Saturday, 18 May 2013

Wolston Park Asylum.

Wolston Park Mental Health Asylum

Today we visited one of the largest, oldest, longest running mental asylum in Australia, Wolston Park.
First I'll fill you in on a bit of the history about this beautifully built building.
It opened in 1865 and was named Woogaroo Lunatic Asylum then changed in 1880 and was renamed Goodna Mental health hospital and then finally named Wolsten park in 1959 , it is said that over 50,000 people passed through the hospital, some with very disturbed stays.  When it was first opened it was for females and then in the 1950's a male wing was opened.

It has been around a year since I last visited and in that time there has been so much further deterioration, it was really sad to see.

Today we saw parts that we hadn't seen before that were accessible, one room that makes me feel really sad and almost deeply depressed is the apparent room the patients were first taken into on admittance to the asylum, it had a door from the river side that they would be taken into and apparently stripped off and their heads shaved.

I'm not sure if these are true stories but someone once said that the patients would be bought to the asylum by boat and be snuck up to the asylums side entrance so no one would see them.  Unfortunately Wolston Park asylum holds a dark and very cruel history, the treatment of the people in the asylum was torturous, the electric shock treatments, hot/cold baths, the beatings and other cruel drug experiments was real for so many people. Wolston park was home to them and the people who never got out died within the walls of it.

 Nothing paranormal or out of the ordinary happened when I was there this time, but I have been there at midnight and conducted evp's and even felt someone touch my head.  We also heard little foot steps running above us, which there would have been a perfect explanation...if there was floorboards still at the time.

 Anyway, We have taken Alot of photos to show you the current deterioration, we tried to cover most of the parts we could still access to capture as much history as possible because unfortunately the way its heading it probably wont be around for much longer.  It is really annoying that morons are still going there to trash it even more,

if only the walls could talk I think they'd have pretty interesting stories to tell us!

The change room in the downstairs toilet

The Front left of Wolston Today

One of the pipes outside the furness room

The furness room

One of the underground "dungeons"

outside view from the above photo

Standing in the room where the patients were first bought in

The doorway to the room with the fire damage

Entrance from the river side

Inside Wolston, the room to the right from the river entrance

I couldnt help but think how many times the key to this turned and the locked the door

One of the fire places still remains intact

Looking through to some of the patients rooms

Small patient rooms, more like cells to the right

Every door way had a door that locked, the doors where made of solid wood and at least 5cm thick

Once was filled with beds (hanging chandeliers)

Looking down on the first photo of the "dungeon",

The existing bath is the 2nd door to the right

Snakes skin hanging from the rafters

Another hallway of rooms/ staircase to the right

This room was what once seemed to be a kitchen

Kitchen servery door

lonely window from one of the staircases

The deterioration of the wall of one of  the staircases


How many hands have held that rail in fear
View from around the Corner of the last photo

Not sure what room this was used for, seem to be a fire there at one stage

Outside wooden staircase

The stairwell to the wooden stairs

The back view of Wolson

Nestled away on the Brisbane river - right

Downstairs back toilet block, the remnants of a tree trunk that was growing through, only been removed within a year or so

Toilet stalls

Inside the toilets looking out
These are underneath Wolston and lead into other little doorways and barred rooms

When you go through a small gate to get underneath Wolston you have access to the bathroom upstairs, second door on the left when you look up
This is the other side of the toilet blocks where the tree trunk was removed

A horrible reminder of the treatment of patients at Wolston

This room was the creepiest for us, I suppose the way the room was set out doesn't help with the lonely bath in the middle of the room

The row of porcelain sinks in the bathroom

The back right view
The front of Wolston as it stands today
Back left angle
Outside stairs leading up

No images have been Photoshopped.
Photography by Cameron Nunn & Erin Hodgkinson


  1. That is pretty crazy Erin. It has aged so much more even since we went there a while back. We never got to see this much though hey. You should try and find pics of the Asylum when it was all functioning and stuff so we can see whats changed over the years Xx

    1. Are you allowed to visit this place? Is it trespassing that you guys are doing? I want to know and I also want to know where abouts can I find this place? It's address maybe?

  2. How did you get around it so much? I have heard there are security there. Is it fenced off from the street?
    Thanks for the post, very interesting. Jenni

    1. It is not fenced off from the street, and it is on government property, all doors and windows have been blocked off there is no way in, I had to break a window to get in one of the buildings. Yes there are security there, I almost got caught while there.

