Beechworth Gaol – A Haunting Place for Condemned Souls

Beechworth Gaol – A Haunting Place for Condemned Souls


The notorious Beechworth Gaol looms large over the historic town of Beechworth in Victoria, Australia. Construction with stone and iron began in 1859, but the history of this grim fortress extends far beyond mere imprisonment. Within its walls once dwelled some of Australia’s most notorious figures, including the infamous bushranger outlaw Ned Kelly, his family, and the members of the Kelly gang. The gaol’s original wooden gates were replaced with iron barriers in 1880, due to fears of attempts at prisoner liberation by Kelly sympathisers. From the eerie gallows to the unheated prisoner cells, the suffering and despair is said to linger within.

Beechworth Gaol witnessed 8 harrowing executions, over 40 deaths in custody and countless escape attempts during its 144 years of Gaol life.

Beechworth Gaol has a long history of captivity and torment, with many tales of anguish and unrest. From 1860 to 1895, this desolate prison held both male and female inmates, with the men toiling away crushing rock and the women tending to the endless chores of laundry, washing, and sewing. The gallows, erected in 1864 at the southern end of the cell wing, bore witness to the final moments of eight condemned souls between 1865 and 1881, their remains are buried in unmarked graves within the gaol’s grounds. The gaol endured periods of closure and renovation, daring escape attempts, harrowing executions and arduous labour of prisoners during its 144 years of operation before closing its doors in 2004.


Visitors and paranormal investigators at Beechworth Gaol have recounted sightings of dark shadow figures and apparitions that manifest within the gaol cells, often seen in the condemned cell, further adding an unsettling dimension to its already foreboding atmosphere.

Numerous reports detail sightings of dark shadow figures and apparitions gliding mysteriously between cells.

The gallows are a grim reminder of the gaol’s history, it is said to be an active hotspot for supernatural encounters. Many have reported hearing knocks, bangs, whispers, and whistles throughout the corridors and inside the condemned cell. The unnerving sound of footsteps and mysterious movement between the cells is another common phenomena experienced inside the gaol.

Inside Infamous Australian Bushranger Outlaw, Ned Kelly’s cell at Beechworth Gaol.

Several accounts detail instances where electronic devices and batteries have unexplainably drained of power, adding another layer to the paranormal claims of this historic site. Many also claim to feel the presence of a prisoner named, Caroline inside cell 10 where she sadly passed away alongside her young child while giving birth to her stillborn baby. These reports contribute to the eerie feeling that surrounds Beechworth Gaol, drawing the curious to explore its haunted legacy.

Within the cells, visitors are overcome by an eerie sensation that transports them into the chilling world of the prisoners.

Beechworth Gaol witnessed eight harrowing executions, over 40 deaths in custody caused by illness, disease or inmate attacks and countless escape attempts during its 144 years of Gaol life. With such a rich history steeped in darkness, it’s no surprise that this location is saturated in paranormal occurrences and unexplainable phenomena.

The gallows inside Beechworth Gaol are a hotspot for paranormal activity and the very place where eight condemned prisoners met their fate.


Beechworth Gaol offers a captivating blend of history, mystery, and an immersive exploration of the past. From the intriguing tales of its former inhabitants to the eerie ambiance that lingers within its walls, this historic site promises a truly unique and unforgettable experience for all who are drawn to it. A great way to explore Beechworth Gaol is to go on a guided historical tour which offers a fully immersive experience of what life would have been like for prisoners inside the gaol. As one of Australia’s most important historical sites you are sure to gain a profound understanding of the country’s rich history and heritage.

Exploring Beechworth Gaol provided me with a glimpse into the lives of those who were once incarcerated within its walls.

If you enjoyed reading about the paranormal occurrences at Beechworth Gaol you may also be interested in reading about the most haunted place in Ireland, Wicklow Gaol, also known as the gates of hell.

Thanks for reading!


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:

Check out Amy's other work over at Amy's Crypt.

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