Whilst walking around the caravan park, I saw a small advert on the notice board. I phoned them straight up as I knew both Stef and I would love it. It was decided – for tonight, we were going ghost hunting at an abandoned lunatic asylum! We’d booked the tour with Beechworth Ghost Tours.


We pulled up to Mayday Hill Lunatic Asylum, which was down, and I’m not winding you up, a road called “Ha Ha Road”! It was already dark and there was only one other car in the car park. It was only a small town so I wasn’t expecting there to be many other weirdoes like us who actually wanted to do it!

At 8:45pm, the door opened slightly. It was a scary moment. Now I didn’t want to go in first, as I just knew there would be someone hiding behind the door, waiting to jump out on me. I didn’t want to jump, so I sent Stef in first but no one was there to pounce. What a wasted opportunity! As we went in, we could see a man standing behind the counter. He was in costume. He was wearing a black suit, top hat and carried a cane. He had a long grey beard with twirls in it. He looked the part. He then spoke to us to confirm who we were. He also spoke the part – his voice was deep and slow. He was playing the role of one of the DR’s that ran the Asylum. He informed us that there was another couple doing the tour – tonight was going to be a small group. Was that a good or bad thing? Would that make us an easier target for the ghosts as they had less people to pick on?


The couple turned up and after a talk about the Asylum, we started the tour. The Asylum ran from the 19th century and housed many mental people. Over the years, over 3000 people died there. Either from natural causes, freezing to death in their cells, murdered by inmates or being experimented on! To be admitted to the Asylum, all that was needed were two signatures – a DR’s and anyone else that wanted you in there. To get out, the person needed eight! If you were in there, you weren’t getting out.

ghost tours at Mayday Hill Lunatic Asylum, Beechworth, Australia

One of the female resident’s stories was that she had a stillborn child whilst living as a normal on the outside. She already had two kids but took the death really bad. So bad that her husband admitted her and told the kids that she had died! It wasn’t until she was 80 that one of the nurse’s spoke to her and found out that she had two children. The nurse reunited her with them for a lovely happy ending. She still died in the Asylum though.

Another inmate was put in there for stealing a horse. He was only 12 years old! They thought that he must have been mad for stealing a horse at such a young age! He died in the asylum at the grand old age of 86.


Another was a prostitute. No other reason for being in there other than that. The police wanted her in there to keep the streets clean.


But in my opinion, the best inmates story was of a young towns man. He masturbated too much. God knows how they found out. But he was placed in there and was made to wear special gloves until his dying days. What a wanker!


Anyway, each couple was given a lantern and we followed the DR. He would tell us stories about what happened there and lead us around the dark asylum – the only light coming from our two lanterns. It was quite scary as we were the only ones there. It was so quiet and you could hear every sound made. Creepy windows banging shut, trees banging up against each other, possums screaming in the night!

We walked through the men’s and woman’s quarters, the bathrooms (where up to 25 inmates were bathed in the same bath!), and the morgue which included the body slab and fridges. Every place we went, there was some story about previous tours and their encounters with ghosts such as people feeling hands prodding them, seeing faces behind windows and hearing babies crying. It all added to the fear, making you look behind your back in each place.

We made our way to the one of the last points in the Asylum. It was a small set of bungalows. They used to house the employees, however, with an ever-growing demand for cells, the ‘normals’ were booted out and the ‘mentals’ moved in.

One of the cells housed mad Jack Smith. He once got a haircut that he did not like. In anger, he picked up the cutthroat razor, which was placed on the counter, and slit the barbers throat. He died in his cell an old man. With the longest nails and hair ever seen on a man, as the staff was too scared to cut them!


The last place to be visited was the cellar. Now the only cellars we had visited in the past weeks were filled with wine. This was going to be slightly different.

He led us down the stairs and it was as creepy as imagined. There was a caged door that was padlocked. He undid the lock and asked for a volunteer. Me, being the big, brave, Barry everyone knows stepped forward. (He wasn’t that brave, we’d all taken it in turns to go into a dark room first, Barry was only brave enough at the end! –Stef). He told me to walk in to the darkness where to the right of me would be a room. In that dark room would be a bed. I had to sit on the bed in the dark and wait on my own. Was this man mental? All night he had been filling our mind with fear and now this! It was scary but I walked on in. It was really dark but light enough to see the outline of the door. As I got to the door, I could see a faint outline of the bed. My heart was pounding. This was the moment someone was going to jump out at me. No matter how much I prepared myself for when they jumped out, it was still going to end with me defecating myself! I sat on the bed. Adrenaline pumping. And…and…nothing. The group came and met me in the room and the DR told us the final tale.


The bed I was sitting on had been placed there by a local radio station. They had a competition running where a group of people were placed around the Asylum and had to spend the night there on their own. A man was placed in the room by himself and the caged door was locked. After a short while, the man was sitting on the bed with his feet on the floor. The room was barely lit and he could hear noises coming from beneath the bed. It was just a metal-framed single bed, which had a mattress on. There was nothing else in the room and there was nothing underneath the bed. As he went to double check, he felt a hand grab his ankle. As you can imagine, the man got a little bit scared and ran for his life. As he got to the caged door, he found it was locked. He screamed and screamed but no one came to his rescue. That night was a bad storm with loud thunder. The radio show staff could not hear his cries for help. He was not found till later that night, curled up in a ball near the cage, rocking back and forth. He didn’t win the competition and no one else dared to stay there. He is still receiving counselling.


The tour over and done, we headed back to the park. I tried winding Stef up about waking up to see faces pushed up against the van windows but she wasn’t having any of it!


I can now officially say that I am married to someone that has spent time in the nut house!