Charters Towers – Mr Brown and Mr Haygarth

114 years ago, in the North Queensland town of Charters Towers, a terrible tragedy, born out of gold fever shattered the hard working community.

At a board of directors meeting of the Charters Towers Pyrite Company. Mr Brown demanded to see the minutes of a previous meeting at which his weekly salary had been cut. The Chairman Mr Graham Haygarth refused, and within minutes was killed by Brown.

While the story of this murder still haunts The Towers, few people know the back story which led to the incident which has become known as “the tragedy on Mosman Street”.

The crime was the culmination Brown’s decade long obsession with his own greatness. Brown convinced shareholders of the company to plough their profits from the operation into his new gold mining process – which required expensive infrastructure and capitol. It was a folly which ultimately led to his undoing and the death of Graham Haygarth.

Listen in to ABC Brisbane tonight at 8pm with David Curnow and Jack Sim to discover the backgrounds of those involved in the death and their motivations.

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Charters Towers Ghost Tour

Visit the scene of the crime and the actual table at which Haygarth was murdered on the Charters Towers Ghost Tour.

Meet at the Charters Towers Visitor Information Centre, to undertake this Ghost Tour with a local historian. Walk the streets of the ghostly gold rush town of Charters Towers, hear real ghost stories from local Towers people and visit real haunted sites including – the Royal Hotel, the Mining Museum and the World Theatre.

This 90 minute walking tour is suitable for all ages, but parental guidance is recommended.


Charters Towers

Charters Towers is haunted by the ghosts of gold – this North Queensland town was built on this metal, blood, sweat and toil.

A fortuitous bolt of lightning founded the Towers nearly 150 years ago. The discovery of gold led to a boom that saw Charters Towers become one of the largest town’s in Queensland. Boasting its own stock exchange, theatre and courthouse, locals nicknamed it “the World”. Only an 1 ½ hours drive south-west of Townsville, Charters Towers seems frozen in time with its quaint old shops, grand buildings and architecture.

Gold can make people do the most terrible things. The pursuit of wealth brought out the best and the worst of in those who came to seek their fortune.  Many paid a high price for their greed. Their ghosts still linger in the old buildings of this timeless town – hear their sad and tragic stories on our new Charters Towers Ghost Tour.This 90 minute walking tour is suitable for all ages, but parental guidance is recommended.

Meet at the Charters Towers Visitor Information Centre, to undertake this Ghost Tour with a local history tour guide. Walk the streets of the ghostly gold rush town of Charters Towers, hear real ghost stories from local Towers people and visit real haunted sites including – the Royal Hotel, the Mining Museum and the World Theatre.
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Toowong Cemetery Ghost Tour #2


Sprawled over Forty-four hectares on the outskirts of Toowong sits a vast and isolated cemetery. For many years, much of Toowong Cemetery was overgrown and certainly not a place for the faint hearted, especially at night. Ghostly sightings, mysterious creatures and experiences abounded and earned it a reputation of being one of Brisbane’s most haunted locations.

This beautiful haunted site is the largest cemetery in Queensland and now has two separate tour routes to take in its ghosts and tales of the dead. Toowong Cemetery The Other Side explores the darker side of this old burial site.  On the Toowong Cemetery Ghost Tour #2, venture through the quiet streets and pathways to hear the fascinating history and visit graves that will send a chill down your spine.

Undertake this two hour ghost tour on Saturday nights, starting at 7.30pm

Adult $30
Adult Concession $25
Teen $20




If you have undertaken a Ghost Tour in Brisbane or Ipswich with us, did you know that you are helping to preserve South East Queensland’s haunted heritage and history?

A portion of every ticket price goes toward the Ghost Tours Heritage Fund, which, each year contributes the much needed funding for grave restoration and renovations in our cemeteries around Brisbane and Ipswich. The Ghost Tours Heritage Fund works closely with the Friends of Toowong Cemetery to restore graves such as Canon Garland (the man who started ANZAC day) and recently, to upgrade the Toowong Cemetery Museum.


