This morning my Google Alerts held two stories that are good examples of the very real dangers of ghost hunting. Specifically, why so many ghost tours, ghost hunting teams, and haunted places websites, including HauntJaunts.net, do not condone trespassing.
For the veteran and novice ghost hunters alike, let these stories remind you to always beware.
DEATH BY MISADVENTURE
Jordana Huber of The Vancouver Sun reported that a 29-year-old woman fell to her death this week while on an alleged ghost hunt in Toronto.
The woman and her date (whom she met on the Internet and was on a first date with) decided to investigate the building at 1 Spadina Crescent in downtown Toronto. Apparently it’s one of the buildings on the University of Toronto’s campus.
They entered after hours, illegally, and hence were technically trespassing. They were on the third floor, which must have been in bad shape.
The man successfully made the leap but as the woman tried to crawl across she fell, according to police.
However, from what I gathered from the article, it wasn’t like the building was condemned. It housed art studios, offices and parking services.
But as is sometimes the case, especially in older buildings, lower floors may be maintained while upper floors go to rot. In this case literally, apparently.
That he leapt and she was crawling suggests to me they were aware of that level’s condition. However, as is proof by her three-story plunge, being aware isn’t enough. They truly shouldn’t have been there to begin with.
Something else I found interesting in the article was that campus rumors claim the building is haunted. But a guide with Muddy York Walking Tours and the owner of the website Torontoghosts.org were both interviewed in the article. They said there really isn’t anything of ghostly interest to be found in that building.
The man’s story has since changed from when police arrived on scene to now. At first they were led to believe the couple was ghost hunting. Now he’s claiming they were investigating Gothic architecture. At two a.m.?
It’s likely some form of ghost search was their real reason for being there. Sadly, they were there on misinformation and may now become part of a ghost legend themselves.
BUSTED AT THE CEMETERY
Valerie Lough of the Springfield News-Sun reported how four teenage boys were arrested for trespassing this week when they were caught leaving the Black Cemetery in Ohio.
This is a more common story with a less tragic, but still unfortunate, theme. As Autumnforest of Ghost Hunting Theories pointed out in one of her recent posts, “it’s hip to be ghost” right now. The boys were clearly seeking a thrill and wanting to be part of the hype, but I don’t think getting a misdemeanor added to their records is what they had in mind.
Ghost hunting can be fun. It can be thrilling. But it should always be done with “safety first” in mind and demonstrating a healthy respect for laws and other people’s property.