As Urban Explorers Probe Rotting Wolston Park Hospital, Victims Continue to Cry for Justice

Left to the elements, Wolston Park Hospital in Wacol has turned into an “attraction” for urban explorers hunting for ghosts or plain curious about the centuries-old mental asylum.

Heritage-listed Wolston Park Hospital is left to decay and becomes a place for the curious. (Photo credit: Shane Stephens / Facebook)

For years, the asylum has been a notorious place in the eyes of people in Brisbane. The mere mention of Wolston Park points to the asylum, which not everyone wants to talk about.

Behind the rotting wood floors and the graffiti-covered walls are the stories of people who went through some horrendous experiences that damaged them forever.

Now called The Park – Centre for Mental Health, the mental health facility has progressed remarkably, with some of the more modern buildings standing detached from the notorious reputation of the old hospital. But what will not escape the scrutiny of the curious is the old asylum building, which seems to silently speak of the horrors of the past.

Deep Wounds

Until its closure in 2001, the Wolston Park Hospital was the most notorious mental asylum in the country. Patients who survived or escaped from the institution spoke of how they were sexually abused, tortured, electroshocked and administered with drugs that are now illegal. They described how young women barely in their teens were sexually assaulted by other patients or the warders.

Surviving victims carried with them the horrific experience they had during their stay in the asylum. They have to live through non-stop nightmares where they hear the shouts of abused children or women whose babies were aborted.

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Torture and abuse had been associated with the asylum for many years. The first known case is said to have happened just less than two years after it was opened. From then on, it was a cycle of abuse that lasted for more than a century.

Urban Explorers’ Destination

Today, the abandoned asylum is a hit among curious explorers. The 150-year structure is a heritage-listed psychiatric hospital, which means that it cannot be demolished. But left to natural decay, restoring it would be highly expensive.

The eerie atmosphere at the old asylum is what draws urban explorers to the place. All over the internet, one could find explorations and walk-throughs of the decaying and abandoned house of horror.

A walk through the spooky abandoned asylum. (Credit: jody sedgwick)

Many would naturally suspect and imagine that the place is haunted by ghosts of people who had their share of the unspeakable events inside the asylum. Any curious mind would put the Wolston Park Hospital on their to-do list. Some would test their tenacity by staying overnight inside the old building.

Unresolved Issues

Survivors of Wolston Park continue to fight for the right to be heard and compensated for the damage that the asylum had done to their lives. Many of them are in their senior years and are yet to feel that justice has been served.

Queensland Government apology to those who suffered while an adult mental health facility. Click image for the link.

The Queensland government had issued a blanket apology, which many of the survivors and their relatives feel insufficient.

Dr Adele Chenowyth, who is pushing for the Wolston victims to be heard and recognised, is also pressing for redress for the victims.

“These women want redress, they want ­financial compensation for the way their lives have panned out,” Dr Chenowyth told Courier Mail. She stressed that “there needs to be some tangible and quantifiable and meaningful response.”

Stories shared by victims about the cruelty in Wolston Park are too painful to hear. Anyone lurking through the abandoned and collapsing structures of the asylum would feel a sense of the horrible things that occurred in the past, but hearing the details would help bring light to dark past trapped within.