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Nightmares in the City Scariest Places in Adelaide

Nightmares in the City: Scariest Places in Adelaide

Some spots in Adelaide don’t wait for Halloween to get the spooky vibes on. From eerie asylums to spine-tingling hotels, our city’s scariest places offer the chance of a hair-raising journey—if you’re brave enough.

Ready to venture into a world of mysteries and ghastly stories? Our team’s brave souls got the haunting info below!

Adelaide Gaol

Address: 18 Gaol Rd, Adelaide, SA 5000

Contact Details: (08) 8231 4062

Operating Hours: Daily – 10 am to 4 pm, night tours are available


Adelaide Gaol is scary due to its dark history as a notorious prison in South Australia, operational from 1841 to 1988. The spooky structure’s imposing stone walls and Gothic architecture add to its eerie atmosphere.

The prison has witnessed numerous executions, including those of notorious criminals. Additionally, the Gaol also has a history of harsh living conditions and inhumane treatment of inmates.

Popular ghost tales include sightings of former prisoners and staff roaming the premises, eerie sounds of dragged chains, and unexplained whispers reported by visitors and paranormal investigators. 

The British Hotel

Address: 58 Finniss St, North Adelaide, SA 5006

Contact Details: (08) 8267 2188

Operating Hours: Daily – 11 am to 12 pm

The British Hotel in North Adelaide is shrouded in mystery. Its long history dating back to the mid-19th century, eerie structure (Victorian design and colonial interior), and spine-chilling ghost tales fueled the hotel’s reputation as a haunted spot.

One ghost tale associated with the hotel involves the spirit of a former maid who tragically passed away under mysterious circumstances. 

Guests and staff have reported seeing her apparition in a long, flowing dress, occasionally moving objects or causing doors to close. Some guests have also reported unexplained cold drafts and sudden drops in temperature, even in warm weather.

Exeter Hotel

Address: 246 Rundle St, Adelaide, SA 5000

Contact Details: (08) 8223 2623

Operating Hours: Daily – 11 am to 3 am


A tragic incident occurred in Exeter Hotel on November 18, 1970. On that day, the lifeless body of the hotel’s owner, Mrs. Joy Josephs, was found in the kitchen.

Years later, hotel staff reported experiencing inexplicable phenomena in the same kitchen. The staff often hear blood-curdling screams, sorrowful sighs, and a female voice without any identifiable source.

Paranormal investigators have been drawn to Exeter Hotel to explore these haunting reports further. 

Electronic voice phenomena (EVP) and other unexplained findings have been documented during their investigations, lending further credence to the hotel’s haunted notoriety.

Adelaide Arcade

Address: 112/118 Grenfell Street between Grenfell Street & Rundle Mall, Adelaide, SA 5000

Contact Details: (08) 8223 5522

Operating Hours: 

  • Mon to Thu – 9 am to 6 pm
  • Fri – 9 am to 9 pm
  • Sat to Sun – 9 am to 5 pm


The historic Adelaide Arcade, dating back to the 1800s, is rumored to be haunted by the ghost of a beadle or caretaker who tragically passed away on the premises. 

Reports suggest that this ghost is Francis Cluney’s spirit. Night-shift workers have stated Cluney’s spirit wanders in various parts of the arcade, including the lower levels and the historic elevator. 

Paranormal experts also attribute hauntings in the arcade to the tragedy of Florence Horton, who met an untimely end in the arcade’s lane at the hands of her husband, Thomas Horton. 

The Freemason’s Grand Lodge at North Terrace

Address: Freemason’s Hall, 254 North Terrace, Adelaide, SA 5000

Contact Details: 1300 357 999


Guards of the Freemason’s Grand Lodge at North Terrace have reported a spectral figure wandering the upper galleries and peering over internal balconies, prompting them to conduct thorough searches, only to find no one else in the building.

Brother Fax, a member of the Freemasons, is also believed to haunt his association’s gathering grounds. 

A tourist once reported getting followed by an unknown man with six fingers in one hand, a physical quality Brother Fax had.

Other guests said the same thing, but guards and guides never found the mysterious stalker.

The Port Dock Brewery

Address: 10 Todd St, Port Adelaide, SA 5015

Contact Details: (08) 8240 0187

The Port Dock Brewery is a hotspot of hauntings, from creepy midnight music to rumored poltergeists pushing guests. Ghost hunters suggest that the brewery’s long and rocky history is the cause of the spot’s paranormal activities. 

It once served as a boarding house for sailors and later transformed into a brothel in the 1920s. Paranormal investigator David Hogg mentioned the ghosts of an old lady and a Russian sailor haunting the hotel’s cellar.

McLaren Wharf

Address: Port Adelaide, SA 5015

Operating Hours: Daily – Open 24 hours

Chinese sailor Lee Pao Sung’s bloodcurdling fate may be the reason for the ghastly sightings at McLaren Wharf. Lee Pao Sung’s shipmates callously took his life in October 1944 and disposed of his body overboard as they entered Port Adelaide.

The lack of accountability for the murder leads paranormal investigators to believe that the dooming aura exuded by McLaren Wharf is a result of the sailor’s angry ghost. 

Investigators believe the chilling echoes of groaning and moaning heard in the docks during dark hours emanate from the ghost, calling for help.

