J Ward initially began as a Goldfields prison opening in 1861. Three men were executed there and buried in the courtyard. They were buried standing up facing the wall so that they would never rest nor see the sunrise. In 1886 it was acquired by the lunacy department as a section of Aradale Lunatic Asylum renamed as J Ward. It would serve as a prison to the criminally insane housing the most mentally disturbed and dangerous men in Victoria right up until 1991 when it was closed. One of the most notable prisoners of the asylum was Mr Bill Wallace. He was one of the longest serving prisoners at J Ward spending 60 years of his life there . On his 100th birthday, the staff at J Ward gifted him with a chess board as he liked to play chess. There was a petition to have him removed from the prison by the general public arguing that a man of his age should not be kept in such a place. His response was 'Don't be silly ..... I live here'. He was eventually moved to Aradale due to ill health passed away at the age of 107 at nearby Aradale. Then there is the spooky bathtub downstairs in the Governor's bathroom. It is rumoured that 6 people were murdered in the bathtub by a crooked Governor. It is also documented that the 4th Governor of J Ward when it was a Goldfields prison George Fiddlemont suffered from a heart attack on the steps. His body was then moved into the underground kitchen where he passed away. Volunteers who work at J Ward to this day do not step on the step where he had a heart attack as a mark of respect.
To find out more about J Ward and my encounters investigating there, check out this article: Tales of J Ward
All photos taken by Sarah Chumacero - Living Life In Full Spectrum - Paranormal Blog