

My partner and I went on the Boggo Road Gaol history tour during the day and had the amazing Kim as our guide. Could not recommend Kim and the whole experience enough! Was such a fun and interactive experience, we learnt a lot and really enjoyed all aspects of this experience.

The Boggo Road Ghosts and Gallows Tour was an enjoyable night-time tour of the old gaol. Our tour guide, Jack Sim, used his enthusiasm, in-depth knowledge and genuine passion to deliver a thoroughly engaging narrative on the history of the gaol, highlighted with ghostly tales. The length and pace of the tour was just right, and allowed time for us to individually explore some of the cell blocks. The was also plenty of opportunity to ask questions throughout the tour and at the end before departing. My son really loves learning about history and this tour did not disappoint! We have enjoyed previous tours of Toowong Cemetery with Ghost Tours Australia, and this Boggo Road tour provides yet more opportunity to learn more of Brisbane's fascinating history. We look forward to joining more of the tours run by Jack and his team. Thank you Jack for a great tour... we look forward to reading those books now!

The modern feel to an old jail. Difficult to believe some of the most notorious villians were houses here.

Caitlyn was an excellent tour guide and speaker. She was extremely knowledgeable, I would highly recommend her and the ghost tour.

Such a fun and interesting tour! Very informative and interactive, the tour was at night time so it added a lot to the eerie environment of the walk through. Our tour guide was so funny and easy to talk to, really opens your eyes to the stories and history of the Boggo Gaol, would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a unique experience!

Ghosts and Gallows was such a fun and interesting night. Jack is so passionate and knowledgeable, and we thoroughly enjoyed his tales. Highly recommend this tour. We can’t wait to do the Brisbane Crime Tours next.

Small tour group of 5 (there was 4 of us). Caitlin - our guide- was amazing. Great narrator and clearly very passionate about history of the jail. Very knowledgeable and a great communicator. Highly recommend a visit.

Absolutely fantastic jack the tour guide was very knowledgeable had a great family night very affordable. Kids would love it

jail ghost tour brisbane

JACK SIM PRESENTS

BRISBANE GHOST TOURS

jail ghost tour brisbane

PUBLIC TOURS

PRIVATE TOUR

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HISTORY & HAUNTINGS

OUR BRISBANE GHOST TOURS

Toowong cemetery ghost tour (the original).

Visit the necropolis of Toowong Cemetery – Brisbane’s City of the Dead, Queensland’s largest burial ground on this 2hr guided historic ghost tour. Hear real ghost stories of a statue that comes to life, a deceased governor, black widow, murderers, a buried boxer and more…

jail ghost tour brisbane

7:30pm – 9:30pm

TOOWONG CEMETERY GHOST TOUR (OTHER SIDE)

Is Jack the Ripper buried in Toowong Cemetery? Decide for yourself as we visit his possible grave, hungry Chinese ghosts, weird “Spook Hill”, a creepy crypt, and where the bones of Governor Blackall lie…on this 2hr guided historic ghost tour of the OTHER SIDE of Toowong Cemetery. 

SOUTH BRISBANE CEMETERY GHOST TOUR

Visit haunted South Brisbane Cemetery (Dutton Park Cemetery) on this 2hr guided historic ghost tour. See the Devil’s Plot where those executed at Boggo Road Jail – vicious killers and a hungry ghost, lie; the grave of a ghost girl, a sad sea captain, will o’ whisps, and a man buried alive.  

HAUNTED BRISBANE CBD GHOST TOUR

Brisbane is haunted by 200 years of crime and tragedy.

Discover the ghosts of The River City on a guided walk of the CBD. Hear ghost stories including the Haunted Hotel, Devil’s Trade & Spectre of Captain Logan

  • SELECTED SUNDAY, TUESDAY & THURSDAYS

LUTWYCHE CEMETERY HAUNTED HISTORY TOUr

Who are the ghost girls seen in Lutwyche Cemetery? Hear sad stories, long forgotten of the cemetery including the hanging judge’s haunted house, the Black Death, Oxley murder, prominent pioneers and notorious criminals on this 1.5hr guided haunted history ghost tour.

