By Tim Binnall
Authorities in Florida say that ghost hunters have effectively destroyed an abandoned school after word spread online that the site was haunted. According to a local media report, the Hungerford Preparatory High School in the town of Eatonville was shuttered in 2010 and became a community center shortly thereafter. However, the building has now been all but abandoned due to extensive damage at the site which cops contend was the work of those seeking spirits.
Detective Brodrick Lampkin lamented that, over the last few months, the Hungerford School somehow wound up being touted online as a particularly paranormal location. "They made believe there were ghosts and goblins inside the building," he explained, "at which point, there were groups of people that wanted to make this an experience." While the specific source for the spooky claims is uncertain, those curious to catch a glimpse of something strange and unusual soon began flocking to the site.
Talk of the former school being haunted captured the imagination of community members, Eatonville police say, to the point that the building has been inundated with trespassers in recent weeks. And, unfortunately, it would seem that there have been more than a few visitors who aren't exactly following scientific protocol as some interlopers at the site have smashed windows, spray painted walls, and even went so far as to trash the wiring of the building. That last sinister act, Lampkin said, would cost over $50,000 to fix.
While it would be wholly unfair to attribute all of the troubles at the building to ghost hunters, it certainly seems as if the stories of the school being haunted put the site on the proverbial radar of ne'er-do-wells and miscreants with nothing better to do than break into a building and cause trouble. Making matters all the more maddening for authorities, is that the tales circulating online about the school are pure fiction. "There are no ghosts here," declared Perisha Johnson of the Eatonville recreation department, "there has never been any foul play done on the property. It's all a hoax."