Cascade Gardens: The Shadowless Ghost of Ned Harper

Cascade Gardens: The Shadowless Ghost of Ned Harper

Cascade Gardens

Cascade Gardens is a perfectly manicured waterfront park that holds a dark secret. The park exists in Surfers paradise, one of the most visited areas of Queensland, Australia. Cascade Gardens is well-known for its war memorials, as a habitat for bats and for containing the grave of a well-respected man, whom some believe now haunts the area.

River at haunted park in Queensland, Australia.
The serene river that frames the haunted Cascade Gardens in Queensland.

The Ghost of Ned Harper

Ned Harper lived from 1828 to 1896. During his life, he became respected within the local community for the work he did to establish a wharf that serviced the Nerang River. He was also influential for living and working alongside Indigenous Australians of the area he is now buried within the Cascade Gardens.

Grave of Ned Harper inside the Cascade Gardens.
The grave of Ned Harper by night.

His grave is marked by a large stone and plaque atop a hill looking over this picturesque park. Many people believe that the spirit of Ned Harper has remained within the park since his death and interment. This belief came about after many visitors to the area had witnessed an elderly man working out in the afternoon sun. This wouldn’t normally be a suspect sight in a beautiful public park, except for the fact that this man didn’t cast a shadow, donned 19th-century clothing and seemed to always disappear into thin air.

Haunted grave inside an Australian park.
A lonely grave sitting atop a hill inside an unsuspecting public park.

It remains unclear as to whether this is an intelligent haunting or a residual one. Could Ned still be continuing his evening routine, in a place he so obviously felt a strong connection to in his life?

Trees at Cascade Gardens, Queensland.
The thick vegetation that lines the haunted Cascade Gardens park.

Visiting the Haunted Cascade Gardens

The Cascade Gardens is open daily, though gates restrict vehicles during the evening. Ned’s grave can be located on the top of a steep grassy hill in the center of the park. It is denoted by a large stone and a plaque honoring his memory.

Queensland haunted park.
The haunted Cascade Gardens park.

If you enjoyed this article and want to learn more about other haunted places in Queensland, I highly recommend the Ernest Junction Tunnel.

Thanks for reading!


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Comments (2)

  • Jeremy

    Posted by Jeremy on November 30, 2020

    Thank you for this. This is one that I’ve been quite interested in for a long time. I was told that Ned Harper was murdered (I’m not certain if it was by the Anglo Celtic settlers or Aboriginal community) during a conflict between the two groups.


      Posted by Amy on December 6, 2020

      Thanks for reading Jeremy. Yes, it is an interesting story – a nice plact to visit, too.

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