Sunday, January 8, 2012

Haunted Larnach Castle - Dunedin, New Zealand

Sitting high upon the hills of the Otago Peninsula is the only intact castle in all of New Zealand, Larnach Castle.  Located in Dunedin, this Gothic style structure is said to be one of the most haunted places in New Zealand.

Larnach Castle in Dunedin, New Zealand located on the Otago Peninsula, is one the most haunted places in New Zealand

Built between 1871 and 1876, the lavish castle served as the home of Australian banker William Larnach.  He lived there with his wife Eliza and their six children.  From that point on the Larnach Castle was steeped in much family tragedy.  Eliza Larnach died alone in her bedroom while the family was away.  Larnach's second wife also died in the castle. In 1886 William built a ballroom onto the castle just to celebrate his daughter Katie's twenty first birthday.  She died shortly afterwards. Years later, during his third marriage, William's wife had an affair with one of his sons from his first marriage.  It was at that point that William ended his life.

The haunted ballroom of Larnach Castle, located in Dunedin, New Zealand

After the death of William Larnach, the family was in turmoil squabbling over the estate.  Larnach castle was sold and over the years it exchanged hands many times.  It severed as a military establishment for soldiers during World War II and for a time it served as a mental hospital.  At one point the ballroom was used to berth sheep. Becoming run down, it was close to being demolished, but then a buyer came along and saved it.  There have been many ghostly sightings in the castle, mostly those of an apparition of a woman in the ballroom.  This is believed to be the Larnach's daughter Katie for whom the ballroom was built.  Some have witnessed the ghostly apparition of a woman in the very room that Eliza Larnach died in.  It is possible that her spirit lingers longing for the company that she did not have in death.  There is also the belief that William Larnach himself haunts his beautiful castle.  Many have claimed to have been bumped into or touched by an unseen force while visiting the house.  Strange feelings of bewilderment and some poltergeist activity has been reported in and on the castle grounds.  There are those who believe that these occurrences are the spirit of William Larnach that lingers after his tragic ending.

Larnach Castle, located in Dunedin, New Zealand is said to be haunted by it's former original inhabitants

Today Larnach castle is well renowned for it's beautiful gardens.  While the castle itself hosts no guests, a structure on the grounds known as Larnach Lodge is open for guests.  Tours of the castle are given on a regular basis.

Larnach Castle, located in Dunedin, New Zealand is well known for it's fabulous gardens
The garden setting of Larnach Castle attracts visitors from around the world
A spectacular view from the hill top location of Larnach Castle, located in Dunedin, New Zealand

Larnach Castle
145 Camp Road, Otago Peninsula
Dunedin, New Zealand

PO Box 1350
Dunedin, New Zealand


  1. What a cool castle and a tragic story. Thanks!

  2. Loved visiting the castle! Have been many times and I still enjoy it just as much every time! A lot of tales to be told and a lot to see and enjoy! I have also stayed in the stable over night and experiences some spooky things myself , well worth a visit!