10608542_786803834694274_1658823755716803609_oWhether getting up at the crack of dawn for the service, or remembering in silence those who fought and lost their lives in war – Anzac Day has become a huge part of our lives. But not many people think about how ANZAC Day came about or that the originator and architect of Anzac Day ceremonies and rituals – Canon David John Garland is buried in Toowong Cemetery.

Chaplain Lieutenant-Colonel David John Garland campaigned in Queensland for legislation so Anzac Day could be a public holiday for solemn commemoration which was achieved in 1921. He developed special burial services for those laid to rest at cemeteries and raised funds for memorials to honour those who served, including management of the soldiers’ graves at Toowong Cemetery. He initiated the Anzac Day march, the returned soldiers’ luncheon, the two minutes silence, the wreath-laying ceremonies at memorials and the special church services. He also began a trust to use funds raised from selling Anzac Day badges and ribbons for the care of soldiers’ graves at home and overseas. The ceremonies ad badge were taken up in other States in Australia, in New Zealand and Great Britain. Garland inaugurated an ANZAC Day service at the cemetery in 1920.

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of Garland’s death, the Friends of Toowong Cemetery facilitated the restoration of his grave as it will be the focus of visitation over the next four years during the commemoration of the centenary of World War One. Canon Garland’s grave was restored by Queensland Heritage Masonry funded by the Toowong Cemetery Heritage Fund established by Jack Sim.


189496_193340977364203_2865061_nTucked away between the Cemetery Office and other buildings is the Cemetery museum. This building is undergoing some much needed renovations, including new flooring and exhibits with the contributions made from the Heritage Fund. Sue from the friends of Toowong Cemetery is very excited about the museum improvements and has been overseeing it’s progress.
“Plans are to improve safety for visitors by putting down secure carpet tiled flooring so to prevent heals slipping through the cracks also to remove the old carpet mat (circa 1980s) that’s in poor condition and creates a real tripping hazard. With the remainder of the funding we are seeking to replace the existing exhibition with three monthly new exhibitions (so four per year) and to replace the worn out images from the existing display so they can be erected again at some point. As well perhaps with funding in the future some new display boards and cabinets and an interactive visual ( slideshow or powerpoint or something) display.”

You can visit Toowong Cemetery on a Toowong Cemetery Ghost Tour, running every Friday and Saturday night. CLICK HERE to see available dates and book your tickets.



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Special Event – Wednesday 28 January 2015

Join us Wednesday 28 January 2015 at 3pm outside the prison gates to commemorate 75 years since Halliday made his first daring breakout.

Seven and a half decades ago, on 28 January 1940, a housebreaker from New South Wales, 30 years-old Arthur Halliday – nicknamed “Slim” on account of his tall, thin frame – made his first successful escape from Boggo Road Gaol’s
Number 2 Division – this section of wall became known as “Halliday’s Leap”. He would again escape in 1946 – taking two other dangerous men with him including Victor Travis, a would-be gun-man and Derwent Arkinstall, a convicted killer of an elderly Brisbane taxi-driver. Halliday was one of the few who ever escaped Boggo Road Gaol twice. Released in 1951, the following year he returned to Boggo Road Gaol – this time for the murder of Gold Coast. taxi-driver Athol McCowan.

Regarded as the most dangerous man in any prison in the British Commonwealth, Halliday was the Brendan Abbott of his time. Although Halliday never succeeded in actually escaping Boggo Road again, it wasn’t for the want of trying. Throughout the 1950s he continued to make headlines – his most audacious saw him make a replica Colt handgun out of soap! Halliday was kept under the strictest of supervision, isolated from other inmates, becoming a living legend within the walls. His uniquely-modified cell, No9, D Wing cellblock, Number 2 Division had three slide-bolts to keep him secured.
He was easily the prison’s most infamous inmate earning the title of the “Houdini of Boggo Road,” after Harry Houdini, the world famous escape artist. After 23 years of incarceration, Halliday was eventually paroled and released as a free man.

