Lecture: Aradale: the Making of a Haunted Asylum
Online presentation, with Q&A on the folklore, history, ghosts and dark tourism associated with an Australian asylum.
First built in 1867, the remarkable Gothic structure of the former Ararat Lunatic Asylum, colloquially known as Aradale, has overlooked the regional town of Ararat for over 150 years. Throughout its history it has seen remarkable transformations in the history of Australian psychiatry and western society’s treatment of the mentally ill, and it has participated in some of their darkest scandals. Today in popular press, the labyrinthine complex is commonly acclaimed as ‘Australia’s most haunted building’ and is home to a flourishing dark tourism industry boasting tens of thousands of visitors a year and contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars to the local economy. It is also a heavily contested heritage with community organizations, businesses, local government and the descendant of former staff and patients all vying for the right to control representation of the heritage site and its complicated legacy. Join Dr David Waldron as he explores these themes from his latest book Aradale: the Making of a Haunted Asylum.
Originally presented via Zoom, Saturday March 13, 2021. Video includes presentation and subsequent Q&A session with the speaker.