Halloween or not, ghost stories are fascinating and intriguing all year 'round, especially when they involve old structures, such as grand mansions, hotels, wineries and hospitals. With this in mind, we have compiled a list of Australia's most haunted locations, complete with history and ghost count.
Seppeltsfield Winery in the Barossa Valley, South Australia
Seppletsfield Winery was built in 1851 by Oscar Benno Seppelt and while it is known for its delicious wine, it has also garnered a reputation as Barossa Valley’s most haunted place. It is believed the Seppeltsfield family never really left the beautiful estate. Visitors and staff have reported hearing footsteps on floors that have long been destroyed, screams from the vineyards, unexplainable gunshots, whispering in the dining hall, and blood seeping from the walls of the family mausoleum on anniversaries of deaths.
Aradale Mental Hospital, Victoria
Mental institutions make us feel uneasy on a good day, but Aradale’s fright factor is on a whole other level. Australia’s largest abandoned psychiatric facility first opened its doors in 1867 as Ararat Lunatic Asylum. In its heyday, it consisted of 68 buildings and was home to over 2000 patients and staff at one time. Some of the country’s most controversial psychiatric treatments were performed here, resulting in 13,000 people passing away in its 130 years of operation. Take a tour if you dare!
Devil’s Pool near Babinda, Queensland
It all goes back to an Aboriginal tale, which says that a woman drowned herself in the rock pool after being separated from her lover. According to folklore, she now haunts the pool, luring men in to join her in death. True or not, 17 deaths have been recorded here since 1959 and authorities have issued warnings not to go swimming there. Spooky!
Monte Cristo Homestead, NSW
This list wouldn’t be complete without Monte Cristo Homestead, aka Australia’s most haunted house. Constructed in 1884/85, the owners envisioned the home, which is perched high on a hill, to be the grandest of the area. The house’s history is infested with suspicious deaths, ghost sightings and tragic occurrences. The original owners are said to haunt the home, as well as a caretaker who was murdered there in 1961 and a mentally disabled boy who was kept hidden in the homestead’s cottage for many years.
The spirits of a maid who supposedly committed suicide by jumping from the balcony, a little boy who found his death falling down the stairs and a stable boy who died from injuries after a fire, are also believed to be wandering the premises. Don’t believe us? You can spend the night here and find out for yourself.
Gledswood Homestead, NSW
In 1810, French nobleman, Gabriel Louis Marie Huon de Kerillian, was issued 400 acres of land and eight convicts to start building what would later become Gledswood Homestead. It was in one of the cottages, that the convicts would be chained to the ground at night time. Owners changed over the years, but mistreatment of the prisoners continued. It is said that ghosts of humans and animals can be heard at the nearby pet cemetery and many of the people who lived and were held captive at Gledswood haunt the place to this day.
This story first appeared on 7travel.com.au