It seems some parts of Australia have become somewhat “mean-spirited” when it comes to paranormal tourism. Some Aussies don’t seem to want ghost enthusiasts poking about their allegedly haunted places.
EXHIBIT A: CLOSURE OF THE PICTON GHOST TOUR
At the beginning of this year I wrote about the closure of the Picton Ghost Tour. The ghost tour had been operating for 13 years. The tour operators had always been respectful.
Apparently they pissed off an influential townsperson, though. Someone brought a petition before the city council to not grant a renewal of the ghost tour’s business license, citing disrespect to the eternal slumber of those who died there, especially the victims of the town’s big tragedy. Also, they didn’t like the sort of person it attracted to the town.
Yeah, sucks when people who are willing to pay for food, lodging, and services visit, doesn’t it?
But in their defense, they were referring to the other kind of visitors. The ones who think it’d be thrilling to trespass in a haunted place and don’t show respect.
Sadly, they ruin it for the rest of us more often than not. But closing the ghost tour down won’t keep that kind away. They’ll have to rely on their police for that.
EXHIBIT B: MORPETH CHURCH BANS GHOST TOUR (BUT ALLOWS SCHOOL TOURS)
A Morpeth church banned the local ghost tour, because, once again, this is a case where someone was rubbed wrong after unauthorized ghost seekers trespassed and were disrespectful of property surrounding a haunted area. In this case, it was a neighbor’s lawn near Morpeth’s St. James’s Anglican Church.
But what got me is the way the church informed the tour guide and owner, Troy Murphie, that he and his tour were no longer welcome there. They approached him during a tour when he had 22 tour-goers looking on. Embarrassing is an understatement. Especially when Mr. Murphie seemed to take his business seriously and conducted it and himself professionally.
The thing that got to me about his story was the church demanded he stick to the perimeter and also give them a copy of public liability insurance, which had to be a minimum of $10 million dollars. That’s a pretty steep amount. Likely set that high on purpose hoping he didn’t have, nor could afford, such coverage.
Even more frustrating is that another Morpeth businessman, Trevor Richards, said other groups had not been stopped from walking around the church, including a group of schoolchildren. And we all know how respectful kids are of property, right?
Rather than fight it, Murphie shut down his tour. Sad.
It just struck me as odd that in less than a year I’ve now seen two such stories about closed down ghost tours come out of Australia. Hope it’s not a sign of discrimination against paranormal tourism Down Under.