Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Down Under

Here are a few tales from south of the Equator:

Brisbane City Hall claims three ghosts. One is that of a workman who died in the building in the 1930s, while installing the elevator. He now rides the elevator, maybe eternally. Another is a woman in period clothing; she is seen on or near the main staircase.

The third ghost is probably the most disturbing. He was an American sailor who entered into a deadly fight with another sailor, over a local woman. The Red Cross Tea Room is his "home"; occasionally, people can hear sounds of an argument, a knife being unsheathed, and then the horrible noise as the sailor is murdered.

The historic Newstead House, built in 1846, stands on the banks of the Brisbane River. Strange sounds, such as doors opening and closing, and footsteps, are heard. It is believed that of a woman, likely a maid who once worked in the house, is the primary presence. She has a habit of moving items to different locations in the house.

Parliament House also has three ghosts. One died by suicide (shooting) in the Speakers Room; another died in Parliament House in 1879. The third goes through his daily routine, as he did in life.

Now closed, Boggo Road Gaol is haunted by Ernest Austin, who was hanged here for murder in 1913. There was only one official report of the sightings after his execution, by a guard who stated that he saw a strange form one night. Not surprisingly, the ghost of Ernest Austin was usually seen around the area where the gallows once stood.

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