This article will be covering the Boggo Road Gaol ghosts. Also known as Brisbane Prison, this location is said to be haunted by both former prisoners and a warden/guard…
The Early Years of Boggo Road Gaol
The Boggo Road Gaol opened it’s doors to inmates in 1883, after the original Brisbane Prison was finally closed down and demolished. The recycled materials from this first prison were then used to build the newer location.
The new prison was constructed on Bogga Road, Dutton Park, Queensland, Australia. The road got it’s rather strange title from the nickname of ‘Bolgo’ – which came from the fact that the road often turned into a messy bog after a heavy downpour.
In 1903, prison authorities decided to convert a section of the location so that it could be used as a female prison, as well as male. The conversion was a huge success, and the prison ended up replacing the surrounding women‘s prisons and lockups.
Unfortunately the women of the area seemed to be quite well behaved – and the female section of the prison never really got more than half full.
The male side of the prison was completely overcrowded – so in 1921 the women inmates were moved out, and the male population of prisoners were spread throughout the whole location.
A Dark Place
From the period of 1883 to 1913, 42 inmates were executed at the prison, and then buried in unmarked graves in South Brisbane Cemetery. A lady named Ellen Thompson (nee Lynch) was the only female among the 42.
She was arrested with John Harrison in 1887 and accused of the murder of her second husband, William Thompson. She was found guilty and hung at the Goal.
Unfortunately the executioner had a bit of a bad day, and ended up misjudging the length of the rope. It ended up cutting straight into Thompson’s jugular leaving her to bleed a painful death.
Many witnesses claim that her blood splashed out and covered her black dress, and the stones below the gallows.
The prison became headline news in the 1980’s when it was taken over by riots and rooftop protests. This prison unrest was down to the terrible conditions at the Goal.
The authorities looked into the location and decided that the conditions were indeed too poor for the inmates – Boggo Road Gaol closed its doors in 1992.
The Boggo Road Gaol Ghosts
The prison location is now said to be haunted by the ‘pet’ of the establishment in the 1970’s – a cat named ‘Tripod’.
Numerous visitors to the site have witnessed the strange three-legged black and white cat rub up against them, then casually disappear into the darkness as it walks away.
It is also known to house the ghost of Ernest Austin. Austin was a terrible man who was convicted of the rape and murder of eleven year old Ivy Mitchell. When he stood on the executioner’s block, he informed the public that he would be back to haunt the building forever more.
His ghost is often spotted in the Division 2 area of the prison.
Many of the locals also believe that the spirit of warder Officer Bernard Ralph walks the dark halls. He was an unfortunate prison employee that ended up being killed at the Goal…by a metal bar wielding prisoner.
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