  3. I work with mentally ill people for a job and have looked after many people that came from this place ... the things the family's would tell me made my blood go cold ... one lady i looked after till she past away not long ago had some heart braking behaviors from this place ...just brushing or washing her hair and she would scream like your killing her ... even saying the name of the place to her and she would go pale and you could see the fear in her face .... very very sad :(

    1. I wonder if you'll get this. My grgrandfather James Whitestyles died here 17 May 1900. Either he was mad or they thought he was as he died of Bright's disease. There was a patient cemetery next to the asylum and since most people didn't want their crazies back. Icsuspect he's there.

      Lisa from Toronto Canada

    2. I would very much like to check this place out. I live on Brisbane Northside.

      I have over 17years experience with living with a personality disorder myself. I've been in and out of our current hospital system. I have spent just as long dedicated to researching mental health, learning about myself and my triggers and behaviour patterns etc. I am extreamely interested in all of this and have even completed near 2 years of a psych degree!!

      The stories of patients from here are horrifying and thankyou for sharing them!! Thanks for all the photos etc too!!

      I know you have said there is security, but are the public off limits from at least having a walk around the outside of the place?? (Not that I'm opposed to a little.... "covert" work to get myself inside!!! Hahaha

  4. My landlord worked there for many years and not all the horrible stories are true nor accurate. She was a very kind caring psych nurse who did her very best for the patients. I am pretty sure she would have some amazing stories to tell!

  5. Some stories are true - talked to a ex-psych nurse who worked there for many years. Patients who were suicidal would ask the doctors for day passes - the nurses would advise against it, but they'd get ignored. The patient would throw themselves under a train, then the nurses advice would go "missing" from the file.

    Also I saw some patient files when I was at the big clearing out auction in the 1990s - the notes seemed pretty uncaring, "patient talked about his mother for a while". Just didn't seem like they gave a shit. Oh I didn't keep the notes, felt like an invasion of their privacy, even if they were dead or whatever. Did nick a sign saying "QLD schizophenia research" though ;-) Still have an old coffee table I bought there that was made by mental patients in some kind of sheltered workshop. The patients I saw at the time, I'm suprised they'd be able to do that they were so drugged up.

    Sad place. Maybe its better to let the trees take it back though than reuse it with the kind of history it has.

    1. My grgrandfather James Whitestles died here 17 May 1900. He had Bright's Disease and is most likely buried in the cemetery next to the institution.

  6. If you look at the photo from the outside of the dungeon. Look through the bars on the very very right, Is that your shadow?

  7. can you tell me, how much security is there and what is the best way to get in? i've been wanting to go for ages but don't know if i would get caught or not. in what way did you nearly get caught? would a weekend be a better time to go? thankyou :))

    1. you can go there easy usually on a sunday nobody is there as far as i know cause ive been there alot & nobody was ever there

    2. you can go there easy usually on a sunday nobody is there as far as i know cause ive been there alot & nobody was ever there

  8. Outside view of dungion 5 poles up. Zoom up. That's scary as hell.


  10. I went there with two friends of mine on a saturday afternoon no security what so ever. But the feeling you get while there is unsettling i felt like i was being watched from the window and door ways even my friends had the same feeling.

  11. I was told my nan was in there twice before she passed in 1980 aged 55

  12. Felicity Warner how did you find the bathtub and dungeons. Me and a couple of mates went their the other night and we tried to find the dungeon. But we would really like to know where the bathtub is located it's what we want to find the most???

  13. I work there now. The stories are harrowing and alot of them true especially the boat entrance. They used to be brought up the river in "soap" boxes which meant they were in a huge white box on their back that only had their head out. If there were public around at the time the patient was transferred, a white cloth was placed over their heads. There are also stories of underground entrances.

    If you try to go now, the security will call the police on you and people have been charged.

    1. Hi Teresa, I don't suppose you know if it is possible to request permission for entry during the day to photograph? It's such an amazing building, it seems a shame for it to sit there for nobody to visit.

      I went there yesterday to take some fantastic aerial shots with my drone. I did not enter the fenced off property. There was nowhere to park and about a million signs saying no parking, go away, not public property - I felt like a criminal just being there for 10 minutes. Anyway, it seems obvious that people are always going to want to break and enter just to take photos. Maybe the Hospital should voluntarily open it up every few weeks for a few people to go in and look but don't touch.

