A Strange Thing Happened At Toowong Cemetery

A couple of evenings ago I went to the Toowong Cemetery, the largest burial grounds here in this fine city of Brisbane, with the intention of taking a few photos and admiring the sunset from a unique location.  Rumoured to be haunted, the cemetery is situated on 200 acres by the side of Mt Coot-tha, and much of it is positioned on a slant overlooking the city skyline. I have wanted to take evening photos here ever since I first set foot in Brisbane in 2005, and it’s taken me five years to return and fulfil the dream.

I’ve copied below some of the better snaps that I took; you can click on them to make them bigger if you like.

Along the way, I will also share two slightly eerie occurrences that I experienced…

*cue high-pitched theramin noise* 😉






It was around about this time in the proceedings that the first strange thing occurred.

I had my camera in manual mode, and I’d set the aperture to f/7.1. I took a few photos and moved on a few metres down the path.

I went to take another photo but I realised before I pressed the shutter that the aperture had somehow changed itself to f/13. I didn’t think anything into it, and just reset it back to f/7.1.

I took another couple of photos at this setting and moved on again.

I found another spot not far down the path and went to take another photo, but once more, the aperture had changed to f/13.

There is NO WAY that the camera could have done this automatically while it was in manual mode, and it’s impossible for me to have changed it by accidentally knocking something, as it requires the press of a button and the flicking of a dial at the same time to alter the aperture setting…


I stood in thoughtful silence for a minute and made the connection between strange electronic things happening and me being in a cemetery. Perhaps someone or something was trying to alert me to the fact that I wasn’t alone?

It didn’t happen again.







By this time it was quite dark, around 7pm, and I decided to call it a night and go home. Before I did though, I found a monumental cross-shaped gravestone that I thought would look superb in a photo over the night-time sky, with one small lone star shining through in the background. I set my camera on the tripod and took four photos of this gravestone, occasionally altering the settings and experimenting with the flash in the hope that one of the images would turn out ok.

I noticed nothing at all out of the ordinary while I was taking these shots, and it wasn’t until the next day when I looked through them that I found something quite interesting in the fourth and final picture of the set.

The first three of the four photos are below:





As you can see, they all look much the same, except I didn’t use the flash in the second one. For the camera buffs out there, these were all taken at 7:06 pm, at f/8 with a shutter speed of 10 seconds.

For the fourth shot, I increased the shutter speed to 20 seconds to see if it would improve the quality of light.

At 7:07 pm, I took this photo:



What the hell is this??


Here are some things to consider:

I had full view of the gravestone and the heavens while the camera was in action and noticed no other light, flash or reflection appear in the sky. My first sight of this was when I got home and checked the photos.

There were no planes or other such flying objects in this part of the sky – and if there was, it would have left a 20 second streak across the photo from left to right.

When looking at the four photos consecutively you can see the star in the lower-left corner progressively moving downwards in the shot with the rotation of the earth. The strange light, however, appears to have more of a left-right motion, if “motion” is in fact the correct word.

Aside from resizing, I haven’t Photoshopped or touched up any of these four photos.

I’m not saying that it “is” or “isn’t” the presence of a ghost or spirit, but it certainly is an interesting thought…

You be the judge!

If you enjoyed reading this, then perhaps you’ll also enjoy reading about my other ghostly experience in Scotland in March 2009: The Haunted Wiccan Stone Circle (Auld Reekie Edinburgh Ghost Tour)


  1. That’s awesome Daniel!!!

    Great photos. And holy shit, you have one of those “lights” that always seem to mysteriously appear in haunted photos!!! That is a scary thought . . . but how very interesting . . .
    Have you thought of returning? Full moon next week isn’t it? 🙂

    Very good photos! I recently scored myself a 30 year old SLR camera for 40 bucks off ebay which is meant to be the top of its kind in its day. Excited it takes film too, will be interesting! 🙂

    1. Awesome Simone, I think that calls for some photos at West End cemetery with your SLR! It’s a pity you can’t experiment as much with the film ones, but that probably makes you a better photographer in the long run.

      It is pretty freaky though hey? I went in purely to take some snaps of the cemetery over the city skyline and came out with so much more…

  2. I am a spirit medium. you got yourself a nice orb. and it snt a dust one. its a spirit
    well done, and excellent photography. btw your camera was being played with

    1. Cheers Chris, thanks for your kind words, and it’s great to hear feedback about the orb from someone who’s in the know! Yeah, there’s no way the camera could have changed settings like that, without the help of otherworldly manipulation…

  3. Hey man and other posters awesome read and photos I’m still to visit toowong but if your keen I had a really fucked up experience at the back of the redland bay cemetery a few years back, it’s only a small should check it out we also had a few insane photos from there but sadly my camera was stolen. If you want more info just email me at c.waite89@hotmail.com

  4. Beautiful photos. I searched Toowong Cemetery as I have seen a lovely house for sale opposite but not sure what to think of being so close to a Cemetery – but you have shown me there is beauty in the eerie!

  5. Hey Dan
    Great photos btw! When you mentioned your camera actually a similar thing happened to me and my flatmates in toowong cemetery back in 1999. One of my mates was studying photography and she wanted some unique shots in the cemetery, mostly of the angel statue. The day was November 11and we could hear city hall’s clock chime 11am distantly. And yes it was Remembrance Day. Shortly after 11am, my flatmates camera jammed and she couldn’t fix it. We were puzzled by it but decided to callit a day and stop by a camera shop to fix it. We felt like idiots when the shop did a quick flip of the dial and it was fully fixed. We had tried that in the cemetery and it didn’t work at all. So I don’t think you’re imagining things, I think strange things happen in that place to a lot of people.

    1. Hi Amalee, that’s fascinating, thanks so much for sharing your story of the jammed camera, and on Remembrance Day too! It does makes me feel a little more certain that otherworldly entities may have been at play when it came to my own camera experience. Toowong Cemetery is definitely an interesting place; I’ve been meaning to go back to another cemetery one day to take more photos and see if it leads to any other interesting results…

  6. I’ve herd they do ghost tours there and also herd there’s a hill there nick named spook hill apparently if you park your car halfway up and let it roll back it actually gets pulled up the hill apparently a child died in a crash and its them pulling you to safety

  7. i did the same thing in goodna cemetery lastnight and found something similar to what you have. there were no lights around and couldn’t of been caused by anything else

  8. I was in Toowong Cemetery about a week ago, and got a video of strange lights dancing in front of me. I could have reached out and touched them. I couldn’t see them with the naked eye but could see them through the IPhone I was videoing on. The strange light in your photo looks like a still of the lights I have videoed.

  9. cant wait for more. i want to get into photography but i dont know where some good places are and about the f13 thing maybe a ghost wanted you to take some pic with that f13 maybe.

  10. I went to the cemetery last night alone and experienced a feeling of tension and dread randomly as i was walking down spook hill (twelfth avenue) for my second time. I mocked the giant angel that was on the side of the road and i heard a loud hissing to the right of me at the bottom of the path which i ignored. As i walked further, another hiss came at me but much closer to my left like it had teleported to the other side of the road. I yelled and sprinted out of there like no tomorrow!

  11. I have had camera issues at toowong cemetery. trouble starting a brand new vehicle. The new vehicle is automatic and when trying to change out of park mode it wouldn’t change and I could not leave the cemetery car park for another 20 minutes or so, then everything went back to working fine. also many photo anomalies and beams of sunshine in the shape of angels.

  12. I’ve seen a large white orb about the same hieght as me. It floated there and i stood there while i sent a message to it. It was very calm but very curious about me and it stayed until i left it alone.
    When i got home something was in my room watching me sleep.

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