Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Toowong Cemetery

304 Birdwood Terrace, Toowong

Right in the heart of Toowong lies 108 acres of gravestones and above ground crypts that are centuries old.  
The cemetery was officially opened in 1875 and the first person to be buried there was Sir Samuel Blackhall who was an Irish solider who served as the second governor for Queensland between 1868 and died in office in 1871, in his honor the government erected a huge almost cathedral style memorial for him on the highest point of the cemetery that has intricate stone work and marble pillars, it even has its own light.

We were in Toowong Cemetery for around 3 hours and hadn't even touched on most parts, it was sad to see all the vandalism that had taken place, with broken tombstones and natural deterioration.  It made me think when I was walking by graves and touching the freezing cold sandstone, when last was it touched and why hadn't the loved ones family been to conserve their heritage.
 Like most cemeteries there were different sections for different religious denominations, but in death, bought together as one even in their different beliefs in religion.  It was a peaceful place but one section in particular was very overwhelming, walking through the bottom section of the cemetery we came across this huge marble above ground tomb, on the marble it had a cast iron tea set on a table and chairs, it was a man and his only daughter that had tragically been killed in a car accident at the same time. It was really beautiful and a very touching experience.

 Another part of the cemetery was dedicated to the war veterans, the beautiful white marble headstones glistened in the sun. So many young lives too.
 The most interesting part of this cemetery is that it is built on valleys, nearly sheer descents on some hills and there seems to be no signs of the graves sliding, there are huge trees throughout and some roots are causing damage but not many.
So....there is over 120,000 people who have been left to rest at Toowong cemetery and being a place of death comes with its ghost stories, so I will give you a couple and you can make up your minds

 ~The Mayne Family crypt~

It is said that in the 1840's Patrick Mayne was a local slaughter (butcher) man, while having a drink at a pub one night he heard a man boasting about having a great amount of money on him, the next day Robert Cox was found butchered to death with a finger left in the gutter, his body disemboweled in the street and his head found nearby at a local hotel. Another man was convicted and hung for the crime while always protesting his innocence.  On his death bed Mr Mayne admitted to his sins one of them being for the crime of Mr Robert Cox.  At the bottom of the Mayne family crypt are air vents, which allow liquids and gases from decomposition to escape the vault. At various times, thick red liquid is seen oozing from the vent and down into the gutter on 12th Ave.

~12 Avenue Vampire, Lilly~

There's also the story of a Lady named Lilly, which was really interesting. Early last century, a lady was to be exhumed after being dead and buried for 20 years to find her cause of death.  When the grave diggers started to dig her up they noticed that the soil was loose not compacted down like it should have been after twenty years.   They dug and dug to find her coffin 12 feet down and the lid loose with the nails pushed out from the inside, the head grave digger being curious opened the lid, on opening the lid they expected to find a decomposed body, instead they found a woman of European decent just as beautiful as the day she died.  As they were looking at her he touched her face, her head rolled to the side and smiled, exposing her double row of sharp pointed teeth and thick red fluid spilt from her mouth.  Like anyone would have done the men slammed the coffin closed and filled the grave in again. There have been sightings of a lady walking down 13th Ave even in the afternoon that wears very dark clothes and appears to have pointed teeth when she smiles at you, I think if that happen to us Cam would be on his own because I’d be outta there!!!
not scared of ghosts but vampires are a different story :)

 ~Magnetic Hill~

The infamous hill on 9th ave that you park your car on and let it roll, apparently the car starts rolling backwards up the hill, I haven’t tested it out but we are planning to go and check out the cemetery at night soon to see if we can meet any of the resident legends!

The list is long of stories of spooks and ghouls at Toowong, it is really an incredible place to visit, you should check it out if you get the chance! 



Photography by Cameron Nunn & Erin Hodgkinson

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Wolston Park Asylum.

Wolston Park Mental Health Asylum

Today we visited one of the largest, oldest, longest running mental asylum in Australia, Wolston Park.
First I'll fill you in on a bit of the history about this beautifully built building.
It opened in 1865 and was named Woogaroo Lunatic Asylum then changed in 1880 and was renamed Goodna Mental health hospital and then finally named Wolsten park in 1959 , it is said that over 50,000 people passed through the hospital, some with very disturbed stays.  When it was first opened it was for females and then in the 1950's a male wing was opened.

It has been around a year since I last visited and in that time there has been so much further deterioration, it was really sad to see.

Today we saw parts that we hadn't seen before that were accessible, one room that makes me feel really sad and almost deeply depressed is the apparent room the patients were first taken into on admittance to the asylum, it had a door from the river side that they would be taken into and apparently stripped off and their heads shaved.

I'm not sure if these are true stories but someone once said that the patients would be bought to the asylum by boat and be snuck up to the asylums side entrance so no one would see them.  Unfortunately Wolston Park asylum holds a dark and very cruel history, the treatment of the people in the asylum was torturous, the electric shock treatments, hot/cold baths, the beatings and other cruel drug experiments was real for so many people. Wolston park was home to them and the people who never got out died within the walls of it.

 Nothing paranormal or out of the ordinary happened when I was there this time, but I have been there at midnight and conducted evp's and even felt someone touch my head.  We also heard little foot steps running above us, which there would have been a perfect explanation...if there was floorboards still at the time.

 Anyway, We have taken Alot of photos to show you the current deterioration, we tried to cover most of the parts we could still access to capture as much history as possible because unfortunately the way its heading it probably wont be around for much longer.  It is really annoying that morons are still going there to trash it even more,

if only the walls could talk I think they'd have pretty interesting stories to tell us!

The change room in the downstairs toilet

The Front left of Wolston Today

One of the pipes outside the furness room

The furness room

One of the underground "dungeons"

outside view from the above photo

Standing in the room where the patients were first bought in

The doorway to the room with the fire damage

Entrance from the river side

Inside Wolston, the room to the right from the river entrance

I couldnt help but think how many times the key to this turned and the locked the door

One of the fire places still remains intact

Looking through to some of the patients rooms

Small patient rooms, more like cells to the right

Every door way had a door that locked, the doors where made of solid wood and at least 5cm thick

Once was filled with beds (hanging chandeliers)

Looking down on the first photo of the "dungeon",

The existing bath is the 2nd door to the right

Snakes skin hanging from the rafters

Another hallway of rooms/ staircase to the right

This room was what once seemed to be a kitchen

Kitchen servery door

lonely window from one of the staircases

The deterioration of the wall of one of  the staircases


How many hands have held that rail in fear
View from around the Corner of the last photo

Not sure what room this was used for, seem to be a fire there at one stage

Outside wooden staircase

The stairwell to the wooden stairs

The back view of Wolson

Nestled away on the Brisbane river - right

Downstairs back toilet block, the remnants of a tree trunk that was growing through, only been removed within a year or so

Toilet stalls

Inside the toilets looking out
These are underneath Wolston and lead into other little doorways and barred rooms

When you go through a small gate to get underneath Wolston you have access to the bathroom upstairs, second door on the left when you look up
This is the other side of the toilet blocks where the tree trunk was removed

A horrible reminder of the treatment of patients at Wolston

This room was the creepiest for us, I suppose the way the room was set out doesn't help with the lonely bath in the middle of the room

The row of porcelain sinks in the bathroom

The back right view
The front of Wolston as it stands today
Back left angle
Outside stairs leading up

No images have been Photoshopped.
Photography by Cameron Nunn & Erin Hodgkinson