Aradale Mental Hospital near Ararat, Victoria.

Just the words Lunatic Asylum give you the shivers. Aradale is Australia’s largest abandoned lunatic asylum. It was built as a “small town” consisting of a market, orchard, vineyard, dairy and a piggery. Along with 18 wards, chapel, hospital, various workshops, fire station and morgue. It sits high on the hill 205km west of Melbourne. Opened in 1865 it housed thousands of the worst “Lunatics” and “Imbeciles” in the world. Around 13,000 people died there mostly due to the horrific, torturous psychiatric treatments which took place here over its 130 years resulting in Aradale being considered one of the most haunted locations in Australia. Stories of Nurse Kelly, who haunts the women’s wing and watches the ghost tour groups are very common, unexplained pain and feelings of being touched are just a couple of the events that happen within the men’s surgery wing and banging can be heard on the walls in the men’s isolation cells when no-one else is in the building. J Ward is a part of the complex with a grisly past housing some of the worlds most dangerous criminally insane. Three men were hanged here and buried in unmarked graves upright facing the asylum to ensure their spirits would forever be confined within the walls. At its peak, Aradale consisted of 63 buildings, 1000 patients and over 500 staff. Spirits reportedly wandering the halls are nurses in white uniforms and dark figures. Crying, moaning and footsteps can also be heard coming from the wards.
In 2014, Aradale now houses a vineyard, olive grove and lavender farm. The extensive asylum buildings are in disrepair apart from a select few which still caters to the ghost tours.