With a full moon rising in just a couple of days and Halloween less than a week away, what better way to get into the ‘spirit’ (excuse the pun!) than to give yourself goosebumps The Grampians Way! Check out our top picks for creeping yourself out well and truly in the Grampians this month…
GET IN YOUR HALLOWEEN COSTUME & EXPLORE ARADALE LUNATIC ASYLUM WITH EERIE TOURS
Located in Ararat, Aradale Asylum was an Australian psychiatric hospital opened in 1867 and served as an asylum for psychiatric and intellectually handicapped patients until as late as 1993.
With Eerie Tours you can explore Aradale by day; your tour guide will take you on a fascinating, emotional roller coaster through the labyrinthine corridors of this magnificent facility. If you enjoy history, architecture or have just ever wondered what life inside a Lunatic Asylum was like, then this tour will give you an in-depth insight.
BUT! If you really want to be haunted by stories of bizarre history, brutal treatments, amazing personal stories, and of course lots of ghost stories, exploring the facilities for a 2-hour Aradale Ghost Tour after dark is a must! The tour travels through the administration building, chapel, kitchen, infirmaries, surgery theatres, morgue and the most intact cell blocks of what is considered one of the most haunted locations in Australia.
Buy a ticket to any one of the Aradale Lunatic Asylum tours, join that tour between Friday 26 October and Saturday 3 November, wear the scariest costume you can find to be in the draw for a private 6-hour Ultimate Paranormal Investigation; complete night vision cameras, infrared goggles and shadow detectors, now THAT is an extreme experience for the most serious of ghost hunters!
VISIT J WARD GAOL & LUNATIC ASYLUM ON A GHOST TOUR WITH LANTERN GHOST TOURS
J Ward started its life as a goldfields prison in 1859. When the gold ran out in the mid 1880's the prison buildings were acquired by the Lunacy Department as a temporary housing for the Criminally Insane. The County Gaol then became a ward (J Ward) of the Ararat Lunatic Asylum where the most depraved and most dangerous men in Victoria were housed in horrific conditions under the highest security.
Scaredy cats can discover J Ward by day with tours run daily by the passionate Friends of J Ward volunteers, BUT! If you can handle the chills you'd be mad (excuse the pun!) not to join Lantern Ghost Tours this weekend, 26th & 27th at 9.30pm, for a 2 hour ghost tour of J Ward Lunatic Asylum and hear stories of murderers, ghosts and mistreatment of mental illness. Check out the museum followed by a ghost tour of the home of notorious criminals including Chopper Read, Gary Webb and William Wallace. Explore the governor's bathroom, hangman's gallows, original kitchen, shower block, grave sites, West Wing, J Ward Block, exercise yards and grounds in search of the souls that still linger. Learn of governors whose spirits are still lurking, prisoners buried in the grounds and the many souls trapped within these walls!
AND JUST A LITTLE BIT OF CREEPY FOR THE LITTLE ONES...
Seppelt Great Western has the largest cellars in the Southern Hemisphere, with 3 kilometres of underground tunnels and caves all hand dug by miners in the 1800's. The heritage listed labyrinth of underground cellars, known as The Drives, are old, dark, cold and pretty creepy!
The best part? Kids Explore the Underground Treasures of Seppelt for Free!
This unique experience and insight into the history of Australia's pioneers is available to children for free, when the adults accompanying them purchase a tour pass and tours are 7 days per week, starting at 11am and on the hour every hour with the last tour leaving at 3pm.
Hero image credit: Ed Dunens via Flickr