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.
If you have any thoughts or opinions on the subject we have covered here today, please leave them in the comment section below.
Dominating the skyline of the small town of Moundsville like a great baronial castle, this massive and imposing prison must have filled those who entered it with dread.
Now corroded and crumbling it has lain empty for the past twenty years, the prisoners shipped out to other penitentiaries or released back into the community.
For those who now expect the empty halls and corridors to echo with the sound of silence, there is disappointment. Far from a peaceful ruin, this prison with its gory and disturbing history is now home to the Moundsville Penitentiary ghosts and they are not going to go quietly.
A Brief History
The little town of Moundsville is an intriguing place, named after the burial mounds found all over the town, it is clearly a place of spiritual importance. Built by the Edina tribe over 2000 years ago on mystical ley lines.
Fast forward to the nineteenth century and this small town in West Virginia was chosen to house either a new university or prison.
Bizarrely the townsfolk chose to build the penitentiary and placed it firmly in the bosom of their community, directly opposite one of the most prominent burial mounds in the town.
Opened in 1866, the Moundsville Penitentiary was destined to become one of the most notorious prisons in U.S. history.
For the next 130 years what followed was abhorrent to most people. Overcrowded and housing some of the most dangerous criminals in the country, Moundsville was often a horrific place for its inmates.
With a regime of torture and cruelty imposed by the management and a dog eat dog attitude amongst the prisoners themselves, life was hard.
Over 998 recorded homicides took place during its history. Add to this number the executions and those who died a natural death and it is small wonder that rumours of hauntings surround the prison.
By the 1990’s things had reached boiling point. Overcrowding, riots and an expose in a national publication, forced the closure of the penitentiary. The remaining prisoners were moved out leaving behind the once great building to slowly fall apart.
There is a belief among prison inmates that if you die in prison, your soul remains in prison. Those that visit the Moundsville Penitentiary can certainly testify to its eerie atmosphere and almost palpable ghostly presence.
Over the years as the evidence of paranormal experiences piles up a number of ghostly hotspots have been identified…
The Wagon Gate: The oldest part of the prison and the place where hangings took place as a form of execution until the electric chair took over. The trap door can still be seen in the ceiling of the building.
Rumor has it that the local townspeople would stand below when there was a hanging. As if it wasn’t a cruel enough punishment, at least two of the hangings went dramatically wrong.
The first, the hanging of Frank Hyer, put an end to public executions. Frank was a heavy man and somehow his weight was miscalculated. As he dropped through the trap door he was decapitated by the noose around his neck.
The hanging of Avril Paul Adkins also went drastically wrong when he fell from the rope and landed on the floor below. The unsympathetic prison staff merely picked up Adkins and re hung him.
One of the most interesting facts about this area is that it was cleaned by the female prisoners after an execution. One of these female prisoners is known to be the mother of Charles Manson.
Visitors to this area claim to have heard sobbing, felt themselves touched or seen strange mists and orbs. The rotating gate that admitted inmates to the prison is also said to turn on its own without anybody operating its mechanism.
The Boiler Room: The boiler room is one of the most haunted parts of the prison. Said to be haunted by a prisoner called R.D. Wall also known as the maintenance man, visitors to the hole have seen strange faces appear on the walls and a green mist swirling about the room.
Wall was rumored to be a snitch within the prison. He was given the job of caring for the boilers for his own protection as it kept him separate from the rest of the prisoners.
Unfortunately a group of inmates bribed some prison officers to gain access to Wall. Left alone with their victim they hacked him to death with knives they had manufactured themselves.
The Sugar Shack:The Sugar Shack is a recreation area within the prison. It is not known whether any homicides took place here but it is certainly a place where violent assaults and rapes occurred.
The area was used during times of bad weather and was left largely unsupervised by the prison staff. People who visit this area claim it is impossible to walk through without bumping into things. When the lights are turned on, the room is always empty.
The Infirmary: Prisoners near death were said to be shipped out to hospital to avoid dying in prison. Most prisoners in the penitentiary believed the myth that if you died in prison your soul remained there forever.
Obviously, there were times that prisoners couldn’t be moved quickly enough. Their souls are now thought to haunt his area. Witnesses claim to have heard crying and moaning in this area.
The Infirmary also has a psychiatric ward where lobotomies were performed on prisoners. As well as screaming the clear sound of a gunshot can sometimes be heard.
The North Hall: The North Hall or the Alamo as it was known, housed the maximum security prisoners. At least three ghosts are said to haunt this area.
The first Red Snyder, murdered and cut up his father before hiding him under the bed. While in prison the dangerous criminal became the leader of the Aryan Brotherhood.
Leaving his cell one day he was stabbed by a fellow inmate Rusty Lassiter. People who have visited his cell have felt a finger brush the back of their neck. Two former employees of the prison also swear that they have heard his voice when visiting the prison.
One lady claims that she heard his voice say “Good morning Mags” while the other says that when she informed the empty cell that Rusty Lassiter had been released from prison, she heard the clear reply “I know”.
The second ghost thought to haunt the area is Danny Lehman. A highly talented artist, Lehman’s work can be seen around the prison. A member of a motorcycle gang he was stabbed through the eye in a revenge attack.