    2. I was in there recently to take some pics for my photography instagram at @tim8lackphoto if anyone is interested. It's a super interesting place.

    3. Hi Tim, I would very much like to find out more on this mental hospital. I am doing my family tree, and have today just discovered my Great Great Grandfather died and is buried there in 1899, having migrated from Ireland only 14 years earlier. Thanks. Greg Crumblin.

    4. Greg do you know of the graves at Goodna Cemetery that may be worth a look at

  14. James Whitestyles died here 17 May 1900. He was my grgrandfather. I understand he is buried in a patient cemetery. That was done here in Toronto as well.


  15. My great grand uncle, Stephen, lived here for the last 9 years of his life. He died in 1933, age 76. As a young man he migrated from Wiltshire with his brothers and spent much of his life prospecting for gold and mining tin in Australia. He is buried in the asylum cemetery. I visited the site in the Ipswich cemetery where the asylum headstones were relocated when the highway was constructed. Each rough concrete headstone is "engraved" with a number - no name. The information board beside these had not been completed in 2013 and a passing cyclist stopped to ask me what the stones stood for. I felt sad and angry that all the people "remembered" there have been treated with such contempt.

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. The dungeons so to speak are sub basement where patients were showered/deloussed.
    Pretty sure there is one area of the veranda where there is a old school hand crane to help wheelchair bound patients to be raised up and down floors. Explained to me by staff.
    Security if you ask may allow you to wonder around if ask permission.
    Floorboards been removed to prevent squatters and injury, even the bearers have started to rot. You can get to 2ND floor however floorboards have been removed as well which is now dangerous.

  18. I had heard that there was a subterranean tunnel used however it's been dismissed by staff.

    There is a ghost that hangs around in an older buildings nearby, apparently harmless and friendly reported by training staff

  19. They moved patients by boat/paddle steamer for some time as no lunatic shall travel on the kings highway (not my terminology, but how they were treated in the day) this came from staff who gave me a quick tour. I was with a colleague who refused to go pass the fence, there is not a good energy she stated. It is a place of misery, the energy that cast while I was in there.
    I believe where the fire was in that room was described as being the library. It is a shame that the government won't be involved in restoring it as a museum however on the other hand how can they openly promote such poor treatment and abuse of the poor souls that went through there.
    Challinor or what's left of it is another mental health facility that has shamefully treated patients poorly as well. From what I understand some of the cells still have the scratching and the blood stains soaked into the hardwood of the doors where patients clawed at the door till there fingers bled

  20. I am currently working in the morgue part of this complex. I have some photos of you want me to send them to you

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. Can you still enter without being caught?

  22. Id love to learn more ... I just found out a family member of mine Ferdinand Hohenhaus " FRITZ" was taken there in the early 1900s before his death .. trying to learn as much as I can about this place etc... .. :) f you know of anyone else who could help me .. Id love for you to pass on my info .. thanks for sharing ...

  23. I want to know how you can enter that place without being caught

  24. I want to know how you can enter that place without being caught

  25. The place is covered in motion sensors around old womens part once set off security comes down chases people out.

  26. The place is covered in motion sensors around old womens part once set off security comes down chases people out.

  27. My great aunt worked there up until the 1860's; she was Sister Harris....she never married....I remember she swam across the river to rescue a patient.... E J Harris

  28. My great Aunt worked there until the 1960's not 1860's.

  29. they got home from work they sat out on the back step having a smoke and listening to the playing in the cobbled lane. fence companies knoxville tn

  30. My great grandmother was a patient here in the mid forties. Does anybody know if there are there any records left from then? All I can find is her death notice. I would also be interesting to know "what" she was in for.

  31. It's all so sad to see and hear about. Like all institutions (that I hear about) there would be horror stories along with cruelty but also compassion from the 'staff' members. Many years ago people would be institutionalised just because they had depression. Bright's disease is a kidney complaint, go figure. Why would one be put in an asylum for that? Maybe only because they couldn't get proper medical intervention and so they were probably upset (depressed) about it... one of the many, many sad cases of institutionalisation I suspect. God bless all the poor souls who passed through here and other institutions.