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.
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 The prison would remain operational until 1975 brought about its closure, caused mostly due to its outdated toilet system.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you enjoyed this article, you might also like to read about the ghost stories of the haunted Old Adelaide Gaol.
Thanks for reading!