Ghosts of Toowong Cemetery

IMG_6987While my studies year about cemeteries from a contemporary social perspective, I should not completely neglect the thing that almost everyone is thinking when they first hear my project: the scary stuff. Tonight I took a tour of Toowong cemetery led by Brisbane Ghost Tours, where I learned all about the haunted history of the place. It was raining really hard, but I have to admit that I wasn’t spooked simply because I have visited too many cemeteries this year. What makes something scary is that is is unfamiliar and unknown- after ten months of cemetery visits I would say that I know these spaces pretty well. However, it was very cool visiting a cemetery in the dark. I don’t often get to do that for safety reasons, I think that it actually revealed a new form a of beauty for me. The history embedded in the ghosts stories was also interesting because I recognized that most of it was accurate after spending time in the cemetery during the daylight.

The best part of the evening was that the tour randomly happened to be all women. I guess the men were too scared to join. This was partially due to the fact that a pack of young high school “girl guides” had signed up as their Friday night activity. It was dark and everyone was covered in rain jackets with hoods because it was pouring, so the girls kept mistaking me for one of the crew. They would all turn and make comments/ ask me questions without realizing that I wasn’t their friend from school! Then I was taking a picture of one of the stones, and the leader yelled at me telling me to put my phone away because the girls had a no phones policy that evening! That actually was scarier than any ghost and made me feel like I was 14 and sent to the principal’s office- aka my worst fear- let’s be real.

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Also this week I have had the pleasure of living right next to the Toowong cemetery. It was so convenient to just cross the street and suddenly be at my research site! But now after this ghost tour, I think it is good I am leaving for Japan tomorrow. I don’t think any Brisbane ghosts I saw tonight can catch me there…

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