Thursday, January 28, 2010

More about lady in white dress

Image: Historical picture of the old courthouse that is now a restaurant and function centre. See

THE "lady in the white dress" is set for a starring role as author Jack Sim painstakingly researches for a new book.
The lady is known as "Elizabeth" – and Sim says she gave him one of his closest encounters with a ghost during his two decades of researching the supernatural.
Elizabeth featured in Classie Corner this year in a report about a 'freshening up' at The Old Courthouse Restaurant, Cleveland.
Restaurant properietor Mary Gibb told how a district landowner and publican, Francis Bigges, built the courthouse in 1853.

WHEN Mary and husband Ross bought the restaurant about 10 years ago, they were told it had a resident ghost, Elizabeth, Bigges’ wife.
"One day I was on the phone to a friend and she floated past me," Mary said. "She had short dark hair and a long white dress; she floated across and through the wall after she seemed to give a nod of approval."
Sim believes he also saw Elizabeth some years ago when he conducted a "ghost tour". He was with a guest who was taking a picture inside the restaurant when "we both saw a shimmer of light and movement near the door to the verandah".
"When we looked again we both think we saw the image of a piece of cloth vaguely in the shape of a person," he says. "It moved about two feet and then vanished."
Sim says he has found reports of the courthouse ghost in newspapers dating from the 1960s and indicating that sightings were made at least as 50 years before that.

ELIZABETH is among the 13 Redland ghosts that the author, who specialises in true crime and ghost stories, is documenting. He will talk about them on "an evening with Jack Sim" at Victoria Point Libraryon Thursday, December 17, from 6 to 7.
Over the past four years, Sim, who is is the publisher of the Murder Trails, Ghost Trails and the Boggo Road Gaol series, has completed 10 titles, including Haunted Brisbane: Ghosts of the River City and The Ghosts of Toowong Cemetery: Brisbane's Necropolis. The work in progress is titled Haunted Redlands.

SOME consider losing all your computerised records in a disk failure as an unpardonable error. I am weary of hearing, "Why didn't you back it up, silly." But the real pain comes from the loss of contact details of people who have contributed this column during its four years in the Redlands. Could those who have shared their lives in these dozens of columns please email me so I can reinstate your addresses in my now empty book? Tell me how you are going and what you are doing now and I'll be happy to share it with others in the marvellous community of classified advertising. Email:

Thanks for joining me in the community of classified advertising. This column has appeared in The Redland Times, Queensland, Australia.

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