Fancy yourself to be a bit of a ghost hunter? Regional Victoria is home to a heap of spooky sites, where ghostly apparitions and paranormal personalities linger on, long after their time on earth has passed.
Some sites are only available to the public via organised tours. A visit during late-autumn or on a chilly winter's day (or night!) will certainly help set a more macabre mood.
Ghostly gaols and abandoned asylums
Operating until 1998, Aradale Lunatic Asylum is Australia's biggest abandoned mental institution. Today, tours are available within the historic buildings of the asylum. Thrill seekers can tour the J Ward, where the criminally insane were housed in often horrific conditions.
Formerly known as the Mayday Hills Lunatic Asylum, the decommissioned Beechworth Asylum is reportedly one of the most haunted buildings in Australia. Founded in 1867, it closed its doors as recently as 1995, and thousands of patients are thought to have perished within its walls. The building can only be accessed through guided tours, with occasional overnight events.
The asylum isn't Beechworth's only supernatural site. The Old Beechworth Gaol played a significant role in the chain of events leading to Ned Kelly's execution, housing not only the famous bushranger but also his mother Ellen, brother Dan and the rest of the Kelly clan, shortly after their famous showdown.
The notorious Geelong Gaol closed its doors to visitors in 1991, reopening as a museum shortly after. Scores of both prisoners and staff lost their lives here, and a total of six executions were held onsite. Those who visit the gaol for ghost tours and paranormal investigations report hearing strange noises and experiencing 'odd' vibes.
Built as the Criterion Hotel in 1861, Dunolly's Railway Hotel is said to be haunted by the spirit of an elderly woman. The Royal Hotel was one of Seymour's first buildings, dating to the late 1840s. Its colourful history includes a tenure as a morgue, and rumours of supernatural spectres have lingered for decades.
It's not only restless human souls possessing some of these sites. The picturesque Kangaroo Hotel in the historic goldfields town of Maldon is said to be haunted by the spirits of 10 horses, who perished in a tragic stable fire in the 1870s.