Larundel Mental Asylum: Ghost Stories and Music Box

Larundel Mental Asylum: Ghost Stories and Music Box

Larundel Mental Asylum

Just outside of Melbourne’s CBD is an abandoned set of buildings with the ability to strike fear into the hearts of many. The old Larundel Mental Asylum now lies empty and has been deteriorating for some time. But not everyone believes the old buildings are empty, and instead, occupied by spirits of the past.

Old Larundel Psychiatric Hospital.
A crumbling ruin that was once a thriving psychiatric hospital.

The Larundel Psychiatric Hospital was built to replace another nearby establishment that was causing issues for the local community. Construction began on the building in the 1930s, yet was interrupted due to WWII. During the war, the building was repurposed to become a training facility for the airforce and a hospital. Following the war, it would again be repurposed to house families that had been displaced due to war and for a time was even used as a school.

Haunted Larundel Mental Asylum.
The ominous Larundel Mental Asylum thought to be one of the most haunted places in Melbourne, Australia.

The building didn’t return to its original purpose until it was reopened in 1953. It was a massive asylum with the capacity to house some 700 patients, suffering from varying mental illnesses and psychotic disorders. The hospital had also become infamous for having housed a known serial killer and for being the place where lithium was developed as a treatment method.

Ghost stories of Larundel Mental Asylum.
Completely boarded up but still surrounded by ghostly legends.

Like most other psychiatric establishments of the time, Larundel was to close down as advances in the treatment of mental health were developed. The Larundel Psychiatric Hospital closed its doors for good in 1999 and has sat abandoned since, slowly accumulating graffiti and ghost stories.

Hauntings of the Old Larundel Psychiatric Hospital

There have been numerous people to report strange occurrences within the dilapidated ruins of the Larundel Psychiatric Hospital. Many of these reports have been of strange noises echoing through the empty rooms of the asylum. Loud bangs and crashes are common sounds, though these could easily be explained as caused by animals or the building simply continuing to collapse. Other noises that have been described are a little more difficult to explain away. Many people claim to have heard voices yelling or the sounds of young children and babies crying. These are certainly an eerie sound, yet not the creepiest to come from this ruin.

Decaying buildings of Larundel, Melbourne.
Scattered buildings that once made up the campus of Larundel, now left to decay.

Perhaps the best known audio anomalies to come out of the Larundel Asylum relate to a legend about a young girl. It is said that a young girl, who was once housed on the third floor of the asylum, lived many years of her life at Larundel. Her only personal possession at the asylum was a music box. This was an item that was very close to her heart and something she would frequently play. Legend has it that after her death, many people would report hearing the faint sounds of the music box late at night. These reports have become very prevalent, even after the abandonment of the asylum and some have even claimed to capture this music box sound in recordings.

Ghost asylum outside of Melbourne.
Peering into the past, where some say ghosts dwell.

In addition to this strange phenomena, many others have reported encountering phantom smells, apparitions and shadow figures within the empty walls of the old Larundel Mental Asylum. Leading to the rumors that this could, in fact, be one of the most haunted places in Australia.

Larundel old psychiatric hospital.
The gaping holes and graffiti-covered buildings of Larundel.

Visiting Larundel Mental Asylum

The Larundel Psychiatric Hospital still stands today as a sprawled campus of fenced-off ruins. Many of the old hospital buildings have already been restored and repurposed into modern apartments. This appears to be the fate for the old asylum too since a housing development company has acquired the heritage-listed buildings and is working to restore and renovate them. They are currently protected by large industrial fences with all of their windows being bolted shut. Entry is strictly off-limits until construction has been completed.

Larundel asylum to become apartments.
A former asylum destined to become modern city housing.

This leaves me to wonder what will happen when the space has been transformed into apartments. Will the old hospital still be haunted, and potentially even more active?

If you want to check out more haunted places in Melbourne, why not try to find Jack the Ripper’s Ghost in this alley?

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 (11)

  • Greg Bolter (Greggr on FB)

    Posted by Greg Bolter (Greggr on FB) on September 24, 2019

    Creeps us out on every episode – well done, you !


      Posted by Amy on September 26, 2019

      Thanks for watching my video and leaving a comment Greg. Glad you found this haunted asylum interesting to learn about.

  • Niki

    Posted by Niki on November 9, 2019

    I have heard the music box…. while walking on a road next to the old asylum very late one night – it still terrifies me thinking about it!


      Posted by Amy on November 19, 2019

      I am jealous you got to hear it. I went to the asylum hoping to hear the music box. Thanks for sharing about your experience at the haunted Larundel Asylum.

  • mads

    Posted by mads on March 4, 2020

    Glad to see people are still visiting and talking about this place. I visted it myself in 2014, spent some time exploring each of the buildings, and saw a range of interesting things. I even managed to score a souvenir, a blank patient form (that I have laminated and kept)!
    I’ll be sad to see it go, I spent some fun nights there exploring.
    Thanks for this post Amy, was great to read.


      Posted by Amy on March 6, 2020

      Thanks for sharing Mads. Yes, it is a real shame that this place won’t be able to be explored anymore. Cheers for reading.

  • Dan

    Posted by Dan on October 15, 2022

    Def is a music box 2015 top floor nurse stayed herd during day around 2pm


      Posted by Amy on October 16, 2022

      Cool, thanks for sharing your experience.

  • Cindy Cameron

    Posted by Cindy Cameron on August 2, 2023

    So sad to see most of larundel demolished, my mother was just a toddler when my grandparents moved into 1066 plenty rd Bundoora, this was one of 4 houses on the grounds of larundel these homes belonged to the doctors, my grandmother Lillian Rumney was the head of Psychiatric’s and my grandfather William ( Bill ) Rumney a doctor, in later years when I was just a Bub my grandfather was the head doctorate and was a Freemason, I do remember Christmas party’s and Easter with the Masonic lodge and Freemasons every year and was always a fun filled day for me and all the other children.

    My mother who was born in 1953 grew up at Larundel and would often tell story’s of the patients being her only friends till she was old enough to attend school and learn of the life outside Larundel.

    I never could imagine of what it was really like for my mum being a resident there, she was never shown a mothers love so she found it hard to cope being a mum herself, I love my mum immensely but I’m now starting to understand why she couldn’t express her feelings of love for me, she loved me but in a unique way.

    Some of Mont Park is still standing and being used but it’s sad to see Larundel pretty much all but flattened. I do giggle that good old Dan murphys is now standing where once stood my family’s home.


      Posted by Amy on August 30, 2023

      Wow, and that place would have a tonne of stories for her to share, I’m sure. Thanks for sharing. Yes, it is a shame at how much of it is left. I doubt it will be there much longer either given the state it was in when I last visited.

  • Jucinta irons

    Posted by Jucinta irons on November 7, 2023

    Me and two of my friends went there in the summer back in 2007 we made shore all the phone where changed so we could use the lights on the phones as soon as we got into the building it was freezing cold even in th summer all of a sudden all three phones die and when we where in the main building walking up the stairs as I got to the top it felt like someone was trying to push me down. The stairs YOU COULD still see the blood stained then when we got to the dining room it felt like someone was trying to strangl me as so as we left the phone trun back on full changed

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