Photo: KnowInsiders
Photo: KnowInsiders

From lunatic asylums to convict prisons, check out the 10 most haunted and ghost places in Australia!

Sun, sea, sand and spectacular wildlife. The Land Down Under doesn’t seem overly scary on the surface but, dig a little, and you’ll discover it’s actually home to some deeply disturbing (and thoroughly fascinating) landmarks. Here we round up some of the most haunted places in Australia to get you in the mood for Halloween. After all, who doesn’t love a good ghost story…

The List Of Top 10 Haunted and Ghost Spots in Australia

1. Port Arthur, Tasmania

2. Monte Cristo Homestead, New South Wales

3. Beechworth Asylum, Victoria

4. Waterfall Sanatorium, New South Wales

5. Old Melbourne Gaol, Victoria

6. Glenside's 'Z Ward' for the Criminally Insane, South Australia

7. North Head Quarantine Station, New South Wales

8. National Film and Sound Archive, Canberra, ACT

9. Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle WA

10. St John's Orphanage, Goulburn New South Wales

***

What Are The Haunted and Ghost Places in Australia?

1. Port Arthur, Tasmania

Top 10 Haunter Places in Australia
Photo: Hobart and Beyond

EMF readers at the ready, because exploring Tasmania’s 19th-century penal colony is one of Australia’s must-do experiences for wannabe ghost hunters. This UNESCO-listed prison is packed with ghostly tales about its inmates. Indeed, there have been over 2,000 reported incidents of unexplained activity in recent years, including regular sightings of on-site pastor Reverend George. Walking tours by lantern light are common here, as well as paranormal investigations and ghost tours.

2. Monte Cristo Homestead, New South Wales

Photo: The Lineup
Photo: The Lineup

Built by its original owners in 1885, it’s thought that the Victorian Monte Cristo Homestead is Australia’s most haunted house. Tales of eerie hallways, grisly deaths and suicides, and strange shapes and visions are the reason it’s been used on several ghost-hunting reality shows Down Under. And, if you fancy a real scare, you can even arrange an overnight stay here… if you dare. Dinner, ghost tours, B&B from just AU$195pp.

3. Beechworth Asylum, Victoria

Photo: The Lineup
Photo: The Lineup

Formerly known as the Mayday Hills Asylum, the now derelict Beechworth Hospital was open between 1867 and 1995. In that time 3,000 patients died here, with many subjected to straight-jackets, shackles and electroshock therapy. Some visitors even claim to have seen one of the nurses who oversaw these gruesome treatments, describing a cool chill cascading through the room… Thrillseekers can book ghost tours of the dilapidated asylum or even chance an overnight stay. For a more genteel experience, you can also visit for a historic tour during the day.

4. Waterfall Sanatorium, New South Wales

Photo: Lost Collective
Photo: Lost Collective

Just one hour south of Sydney, Waterfall Sanatorium was built to treat patients with advanced and chronic stages of tuberculosis between 1909 and 1958. Thousands were sent, often against their will, and not released until they were cured - if they were so fortunate.

More than 2,000 patients - from newborns to the elderly - were buried at the on-site Garrawarra Cemetery. The hospital treated patients with advanced and chronic stages of tuberculosis.

While ghost sightings are rare, the nature of a place where thousands were sent to die is haunting in itself. The old hospital buildings are boarded up but the scattered cemetery draws the interest of urban explorers. The site is no longer accessible by foot, and permission is required from the NSW Ministry for Health to visit.

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5. Old Melbourne Gaol, Victoria

Photo: Old Melbourne Gaol
Photo: Old Melbourne Gaol

Built in the mid-1800s, Old Melbourne Gaol once housed Australia’s most notorious criminals.

Notably, the infamous Australian bushranger Ned Kelly was imprisoned and executed at the jail in 1880.

More than 130 inmates were hanged at Old Melbourne Gaol.

The gallows, where more than 130 inmates spent their final moments, are the scene of weekly ghost and hangman tours held in search of their spirits.

From the remaining cold concrete cells to the display of inmate death masks, what remains of the city’s oldest jail is a stark reminder of 19th-century prison conditions.

6. Glenside's 'Z Ward' for the Criminally Insane, South Australia

Photo: Z Ward
Photo: Z Ward

Glenside's 'Z Ward' was responsible for locking away South Australia's criminally insane for nearly 100 years, from 1888 to 1973, and housed more than 1500 patients - predominantly male.

Called 'L Ward' until 1932, the asylum's name was changed to 'Z Ward' when the phonetic link to "Hell Ward" was discovered. There were more than 80 known deaths - patients and staff alike - during the asylum's operation.

Patting, touching, strange sensations and sightings of specters can be expected should you visit the haunted site. But men beware - it's believed male visitors are targeted most by the ghosts who wander the halls of the defunct asylum.

7. North Head Quarantine Station, New South Wales

Photo: TripAdvisor
Photo: TripAdvisor

Migrants landed on the shoreline near the Quarantine Station from the 1830s, where they would disembark for "safe" release into Australia.

New arrivals were isolated to avoid the spread of contagious diseases such as Spanish influenza, smallpox and the plague.

More than 500 of the 13,000 that passed through the station, up until its closure in 1984, died in agony. It is believed they never left the spot, their ghosts rumored to haunt the long corridors of shower cubicles and the attached morgue.

The former quarantine station is now a Sydney tourist attraction and accommodation venue, known as the Q Station, and holds "ghost tours" of the site.

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8. National Film and Sound Archive, Canberra, ACT

Photo: TripAdvisor
Photo: TripAdvisor

In its previous incarnation, the National Film and Sound Archive was the gory Australian Institute of Anatomy where it served as a morgue, hosted countless forensic examinations and housed hundreds of human skeletons and body parts and animal specimens (most notably Phar Lap's heart) with memorable former exhibits including Ned Kelly's skull and a mummy from Papua New Guinea.

The hotspot is the downstairs corridor, which was once lined with human skulls, and is now said to be a hive of poltergeist activity. Other paranormal phenomena reported include a specter that throws old metal film containers, the spirit of a child that appears in the old cinema room, and a former worker was left terrified after being pinned against the wall by an unseen entity.

9. Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle WA

Photo: Flickr
Photo: Flickr

Doors that open and close by themselves, sounds of crying, laughter and yelling and misty figures appearing in photographs are all regular occurrences shared by visitors to the arts center. Little wonder given its gruesome history.

Built back in the early 1860s by convicts as an asylum for the criminally insane, it was later turned into a woman’s refuge in the 1900s following a series of suspicious deaths and a subsequent government inquiry. The string of fatalities included multiple suicides (one patient who hanged himself in a stairwell using his belt). Later used as a nursing home, US Army headquarters, technical college and museum before being opened in its current incarnation — an arts center — in 1972.

Visitors have told of being inexplicably locked in the old cells and of being kissed by ‘phantom lips.’ Several security guards have been pushed downstairs by unseen hands and one paranormal investigator claimed he was overpowered by the stench of flesh burning in the area that was used to administer electric shock treatment to patients.

10. St John's Orphanage, Goulburn New South Wales

Photo: Wikiwand
Photo: Wikiwand

The orphanage was run by the Sisters of Mercy and the Catholic Church from 1913 to 1978, taking in more than 2,500 orphans and homeless during World War II.

Its occupants consistently received beatings and tough love at the hands of the strict nuns who ran the ward.

But since, it's been vandalized and damaged, with paranormal believers calling it part of "Australia's Bermuda Triangle of haunted places" along with Kenmore Asylum and St Joseph's Orphanage.

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