I admit it. I am a history nerd. I love exploring the past because the present is always, well, present. I like exploring the way things used to be done and wondering if we really do it better now. However, my history focus leans heavily toward the Medieval Period and Ancient British history. There’s not much about 19th and 20th century history that interests me, yet I do find the exploration of early 20th century abandoned buildings a fascinating endeavour, though one I’ve never participated in myself. I don’t know exactly what the attraction is to viewing these once great monuments to society and all its trappings, but I’ve come to realise that my interest – and that of others – is perpetuating illegal activity. One that is also taken up in the name of paranormal investigations.
Humans hate secrets. We want to know what we aren’t being told (even if its none of anyone’s business) and we want to go where we shouldn’t. More often than not, buildings are closed off to people because they are a danger of one sort or another. The building could be so old it’s falling down bit by bit or full of asbestos which has been known to lead to death for over 100 years. In other instances, such as cemeteries, there are no trespassing signs because people lack common courtesy and decency and tend to vandalize the graves. People also tend to steal items when they trespass, believing it is their right or that the owners won’t miss it.
The paranormal educational website Beyond Bullshit has an article about trespassing and have listed a number of incidents where people claiming to be investigating the paranormal and got caught exploring where they shouldn’t. In two instances, people have died while “investigating”. Nothing in this world is worth dying over, certainly not investigating to see what may exist beyond death.
The BB article also gives information regarding fines for those caught.
Trespassing laws vary from state to state, and each county may have additional ordinances as well. Generally it is considered a misdemeanor, however some cases of criminal trespass can be a Class 4 or Class 6 felony. Fines can be anywhere from $1,000-$2,500 with up to a year in jail or in more serious cases, prison time.
So while you may not be physically injured or get sick from something you inhaled in that old building, you will have a criminal record and will have to pay a fine. Is investigating really worth all that?
I know there are many out there who are just itching to investigate something and it’s difficult to find others willing to allow complete strangers to roam through their house searching for something that may not even be there. It’s also difficult to really find much paranormal activity in a public area that is alleged to be haunted. None of this means it’s okay for you to break in somewhere and tempt fate just to satisfy your curiosity.
I have neither the time nor the inclination to ferret out those who trespass in the name of a paranormal investigation. I leave that to the owners of the BB website and their associates. However, if you brag on this blog via the comments about your own illegal exploits, we will do everything in our power to report you to the proper authorities.
Special thanks to Beyond Bullshit for the inspiration and information for this post.