The Old Gundagai Gaol is set to become a tourist attraction with a spooky difference after Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council agreed to allow a leading paranormal entertainment company to conduct tours at the historic site.
The council has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Paranormal Entertainment, trading as APPI Ghost Hunts & Tours (APPI), who write, coordinate, organise and run ghost tours and paranormal investigation nights, known as ghost hunts, at various locations across NSW including the old Parramatta Gaol and Berrima Courthouse.
The council was approached earlier this year by Peta Banks, the owner of APPI, who had an interest in running ghost tours/paranormal investigations at the Old Gaol.
These ghost hunts, three to four hours in duration, are an interactive tour where participants will investigate the historic buildings of the gaol to determine whether there is the presence of anything paranormal.
With 40 per cent commission to be allocated to the council from ticket sales, the council says this presents a valuable additional income opportunity now that the $5000 per annum previously generated by Friends of Old Gundagai Gaol (FOGG) hosting the Bald Archy exhibition, has ceased.
Councillors at Tuesday night’s ordinary council meeting said the tours will be an added tourism attraction for Gundagai for which visitors are likely to stay overnight and spend additional money in the town.
“I think it’s a great idea. It’s no outlay for council and hopefully will bring in income and promotion,” mayor Abb McAlister said.
Cr Charlie Sheahan also acknowledged founder of FOGG and former Gundagai Shire councillor, the late Peter Batey, who Cr Sheahan said would have been “highly involved in this”.
The project also works hand-in-hand with the council’s plans to turn the Old Gaol Residence into a bed and breakfast.
The proposed events can run without interruption to the current self-guided tours of the Old Gaol.
Recently, every ghost hunt or tour held by APPI at their locations had 20 plus attendees (capacity and COVID permitting), and every event at Parramatta Gaol sells out within days of tickets being released.
APPI have been featured in many newspapers including the Daily Telegraph, and as a full segment with Mike Whitney on Channel Seven’s “Sydney Weekender”.
In 2012 they were flown to the United States to film an episode of “My Ghost Story”, a popular show on the Bio channel.