Larundel was a mental hospital built and developed in the mid 20th century and one of the last of those infamous facilities to be closed.
The Larundel psychiatric institution was part of a larger mental health complex known as Mont Park. At its busiest, the hospital cared for 750 patients. It is famous for housing some of the most severely mentally ill criminals in Australia.
Construction of the asylum began in 1938 but was interrupted by WWII. In the interim, the buildings accommodated a U.S. military hospital, a training depot for the W.A.A.F, a R.A.A.F hospital and a civilian emergency accommodation unit. It formally opened its doors as a psychiatric institution in 1953.
The institution is notable for being the first treatment center of Peter Dupas, an Australian serial killer. It is also the birthplace of the medicine Lithium, developed to treat manic episodes of people with bipolar disorder.
Since its closing in 1999, the hospital has become a renowned magnet for paranormal adventurers. Explorers brave enough to enter the buildings report hearing loud banging, children’s laughter, crying, and an eerie music box. The music box is rumored to have come from a nearby University intending to scare trespassers. The hospital’s shattered windows, fractured doors (the handiwork of vandals) and abandoned isolation cells contribute to the spooky aura surrounding the buildings.
Much of the site has been or is being redeveloped, but one of the buildings is now the Darebin North East Community Hub. It’s run by Darebin City Council, which can be hired for functions and meetings.