Sometimes, the easiest way to get what you want is to just ask for it. I’ve done dozens of these stories by now, advising would-be ghost hunters about the dangers of trespassing. Criminal charges, injuries, and death are what potentially await, and there’s been plenty of stories illustrating this. Most of these “haunted” buildings that wannabe paranormal investigators trespass in are condemned for a reason, and 19-year olds with flashlights and a tape recorder are not adequately equipped to deal with the conditions they will face. But in a case like this, asking permission may have gotten these kids what they wanted. The building is privately owned, so they wouldn’t have had to go through a lot of the red tape that publicly owned buildings will often have in place. My team has gotten into a lot of places where nobody else has been allowed to go, simply because we were respectful enough to ask the owners for their permission to investigate. It’s not rocket science, kids…
Built in the 1940’s, the former Sheboygan County Comprehensive Health Center was closed in 2002, and has since drawn attention in online forums that claim — seriously or not — the structure is a haunted former asylum. The building is currently privately owned and “no trespassing” signs are posted around the perimeter of the building.
In late January, the caretaker of the property caught four people, all in their late teens or early twenties, who had broken into the property.
Two of the individuals, Cody A. Fyffe, 24, and Julian D. Cedron, 22, both of Milwaukee, were charged with breaking into the locked building and sentenced to one year probation. They both also owe several hundred dollars in fines and fees, and were ordered to pay more than $2,000 each in restitution as a condition of probation.
Two others, Lilian Fong, 23, of Lake Geneva, and Brema H. Brema, 19, of Milwaukee, have plea hearings scheduled later this month.
According to the criminal complaint:
The owner of the property was checking on the building and made contact with four individuals who had ran from the building when he arrived.
After the individuals left, the owner followed footprints to where the suspects had broken a door and entered the building. Camera footage shows the four inside the building.
Police later interviewed the driver of the vehicle, Cedron, who said he was a film student at UW-Milwaukee and his interest was piqued in the building after he saw a video on Facebook claiming it was an abandoned asylum.
[Editor’s note: This is one of the videos that’s been posted about the asylum.]
When interviewed, the other three said they were in the building for about an hour to photograph the building.
These four are lucky that they are only getting a slap on the wrist here. They could have been seriously injured, died in an accident or shot by police or security staff. In the end, it’s not worth it to sit in the dark for hours on end in a place that may or may not be haunted.