Another ghost who frequents the North Hall is Harry Powers. Powers was the inspiration for the film and book Night of the Hunter. Executed in the fifties, his is the only unmarked grave in the prison cemetery, the reason is unknown.
The Hole: A tiny space leading to the Sugar Shack, prisoners who were locked in here often went mad. Screaming and crying has been heard emanating from this area.
The Shadow Man: The shadow man is perhaps the creepiest of all the Moundsville ghosts. Caught on camera and video he is clearly a powerfully built male figure.
Lacking substance or features but recognisable as a man he has been seen in different areas of the prison. Those who have caught a glimpse of him have first felt eyes boring into the back of their head before turning quickly to catch a glimpse.
Ancient burial grounds, ley lines, murder and suffering. It seems that everything came together to create a perfect storm when Moundsville built its first and last prison.
Some have even suggested that an Indian curse lies on the land. What is for sure is that over a thousand deaths occurred in this unhappy place.
Many of the inmates imprisoned believed that if they died in prison their souls would remain forever, it seems they’re right. Whatever the truth of the matter there is certainly something very sinister and unexplained happening.
For those that tour the now empty prison the answer is clear, the souls of many who lived and died in this awful place are still incarcerated. Murderers and rapists in life, in death they are the Moundsville Penitentiary ghosts.
Alcatraz, nicknamed the “Rock”, was the only place tough enough to contain the country’s most hardened, most notorious criminals.
Since its inception as a federal prison in 1934 until its closure in 1963, more than 1,000 hard-core criminals, convicts, thieves, deserters, rapists, repeated escapees from the Army, escape artists and other malcontents of society had called the foggy, damp, misty prison home.
It was a place of total punishment and minimum privilege with grim living conditions. Survivors left the prison at the cost of their sanity… and some believe their souls.
Could this be the most reasonable explanation behind the Alcatraz ghosts saga?
A military fort was erected on Alcatraz island, off San Francisco, and in 1859, Alcatraz saw its first detainees, a contingent of court-martialed, military convicts.
In 1886, the natural isolation created by the surrounding waters saw Alcatraz receive Confederate prisoners.
Until the end of the Civil War, the number of prisoners here ranged between 15 and 50, a population that rose steadily thanks to the Spanish-American war.
They comprised of soldiers, Confederate privateers, and southern sympathizers. Confinement was in the dark basement of the guardhouse that boasted dismal living conditions.
The men slept side-by-side, head to toe, lying on the stone floor of the basement with no running water, no heat and no latrines.
Overcrowding facilitated rampant spread of infestation and disease. Punishment meant being fed on water and bread and being bound by heavy, lengthy chains joined to iron balls.
Anyone can argue that its status as a minimum-privilege punishment facility shouldn’t have offered less, but the prisoners were still humans with human rights.
Many believe that ghosts often return to the places where they suffered traumatic experiences at one point in their lives to haunt them, thus, much of the paranormal activity on Alcatraz happens around areas connected with the facility’s worst tragedies.
Alcatraz was the home of Death. Prisoners died mercilessly at the hands of guards or their fellow inmates. The first reported deaths were those of Jacob Unger and Daniel Pewter in 1857 under a landslide while excavating between the guard-house and the wharf.
There were deadly showdowns between fellow prisoners, guard beatings, and failed escapes off the island. Unexplained chilling occurrences in the isolation block, aka The Hole have been reported.
Located on the bottom floor of the prison, in Cell Block D, is where they kept inmates who broke the more serious of rules at Alcatraz.
They would be stripped naked and held in a cold cell with only a sink, toilet, and a small light in it. Mattresses were only for the night and they were promptly removed in the morning to guarantee constant discomfort and punishment.
Guards reported sightings of an 1800’s-esque figure in the building. The apparition was on several occasions seen and prisoners claimed attack by a glowing-eyed man.
Since The Hole was an isolation chamber , most guards thought the on-going screams claiming attack were mental trips.
On one particular evening, one inmate screamed throughout the night that he was being attacked by the man with glowing eyes but the guards ignored him.
The door to his cell was opened in the morning and the inmate was found dead, a ghastly scowl marred his face and hand prints were visible around his throat. A later exam showed that these were not self-inflicted marks.
This victim became an Alcatraz ghost himself as he was reportedly , though dead, spotted in a line-up with other inmates but instantly disappeared leaving everyone speechless.
Sources say many guards who served between the 1946 and 1963 time period were witness to odd events on Alcatraz. This could be ghosts seeking retribution by instilling fear in the most hardened guards.
From the grounds of the prison to the caves under the buildings, people talked of strange wailing and groaning, unexplainable slamming sounds, cell doors mysteriously closing, unearthly screams, intense feelings of being watched, inexplicable smells, icy spots and spectral apparitions.
Even island residents claimed to see the ghostly-looking prisoners and soldiers on numerous occasions. Upon hearing phantom gunshots, even the most hardened prison guards cringed with fear, thinking that those were the sounds of illegally-obtained weapons belonging to prisoners.
Stories of smoke without fire have also been reported from the laundry room.
Naysayers can quickly trash the numerous ghost-story accounts, but any tourist of the now defunct Alcatraz prison will tell you for free that the Alcatraz ghosts are real and have a reason to seek revenge.