Seacliff Lunatic Asylum (often Seacliff Asylum, later Seacliff Mental Hospital) was a psychiatric hospital in Seacliff, New Zealand. When built in the late 19th century, it was the largest building in the country, noted for its scale and extravagant architecture. It became infamous for construction faults resulting in partial collapse, as well as a 1942 fire that destroyed a wooden outbuilding, claiming 37 lives (39 in other sources), because the victims were trapped in a locked ward.
The asylum was less than 20 miles north of Dunedin and close to the county center of Palmerston, in an isolated coastal spot within a forested reserve. The site is now divided between the Truby King Recreation Reserve, where most of the old buildings have been demolished and most of the area remains dense woodland and privately owned land where several of the smaller hospital buildings have been renovated completely.
Seacliff is claimed to be haunted by former patients of what was the country’s biggest building at the time.
Haunted Auckland visited Seacliff Asylum in 2021, with permission from the owners.