The name of this place doesn’t exactly make the hairs on anybody’s neck stand on end—it sounds like the sort of place you’d love to have a picnic with your family. Try this one—The Seacliff Lunatic Asylum. Creepier? Good, because that’s exactly the place that used to exist on this nature reserve. And it’s creepy as hell.

Location trivia: Truby King Recreation Reserve, New Zealand
Location trivia: Truby King Recreation Reserve, New Zealand

There are plenty of abandoned and renovated mental institutions you can visit all over the world, and they’re plenty creepy—there is something really disquieting about a place where a mental hospital used to stand. There is not much chance of a hokey, ghost-hunterish, manufactured jumpfest here. It feels sad, haunted by real pain and the crimes of long-dead patients. One such person was Edward Lionel Terry, an Englishman who murdered a destitute Chinese migrant named ‘Joe’ Kum Young in 1905. The asylum also suffered a fatal fire which ripped through ward 5 in 1942, killing all but two female patients. Not much of the original building remains, but that adds to the eeriness, conjuring images of lost souls wandering the grounds looking for their bed…

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