The Block's newest renovation location, Melbourne's Gatwick Hotel, had a 'house of horrors' reputation when the hit series bought it late last year in preparation for the 2018 season. Now, producers have revealed just how bad the location really was.
Channel Nine has reportedly hired a 'specialist forensic team' to ensure the St Kilda hotel is safe for contestants.
The Daily Telegraph spoke to a Block insider, who revealed, 'It was not a safe environment.'
The infamous 'house of horrors', which has seen a series of fatal drug overdoses over the years, was reportedly cleaned of 389 syringes, with some found wedged under carpets and floor boards.
A source told the Telegraph, 'Some rooms were immaculately maintained by elderly boarders and then right next door would be an ice lab.'
'There was graffiti sprayed on the walls and they had lifted up carpet to push needles through holes in the floorboards,' they added.
The source also reveals that as well as the property being cleaned of unsafe and harmful items, but a priest reportedly visited the former hotel to 'bless haunted rooms.'
The priest told The Herald Sun, 'It does not matter if The Block builds the most beautiful apartments in the universe, the ancestors will be there, not to frighten anybody but they will be just there.
'Yes, they dragged us in the other day. It wasn't the owners.'
Between January and June of 2016, more than 50 serious crimes occurred at the abandoned hotel, according to The Herald Sun.
Leaked police data showed the property was the scene of an arson, a stabbing, two rapes, at least 19 drug offences and aggravated burglaries.
In 2011, a man was stabbed to death, which was the fourth violent death connected to the Gatwick in the preceding six years.
Inspector Jason Kelly called for improved security and safety from the building's owners and government agencies after attending five jobs a day at the former hotel.
Season 14 of The Block is due to start filming this month.
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