Known as Australia’s sporting, culture and coffee capital, the city is also home to some scary sights, including several abandoned mental asylums and the Old Melbourne Gaol. Keep reading to discover just where you’ll find the most haunted places in Melbourne.
If you’re looking for a good scare, then Melbourne is the place to be. There are many haunted places in and around Melbourne that will give you goosebumps or leave you running out of there screaming.
If you’re looking for a place to visit in Melbourne, why not go somewhere that’s haunted? This blog post will tell you about the most haunted places in Melbourne and what they are like. Some of these places have been abandoned for years and people who visit them often report feeling uneasy or frightened. If this sounds like something that interests you then read on!
‘Many of our tour guests have experienced the ghost of a young girl in Pink Alley. Our paranormal investigation team believe it is the spirit of 12-year-old Alma Tirtschke who was murdered in 1921. Pregnant women, in particular, seem to pick up on her presence. We have had two guests faint on different occasions in the spot her body was found, and many guests feel extreme sadness.’
Altona Homestead, once the Langhorne family residence, is now home to the Altona Laverton Historical Society. The property is filled with furnishings and homewares from the 1840s to the 1900s and is also known for its Devonshire tea. This might seem normal, but it also hosts monthly ghost tours. Sarah Langhorne died at the homestead in 1871, and people have claimed to see her ghost. Altona Homestead has even attracted international attention from paranormal investigators.
163 Spring Street, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000, Australia
Melbourne’s Princess Theatre hosts the most significant musicals and theatrical performances in the city annually. But it also has a resident ghost: actor Frederick Federici, who, in March 1888, while performing in the theatre’s production of Faust, suffered a heart attack while descending through a trapdoor. Some of Australia’s most famous performers, including Bert Newtown, Lisa McCune and Marina Prior, have all reported seeing a spirit at the theatre. However, Frederici is known (like Casper) as a friendly resident ghost, and the theatre has a tradition of saving him a seat on every opening night.
The Princess, a majestic 19th-century theatre, is the gilded home to first-run major musicals and has recently undergone its own transfiguration to play host to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. But Nearly Headless Nick isn’t the only ghost said to be in residence at the theatre. Italian-born British opera singer Frederick Federici died of a heart attack after belting out the last notes of his aria on the opening night of a production of Faust.
Afterwards, the cast swore he’d appeared on stage for final bows, and his ghost is said to haunt the theatre. It’s tradition to leave a dress circle seat open for him on opening night, and many who have visited and worked in the theatre have reported seeing the well-dressed and by all accounts good-natured ghost.
Young and Jackson
1 Swanston Street, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000, Australia
It’s reported that, in the late 19th century, several prostitutes were murdered near Young & Jackson, one of Melbourne’s oldest pubs. Unfortunately, their deaths were hardly noticed by authorities at the time. However, since then, men have reported seeing a female ghost hanging around outside the pub, which people believe belongs to one of these prostitutes. One report says that although she appears as a beautiful woman, you can see her throat slit when you look closer.
No matter how many times we pass the grand old pub opposite Flinders Street Station, the old girl never fails to surprise. Simultaneously a beauty and a beast, there’s a profusion of punters sporting dreadlocks, mullets and face tattoos, and a pervasive aroma of spilt beer, Jameson shots and sweat on a Saturday night. And sometimes, they say, the spirit of a murdered woman, who appears most often to men who are a few too many for the worse.
Although the young lady appears beautiful from afar, drinkers discover her throat has been slit as she draws near. The rumour is that she is a murdered prostitute who worked the Flinders Street area in the 19th century – but of course, that could be the beer talking.
Old Melbourne Gaol
377 Russell Street, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000, Australia
In the 19th century, the Old Melbourne Gaol dominated the Melbourne skyline as a “symbol of authority”. It was operational from 1842 to 1929, during which time 133 hangings took place. The jail’s most infamous inmate was an Australian bushranger, Ned Kelly. Do several different night tours operate at the building, including A Night in the Watch House and Ghosts? What Ghosts!, for people who want to learn more about ghost stories. Finally, there’s the Hangman’s Night Tour, hosted by a real hangman.
This historical building stands as a monument to the cruelty of capital punishment. Some 133 people were hanged at the Old Melbourne Gaol – including, of course, the one and only Ned Kelly – so it’s probably fair to assume that at least some of them have stayed around to scare the bejeezus out of the unwitting and foolhardy who choose to look for them.
The good folk at the Old Melbourne Gaol regularly host one-hour tours and investigations of this most haunted of Melbourne buildings, taking people through the dark and winding tunnels and cells of a place whose bloody history stands alone in Melbourne’s annals. Keep a close eye on cell 17 – it’s said to be one of the most haunted cells in Australia.
Designed to be a kinder, gentler asylum than the others operating in Melbourne at the time, Kew Asylum was built in the 1860s and designed to maximise light and air for its inhabitants. Its patients were diagnosed with everything from “idiocy” to “inebriation” to “melancholia” to epilepsy. Despite the intention to care for people in a more humane way here, there was plenty of cruelty and misery in the asylum, including a typhoid epidemic and acts of physical violence. Until 1888 male patients deemed ‘criminally insane’ were housed at Kew, though they were moved to a wing or Ararat Prison after a royal commission. The building is now a housing development, but the façade remains. People who live and stay there report doors opening on their own, tapping on the walls, distant screams, running footsteps and banging, and some have reported waking up to find a figure at the foot of their bed. No, thank you.
