Posts Tagged ‘1938’

Like many asylums this Australian institute is reportedly haunted and as of 1999 its closure has brought paranormal adventurers to the sight. It was part of a larger complex known as Mont Park, it had 750 patients at its peak and has housed some of the most mentally ill criminals in Australia.

It was the first treatment centre for Peter Dupras, a serial killer with rape and false imprisonment included in his history. It is also the birthplace of Lithium, used in the treatment of the manic episode of those suffering bi-oplar.

The asylums construction started in 1938 but WWII disrupted it, it formerly opened it’s doors in 1953. The asylum grounds now have 550 residential dwellings and the last remaining wards are due to be redeveloped.

As for ghostly goings on? Expect the usual of banging, children’s laughter and crying. One rumour of a child on the third floor of a building playing a music box kept turning up in my searches. The creepy sounds and music may well be from the local university who intend its use to scare away trespassers. As with all of these glorious old places I can see why, vandalism and graffiti disturb me more than ghosts, because ghosts down show a blatant disregard for property and history.

Atlas Obscura Entry

Wikipedia Entry 

Mont Park.jpg
By MelburnianOwn work (Digital photograph by author), CC BY 2.5, Link

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Nurse Jane Toppan (Jolly Jane) might not be the most famous serial killer in the world but definitely deserves a mention!

The “jolly” lady confessed to 31 murders just before her trial in 1902. Suspicions about the total count range from 70-100 people.

She was put on trial for one murder, Maryanne (Davis) Gibbs of Cataumet. She was was found not guilty by reasons of insanity, she was then sent to Taunton Asylum where she remained until her death in 1938.

She might only have been charged for one murder but Jane confessed to wiping out the Gibbs family! During 1901 she poisoned the mother, her sister, father and Mrs Gibbs in the course of one summer. She also confessed to murdering her foster sister, Sarah Brigham,  during a vacation in 1899.

When Maryanne took ill her husband, Irving, was at sea working as a ships captain and could not believe the sudden illness given her usual healthy frame. His persistence on the matter led to suspicion falling on Jane Toppan because the district attorney’s office in Middlesex County were already investigating an alleged poison of a patient, one month before the murders of the Davis/Gibs family.

Just days before the trial Jolly Jane confessed to the murders using atropine and morphine. Not so jolly a story given her name!

Taunton Asylum