Here in Victoria for many years there have been stories about a little place called Larundel. In a nutshell it is most known for being an abandoned mental hospital which is slowly being converted into apartments. For years there have been stories about how ‘haunted’ Larundel is and there is certainly no shortage of videos on the internet of ghost hunters trying to see what they can find. There has even been the joke that due to squatters, it isn’t the dead that people were afraid of anymore. It almost has become a rite of passage for young adults to brave the dark, graffiti marked halls of Larundel. You may even hear the infamous music box (which was debunked as a clock tower but you have to have some sort of urban myth). The only problem is, it is and always has been completely illegal to step foot inside this complex.
I don’t condone trespassing at all but I guess I kind of understand the appeal to youths trying to get a quick scare. What I don’t understand is people who are a part of paranormal groups or call themselves paranormal investigators who flock to this building. “It’s ok because there is a side of the building where the fence has fallen down or I slipped the security guard some money and they let me in” Ummmmm no. It’s actually not OK. It is also not OK to organise group investigations or have members from the public meet and join you. To be absolutely clear because I know people love to try and find excuses or loopholes, in any building (not just Larundel), if you do not have permission from the owner of the building, you cannot just walk inside. It must be the owner or an authorised representative of the owner. Not a shady security guard or maintenance worker who will turn a blind eye for some cash, only the owner of the builder. P.S Just because it is day time, doesn’t mean it is not illegal. It is illegal day or night, rain hail or shine. I would actually insist on the permission being in writing in the form or an email or some sort of written agreement, just so that if something does happen, your tail is covered. Think of it as your house. If you left your front door unlocked, does that mean anyone can just walk inside because they think a ghost might be inside?
While it may be lots of fun for you, it actually gives paranormal investigators a bad reputation. We fight a pretty uphill battle everyday as we don’t have a great reputation as it is. Quite a lot of buildings won’t actually allow paranormal groups to run tours or do legitimate investigations in their buildings and do you know why that is? They are afraid it will attract the ‘ghost hunters’ they read about in the paper that break into buildings for a cheap thrill. Quite a few property managers I have spoken to this year have expressed concern about advertising paranormal investigations and some even refuse to associate with the paranormal and their answer is, they don’t want people breaking in thinking they are Zak Bagans. If you are one of these people, you are contributing to the problem and it needs to stop before more and more venues turn their back on the paranormal. The best way to combat this problem I personally feel is for the venues to allow people to come in an do approved investigations. Whether it is a private group or someone running tours. It can generate an income and it means if people can access the building, they have no need to break in. Unfortunately I alone cannot convince the property managers to do this. We as a paranormal community need to show them that we are not cheap thrill seekers that break in and vandalize property. We are about the love of the building, the history of the location, the collection of data and most of all trying to maintain this memory of an era in time that can easily be forgotten. Showing the building in a different light.
In the US, rogue ghost hunters have an even worse reputation. In 2006, a woman and her friend were at a local cemetery and decided to check out a spooky looking house. The owner of the house thought they were burglars and one of the women was shot. In 2010 a man died whilst looking for a ‘ghost train’ on some train tracks. In 2013, a paranormal group was arrested for burning down the LeBeau Plantation an infamous mansion built in the 1850’s. They of course were trespassing and had no permission to be there. It is unknown if the fire was deliberately lit but it doesn’t matter. The damage is done. This historic mansion is gone and the paranormal’s reputation is once again tarnished. There is a bit of an urban legend I grew up with here in Melbourne where up in the bush there is apparently a haunted house. So many people flocked to this haunted house that the owner was forced to install a trip wire and would come out with a shot gun and chase people off the property. No wonder people don’t want this sort of attention.
Finally, a building that is abandoned is likely either marked for demolition or redevelopment. In the cases of places like Larundel and old hospitals etc, they are actually unsafe to even enter. Have you heard of asbestos? You can bet most of these places probably have it. You definitely don’t want to be breathing this in. Broken glass, unstable flooring, unstable wall beams, it could actually be really dangerous. These places are not just fenced off because they don’t want you inside. It is also for your own safety (hence the term – safety fencing).
Basically what I am pleading with you is please do not trespass. I know it can be really frustrating not having places to investigate but by trespassing, you are the reason some of these places won’t open their doors. For the first time in Victoria, we have the most locations open to us. Not just through my group, there are several groups out that have been open up locations to investigate. There is no need to do the trespassing thing anymore. If this is something you have been doing or thinking about doing, please just take a minute to think again. Remember it is illegal and if you are arrested you could be charged. More recently some genius actually started an event in Facebook that he was going to be doing a ghost hunt at Larundel and wanted people to join him. The best response was from the Victoria Police who thanked him for the invitation for the event and would be there waiting for his arrival. On serious note guys I know it sounds like a bit of harmless fun, but you are not only jeopardizing the reputation of the paranormal community, you are risking your safety and you could find yourself with a criminal record. It is just not worth it.
Living Life In Full Spectrum has never and will never trespass on a location. We always have written permission to access all buildings in which we conduct an investigation.
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