Larundel Mental Asylum
A once popular spot for paranormal investigators, Larundel Mental Asylum in Bundoora is now the site of luxury apartments; however, rumours of loud banging walls, odd smells and the ghostly tunes of a music box belonging to a little girl who died on the third floor captured imaginations for years. Larundel served as a military base and emergency housing before officially becoming an asylum in 1953. At its peak, Larundel was home to 700 patients, before closing its doors in 1999. For years the site sat abandoned and reports began pouring in of supernatural occurrences. Although transformed, some say the little girl never moved out.
Old Geelong Gaol
Opened in 1853, the Old Geelong gaol was built by convicts and operated as a high-security prison with cramped cells and ghastly conditions that intimated even the most hardened prisoners. Two known executions occurred at the gaol, while many other prisoners died from illness, murder and suicide. Past inmates reported hearing female cries at night in the east wing, which operated as an Industrial School for Girls between 1865 and 1871. Tour guides, paranormal investigators and mediums have reported swirling mists, EMF disturbances and orbs, with much of the activity taking place in the old infirmary, cell 45, the gallows and the external shower block.
Flinders Street Station
Commuters have reported seeing a man on Platform 10 holding fishing gear, seeming somewhat disoriented as he gazes out at the Yarra River before disappearing. Dubbed George, many believe he has been around since the days of Melbourne’s settlement, while others believe he is the spirit of George Mansfield, later identified as Ernest Leahy who was pulled from the river on the 21st of October, 1902, after a boating accident.
The Beechworth Asylum is considered one of the most haunted buildings in Australia and the ghost tours are the most popular on the mainland, second only to Port Arthur in Tasmania. Built in 1867, the Asylum is the second oldest in Victoria, operating for 128 years. During that time over 3,000 patients died at the site. Among the spirits dwelling on the grounds is an apparition of a Jewish woman who was thrown from a window following a dispute over cigarettes, the spirit of patient Tommy Kennedy has been felt poking ribs and pulling clothes in the Bijou Theatre, grounds-keeper Arthur roams the yard in his beloved green jacket, and in the cold light of morning a patient whose decomposed body was discovered up a tree stands at the gates. A male doctor wanders the corridors at night, the ghostly figure of compassionate staff member Marion Sharpe has been reported in multiple locations – most notably in The Grevillia wing where even patients feared to go – and hazy children have been heard desperately trying to communicate with visitors.
Young & Jackson
In the 1800s a string of reports surfaced from men who had noticed an attractive street walker outside of Young & Jackson Hotel under a street light. The closer they approached, the more she seemed to age, until they noticed that her decaying skin was peeling from her face. It was then that the woman would reveal the deep gash across her neck before unleashing a furious screech and disappearing into the night. Likely to be a murdered prostitute, sightings of her ceased in the past century.
Built in 1871, the Kew Asylum was one of the largest in Australia and, although plagued by overcrowding issues and poor sanitation, the asylum remained open until 1988. Nowadays, the site has been redeveloped as residential property, but there are rumours that some patients never left. Eerie sounds have been reported in the upper levels, ghouls have been seen lurking in corridors and residents have even been awoken to find ghosts hovering at the foot of their beds.
On the 3rd of March, 1888, The Princess Theatre staged Gounod’s opera, Faust. Italian-born British baritone Frederick Federici was engrossed in the role of demon Mephistopheles and, as he sang his final note while descending through the trapdoor, in significance of Mephistopheles descent into hell, he suffered a heart attack and died suddenly. His body was whisked away to the green room where a doctor pronounced his death while the cast was taking to the stage for their bows. When told of his death, the cast responded by saying Federici had been onstage with them during their final bows. Since then the friendly phantom of the opera has been spotted wandering though the theatre hallways always dressed in formal attire and, on opening night, staff leave a third row dress circle seat for him – it’s even said that an appearance from Federici on opening night is a good omen. The café next door is named in his honor.
Aradale Mental Hospital
Located in Ararat, the Aradale Mental Hospital was the largest institution of its kind in Australia, comprising of 63 buildings across more than one hundred acres. Founded in 1865, tens of thousands of patients came through the complex and, with approximately 13,000 deaths, many failed to leave. Known for performing controversial psychiatric treatments, visitors often experience unexplained pains in the surgical wing. Nurse Kelly roams the women’s wing, surveying tour groups, and patients like Old Margaret still haunt the facility. Chilling breezes drift from the office and frantic banging has been reported in the men’s isolation wing.
Fortuna Villa is a mansion in Bendigo that was built by Theodore Ballerstadt in 1855, who established the first quartz-crushing gold mine in the states north. In 1871 the property was sold to ‘Australia’s quartz king,’ George Lansell who supposedly lingers at the villa. But he is not the only one. A teenage girl in the form of a spectre has appeared to visitors asking them to leave, military personnel stationed at the mapping survey centre in WWII reported hearing footsteps at night and finding locked doors fling open, and a female soldier was so frightened by the repeated visits of a boy in a sailor suit that she requested to be transferred. The request was denied.