Everyone loves a good ghost story. And there are usually plenty involving the local graveyard. Ipswich Cemeteries, which operates five cemeteries in the Ipswich region, definitely has a few spooky secrets from the grave and beyond. Libraries and Tourism Committee chairman Cr David Pahlke was recently alerted to one in his division …. a very eerie image from Warrill Park Lawn Cemetery and Crematorium, off the Cunningham Highway, at Willowbank.
A photograph was taken by cemetery staff for Ipswich City Council to record flooding in the area in March last year. Council officers zoomed in on the photo to see what aberrations – or apparitions – were just opposite the Warrill Park gate. A shaft of light on the right was certainly out of the ordinary on this particular grey day. But something within the lit area attracted officers’ attention. “There is an image of a little boy sitting down with his head in his hands to the right side of the colour washed image in the light area. We see him on his left side as he is sitting,” an officer reported. “There are many images kind of superimposed on each other and every time you look at it you can see something different. Quite extraordinary really. Not everyone can see the images and others see them but don’t want to see them.” On closer inspection and magnified much further, there appears to be another child a few metres away to the left of the shaft of light, kneeling on the edge of the grass and looking back towards the water. And playing just behind him are several dogs.
Between the crop of four trees in the middle of the photograph, there is the ghostly image of an older man standing … some say with a small flock of sheep in front of him. The number 10 is clearly visible to the left of those trees. There is another child or young person in the shaft of light between the two trees to left (just below to passing truck up on the highway). Ipswich Cemeteries ground supervisor Rick Nice said he could see a boy fishing with his dogs nearby. “It is very strange. It definitely leaves a bit to the imagination,” he said.
“But a lot of weird things happen around here. It goes with the territory. I’ve seen a couple of things that seemed a bit odd. I try not to think about them too much.”
Mr Nice said he had seen flower pots which had been removed from a grave line mysteriously reappear days later. On one occasion, a mobile car port placed in the cemetery for an outdoor chapel service was turned sideways the next day. “There was no obvious explanation. Sometimes these sort of things happen in a cemetery. You don’t think about it at the time, but then start to question it a bit later,” he said. Asked what he initially saw in the photograph, Cr Pahlke said “grazing sheep”. “Whether you are a believer or disbeliever, ghostly urban myths abound in our old buildings and various cemeteries,” Cr Pahlke said. “I have personally had many dealings with “ghost hunters” and ordinary people who have a varying range of physic powers and abilities. I believe them. “There are many unexplained happenings that cannot be simply explained by rational logic.” Ipswich First photographic guru Jodie Richter said she had taken thousands of pics in her career and every now and then something unexplainable appeared in an image. “The light, the angle, they can play funny little tricks,” she said. Ms Richter said the shaft of light and reflection in the above photo provided a bit of mystery.