Located near the Southern Tablelands township of Goulburn, Kenmore Hospital holds the unenviable title as one of Australia’s most haunted locations.
Opening officially in 1895, construction of the multi-building facility commenced the year prior at a cost of £150,000. In 1897, 192 patients were housed at the asylum. Though capable of accommodating up to 700 people, the war period saw the complex transformed into a military hospital, thus pushing its existing patient base to various asylums around Sydney and wider New South Wales.
Housing people with a wide range of neurodiverse characteristics, the years leading up to the 1940’s saw the hospital suffer a succession of ill-fated instances. In 1902, a patient hung himself with a strip of canvas rug tied to a window shutter. In the year to follow, a patient suffocated during a violent epileptic seizure. Six years later, an inmate would be struck on the head by a holystone flung from the hand of a resident prone to outbursts. The next decade would add another suicide to the asylums grim tally after a patient hung himself from a tree while in the midst of a depressive episode.
But further woes were yet to occur in 1919 when the asylum was struck down with a pneumonic influenza that killed 21 patients (most likely attributable to the deadly Spanish Flu that encompassed the world at the time).
The hospitals melancholic timeline would continue with the violent murder of a woman at the hands of her husband within the asylums grounds in 1920.
Now owned by 'Australia China International Pty Ltd', there are plans to restore the space. However the owners are yet to decide whether these spacious and lavish grounds will be re-zoned as a retirement precinct or perhaps an educational facility.
There now exists a very strong security presence at the facility with a number of care takers permanently stationed at the grounds. And with the NSW police academy positioned conveniently close by, trespassers are often caught and rigorously prosecuted.
*This was a commissioned visit
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