  • SELECTED SATURDAYS

6:30pm – 8:00pm

BOGGO ROAD GAOL GHOSTS & GALLOWS TOUR

Temporarily Closed

Discover the haunted history of Boggo Road, on a 2hr guided tour and hear spooky true ghost stories including For Whom the Bell Tolls, Last Man Hanged, The Creepy Cat and more…Explore two cellblocks, and the exhibition “The Gallows: Capital Punishment & Punishment”.

NUNDAH CEMETERY HAUNTED HISTORY TOUR

Visit historic Nundah Cemetery – a burial place for hundreds of years before Queensland existed. Hear stories of the earliest graves, the house by the cemetery, child ghost, hoodoos, a ghost ship, a medical fraudster, and death by chocolate on this 1.5hr guided haunted history ghost tour.

7:30pm – 9:00pm

HAUNTED BRISBANE COACH TOUR

Journey via coach on an intimate 3 hour historic ghost tour with an eerie Tour Guide.

Visit haunted sites including The Ghost of Breakfast Creek, The Creepy Cauldron and Thing of Victoria Park.

jail ghost tour brisbane

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Boggo Road Gaol Ghost and Gallows Tour

Brisbane, Queensland

Discover the haunted history of Boggo Road, on a 2hr guided storytelling experience. Hear of the spooky ghosts said to haunt the old prison, explore two cellblocks in the dark, and the exhibition “The Gallows: Capital Punishment & Punishment”.

Learn about the cruel punishments for bad behaviour, and the true crimes and fates of those prisoners who were executed. Relics on display include the awful Gallows Beam and a piece of the dreaded dungeon known as the “Black Hole”. Every visitor receives a copy of The Ghosts of Boggo Road Gaol written by Ghost Tours Australia Director, Jack Sim.

Boggo Road Gaol Ghost and Gallows Tour

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Itinerary This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Boggo Road Gaol (Jail), 21 Boggo Rd Dutton Park, Brisbane, Queensland 4102 Australia

Visit one of Australia’s most notorious prisons, Boggo Road Gaol (Jail) at night.

Hear tales of Boggo Road’s gruesome gallows, and ghost stories from the Warders and Inmates dating back to the 1930’s.

Duration: 2 hours

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Boggo Road Gaol (Jail)

jail ghost tour brisbane

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Boggo Road Gaol (Jail): All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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jail ghost tour brisbane

Ghost & Crime Tours Brisbane

Think Brisbane is a modern, clean 21st century city? Well, yes it is – but it also has a deep, sometimes dark, history lingering in the shadows. Spines will be shivering when you come face to face with a ghost, sinister presence or perhaps just a cool breeze – either way these ghost tours are intended to spook even the bravest of souls.

Discover Brisbane & Ipswichs dark history with Ghost Tours Australia. They combine the unique experience of visiting some of the areas most historic haunted sites with the ancient art of storytelling. Mainland Australia’s longest running Ghost Tours, established in 1998 by local horror historian Jack Sim.

While most of these spine-chilling torchlight tours have been running for a while there are several new experiences running across Brisbane and Ipswich. T hese experiences showcase the city’s haunted and criminal past and present it through the ancient art of storytelling. These are real stories about real ghosts and real crimes in real sites -  researched from archives, books, newspapers, interviews with locals and more, with 8 ghost tours and 1 crime tour to choose from.

Ghost Tour highlights include-

1.  Boggo Road Gaol (Jail) Ghosts and Gallows Tour -  Visit one of Australia’s most notorious prisons, Boggo Road Gaol (Jail) at night. You'll hear tales of Boggo Road’s gruesome gallows, and ghost stories from the Warders and Inmates dating back to the 1930’s. Thu-Sun @7.30-9.30pm (additional dates & times Wed evenings & school holidays) $25-45.

