SWANBOURNE HOSPITAL

(Claremont Mental Hospital)(Aegis Montgomery House)

1 Heritage Lane

+61 8 9314 0614

Status: Former Psychiatric Hospital; Formerly Abandoned; Home for the Aged

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MontgomeryHouse MtClaremont.jpg

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History

This institution was built to relieve overcrowding at the more famous (infamous?) Freemantle Lunatic Asylum in the final years of the 19th century. Originally, it was to have been built at the Whitby Falls site but the State was only willing to allocate small amounts of money to the project.

Barely enough for the needed maintenance for the existing infrastructure but certainly not enough to begin construction of a new large asylum.

In 1901 the Whitby Falls site was officially declared unsuitable and the search for another site began. In 1903 an area of 394.5 acres (159.6 hectares) of government land in Claremont was chosen. The new facility was named the Claremont Hospital for the Insane.

Patients were transferred here from Freemantle between 1904 to 1909 although the closing of the asylum is not the complete truth. A Home for Women was opened in the Freemantle Asylum building where many female patients were housed until the 1930’s when their wards were finally complete.

The female and male wards were divided into 4 categories with each being further and further from the administration centre: 1) Quiet and Chronic, 2) Sick and Infirm, 3) Epileptics and 4) Violent and Noisy.

In 1933 the institution was renamed the Claremont Mental Hospital. In 1939 a large new ward was built but it was immediately occupied by the military with the onset of World War II. After the war in 1945 it was used for treating combat soldiers with psychiatric issues. It was then used as a day hospital and finally a ward again in 1967.

By the mid-1960’s the facility’s population was 1,700 and it was dealing with all the documented issues of overcrowding as well as the treatments considered inhumane today for the treating of the mentally ill. However, with the invention of anti-psychotic and other drugs patients began to be released from the hospital.

In 1972 Claremont Hospital closed and separated into 2 completely separate hospitals: 1) Graylands Hospital – which is still operational – that treated acute psychiatric patients and 2) Swanbourne Hospital that treated psychogeriatric patients and adults with developmental disabilities.

Seaborne suffered from both overcrowding and under-staffing within 2 years of it’s opening. Treatment of patients suffered accordingly. In 1977 the hospital was called “an afront to the dignity of man” by the Perth Daily News.

Patients were transferred out of the hospital beginning in the first half of the 1980’s to numerous other institutions. Large amounts of the hospital grounds were sold off – some was converted into residential properties and a large piece became John XXIII College – with only the administration block, main dining hall and the first male and female wards remaining.

The site and building were abandoned in 1986.

In 2012 Aegis Aged Care and completely renovated the site into a luxury home for the elderly. Aegis Montgomery House was opened in 2018 with units available for sale.

 

Paranormal Activity

Reported activity dates back to when the hospital was still operational and during the time it was abandoned. Since Aegis took over ownership there have been no reports; granted that’s pretty much to be expected.

Reported Activity Includes: apparitions of both former patients and staff including ones that have interacted with the living; shadow figures; ghosts have been seen watching from the upper windows; loud bangs, screams and other unexplained noises; disembodied voices and whispers; phantom footsteps; unexplained sounds of crying and laughing; electrical disturbances; touches, tugs and pulls by unseen entities; objects moving on their own; cold and warm spots; time slips; unexplained breezes; time slips; light anomalies and feelings of being watched, not being wanted and not being alone.