Former Globe Hotel

Former Globe Hotel

Address: 144 St Vincent St, Port Adelaide, SA 5015

The story of a girl named Beulah Hayter makes the former Globe Hotel terrifying. 

According to reports, Beulah woke up one stormy night and saw the presence of a woman draped in a flowing white gown standing by the door. The woman didn’t speak but just stared at her, prompting Beulah to scream in terror.

The hotel is now closed, but thrill-seekers still visit this site, expecting to see the ghost Beulah saw.

Halfway Hotel

Address: 668 Port Rd, Beverley, SA 5009

Contact Details: (08) 8445 2725

Operating Hours: 

  • Mon to Sat – 8 am to 2 am
  • Sun – 10 am to 12 am


Witnessing strange and freaky happenings at Halfway Hotel doesn’t require being buzzed. This pub’s most famous ghoulish prankster is ‘Ol George, a poltergeist. 

The pub’s owners believe ‘Ol George is the ghost of a 1930s patron. According to tales, ‘Ol George’s ghost loves rearranging the watering hole’s furniture, even turning the kegs upside-down.

Australian Institute of Marine & Power Engineers

Australian Institute of Marine & Power Engineers

Address: 22 Divett St, Port Adelaide SA 5015

Strange occurrences are commonplace within this building’s old walls. 

Lights flicker on and off as if controlled by an unseen hand. Eerie shadows have been seen passing through the walls and furniture, and clinking shoe sounds reverberate even after every employee has left. 

A witness once experienced a harrowing encounter with the unknown at this spot, too. Doors swung open and shut before their eyes, almost as if something tried to mimic a human being.

However, the most chilling sighting involves an old lady’s ghost seen by a staff member. The spirit had an elegant attire harking back to a bygone era, and as she drew closer, the staff realized the old lady was transparent. 

Lipson St

Lipson St

Address: Lipson St, Port Adelaide, SA 5015

Lipson St is a bustling strip during the day and a feared place at night. Locals within the area fear the ghost of Alfred, a 6-year-old boy who perished due to a car crash. 

Residents frequently hear crying at night and report a boy’s apparition standing by the road. Witnesses often describe him as wearing tattered clothes from a forgotten era.

The Lipson House is on this street, too. Locals avoid this house, as its cellars are believed to be the lair of a mischievous male phantasm who enjoys scaring the manor’s residents and pedestrians. 

Z Ward (Adelaide Lunatic Asylum)

Address: 63 Conyngham St, Glenside, SA 5065

Phone: (08) 8202 9200

Z Ward served as a psychiatric facility from 1852 to 1902, and during that time, it experienced numerous tragic events and hardships.

The asylum subjected patients to harsh living conditions and limited medical understanding, and they often endured social stigma. 

Brave souls who explored Z Ward have reported eerie apparitions wandering the abandoned halls. Strange sounds, like distant screams and cries, are frequently heard by visitors, too.

Believers attribute the haunting atmosphere to lingering residual energy from traumatic events and emotions at the location.

Port Adelaide Enfield Council Chamber

Port Adelaide Enfield Council Chamber

Address: PO Box 110 Port Adelaide SA 5015

Rattling chains echo through Port Adelaide Enfield Council Chamber during the night. The Enfield’s staff thinks the ghost of former Mayor Joseph Lambert is causing this eerie sound. 

Lambert passed away in the chamber in 1934, but many still believe his spirit lingers in the area, joining every council meeting and patrolling the establishment with watchful eyes. 

Some even reported hearing a man singing songs in the chamber at midnight, further solidifying the believers’ hunch, as the former mayor loved to sing. 

The Morgue at the Old Torrens Island Quarantine Station

The Morgue at the Old Torrens Island Quarantine Station

Address: Torrens Island Quarantine Station

The morgue at Torrens Island Quarantine Station is hair-raising, particularly the room where morticians kept cadavers.

The hauntings involve apparitions of former patients and staff. Visitors have claimed to hear disembodied voices and footsteps as if the spirits of the past still roam the premises.

Adelaide’s Underground Basements and Tunnels

The Underground Bank Vaults at Jamies Italian Restaurant and Grenfell Street and the Old Treasury Tunnels in Adelaide have a frightening atmosphere stemming from their historical significance and ghostly sightings.

These dimly lit and cramped spaces exude a sense of claustrophobia. 

These underground lairs are also rumored to have served as wartime tunnels, leading to beliefs that soldiers’ ghosts wander within them.

Port Adelaide Lighthouse

Address: Port Adelaide, SA 5015

Contact Details: (08) 8207 6255

Operating Hours: 

  • Mon to Fri – 10 am to 2 pm
  • Sat – Closed
  • Sun – 11 am to 4 pm

Port Adelaide Lighthouse stands tall and imposing, its weathered stone walls bearing witness to a haunting history that has left its mark on this desolate maritime beacon. 

Many claim to have witnessed spectral figures roaming the grounds under the moonlight. 

These phantoms are said to be former keepers, restless souls forever bound to their duties to the lighthouse. However, it’s the story of missing children from the 1980s preventing most locals from visiting this spot. 

According to the tale, these kids passed away beneath the lighthouse, and their ghosts are now playing eternally at this structure’s bottom.


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