This question has been asked so many times across the internet; ‘Where is the morgue in Larundel?’
The short answer (and the one that no one wants to hear) is that there isn’t one. But why do people make the assumption there is (or was) one there? Now, that is a bit more difficult to answer, but after doing a lot of research on the subject, I feel I can offer a reason why this question is asked so frequently.
Is there a Morgue in Larundel?
Well, no….and yes. You see, after reading the only book on the history of Larundel, Glimpses of the past : Mont Park, Larundel, Plenty (Iliya Bircanin and Alex Short), it turns out that there is recorded evidence to suggest that a morgue was planned for Larundel way back in 1949:
In March, the Minister of Health was directed by the Government to quickly move to open the end Male Ward, J (later M4, 60 beds) near the Farm Workers’ Block. Numbers of patients under care of the department were 116 more than the bed quota and increasing at a rate of 180 a year. However, there were many perceived difficulties in opening Larundel so soon. The lack of airing courts, staff accommodation, laundry and mortuary were seen as serious deficiencies.
There appears to be no other reference to the construction of a morgue in Larundel other than this one remark. However, many of the proposed buildings were never built and this assumption can be made about the on site morgue.
But it Looks Like the Hospital has a Third Level/Basement
Judging by the picture above, it sure does look like there is, in fact, three floors to the Larundel hospital. When reading about this building, only two floors are only ever referred to. Usually, the bottom floor was reserved for the patients, and the second floor was used as accommodation for the nursing staff.
It appears to be completely plausible that this bottom floor was actually a basement area. It then seems likely that this floor could be used for the morgue. However, anyone who has visited this location, will soon discover, given the slope of the land, the third level is only a possibility from one side of the building. If you walk around to the front of the building, the rise of the land makes the building to now appear to be only two levels again.
Sure, it could have been dug out and a full basement could be obtained, but, once again, if you were to view this building today, it is very easy to peek into the bottom level and discover what is actually housed there: the plumbing.
But in Your Book, You Placed the Morgue in the Hospital Ward
Yes, I did. I also used many other urban legends and ghost stories often cited about Larundel. After speaking to several urban explorers and viewing a multitude of images (both online and at the Public Records Office) taken of Larundel, I discovered something – the lifts in the hospital ward of Larundel are so clogged up with debris that it is very hard to get inside them. This led to me deciding, when writing The Ring of Lost Souls, that this would be the perfect opportunity to include the morgue urban legend in my book.
So Where Did This Myth Come From?
Larundel is not the only mental facility in the area. It is actually a smaller part of the massive Mont Park facility. This institution housed not only it’s own distinct area called Mont Park and the smaller facility, Larundel Psychiatric Hospital, but several other institutions and facilities including (among others); Plenty Hospital, Macleod Repatriation Hospital, Greswell Rehabilitation Centre, the Kingsbury Training Centre and Bundoora Repatriation Hospital.
As you can see, there are several facilities that fell under the one institution and even back in the day, there was confusion as to which area was being referred to. Take the following article, for example. It was a newspaper report on Mont Park taken from The Argus newspaper, dated 17 Dec 1923:
You can read the full article entry here. A reference is made to Mont Park as well as the repatriation section. It is also stated that the patient involved in the incident was a returned solder. Did this event occur at Mont Park, Macleod Repatriation Hospital, Bundoora Repatriation Hospital or Larundel (since Larundel was once used to house war veterans)? At the very end of this article, it is noted that the gentleman who died was taken to the morgue. Although, there is no mention of which one.
Mont Park did indeed have a morgue. Many people assume that Larundel was the name that oversaw all these facilities, when it was actually the bigger Mont Park facility that was the name used as a generalisation for the whole group of facilities. Since this error has been made, it is safe to assume that this morgue is actually the one people are referring to when they speak of the morgue at Larundel.
After speaking to many people who worked and resided in Larundel (including patients and staff), there was never a morgue situated in Larundel. While the largest building in Larundel is, in fact, a hospital ward, there was not actually a morgue facility situated here.
There is no doubt in my mind that this is true.
Although my inner ghost hunter, wishes that there was a morgue hidden somewhere inside Larundel…