Victoria's most haunted: spooky houses, hotels, asylums, prisons

person on a ghost tour

Andrea Beattie and Jessica Taylor Yates

Posted October 27, 2022

Paranormal activity is said to haunt these historic locations. Are you brave enough to discover the most (allegedly) haunted places in Victoria? 

From abandoned asylums to derelict jails, eerie pubs, and spooky homesteads, armchair paranormal investigators are convinced that Victoria is home to some of the most haunted locations in the country.

Whether it’s the spirit of former owners, the sound of music with no band, or the ghosts of prisoners gone by, these are the spookiest places in Victoria for you to get your freak on.

Don’t let the journey be a nightmare. Get to these destinations using the arevo app.

Haunted places in Melbourne and Victoria

Black Rock House, Black Rock

A coastal retreat? Or a haunted house?

Built in 1856 for Victoria’s first Auditor-General Charles Ebden, Black Rock House was his seaside retreat, used to entertain Melbourne’s elite and built in the style of Black Rock Castle in Cork, Ireland.

But mystery has always surrounded the House, from rumoured underground tunnels to haunted cellars and even a so-called ‘death room’. It is rumoured to house up to 13 identified spirits, including Annie, a young woman who apparently ‘takes a shine’ to male guests.

These days, Friends of Black Rock House Inc. runs tours day and night, where costumed tour guides take you behind the House’s spooky history as one of the most famous haunted houses in Melbourne.

Old Melbourne Gaol, Melbourne

Despite being where Ned Kelly was hung, the bushranger’s ghost does not haunt the bluestone building used as a gaol from 1842-1929.

However, it’s said that some of the other 132 people who were executed in the Gaol, such as Elizabeth Scott (the first woman hanged in Victoria), can still be heard crying out in the night.

As one of Victoria’s best historical experiences, the National Trust run regular night-time ghost tours and occasional sleepovers, which at nightfall, can be creepy for those looking for a scare.

RACV members save on tickets to the Old Melbourne Ghost Tour.

Point Cook Homestead, Point Cook

Scottish settlers Thomas Chirnside and his family moved into this homestead with adjoining stables in the 1850 – but did they ever really leave?  

Surrounded by beach and bushland, the homestead is said to be haunted by Chirnside, as well as other stable hands and lost souls, most of whom met a gruesome end. Visitors to the stables also have reported hearing racehorses that have long since passed.

The tours run for two hours, with ‘paranormal activity’ said to be at very high levels during this epic ghost story tour. You’ve been warned…

Geelong Gaol, Geelong

Built by convicts from 1849 to 1863, Geelong Gaol was the longest-running jail in Victoria, housing males, females and even children for 142 years - and is also rumoured to be one of the most haunted prisons in Victoria.

Housing murderers and other hardened prisoners from 1853 to 199, there have been reports of unexplainable cries, sudden temperature fluctuations and swirling mists - some say it’s because they’re still there.

Even if you don’t see the spirits of inmates gone by, you’ll be haunted by their stories during a guided ghost tour- if you’re brave enough.

If you visit, dress warmly at any time of year – it will literally chill you to the bone.


Take in a chilling tour of Old Melbourne Gaol day or night - if you dare. Image: Alamy.
Aradale Lunatic Asylum in Ararat. Image: Getty.

Aradale Lunatic Asylum and J Ward, Ararat 

Two of the most notoriously haunted locations in central Victoria are in the small town of Ararat, west of Ballarat and just an hour’s drive from the RACV Goldfields Resort.

Aradale Lunatic Asylum is an abandoned psychiatric hospital that housed patients for more than 126 years. At its height, the asylum had 900 residents, and some were subjected to all manner of barbaric treatments who may still haunt the asylum to this day.

Day tours run for two hours, but beware - some visitors have been known to ‘make contact’ with those who died in the ‘ghost town’.

Four kilometres from Aradale lies J Ward, a truly terrifying place to visit after dark.

An old goldfields jail, it opened in 1859, but was converted to a ward of Aradale Asylum when the gold ran out. But don’t be fooled - this was no ordinary ward.

