Aradale Mental Hospital: Australia’s Most Haunted Asylum

Aradale Mental Hospital: Australia’s Most Haunted Asylum

Aradale Lunatic Asylum

Perched on what was formerly known as “Mad-Man’s Hill” is one of the most notorious asylums to ever exist within Australia. Aradale Lunatic Asylum was a psychiatric hospital built in Ararat, Australia during the 1800s, which operated within the community right through to the 1990s.

Haunted Aradale Lunatic Asylum.
A view of Aradale Lunatic Asylum under the night sky.

Aradale was constructed at a time where other asylums were also being built within the state of Victoria. They were thought essential to deal with the crisis of increasing numbers of so-called ‘lunatics’ in the area. This mainly consisted of people suffering from an array of mental health issues, other ailments or who were deemed to be criminally insane. Individuals could be institutionalized within an asylum, such as Aradale, for the most minute and what we would deem in our modern world today as petty reasons. This saw thousands of men, women and even children pass through the doors of Aradale.

Haunted abandoned asylum in Ararat, Australia.
Cells lined up within this haunted asylum.

Conditions within the hospital were less than desirable for both staff and patients. The building was uncomfortable, crowded and treatment methods were particularly barbaric. Both electroshock therapy and the lobotomy were performed, on mass, at Aradale. Death was another factor that contributed to the dark history that cloaks Aradale. It is estimated that at least 13,000 deaths occurred throughout Aradale’s many buildings during its 130 years of operation.

The cellar of Aradale, one of the oldest parts of the asylum.
Underground in Aradale Mental Hospital’s cellar.

Although the halls of Aradale Mental Hospital are today empty, some believe that former staff and patients linger, making this one of the most haunted places in Australia.

Dining hall at Aradale Lunatic Asylum.
The decorative grand dining hall of Aradale Asylum.

Australia’s Most Haunted Asylum

Given the brutal nature of the history that surrounds Aradale Mental Hospital, a ghost story or two can be expected, and Aradale has many. One of the best-known ghosts to roam the halls of this abandoned hospital is that of Nurse Kerry. She is known to haunt the women’s wards and is thought to be continuing her nursing duties, looking out for her former patients in the afterlife. Her ghost has been seen by many and heard by even more. There have been many reports of hearing the disembodied click of a women’s high heels throughout the empty ward, as well as the soft sounds of a women’s voice, something that Kerry was known for in life.

Looking for Nurse Kerry in Aradale Lunatic Asylum.
The women’s ward, an area haunted by a former nurse known as Kerry.

Some of the other spirits to roam Aradale are not as friendly as Nurse Kerry. Many people have encountered dark shadows throughout the asylum, or been physically affected by unseen forces. This is particularly common within the former men’s wings where people claim to have been bitten, scratched and pushed. This seems fitting given that this would have been the area where the most dangerous patients were kept.

Outside of the haunted Aradale Mental Hospital.
Aradale’s exterior, one of the most haunted places in Australia.

Other paranormal phenomena to occur throughout the buildings that make up Aradale are hearing voices when no one is around, being overcome with dizziness, nausea or headaches, as well as encountering phantom smells, strange noises, apparitions and having electrical devices interfered with.

Aradale, one of the most haunted places in Australia.
Looking up at this imposing haunted location.

Visiting Aradale Mental Hospital

Aradale Mental Hospital is a must-visit place for anyone who is interested in the paranormal. It exists in Ararat, a charming town, less than 3 hours outside of Melbourne. Ghost tours and paranormal investigation events are run here by Eeerie Tours, and I highly recommend both. The tours give a comprehensive view of life within the Asylum and cover many areas of interest, while the investigation events are also informative they allow participants to use a range of equipment and to conduct their own paranormal investigation throughout many of the asylum’s most active areas.

Aradale Mental Asylum ghosts.
Conducting a paranormal investigation of Aradale Mental Asylum.

If you are interested in learning about other haunted asylums within Australia, I highly recommend checking out Z Ward for the Criminally Insane.

Thanks for reading!


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About Amy

Amy is a world traveller and explorer of creepy locations. She has visited some of the most famously haunted places around the world in search of evidence of the paranormal. Follow Amy's Journey:

Comments (8)

  • rob combs

    Posted by rob combs on January 2, 2020

    PLEASE be safe in 2020 Little Darlin….


      Posted by Amy on January 2, 2020

      Thanks, Rob! Will do!

  • Cryptid Hunter

    Posted by Cryptid Hunter on May 6, 2020

    So weird, I was just reading about this today. Also listened to a podcast on this place while driving.


      Posted by Amy on May 17, 2020

      Glad you found my article too, then! Aradale has a very interesting history!

  • Keith

    Posted by Keith on February 11, 2022

    My mrs and i are about to do a tour of the asylum tnite at 9pm, then another tour of J Ward tmoro b4 heading home to Wodonga sunday arvo


      Posted by Amy on February 11, 2022

      That’s awesome. Have a great time!

  • Shazzee A-Cow

    Posted by Shazzee A-Cow on February 24, 2023

    My son andI have done the ghost tours many times at Aradale. Always have something eerie happen. An amazing place.


      Posted by Amy on March 13, 2023

      Awesome, so glad you got to visit and have had some experiences of your own.

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