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November 16, 2020 5 min

Enjoy our Haunted Historical Brisbane podcasts starting today!

Historical Facts

Built in 1828 with Convict labour, under the orders of Captain Patrick Logan (Commandant of Moreton Bay) the Old Windmill on Wickham Terrace in Spring Hill is the oldest surviving Australian windmill structure and is reputedly, the oldest example in
Queensland of European construction (Queensland Heritage Register 2020). Following its initial usage as a meal and flour mill, it ceased grinding maize and wheat in 1845 and later became a weather observatory, signal station, a fire tower, the Queensland
Museum, a radio experiment site, a pioneer television broadcasting tower, and in 1841 the temporary home of the Brisbane Gallows.

Haunting Folklore

The Old Windmill is Queensland's oldest haunted location (Sim 2017), and it is said to have three distinct types of hauntings manifesting within its structure and grounds.

Ghostly Green Glowing Beacon

The first type of haunting being an eerie green light or beacon that encases the Old Windmill at night, the stonework and structure literally glowing an emerald green (Sim 2017, p. 2).

The Hanging Convict Ghost

The second type of haunting, an apparition of a hanging man. He is a Convict wearing a white hood, both of his arms are bound close to his back, his body swinging like a pendulum in the centre of the structure from side to side, visible though a single window externally. Situated directly in front of the Old Windmill is the Tower Mill Hotel, Kathy O'Brien, a former receptionist at the hotel has recounted numerous guest sightings of the hanging man through the front-facing hotel room windows.

The Screaming Ghost

The final type of haunting being an odd encounter in the 1960's between a couple staying at the Tower Mill Hotel and a screaming apparition that was missing their lower torso. This didn't seem to impair the ghost however, as the couple stated that it chased them through Wickham Park to their parked car.

Joe Nickell (2016) a famous skeptic and hoax debunker investigated the various sightings at the Old Windmill, in particular the likelihood that a hanging had ever occurred within its stone walls. Historically, the Old Windmill had the gallows attached externally to the structure and no hangings from his research had uncovered any internal gallows setup. In respect to the green glowing light, Nickell investigated its probability by recreating a single light in the front-most window of the Old Windmill; his experiments resulted in a number of ways this could be achieved due to other lighting effects nearby the structure. Nickell (2016, p. 13) did not however disprove or recreate the entire structure glowing green; and failed to mention this in his article inside The Skeptical Inquirer archive.

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