2. Toowong Cemetery Ghost Tour (the original) - Explore  Brisbane’s largest cemetery and walk among the graves and tombs in this city of the dead, where you'l hear  tales of dead governors, murderers, black widows, & buried boxers. Fri-Sat @7.30-9.30pm. $25-45

3.  South Brisbane Cemetery Ghost Tour -  Walk through one of Australia’s most haunted sites - the second largest cemetery in Queensland - and hear its terrible tales  of hungry ghosts, criminals, vicious killers, floods and bloody murder. Sat @7.30-9.30pm. $20-30

4. Haunted Brisbane CBD Ghost Tour -  Despite its modern appearance, the River City is an old town – haunted by its past. On this tour you'll w alk the streets of Queensland’s creepy capital and hear stories including the historic Brisbane Arcade. 2nd Sunday of the month @7.30-9pm. $15-26 (Fam 2A + 2 C - $65) 

5.  Lutwyche Cemetery Haunted History Tour -  Visit the burial place of pioneers, war heroes and notorious criminals, where you'll h ear fascinating tales including Black Death, mass murder, disgruntled workers and more. Last Saturday of the month @6.30-8pm $15-26

6. Ipswich Cemetery Ghost Tour - Hear real ghost stories of real haunted graves and real haunted sites in Ipswich – true tales researched from archives, libraries, former grave diggers & local residents – of forgotten graves, business tycoons, statues that move, convicts & bushrangers. 1st & 3rd Saturday of the month @7.30-9.30pm $20-30 .

7. Haunted Ipswich CBD Ghost Tour -  Ipswich was, and still is, a gothic little town haunted by many mysteries and has long attracted ghost stories of its haunted past. Take this 2 hour guided historical ghost tour through Ipswich’s city centre, where you will visit seven sites including the Old Flour Mill and hear real ghost stories gathered from archives, newspapers, books and local residents. 2nd & 4th Friday of the month @   7.30-9.30pm. $20-30.

8. Goodna Cemetery Haunted History Tour -  There are many mysteries, legends and stories connected to Goodna Cemetery, which is said to be one of the most haunted graveyards in Queensland. You'll hear stories of the Headless Angel, the Missing Graves and more. 2nd & 4th Saturday of the month @ 7.30-9.30pm. $20-30.

Crime Tour-

9. South Brisbane Cemetery Crime Tour - Join the  1.5 hour guided historical walking tour and hear 8 stories including captains, warders, deaths by poisoning, the Christmas Eve murder, Boggo Road Gaol (Jail) prisoners, bushrangers, the Devil’s Plot and more. 1st & 3rd Friday of the month @7.30-9pm $15-26  (Fam 2A + 2 C - $65) 

So if you dare visit the Ghost Tours Australia website for more info and don't forget if you were the lucky recipient of Brisbane Holiday Dollars you can use them towards one of your tour bookings.

The Gabba Central Apartments are a great Brisbane accommodation option to coincide with your ghost/crime tours. Make a long weekend of it and STAY with us and take advantage of being in the heart of Woolloongabba, just down the road from Boggo Road and South Brisbane!

May 7, 2021

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I never believed in ghosts until I went on the paranormal investigation tour with Ghost Tours Brisbane. The evidence we captured was incredible, and I'm still trying to explain some of the things we experienced that night. It was an unforgettable experience.

I'm a horror movie fanatic, so when I heard about Ghost Tours Brisbane, I knew I had to try it out. The stories we heard and the locations we visited were like something out of a horror movie. It was definitely one of the coolest things I've done in Brisbane.

My wife and I went on the haunted pub crawl tour, and it was a blast. Our guide was hilarious, and we had a great time exploring some of Brisbane's best pubs and hearing the spooky stories behind them. It was a great way to spend a night out in the city.

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Boggo Road Gaol Haunted By The Ghost of Prisoners

Jake Carter

  • Ghost & Hauntings

jail ghost tour brisbane

And the only surviving intact gaol in Queensland that reflects penological principles of the 19th century. For many years it was Queensland’s main prison. Inside, visitors see how the prison worked, its cell blocks, its old furnishings, and on some occasions, the ghosts of its former inmates.

It was officially known as “Brisbane Jail” but was commonly known as “Boggo Road Jail” because Annerley Road became known as “Boggo Road” due to its poor condition, after originally being named “Bolgo Road”.

Boggo Road was originally an unofficial and unmaintained short-cut between Ipswich Road and Stanley Street that became very boggy after rain. The Boggo Road Gaol site was designated as a penitentiary reserve in 1880.

