I had driven past the old, run-down asylum many times and noticed it becoming more and more dilapidated. One day I had a bit of time to kill so I thought I’d take a look. I parked nearby and grabbed my camera. A cyclone wire fence had been strung up around the whole place to stop people getting too close, but the fence was, at best, decorative and in places, absent and so didn’t pose any problems. I avoided the main building and entered a secondary building around the back. The rooms were dark, the windows and doors largely boarded over, the internal walls covered in graffiti.

The room I first entered was once a kitchen; steel benches lined one wall. I moved through this into an old dining room. One wall was all windows and would have faced onto a garden at one time but the windows were long broken and the panes covered with boards. The darkness of the room was oppressive and shivers were running down my spine, partly because I knew I was trespassing and partly thinking about the people who once lived and worked here. I made for the exit and the sunshine; somewhat amazed at my own reaction to being inside the building.

Outside I took a few more photos as my time ran out before heading home.

A trawl of the net and I discovered that the asylum had once housed some of the state’s worst insane criminals. It has now been vacant for nearly twenty years and some of the buildings are thought to be haunted. Some people wandering the buildings have reported loud banging on the walls, odd smells and the sound of children crying. One story tells of a young girl wandering the upper floors with a  music box. Wandering around a haunted building seemed like a fun way to spend an afternoon, I thought, so I vowed to return.

My second visit was to the main building. I entered a stairway and ventured to the second floor, wondering if this is where the young girl might be. The main corridor was dark with small rooms off to one side. All were vandalised. One large room had no roof, a fire at some stage having destroyed it. I took a few photos and retreated.

Venturing through the asylum was an interesting experience – atmospheric would be an understatement. There were no other people around but I know the place is visited by many; photographers, graffiti artists and  probably a few others you wouldn’t want to stumble across. Ghosts? Maybe. The darkness, dilapidation and history of lost souls makes it is easy to imagine yourself encountering one.


One of my photos made it onto the Australian Broadcasting Corporation News’ FaceBook page. The resulting comments were interesting, ranging from one person “seeing” spirits in the photo to another person commenting that ghosts need to work on their communication skills – “banging on walls” is ineffective communication and just plain rude.

The Main Building

Walkway along one of the back buildings

The Dining Room (I think)

Dining Room

Stairway to second floor of the main building

Main building, first floor corridor. This photo appeared on the ABC's FaceBook page. Someone commented thayt they could see spirits in the photo.

Upstairs room

Upstairs corridor

The Administration Building.


  1. Hey Ian,

    Nice shots! My lady and I went there last year and she did a couple of blog posts (well one split into two really) about it. Thought you might like to see... http://www.rrsahm.com/2013/04/the-asylum/ and http://www.rrsahm.com/2013/04/4343/


    1. G'day Neil (and Lori - loved your post and pictures.). Larundel is a fascinating place to visit. Wandering around I can't help thinking how it would have felt when it was functional. I also find it fascinating how a place can have such atmosphere - both here and in the bush. It is easy to see how people locate "spirits" in places.

    2. Hey Ian,

      I must have forgotten to tick the "notify me" box and only just thought to check back now. Glad you liked Lori's post. I'll pass that on. Funnily enough my mum did psych nurse training there and my brother did a nursing placement there back in the day. Both report that it was an incredibly hectic place to work. They didn't have any stories of note though, unfortunately.


  2. It sounds like an interesting afternoon or two. Great photos, how nice to have one end up elsewhere. I love your writing style, you really paint the picture before we get to see the photos.


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