Australia’s Beechworth Mental asylum was a place for the mentally disturbed (or anyone considered mentally disturbed by the crown) to stay. The aforementioned Ha-Ha Walls were called such perhaps because they were intended to keep patients in the facility even if they were trying to escape or because of the cruel irony it left in appearance to the outside world.
To outsiders it looked like the patients were standing in a courtyard with low walls that could be escaped easily without any trouble. But to anyone looking out from the inside, or anyone who dared venture close enough to the walls themselves it was clear there was something unusual with the appearance of the construction of the facility. In the courtyard if you were to walk right up to the walls and look down you would see a massive trench rolling down and yawning into a pit that made it apparent the patients would not be going anywhere to escape the facility. And they worked, perhaps not surprisingly, very well. But it also served as a symbol to those who may have been dangerously close to being admitted to the facility. Once you got into Beechworth, you were going to have a difficult time getting out. And it seems at least some of those who found themselves behind these illusory walls in life were unable to escape even in death.
Currently the walls are hearing the laughter not of the tenants or of the staff overlooking the irony of the walls, but rather excited paranormal prospectors looking for the thrill of the hunt. Ghost hunters are led on tours after sunset to see if evidence of the paranormal can be captured and with it perhaps a bit of freedom from the mundane nature of day to day life. But don’t let the mirthful nature of the groups fool you. Some say seeing a ghost in the wrong circumstance can drive someone to the brink of madness.
The facility is said to be the host of a number of ghosts including several patients and -perhaps surprisingly- at least a few of the doctors and nurses who worked there as well as early as 1867 when it was first opened. Once it had over 1200 beds within its walls, but now there are only broken relics of the past and the eerie lingering feel of a troubled history that will not go out when the flashlights die and the patrons finally leave. While it may not necessarily be a cursed place, the facility is certainly one with its share of stories both good and bad, both terrifying and inspiring.
Haunted insane asylums are one of the creepiest places on Earth. And while the official story may suggest they’re abandoned or simply decommissioned, one has to wonder if the official story of facilities such as these allows for such terms to even be used. What remains after the last of the patients has been relocated? And what effects will their stay at the facility have on the lingering spirits who have remained behind, still seen today even if they have been long forgotten? Perhaps with time the facility will yield some answers.