Larundel Mental Asylum
Plenty Road, Bundoora, Victoria, 3083, Australia
Larundel, in Bundoora, was operational as a mental hospital from 1953 to 1999 and could house up to 750 patients at one time. When it closed, the 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.
380 Lygon Street, Carlton, Victoria, 3053, Australia
There have been reports that both number four cinemas at Jam Factory and Cinema Nova are haunted. Apparently, cinema four at Nova is haunted by a pale little girl’s ghost. She has been seen by cinema-goers running down the aisle. Meanwhile, Cinema Nova reports that some of its regulars now refuse to see any movie that’s screened in cinema four. Paranormal experts believe ghosts are attracted to cinemas because of the amount of electrical equipment, as they don’t have their energy fields.
The spectral sightings aren’t confined to the city. Jacqui explains that many have witnessed a ghostly little girl in Cinema 4 at Nova on Lygon St. ‘We believe this is because spirits don’t have their own energy fields, so are attracted to radio and TV stations and places with a high level of electrical equipment.’
Hosier Lane, Melbourne, Victoria, 3004, Australia
Hosier Lane is known for its street art, and thousands of residents and visitors walk along 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.
Opposite Federation Square and joining Flinders Lane with Flinders Street, the cobblestoned Hosier Lane is arguably the central point of the city’s street art scene. It’s also, reportedly, home to a rather nasty character in the undead personage of Frederick Baily Deeming. Deeming’s first family were discovered, their throats slit under the floorboards of his home in England, and his second wife’s body was discovered in similar circumstances here in Melbourne, where he had moved. Deeming is one of many people who were suspected of being Jack the Ripper, and his ghost is sometimes said to be felt by those walking along Hosier Lane late at night.
Willsmere (Kew) Mental Asylum
21 Wiltshire Drive, Kew, Victoria, 3101, Australia
Originally known as Kew Lunatic Asylum and later changed to Willsmere, one of Australia’s largest asylums was operational for more than a century – 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. So imagine the spirits haunting those corridors.
Melbourne General Cemetery
College Cres Parkville Melbourne 3052
Melbourne General Cemetery was first opened in 1852, making it one of the oldest in the city. Being over 150 years old means the cemetery is also home to many notable names from history – and perhaps some who are not resting so comfortably. Melbourne General Cemetery runs night tours to bring out the spooks on key dates throughout the year. The team here like to make history fun and cemeteries less intimidating, so they bring their dearly departed residents back to “life” with the help of actors. But you could always try your luck with an Ouija board after dark (NB Do not do this after the cemetery’s opening hours).
Black Rock House
This house was built for Victoria’s first auditor-general, Charles Ebden, in 1845. There are rumoured to be underground tunnels throughout the property, and the cellar is particularly haunted. At least 13 identified ghosts, including Annie, a young woman who male guests often feel. The property runs ghost tours to point out all the supernatural spooks who haunt the house.
Mystery has always surrounded this historic property, built-in 1856 for Victoria’s first Auditor-General Charles Ebden. Built-in the style of Black Rock Castle in Ireland’s Cork, the home was the Ebdens’ seaside retreat and also used to entertain Melbourne’s elite. After falling into disrepair, it has now been restored to its former glory. Mystery has always surrounded the house, from rumoured underground tunnels to haunted cellars and death rooms. Black Rock House is said to house no fewer than 13 identified spirits, including a young woman named Annie, who usually takes a shine to male guests.
Melbourne’s first port settlement, Williamstown, is rich in colonial history and seaside legends. Much of the foreshore is given over to parks, and ships are still coming in and out of the port regularly. But, unfortunately, all that maritime history meant Williamstown collected its share of unsavoury types – sailors and those who catered to them, including unscrupulous publicans and ladies of the night. With ships came money, and with money came brigands and thieves – and disease that sometimes killed hundreds of people at a time. People have been known to feel nauseated and even throw up on the ghost tour here, plus there have been countless spectral sightings.
Point Cook Homestead
The former home of Scottish settlers, the Chirnside family, this homestead and adjacent stables were built in the 1850s and had more than their fair share of dark secrets. Surrounded by beach and bushland, the homestead is said to be haunted by Thomas Chirnside and other stablehands and lost souls, most of whom met a gruesome end. Visitors to the stables also report hearing racehorses long since passed.
Aradale Asylum and J Ward, Ararat
Girdlestone Street Ararat 3337
Two of the most notoriously haunted locations in central Victoria are in the small town of Ararat, west of Ballarat.
Aradale is an abandoned psychiatric hospital that housed Victoria’s mentally ill for more than 140 years. At its height, the asylum had 900 patients, and some were subjected to all manner of barbaric treatments. Some visitors have been known to ‘make contact’ with those who have died here.
J Ward, located four kilometres from Aradale, is a terrifying place to visit after dark. An old goldfields jail opened in 1859 but was converted to a ward of Aradale Asylum when the gold ran out. But it was no ordinary ward – it housed the most depraved and dangerous men in Victoria, often in oppressive and inhumane conditions.
It’s spooky enough to visit during the day, but you can also do night tours or take part in an overnight paranormal investigation – if you dare.