Until his death, Slim maintained he was not responsible for the murder for which he served a life sentence -  claiming he was framed by former Police Commissioner Frank Bischof – today widely regarded as corrupt.”SLIM HALLIDAY: The Taxi-Driver Killer” by Ken Blanch found vital evidence that would have benefitted Halliday’s defence was deliberately held back by police at the time. ESCAPES Volume 1 by Gaol Director Jack Sim details Halliday’s two escapes and other gaol-breakers of Boggo Road.

Heritage-listed Number Two Division is today the only remaining section of “The Road”. Since December 2012 Boggo Road Gaol Pty Ltd has been conducting  historical tours, events, re-enactments & experiences at this historic site.

Gaol Open 6 Days
HISTORY tour (11am)  & new ESCAPES tour (1pm)

Welcome To A ‘Spooktacular’ Year

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Welcome to our first blog of 2015, and our 17th year running ghost & crime tours. It’s hard to believe they have been in operation so long. Thank you for all your support in the past and we hope to make this year our best with an amazing line up of band new experiences at some of the most historic places in Australia.

January welcomes the expert team of Haunting: Australia – including world renowned Lead Investigator Robb Demarest – to the creepy cells of Boggo Road Gaol. Haunting: Australia are investigating the numerous accounts of paranormal activity found at Boggo Road. Join the investigations at various places across the country –

In February, we will be introducing a new tour to the mix. Toowong Cemetery Part 2 – Taking in the other half of Toowong Cemetery. Hear some chilling tales of the past, and of some of the Cemetery’s inhabitants! This will be a perfect tour if you have done our current Toowong Cemetery Tour (Part 1), so you can see the other side of the Cemetery, and get spooked again!

In April join us on the new Charters Towers Ghost Tour. “The Ghosts of Gold” can be found throughout the town – hear stories of its haunted heritage told by local historians – including Death by Strychnine, The Mosman Street Tragedy and The Hairy Man.

In July, we begin ghost tours of Ravenswood – Australia’s most haunted ghost town. We will be running a special weekend taking in historic Charters Towers and Ravenswood. Make sure you have joined our Facebook page to secure a place for a weekend of historical hauntings.

Boggo Road Gaol will close its gates for tours and events this year. The former prison is to be included in a major redevelopment project. We are assured we will be able to continue tours once construction work has ended – but this may be as long as a year. If you have been longing to get locked up with the spirits in Boggo this is the year to do it.

Australia’s most haunted Island is our most amazing experience for 2015. Norfolk Island is one of the world’s most notorious prison islands. Ghost Tours Australia will offer a special ghost tour limited to 20 people – including a Paranormal Investigation, Ghost Tour, Dinner, Accommodation and Return Flights.

Halloween this year will be huge! As well as Norfolk Island we have other amazing tours. Join us on Facebook.

November is the 50th Anniversary of the Victoria Park Ghost. Huge crowds were present half a century ago when an old pedestrian tunnel became the scene for Australia’s most sensational ghost sighting. Will the ghost appear again? Details to be revealed; stay posted.

How unlucky can you be? There are 3 Friday the 13ths this year! Always popular (they often sell out), if you have been meaning to do one of our tours, why not get your friends together to learn from others misfortunes and bad luck.

To keep updated with the latest chilling information join us on our Facebook page.

I look forward to seeing you all get creeped through-out the year

Jack Sim

Ghost Tours Australia


Welcome to Brisbane Ghost Tours

aboutghosttourspicBrisbane Ghost Tours is the latest site to be launched by historian Jack Sim to compliment his real ghost tours based around the Brisbane area.

Buried deep within an unsuspecting Brisbane suburbia, stands the beating heart of Ghost Tours Pty Ltd – a simple tin shed. Within this shed you will find no secret caves, futuristic technology or even running water; what you will find is less than a handful of devoted souls with an insatiable appetite for history & hauntings.

It is inside this construct that all of your emails, all of your phone calls and all of your enquiries are found and answered. Early in the mourning, within the bowels of the Brisbane Ghost Tours office, you will find no more than 4 people hard at work, to ensure that your next night out is a creepy one.