The first cellblock (The ‘No.1 Division’) opened on 2 July 1883, and over the years many other buildings came and went on the site. It was the scene of 42 hangings, including the hanging of Ernest Austin in 1913—the last execution in Queensland.

The first buildings were built by Robert Porter, contained 57 cells. It is heritage-listed. In 1898, the state government deemed that a new women’s prison was also necessary, and the construction of the new facility began in October 1901.

jail ghost tour brisbane

The female division, number two division, opened on October 3, 1903—the first women’s prison in Queensland. Number two division operated as a women’s prison until 1921, when the demands for more prison space forced the government to make all of Boggo Road’s facilities for men. Boggo Road was a place where many different criminals did time.

A new prison was built around the perimeter of No.1 prison during the 1960s and No.1 prison was demolished leaving area for an oval and recreational facilities for the newly built prison and this prison had running cold water and toilet facilities in all cells.

Under the oval was the facility that became known as the “black hole” where prisoners were subjected to “punishment”. The “black hole” continued in use until the late ’80s.

John Banks began working as a guard at Boggo Road in 1972. The prison closed in 1989, and most of Boggo Road’s buildings were demolished with the exception of division two. With the help of John Banks and two other former guards, the site became a museum in 1992.

More than 20,000 visitors a year pass through the iron gates to see what prison life was like. Boggo Road’s most well-known inmate is also one of its most notorious. The local lore says this notorious criminal is still around—that he made a deal with the devil.

On September 22, 1913, Ernest Austin had the distinction of being the last prisoner hung in all of Queensland before capital punishment was abolished throughout Australia in 1922.

Austin was sentenced to death for murdering an 11- year-old girl named Ivy Mitchell, who lived in the Samford section of northern Brisbane. Austin showed no remorse during his trial.

When Austin got to the gallows, the official report said he announced his remorse and then was hung without incident. But there’s another version—one that may explain why Austin might still be hanging around.

The historical record actually tells a very different version of events. Far from being proud of his crime, Austin had tried to hang himself in the police watch-house, and had appeared resigned during his trial and imprisonment.

jail ghost tour brisbane

His execution took place in front of several reporters and officials, and although there were some minor discrepancies in their reports on the event, they all told a very different story to the one above. His last words, no doubt under the influence of morphine, were reported in the Brisbane Courier as:

“I ask you all to forgive me. I ask the people of Samford to forgive me. I ask my mother to forgive me. May you all live long and die happy. God save the King! God save the King! God be with you all! Send a wire to my mother and tell her I died happy, won’t you. Yes tell her I died happy with no fear. Goodbye all! Goodbye all!” (Brisbane Courier, 23 September 1913).

A similar account appeared in the Truth newspaper, this one reporting that “God save the King” were his actual last words. Did they lie? It could be claimed that this version of events was just part of an official cover-up of the more-disturbing events on the gallows, as the authorities were trying to maintain public support for hanging and did not want the awful truth of what Austin had really said getting out.

However, the Courier and the Truth took opposing stands on capital punishment, so why write the same story? Surely it would have suited the anti-hanging propagandists at the Truth to print a story with Austin laughing at his executioners, showing the failure of the death sentence to impress any sense of repentance upon him.

The angle they instead took was to portray Austin as a ‘feeble-minded degenerate’, someone with a ‘mental deficiency’ who was raised in a home for neglected children and lived an institutionalized life that made a monster of him.

The headline proclaimed ‘THE STATE SLAYS ITS OWN CREATION’. Blame for the crime was to be shared with the state, his Frankensteinian creators. In later years, Austin was to be re-created again, this time as a supernatural demon.

It is interesting that Austin is now said to haunt No.2 Division. Like all the other prisoners executed at Boggo Road, Austin was actually hanged in the original No.1 Division, which was demolished to make way for a newer No.1 Division in the early 1970s. The newer No.1 Division prison was demolished in the 1990s.