Housing the most depraved and dangerous men in Victoria, with tours of the hangman’s gallows and prison burial grounds, the souls are said to be trapped within its walls.

It’s spooky enough to visit during the day, but you can also do night tours or take part in an overnight paranormal investigation – if you dare.

Mayday Hills, Beechworth

A decommissioned asylum, Mayday Hills was one of the largest psychiatric hospitals in Victoria, at one stage home to more than 1200 patients and 500 staff.

Many patients died at the hospital during its 128 years of operation, including a woman who was thrown to her death from a third-storey window. Visitors say her ghost – along with others, such as the kindly Matron Sharpe – still haunts the asylum to this day.

While you can visit the grounds during the daytime, the spookiness really comes out at night. A local group runs ghost tours, and you need to join one to enter.

Railway Hotel, Dunolly

North of Victoria’s Goldfields lies the Railway Hotel, a pub built in the town of Dunolly in 1861.

Paranormal investigators take in dinner and a tour with investigate equipment to explore the mysterious appearance of a lady who is said to haunt the cellars and secret tunnels. Is it the former owner, Mrs Galsworthy? Or someone else looking for revenge?

Kangaroo Hotel, Maldon

Originally opening as a tent in the 1860s, The Kangaroo Hotel has had many trades and people through its doors, operating as a butcher, doctor, theatre, changing station, and even the town morgue.

After dinner, gather your paranormal equipment to investigate the mysterious happenings, such as spiritual visit from the ghost of previous owner John Lanyon, to the ghost of 10 horses who tragically perished in a tragic stable fire.

Princess Theatre, Melbourne

One of Melbourne’s most impressive theatres, the Princess is well known as one of the city’s most haunted locations.

In 1887, British opera singer Frederick Baker (Signor Frederick Federici) was starring in Gounod’s famous opera Faust when, in the final scene, he had a heart attack and fell right through a stage trapdoor.

His ghost is reportedly seen in the theatre at night, usually sitting in Seat B28. This seat is left unsold on opening night, with his spirited appearance said to mean good luck.

To this day, theatre staff swear they have seen him in the stalls; perhaps hoping for a role in The Phantom of the Opera.


The ghost of Federici is said to haunt the Princess Theatre to this day. Image: Alamy.
Take a paranormal investigation through the real-life ghost town of Steiglitz, Victoria. Image: Alamy.
Will the ghost of Walter Craig appear at Craig's Hotel in Ballarat? Image: Alamy.
Will you be able to see the ghost of the Roo Hotel? Image: Alamy.

Steiglitz, Western Victoria

Located b2 kilometres west of Melbourne, the now-historic town of Steiglitz was once a thriving gold-mining centre, with 1500 residents at its height in the 1850s. Named after the first settlers, the real-life ‘ghost town’ is home to just eight residents - who may or may not share Steiglitz with countless spirits.

Some died in the nearby river, or at the end of a fellow miner’s pick or axe. As there’s no electricity in Steiglitz at night, it gets dark… really dark.

Royal Hotel, Seymour

One of the oldest pubs in Victoria, ghost hunters should be prepared for music but no band, whispers but no people, and the cry of a baby that isn’t there.


You can head for a drink or a guided paranormal tour. If you dare to stay the night, you could try Room #5 – although it is said to be so haunted that staff won’t even enter.

Craig’s Royal Hotel, Ballarat

The former owner of this 1850s building, Walter Craig, told friends he’d dreamt his horse Nimblefoot won the 1870 Melbourne Cup - but that the jockey was wearing a black armband. Craig died before the race but, as he’d predicted, Nimblefoot won, with the jockey wearing a black armband in Craig’s honour.

If that’s not spooky enough, visit the hotel previously frequented by Sir Donald Bradman and Dame Nellie Melba.

And watch out for a man in Victorian dress – it’s said to be the ghost of Walter Craig.


Heading to a spooky location around Victoria?
Make a holiday out of it and stay at an RACV Resort