Ghosts of Gladstone Gaol: Haunted South Australia

Ghosts of Gladstone Gaol: Haunted South Australia

Gladstone Gaol

During its many years of operation, Gladstone Gaol boasted a fierce reputation, with past inmates likening their time at the institution to “Hell.” Built between 1879 and 1881, Gladstone Gaol was important to relieve overcrowding issues of other South Australian prisoners at the time. The jail would hold both female and male prisoners through until the commencement of WWII when the facility was repurposed by the military to act as an internment camp and detention barracks.

Haunted Gladstone Gaol cellblock.
One of the supposedly haunted cellblocks within the old Gladstone Gaol.

Shortly after being repurposed, the jail was fated to lay empty. 1952 saw some renovations take place at the jail so it could once again be utilized as its intended purpose, a correctional facility. The prison would remain operational until 1975 brought about its closure, caused mostly due to its outdated toilet system.

Haunted jail South Australia.
Aerial shot of the gaol, showing its sheer size.

Ghosts of Gladstone Gaol

Like many historic goals that existed at the turn of the century, Gladstone Gaol contains its fair share of ghost stories. Many to pass through the iron gates of the correctional facility since the jail’s final closure have had encounters with the paranormal.

Tower of haunted Gladstone Gaol.
Looking at the jail’s tower from the interior of one of its courtyards.

Countless visitors and those who work within the empty jail have sighted unexplainable figures and apparitions. These range from dark shadow-like people, full-bodied apparitions and ghostly figures of both women and men from the past. Interestingly some of these sightings have even been captured on camera and the gaol proudly displays a select number of these on a board near the entrance to the jail.

Haunted maximum security at Gladstone Gaol.
Part of the maximum security section.

It is also common to hear whispers while walking through the empty jail, which seems to fit in with the past rules of the facility. In addition to these voices, the sounds of disembodied footsteps and door slamming on their own are extremely common. Some have even claimed to have been touched while walking through the empty jail, with some of these encounters being described as scarily aggressive.

Women's cellblock in Gladstone Gaol.
Women’s Block inside one of the most haunted prisons in Australia.

Visiting the Haunted Gladstone Gaol

The Gladstone Gaol is now run as a tourist attraction during the day, which acts to educate visitors and preserve the amazing history the buildings that make up the facility contain. The venue is even open as affordable accommodation or as a unique event space. I definitely recommend a visit and staying overnight if possible.

Haunted prison in South Australia.
Looking for the ghosts of Gladstone.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like to read about the ghost stories of the haunted Old Adelaide Gaol.

Thanks for reading!


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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:

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