Jack Sim, local Brisbane historian, has been running Brisbane Ghost Tours since 1998. “The papers at the time reported he [Austin] was sorry for what he did,” Sim said. “But old-timers here reckon he laughed and said:

‘She loved it’—referring to his victim—‘she enjoyed it’—referring to the terrible act he perpetrated upon her—and ‘I would do it again if I could.’ “As the executioner released the trapdoors beneath his feet, the murderer began to laugh, all the way to the very end of the 13-foot rope. Even then he tried to force out one last little chuckle from between his lips. It was said that the laughter was often heard in the early mornings in the cellblocks.”

Ghostly hands

According to Sim, some of the locals believed part of Austin’s agreement with the devil was to gather more souls. This could be part of the reason for many Austin sightings around the prison.

Sim said, “Ernest Austin was reported to torment the prisoners and guards for years after his death. The prison has what I would define as a haunted atmosphere. It definitely still has a feeling of human occupation, even though it’s been unused as a prison since 1992.”

One security feature of the prison was the peastone gravel placed all around the divisions. On quiet evenings it’s impossible to walk on the gravel without making a lot of crunching noise. Guards reported seeing darting shadows and other “ghosties” that their sleepy states seemed to induce.

There is a long history at Boggo Road of guards avoiding the night shift in all possible ways. “There were some ‘screws,’ who would not do the night shifts,” Sim said.

“When they were rostered onto night shifts, they would do anything to swap to a different night. Some of them appear on the rosters of the time, but they maintain that they actually didn’t show up; another officer took their place. One officer told me that a mate of his never once in 15 years as a guard here actually did night shift. On his record it says he did, as it does on his timesheets. But, a packet of tobacco slipped to the right person took care of the details.”

According to Sim, one documented ghost encounter occurred in 1970 when a prison officer saw what he referred to as a “big, white, shapeless mass” on top of the dividing wall of the exercise yard in the old number one division. This was in the early hours of the morning— the officer claimed the white mass slid off the wall and disappeared into the darkness.

Sim said, “The spot where he saw the ‘ghost’ was just behind A Wing, where the gallows used to be. The prison officer asked for a transfer to Townsville Jail. Who could blame him? I’d have transferred from here too if I could have.”

jail ghost tour brisbane

Although the exact number of prisoners who died at Boggo Road jail during its 106 years of operation is not exactly known, including account for executions, suicides, murders, disease, and natural causes, conservative estimates put the number of deaths in excess of 100.

Conditions were so bad at the prison that there were uprisings. From 1974 until 1985, prisoners insighted several riots. Clothing and furniture would be burned. The foam mattresses would be set ablaze until the foam melted into a boiling hot ooze of chemicals.

The rioting inmates would fill tins with the hot substance and throw it at the guards. Banks said, “It’s most probably as bad as what it would be in the front line of a war. It’s a hell of an experience. People yelling and smashing and making noises.” Watching out for the living inmates was not the only thing a Boggo Road guard had to encounter.

The first time Banks heard about the ghosts at Boggo Road Gaol was shortly after he started working there in the 1970s. “We had officers here you’d have to relieve at 2:00 in the morning because they just didn’t want to be here,” Banks said.

“They’d turn around and be white as a sheet and say, ‘I’ve seen a ghost.’ So you’d move him away from here and put him somewhere else. We’ve had officers here that have seen ghosts walk around. They’ll see a person walk by and they know quite well they’re the only one here.” The guard killed in 1966 has been spotted in the jail by guards and visitors alike.

Sim has spotted a specter on his ghost tours at Boggo Road. He said, “I’ve seen the ghost of a prison officer walking the grounds of number two division; there’s no doubt.” Some of the prisoners at Boggo Road Gaol appear to have an eternal life sentence.

The old buildings, cells, and furniture speak to passersby of a rigid lifestyle where some prisoners were forced into submission, others into madness and suicide, and some were lucky enough to get out and on with their lives.

Sources: The World’s Most Haunted Places by Jeff Belanger; boggoroadgaol.com.au; en.wikipedia.org/wiki/boggo_road_gaol

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Jake Carter

Jake Carter is a journalist and a most prolific writer who has been fascinated by science and unexplained since childhood.

He is not afraid to challenge the official narratives and expose the cover-ups and lies that keep us in the dark. He is always eager to share his findings and insights with the readers of anomalien.com, a website he created in 2013.

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