Aradale Lunatic Asylum Is One of the Most Haunted Places in Australia

posted: 02/23/17
by: Sasha Brown-Worsham

By Unknown - State Library of Victoria, Public Domain, Link

The 'largest abandoned mental institution in Australia,' is the Ararat Lunatic Asylum, also known as the Aradale Mental Hospital. Though it is currently home to the Aradale Ghost Tours, it was once the place where the most criminally and terrifyingly insane people in Australia were housed.

The building was finished in 1867 and it was designed to look like the Colney Hatch Mental Hospital in Friern Barnet, London. The idea was to empty the jails of those considered 'lunatic' 'retarded' and 'insane.'

Over the time the building was used for its original purpose, roughly 13,000 people died there. It stood for 130 years, which means that 1,000 people died a year. That leaves a lot of ghosts.

The complex was huge with 63 buildings and a staff of 500. Reports of hauntings talk about nurses in white uniforms, crying, moaning and footsteps.

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In the J Ward, three prisoners were hanged while it was being used as a jail. They were buried upright and their spirits are said to be forever locked inside the complex. The inmates marked the graves. The Friends of J Ward have since placed plaques above these burial sites.

Other tales of ghosts are plentiful. Nurse Kerry is said to haunt the women's wing and watches the ghost tour groups from one room in particular. Others report unexplained pains and sense of being touched by people in the old men's wing surgery.

There are mysterious cold winds and banging sounds from the walls, even though no one else is in the building. And then there is Old Margaret. She is the best known ghost and was one of many patients who was kicked out in the late 1990's when Aradale officially closed. She is said to haunt the halls because it's the only home she ever knew.

Ararat Lunatic Asylum - Aradale Psychiatric Hospital.jpg
By Eldraque77 - Link

Ghost tours are offered, some at night with the lights out--with flashlights and all the scares one person can handle. Would you dare? It seems like an opportunity to really see some ghosts and to travel back in time when the criminally insane were locked up for life in dark places. It was tragic and will forever haunt our present.

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[via: Quirky Travel]