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You can now go on 'ghost tours' through the forest where Ivan Milat murdered 7 people.

Goulburn Ghost Tours has come under fire for their new Belanglo tour, which has been taking guests on an Ivan Milat themed excursion through the forest.

Sometimes you really have to wonder what happened to some people’s ‘poor taste’ filter.

Causing outrage this week is the uncovering of a Belanglo ‘Ghost Tour’, an overnight expedition into the Belanglo forest where Ivan Milat murdered and buried seven people in the mid to late 90s.

The tour, which runs from 6pm until 3am in the morning, promises ‘extreme terror’ by inviting guests to, “Come with us to Belanglo where Ivan Milat buried the bodies of his victims,” adding “once you enter Belanglo State Forest you may never come out.”

The Ivan Milat murders remain one of the most gruesome chapters in Australia’s criminal history, with families of the seven victim’s families still reeling from the grisly killings. Milat was charged in 1996 for the murder of Caroline Clarke, Joanne Walters, Deborah Everist, James Gibson, Simone Schmidl, Anja Habschied, and Gabor Neugebaue.

All victims were aged between 19 to 22 years old, with Milat only charged after their partly buried bodies were found by runners in the forest.

NSW Premier Mike Baird has labelled the tours incredibly disrespectful, and most definitely not approved by the local or state government.

“It’s completely and utterly outrageous. I saw those reports and I couldn’t quite believe it,” he said.

“For them to operate in the state forest they would require a permit.

“I have been advised they haven’t yet sought a permit but if they do, they won’t be getting one, and if they operate illegally they will face the full force of the law.

“It’s not only in bad taste, it’s just terrible. Horrendous.”

Goulburn Ghost Tours run a number of tours of haunted locations around NSW, with their latest addition in Belanglo setting you back $150, which includes “paranormal equipment and training, snacks and billy tea.”

The manager of the Goulburn Ghost Tour, Louise Edwards, said the new tour was run with sensitivity, noting each of the victims are named along with the dates they went missing.

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“Lots of people know about Ivan Milat, but not about the people he murdered,” Ms Edwards said. “We wanted to remind people that the victims are real people. They are not just victims of Ivan Milat. They are more than that.

“We don’t want people to forget about them.”

The memorial to the seven victims of Ivan Milat.

However, the victim’s families are not in agreeance, calling for the tour to be closed down and the company to be punished accordingly. Sandra Auchterlonie is the grandmother of David Auchterlonie who, at 17, was lured into Belanglo State Forest on November 20, 2010 by Milat’s great-nephew. Auchterlonie was tortured and killed with a double-sided axe. She has called the tour “disgusting”.

“It is a money-making tour at our expense,” she said.

“I can’t stop people from running these ghost tours, but I think it’s disgusting. They are taking advantage of our grief.”

Mrs Auchterlonie said her family was only just “getting some normality back in our lives”.

“We are hurting and this is just opening up old wounds again,” she said. “We are just trying to become normal people again. It would be same for the families of all the backpackers who were murdered there.”

The seven young victims of killer Ivan Milat.

The Belanglo Ghost Tour has risen some pretty important questions when it comes to the respect of victims and their final resting places.

Many of us wouldn’t think twice about taking The Rocks Ghost Tour in Sydney, or walking the spooky walls of Boggo Road Jail in Queensland, but it is undoubtedly the freshness of the Milat killings that makes the Goulburn tour different. It was only 20 years ago that this man was convicted, and just a little more time on that when seven young people, terrified, were led into the forest to die.

Capitalising on their terror and suffering for cheap thrills (although at $150, it’s not really that cheap, is it?) is disrespectful and poor taste. C’mon guys, we’re better than this – let’s leave the Belanglo forest as their final resting place, and get your kicks somewhere else.

You might also be interested in:

Man takes photo of children’s ward of a hospital. Accidentally photographs the ghost of a little girl.

It’s the stuff of ghost stories: a skeleton ‘tea party’ has been discovered in a river.

Meet the Australian actor playing Ivan Milat in a new tele-movie.

 

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