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


  1. I love the history that has been captured here! I had no idea we had such amazing history in our own country. Thanks so much for sharing this! Those graves on the hill are pretty incredible!!! Creeps me out a little bit tho!

  2. That Mayne story has now been proven incorrect, 4 men were having a game of cards and Patrick was one of them. One excitable chap accused another of cheating and threw a brass ashtray at the accused. It had sharp edges and hit the man in the head and killed him. If they had called the police it might have been a manslaughter charge. Instead in panic the other 3 committed the crime of interfering with a corpse and disposed of the body. An innocent man was found guilty and hung at Darlinghurst in Sydney . A little time after another gentleman facing the death penalty confessed to killing Mr. Cox as he was the one who threw the ashtray. He was also hung. No Pompey was involved. Patrick Mayne did not generate much money but his widow (a very clever businesswoman) turned a minor amount of money into substantial wealth. There is no record in the cemetery records of any exhumation concerning "lily" that fits the description and the car rolling story is actually Boundary Rd between Portions 18 and 8. The road does actually physically have a dip in it but visually it appears to be uphill. Nothing ghostly at all.