Founded in 1885 with 50 stores, the arcade grew to over 100 shops through the addition of a balcony area in the 1960s. It was one of the first buildings in South Australia to have electric-powered lights.
The arcade is said to be haunted with at least three ghosts claimed to be on the premises. One of these ghosts, (believed to be Francis Cluney, an early caretaker of the arcade who died after falling into the electricity generator in 1887), was claimed to have been recorded on security footage in 2008.
- "Adelaide Arcade - celebrating 120 years with Keith Conlon: In the Adelaide City region of South Australia". Postcards. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- Bauer, Catherine (10 October 2004). "Popular haunts for our ghosts A looming spectre". Sunday Mail (Adelaide, South Australia). p. 76.
- Russell, Louise (9 April 2008). "Ghostly goings on". Messenger (Adelaide, South Australia). p. 3.
- Killalea, Debra (23 June 2014). "Adelaide Arcade 'haunted' by caretaker ghost Francis Cluney". news.com.au. Retrieved 23 June 2014.