News

Ambos fear ghost of old chief

Ghostbuster Jack Sim outside the old Ipswich Ambulance Station that is believed to be haunted.
Ghostbuster Jack Sim outside the old Ipswich Ambulance Station that is believed to be haunted. David Nielsen

THE GHOST of WC Tomkins used to haunt the old Ipswich ambulance station in North Ipswich.

But it remains to be seen whether the former superintendent will haunt the station at its new premises in Garden St.

Renowned haunted historian Jack Sim interviewed several long-term Ipswich ambulance officers for his book called Haunted Ipswich and they confirmed the presence of the ghost.

Mr Sim lives up to his reputation. When the QT asked him to spell his surname he said: "Sim. That's S-I... and M as in morbid."

So who is this ghost?

"Mr Tomkins was an old superintendent who dropped dead in 1934 in his upstairs residence inside the building. He founded the Ipswich City Ambulance Transport Brigade in 1901 and he lived on site," Mr Sim said.

"Ipswich ambos told me about a ghost that rattled blinds and moved from floor to floor. He is not a bad ghost but he still gives people the creeps.

"A few of them spoke of seeing the ghost and others of feeling like they were being watched and followed. These are ambos who attend some horrible accident scenes, but some of them said they wouldn't go upstairs at night. But this ghost has never hurt anyone and I don't think he would. He founded the ambulance in Ipswich and he is a nice bloke.

"Everyone I spoke to that works there said they just feel like it is Mr Tomkins following people around and keeping an eye on things."

One Ipswich ambulance officer spoke to the QT about the ghost.

"Several ambulance officers say they saw him and were frightened by him although I personally never saw him," he said.

"The building used to be three storeys and you'd have to climb up these old stairs. But I know they used to go up there at night and feel his presence.

"He used to get seen in the hallway down near some old meeting rooms that had some old furniture from back in the 1900s.

"His photo was on the wall nearby and that is where he was often seen. He never did any harm but some officers felt uncomfortable in his presence."

Mr Tomkins' ghost has not been sighted at the new ambulance station, but that may change.

"His photo has been brought to the new station but we are waiting for the museum to be built so we can put it up," the officer said.

"So he hasn't been seen at our new station, but he might when his photo goes up."

The officer said the ghost of Mr Tomkins was not known to take ambulances for a ride at night, although he added it "would be good if he did" .

"We could do with an extra officer on the road to help us on a busy Friday and Saturday night," he joked.

"I'm not sure how the patients would react if he turned up to assist us - especially when the stretcher wheeled itself into the hospital."

Mr Sim, who grew up in Ipswich, said that traditionally ghosts occupy places they worked at or lived in during life.

He runs a ghost tour on Saturday nights to Ipswich Cemetery and takes private tours on the haunted sites that exist in the city. The tour stops outside the old ambulance building where he relates the story of Mr Tomkins.

"I believe in ghosts. My business is all about haunted history and heritage," he said.

"This history is as important as traditional history.

"Ipswich has some really great ghost stories."

Topics:  ambulance, emergency services, ghost, ipswich, supernatural


Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Man arrested over bomb scare to stay in custody

Drama unfolds on Weyba Downs Street as bomb squad is called in.

Magistrate says accused has "snowflake's chance" of getting bail

Is Clive Palmer really in his Sunshine Coast electorate?

Clive Palmer was seen during Anzac Day commemorations at Nambour in 2015.

If you can believe what you read on Twitter Clive could be in town

Pt Arkwright resident wakes to screaming tyres, sirens

Paramedics were able to safely remove the driver from the vehicle.

Paramedics were able to safely remove the driver from the vehicle

Latest deals and offers

Missing man's body found in bushland at Coolum

THE body of a man who police believe to be Adrian Korst has been found in bushland near Lions Park at Coolum.

Man arrested over bomb scare to stay in custody

Drama unfolds on Weyba Downs Street as bomb squad is called in.

Magistrate says accused has "snowflake's chance" of getting bail

Is Clive Palmer really in his Sunshine Coast electorate?

Clive Palmer was seen during Anzac Day commemorations at Nambour in 2015.

If you can believe what you read on Twitter Clive could be in town

Pt Arkwright resident wakes to screaming tyres, sirens

Paramedics were able to safely remove the driver from the vehicle.

Paramedics were able to safely remove the driver from the vehicle

In sickness and health: cancer groom granted wedding wish

WEDDING BELLS: Andy Rahman, who has terminal cancer, married Emma Taplin at Sunshine Castle after My Wedding Wish granted his bucket list wish to get married

Life is no fairytale for Andy Rahman but one wish came true

Drunk driver caught in Yandina almost 4 times the limit

Man blows 0.193 at random breath test at 10.30 in the morning

RACQ releases SE Qld's worst choke points

Paul Turner, RACQ

Paul Turner from RACQ talks about our worst roads at peak time.

British family bashed in Thailand

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Ben Hunt wary of Sharks Halfback

Ben Hunt of the Broncos looks to pass during the round 23 NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Suncorp Stadium.

Ben Hunt talks about Cronulla's Chad Townsend.

Demand for acreage lots pushes up property prices

Property values in Cooroy have increased 25%

Property values jump in Cooroy and Peachester.

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog

RBA warns of future apartment oversupply

Toowoomba: Crest Apartments and Burke & Wills, Ruthven Street ( view from Neil Street) Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

RBA says oversupply of apartments poses risk to household finances