Melbourne is known as Australia’s sporting, culture, and coffee capital. But it’s also home to some very scary sights, including several abandoned mental asylums and the Old Melbourne Gaol. Keep reading to discover just where you will find Melbourne’s most haunted places.
In the 19th century, the Old Melbourne Gaol dominated the Melbourne skyline as a “symbol of authority.” It was operational from 1842 to 1929, and 133 hangings took place at the gaol within this period. The most infamous Old Melbourne Gaol inmate was Australian bushranger, Ned Kelly. There are several different night tours operating at the building, including A Night in the Watch House and Ghosts? What Ghosts!, which is for people who want to learn more about the gaol’s real ghost stories. Finally, there’s the Hangman’s Night Tour, which is hosted by a real hangman.
Altona Homestead was once the Langhorne family residence, but is now home to the Altona Laverton Historical Society. Visitors can walk through the property, which is filled with furnishings and homewares from the 1840s to the 1900s. The homestead is also known for its Devonshire Tea. This might seem normal, but Altona Homestead also hosts monthly ghost tours. Sarah Langhorne died at the homestead in 1871, and people have claimed to see her ghost. Altona Homestead has attracted international attention from paranormal investigators.
Altona Homestead, 128 Altona Street, Altona, VIC, Australia +61 447 840 895
Melbourne’s Princess Theatre hosts the biggest musicals and theatrical performances annually. But it also has a resident ghost: actor Frederick Federici. In March 1888, while performing in the theatre’s production of Faust, Federici suffered a heart attack while descending into a trapdoor. Some of Australia’s most famous performers, including Bert Newtown, Lisa McCune and Marina Prior, have all reported seeing a spirit at Princess Theatre. However, Frederici is known as a friendly resident ghost (like Casper) and the theatre has a tradition of saving him a seat on every opening night.
Outside Young & Jackson
In the late 19th century, it’s reported that several prostitutes were murdered near Young & Jackson, which is one of Melbourne’s oldest pubs. Unfortunately, their deaths were rarely noticed by authorities at the time. Since then, men have reported seeing a ghost hanging outside the pub, which people believe belongs to one of these prostitutes. One report says that although she appears as a beautiful woman, when you look closer you can see her throat has been slit.
Larundel Mental Asylum
Larundel was operational as a mental hospital from 1953 to 1999 in Bundoora. It could house up to 750 patients at one time. When it closed, the Larundel buildings became derelict. Although there is no general public access, vandals, squatters and ghost hunters still enter the site at their own risk. People have reported hearing loud banging, crying, and children laughing. The site is currently being transformed into a housing development.
Hosier Lane is known for its street art, and thousands of residents and visitors walk down the alley daily. However, after dark the area is said to be haunted by one main ghost. Local ghost tour experts believe the spirit belongs to Frederick Bailey Deeming, a Jack the Ripper suspect. Men have reported feeling cold hands around their neck while walking down Hosier Lane at night.
Willsmere (Kew) Mental Asylum
Firstly known as Kew Lunatic Asylum, and later changed to Willsmere, this was one of Australia’s largest asylums. It was operational for over one hundred years – from 1871 to 1988, when the state government repurchased the buildings and the surrounding grounds. The asylum was then transformed into residential properties, but a stipulation was that the development had to preserve the original facade. Imagine the spirits haunting those corridors.