Dunedin: Five locations that make it NZ's Halloween capital

As New Zealand's first city, it's no surprise that Dunedin is home to some of the most gothic and mysterious buildings in the country.

The Otago Goldrush brought people from all over - from the wealthy, to those seeking wealth.

Some locals would claim that the spirits of these former Dunedin residents are still walking the alleyways of the city, in search for their pot of gold.

Top Dunedin Halloween locations:


Larnach Castle
Larnach Castle, Dunedin Photo credit: Getty Images/Newshub.

Larnach Castle

The tale of the Larnach family is filled with tragedy and like all good castles, there's a spooky story to be told about every part of the building. Both visitors and staff claim they have felt a presence within the building. Paranormal enthusiasts come from around the world to try and experience the Larnach's spirits not found in its whiskey. But then, that's worth trying too.

The prison is now home to an 'escape room' experience.
The prison is now home to an 'escape room' experience. Photo credit: Getty Images

Old Dunedin Prison

Dunedin's old prison is one of the few remaining examples of a Victorian-era prison courtyard in the world. Many murderers have made their way along deathrow in the building, with their bodies buried in the grounds of what is now the Dunedin Law Court. The interior of the old prison hasn't changed in 123 years, and is now home to an 'escape room' experience.

Seacliff Asylum
Nurses stand guard at Seacliff Asylum. Photo credit: Archives New Zealand.

Seacliff Lunatic Asylum

Things have progressed so much that even using the word 'lunatic' seems wrong, but Seacliff was once home to an asylum for people considered 'lunatics' at the time. Among the terrors that took place at it were lobotomies and the dark destination became even darker after a fire killed 37 patients in 1942. The abandoned building remains on the site today.

Hair Raiser Ghost Tours

Hairdresser by day, ghost tracker by night. Dunedin's resident ghoul guide Andrew Smith runs a tour which weaves its way through some of the spookiest night spots Dunedin has to offer. Walking the dark streets of the city at night is the perfect time to learn about Dunedin's haunted history.

The Catacombs

Don't be fooled by the apparent innocence of this popular nightclub. If you pop in for a drink, you will in fact be entering the exact site of Dunedin's original morgue. The decor is suitably macabre, with skulls keeping an eye on the dancefloor. Ordering at the bar is more casket wine than cask wine and it sits just in front of the morgues original corpse cavities. Cheers, ghosts!

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