Ghosts Haunt Queensland Parliament House!

Plenty of political careers have died there – but Queensland Parliament House holds more than one skeleton in her closet.

She regularly betrays her 147 years in daily creaks and groans, moaning when the wind blows too hard, crying out in storms.

She’s charming and temperamental, this part of parliament that Joh didn’t build, an architectural diva, whose quirks are on full display with nary an apology.

But there are tales of noises her occupants don’t believe she made. Sudden chills. Heavy silences.


Tales given weight by the reality of those who passed within her walls. George Pollock, for one.

The 48-year-old Labor MP shot himself in his rooms in 1939 and was discovered when the “manageress of the parliamentary refreshment rooms”, a Miss Ellen Virena Curnow, entered the Speaker’s office to enquire what he wanted for lunch, his daughter, 28-year-old Ursula, at her heels wondering why “daddy’s” door was locked.

Just two days before, Ursula Irene Margaret, “a single woman…a teacher of dramatic art”, had cradled her father’s head in her lap.

“Darling,” he said to her, “won’t you pray that I won’t have to endure this pain any longer? There is something pressing on my brain.”

The Premier was hastened to the scene, then the police. They found the same tableau Miss Curnow had stumbled upon – Mr Pollock lying on the ground in the farthest corner of the room, legs stretched out, head against a bookcase. The double barrel gun he used for pigeon shooting rested on his legs, two discharged cartridges littered the floor, a hole scarring the ceiling.

“A complete nervous and mental breakdown,” he had scrawled in explanation, unable to break the habit of writing the date and time – 24th March, 1pm – in the right hand corner on even this, his final missive.

“Cannot carry on. Too much pain. George Pollock.”

And then, another thought. His family. He had only just taken tea with Ursula, and told her he was feeling better after seven years of ill health, starting with “gangrenous diverticulitis peritonitis”, which doctors today would tell you were rotting pouches in the colon leading to the infection of the abdomen, but sufferers of any era would know as agony.

Mr Pollock’s doctor, Milton Geaney, described it as a fistula “from the large bowel to the anterior abdominal wall”. He had an operation at the Mater private hospital in 1931 to no avail. Shortly before his death he begged Dr Geaney for another operation to try and stop the pain. Dr Geaney could do no more.

Suffering from “nervous depression”, Dr Geaney saw his patient in January, two months before his death, as an “inmate” of the Mater Private. He prescribed a trip to Sydney. He returned, unable to sleep – the pain, the pain – pressure in his head, torture in his belly.

“He said he could not go on much longer,” the doctor recounted.

“He was very depressed. I prescribed a sedative, a mixture of luminal and bromide.

“He suggested he would like to finish it all. He said he felt he could not go on much longer.”

And he didn’t. At 2pm on March 24, 1939, the physician was summoned to Parliament House. He examined Mr Pollock. He found “life extinct”.

But his rooms, used by all the Speakers who followed, hold his memory. His photo, sepia in the way the iPhone generation filters fun, graces an upstairs wall.

A “tragic end to a notable career”, a daddy, a father, a brother, a husband, a patient without hope, a man whose death haunts the building’s history books, George Pollock left his mark.

And the spectre of his story still reminds his successors, who walk where he walked and sit where he sat, of the very real human stories behind the political bluster.


About Andrew

Co-founder & lead investigator of Paranormal Encounters. I've experienced the paranormal all my life, having encountered ghosts, angels and demons. I live in a haunted house and when not exploring and researching the unknown, I enjoy single malt Scotch whisky & potato chips (though not necessarily at the same time).