[ Interview continued…….]
Boggo Road Gaol
Boggo Road Gaol was Queensland’s most notorious prison. The sheer horror of this place was not only due to the harsh conditions and vile and hardened criminals housed within.The prison was the place of 42 executions from 1883 to 1913. It is a place full of history and full of ghosts.
Ghost stories abounded, told and experienced by those who worked and lived at Boggo Road Gaol. Jack Sim has collected many of these tales over the years to share with those who visit on a ghost tour.
“We spoke with and gathered stories from former prison officers and prisoners, plus looked at old newspapers and journals,” he said.
“We love to tell the stories of four of the legendary ghosts of Boggo Road Gaol – Casper, Tripod, Bernie and Ernie. Some of the stories are definitely creepy, especially when you hear them at night.”
Creative Disorder arrives at BRG
When Lily scheduled the Creative Disorder visit to Boggo Road Goal, it was fun and harmless at the start – a little fascinating and frankly i couldn’t wait ! UNTIL – the night of the tour. I can’t help but wonder if Lily or someone with a wicked sense of humour has strategically planned the weather ! Unseasonal storm and rainfall – dark, wet, and even the drive to the gaol with almost nil visibility set the mood for the evening. I am sure the historic site looks just lovely during the day – especially a dry sunny day, but tonight this was different.
Sam ( our tour guide ) met us at the front gates with all the other tour guest taking cover from the ceasing rain. We were ready with cameras ( all wrapped in plastic ). Issued with a torch each, we stepped inside the huge metal gates into the prison. To add great drama to the tour, all torches had to be switched off during the guides story telling. This adds so much value to the tour. You first have to listen with great intent, because there is very little you can see. The second, is the darkness effectively makes you tentative and aware of the surrounds that the night time creates. (con’t below)
Creative Disorder goes to Boggo Rd Gaol
The first site of the entrance to Boggo Road Gaol – through the windscreen of the car.
The historical entrance with the imposing front gates. The sign above shows the original womens prison – where the ‘WO’ has been covered when it became a mens prison later.
The tour is full of the horrors and hardships from the early convict settlements. The information is rich and ties in specific characters throughout the history of this place. With great depth of knowledge and a great penchant for storytelling, our tour director Sam, took us through the ‘back track’, into courtyards, the cell blocks and finally into the compound. Each place had a story of ghosts and recounts that were fascinating and added a human element with every tale. The story telling however ‘ghostly’, sometimes humorous, and sometimes chilling, all surrounded the very history and beginnings of this place. This is all valuable and informative history that belongs to this city. Whether you are fascinated with ghosts or understand the value of historical sites in the story of Brisbane, this tour is really for everyone.
There is no doubt that this place is haunted or carries the past within its fading walls. You may not come across a ghost on your visit, or you just might see the last hanged victim looking down into the courtyard from cell block D, however this all becomes secondary when you are there. You experience the history & the eeriness of the place, you understand how important and significant this heritage listed site is, and there is so much connection to the past when you are presented with it within the site walls.
Tempted as I am to spill the beans on the fantastic tales I heard, I realised that our readers are far better off buying a ticket and getting to this place. Stand in front of the huge gates and remember that you have seen and heard enough here to get your interest ! There would be no benefit from stealing away such a unique experience. Instead, we have managed to capture enough pics from the tour to give you a ‘creepy serving of intrigue’s what is yet to come.
The only well lit place in the gaol – the entrance and the toilets | the rest is by torch light !
Stepping back in time from the moment you enter the gates
The Sentry Box
Looking into one of the courtyards
This picture captures the experience of standing in darkness while a tale is told.
One of the staircases in a cell block leading to the second level.
When it was time to explore the cell blocks – you truly get an idea of being more alone in this space – just with your torch
The window where many a guest have described the same women standing looking down over the courtyard.
An eerie reminder of the conditions of the gaol.
This easel stands silently in the dark. It catches you off guard when you explore under torchlight. The historical image shows all the women facing the back wall for the photograph.
This is the main kitchen / bakery where the food was prepared for inmates
An amazing picture of the beds stacked against one wall in disrepair and disuse
The entrance to the many cell doors showing the hatch open.
Looking straight up the two levels of gangways linked the cells
A single light illuminates the stairs and level one. It is not for the feint-hearted to venture up these stairs alone.
Our crew painted a scary image as the cameraman walked through the upper level.
The matted barbed – wire of Yard 2
CD Cameraman slowly lurking for things in the dark !
Side wall of Yard 3
Shower and toilet block in Yard 3