Gladesville Mental Hospital — formally known as Tarban Creek Lunatic Asylum — one of Australia’s creepiest places.
Gladesville Mental Hospital — formally known as Tarban Creek Lunatic Asylum — one of Australia’s creepiest places.

Crime and death: Scariest places in Australia

DO YOU love a good thriller? Do ghost stories and scary tales that make your skin crawl yet somehow also make you feel inexplicably good?

Are you one of those people who wait with bated breath for the next season of American Horror Story or the next instalment of Paranormal Activity.

Well, if that's you, here are the scariest places in Australia.

BOGGO ROAD GAOL, BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND

Boggo Road Gaol was home to punishment cells, lashings, infamous inmates and daring escapes.

In one year of working at the facility, Stephen Gage saw seven prisoner suicides, 15 failed attempts at suicides by prisoners and three by fellow prison guards - and that's barely scratching the surface of a dark and twisted history for what was once one of Australia's most brutal goals.

Opened in 1883 and closed forever in 2002, the prison hosted a number of famous murderers, none more so than the notorious Whiskey A Go- Go fire-bombers John Andrew Stuart and James Finch who, in 1973, killed 15 people after trapping them in a popular nightclub in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.

Aside from stories of the ghosts and demons of some Australia's most crook criminals coming back to the land of the living, it was also home to the last ever execution in Queensland when in 1913, Ernest Austin was hung for raping and murdering an 11-year-old girl.

Boggo Road Gaol escapee and most wanted man Francis Post was arrested in Sydney.
Boggo Road Gaol escapee and most wanted man Francis Post was arrested in Sydney.

 

PARRAMATTA GAOL, SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES

Opened in 1798 by Governor John Hunter, who was enraged by the number of robberies committed in the new penal colony of New South Wales. The goal has seen some dark days.

Horrifyingly, during the 1800s, executions were conducted outside for the public to witness. The violence associated with its early days helped the prison to earn its reputation of one of Australia's toughest while much later, records from 1981-1982 indicated inmates were killing one another at an alarming rate.

It housed Bill Maloney, leader of the Toe Cutter Gang, the country's most prolific escape artist Darcy Dugan and Australia's first ever gangster, a man called John Frederick 'Chow' Hayes, who once discharged himself from the hospital with a bullet still wedged in his body, in an attempt to avoid police interrogation.

 

Inside Parramatta Gaol. Photo: Bob Barker.
Inside Parramatta Gaol. Photo: Bob Barker.

 

TARBAN CREEK LUNATIC ASYLUM, SYDNEY, NSW

Oh, Lord. This one is creepy considering that it is surrounded by homely, lush suburbia. The Tarban Creek Lunatic Asylum, or the Gladesville Mental Hospital, sits on top of 100 anonymous corpses of previous inmates.

By 1844, the building that had been built for 60 patients housed 148 aged, infirm, invalid or lunatic convicts who had been in chains the majority of their adult lives. It was a sight that saw your worst nightmares come to fruition.

One patient suffering from depression and consuming too many sleeping tablets was described as "perfectly sane" however, was still subjected to violent shock treatment, made to sleep in a straitjacket and was strapped to a seat in the daytime.

 

Ward five at Gladesville Mental Hospital.
Ward five at Gladesville Mental Hospital.

 

DEVIL'S POOL, BABINDA, QUEENSLAND

The Devil's Pools already sounds a little unnerving and this place really is. To the local Aboriginal community of Babinda (translation: water flowing over rocks), the area is sacred ground and home to a Dreaming legend: the tragic love story of Oolana, a beautiful young woman and her lover from another tribe.

The story goes like this, Oolana was chosen to marry a well-respected elder of her tribe named Waroonoo. Soon after they were married another tribe came into their valley and Oolana fell in love with a young man name Dyga.

The pair ran away together, only to be caught at the Devil's Pool - where, knowing she would never be allowed to stay with her lover, Oolana threw herself into the deep waterhole.

The legend has it that Oolana has never stopped looking for her love and since 1959, over 20 people have drowned there.

Devil's Pool, Babinda, Queensland.
Devil's Pool, Babinda, Queensland.

 

PORT ARTHUR, TASMANIA

This is the infamous location that was home to Australia's worst mass murders in postcolonial Australian history, when Martin Bryant killed 35 people and wounded 32. However, the massacre wasn't the first terrible event to happen in the area.

Surrounded by shark infested water, this was the destination for the hardest British criminals who reoffended after being shipped to Australia. At Port Arthur, they would be guarded by soldiers, mantraps and starved dogs.

It was here prisoners were also subjected to psychological punishment as well as physical. They would be starved and kept in hooded isolation as well as put to gruelling hard labour to generate money for the penal colony.

Inmates that died in custody were buried on a small island cemetery called "The Isle of Death" and if the place couldn't get any more cursed, huge fires swept across the island in 1895 and 1897.

Port Arthur in Tasmania has been home to many horrors.
Port Arthur in Tasmania has been home to many horrors.


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