top of page

The Haunted Chapel of J Ward Lunatic Asylum

Secrets Unveiled: The Haunting Chapel of J Ward Lunatic Asylum

Delve into the Dark Past of Australia's Most Enigmatic Chapel

In the heart of the Grampians, just a 2.5-hour drive from Melbourne, there exists a place veiled in history both dark and enigmatic: J Ward Lunatic Asylum. As the sun sets and the night takes hold, an opportunity to explore this eerie asylum awaits, guided only by the glow of lanterns and the echoes of chilling tales.

The Intriguing Journey Begins

As we step into J Ward, the structure itself is imposing - a place that once incarcerated infamous criminals like Chopper Read, Gary Webb, and William Wallace. Yet, this is no ordinary historical tour. It's a journey into the shadows, led by eerie lantern light, and it's a place where the past lingers, waiting to be unveiled.

Discovering the Haunted Chapel

While the entire tour is a journey into the asylum's enigmatic history, the heart of the story revolves around the Chapel. The cells in this section were originally built for the Ararat County Gaol, but later repurposed as bedrooms for Lunatic Asylum patients.

What sets the Chapel apart is the story of William Watson Carr. A man with a violent history, he insisted on having a chapel, an unusual desire given his past. William's story begins in England, where he lived with his fiancée. However, their relationship was far from peaceful; she fled to Australia with the help of friends, seeking refuge from his violent tendencies.

Incredibly, it took William just three months to track her down in Australia and commit a heinous murder. As a result, he found himself incarcerated at the County Gaol. Determined to have a chapel, he reached out to his family in England for funding. They complied, and their money was pooled with that already raised, leading to the construction of the chapel within the asylum's walls.

Electric Convulsive Therapy: A Shocking Revelation

As we explore the Chapel, we come to a shocking revelation about the treatment methods used here. Electric Convulsive Therapy (ECT), often referred to as shock treatment, was employed to "cure" some patients. The procedure was far from humane. Patients would be forcibly restrained in the corridor outside their cells. Cotton pads soaked in saltwater, arranged like earphones, would be placed on either side of the patient's temples. Without sedation, patients convulsed violently, often resulting in broken bones as their bodies contorted uncontrollably. ECT was conducted sparingly in J Ward, typically once per year. Interestingly, in the 1970s, it was even administered within the Chapel instead of the corridor outside.

A Haunting Tale of the Chapel

Chapels aren't typically associated with hauntings, but this one defies the norm. Within these walls, the leather sign on the wall, handcrafted by a patient, is known to sway violently from side to side, as if moved by an unseen force. Mediums have also detected the presence of a very sad man within these sacred yet sinister confines. Is it the restless spirit of William, paying penance for his gruesome crime? Or is it the tormented souls of those who endured the horrors of shock treatment?

The J Ward Lunatic Asylum Ghost Tour in the Grampians, Victoria, isn't just a tour; it's an immersion into an eerie past, with the Chapel at its core, where history and hauntings intertwine. Are you ready to step into the shadows and uncover the unsettling secrets hidden within this notorious institution, guided by the eerie glow of lanterns and tales of the Chapel's enigmatic history?

Don't let this opportunity pass you by. Experience the heightened paranormal activity and narratives that have made J Ward a must-visit destination for thrill-seekers and history enthusiasts alike. Secure your spot on this spine-tingling adventure today!

89 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page