Monday, November 22, 2010

Miami River Inn

Monday, November 15, 2010

My friend Roann joined me on this adventure to South Florida. She was a little reluctant at first to stay in the haunted room. But I came to discover that she was pretty sensitive to the paranormal herself.

We stayed in room 11 of the Miami River Inn, which borders Little Havana on the historic Miami Riverside district. We were pretty tired when we retired to bed at around 10:30. We couldn't get the reception of the small t.v. to work so we opted at listening to the loud noises coming from the upstairs guest room that started early in the evening. There was loud pacing footsteps back and forth, shuffling, and moving furniture. This continued until 3am. I went upstairs to investigate and found room 21 to be quiet. We never did really get a peaceful nights sleep.

The next morning at breakfast we met a couple that stayed in room 22. They slept like a log due to jet lag and didn't hear anything during the night. As far as room 21, no one was even checked into the room.

When researching the inn, the original hotel built in 1905, was called "The Rose Arms," and served prominent people as well as local guests to the area. Could it be that some guests never left the hotel, and play out their stay over and over?

Roann left saying that the inn was "a bit creepy," due to our unexplained noises in the night.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Avera Clarke House

The Avera-Clarke House was built in 1890 by Thomas Clarke. He was a prominent judge and bank founder in Monticello. He lived in the house with his wife and four children until his unexpected death in 1900. His wake was held in the parlor of the house. The house remained in the family until Gretchen and Troy Avera bought the house and converted it into a bed and breakfast in 2003.

While Gretchen and Troy don't advertise the house to having paranormal occurrences, I got a chance to spend a couple nights in the house and experience things first hand. The fireplace in the dining room has had reports of spiritual energy and orbs caught on camera. Another time Thomas Clarke's son recalled his dad being displayed in front of the fireplace for his wake.

Upon further investigation, I captured a few orbs on the staircase leading up to the second floor and another orb on the grounds leading up to the separate cottage on the property. The Cottage, reputed to be the oldest structure in Jefferson County (Ca.1821) was moved to the Avera's property in 2006. A guest has reported seeing an apparition of a woman on the porch.

My experience of the Avera Clarke house was peaceful and eclectic. I almost didn't want to leave the comfort of the small town of Monticello. But, I had to investigate the cemetery and the forces of the "harvest moon" on my last night in Monticello. I decided to walk to the cemetery to find the Clarke's graves. While I captured some amazing orbs and spiritual activity, what I found there would help me prepare myself for my remaining spiritual journey's ahead.

That night when I returned to the Avera Clarke house, I was awoken at 3 am to an unknown presence. I felt a touch to my arm, but didn't think much of it at the time. The next day Gretchen said that her dogs also got up at 3 am unexpectedly.

I had the hardest time getting out of town with my car. My car broke down outside of town, and I immediately started to feel sick. When I arrived home for 6 days my mind was racing with thoughts and I couldn't eat or sleep. When talking to a psychic and medium friend of mine, she told me that a woman spirit from Monticello had attached herself to me and followed me home.

Needless to say, I followed my friends directions of clearing my house and myself, and I have felt better since. This was a lesson to be learned. What happens in a haunted house or grave yard should stay there. And while these spirits are trapped on our earth plane for a reason, it is up to them to move on. I wish I could help these spirits..I guess in a way I am, by having their stories told.

For more information on the Avera Clarke House:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Coombs Inn

The Coombs Inn was built in 1905 by James N. Coombs a very successful business man of sawmills, export business and the First National Bank of Apalachicola. This house was the most elegant house in Apalachicola at the time and was made with beautiful black cypress wood.

The house saw tragedy on March 6, 1911 when a fire broke out in the night and engulfed the roof. All of the Coomb's dearest belongings were either soaked from water or fire damaged. The Coombs lived in the Franklin hotel and died there weeks after. At the time their cause of death was unknown. The house was left to remaining family members and left in a state of disrepair.

Bill Spohrer and Lynn Wilson saw the potential of the house and fixed it up to its original grandeur of the 1900's. They opened it as an inn in 1994, with a couple employees to run it.

I stayed in the Wilson Room, which was the first guest room on the main floor. This room used to be a parlor and I found out through a 1911 Apalachicola Times article, that Mr. Coombs wake had been held in this room. Estella the innkeeper, also saw indentations in the bed as if someone where lying on it on several occasions when there where no guests checked into that room. I experienced a restless night of sleep, waking up at 3 am and unable to go back to sleep.

The house itself was a pleasure to stay in. Many guests and employees have reported seeing Mr. Coombs over the years. But every time it just seems like he is looking over his beloved house.

If you are brave like me, you can visit the graves of Mr. and Mrs. Coombs at the cemetary across the street. Preferable at night!

For information on the Coombs Inn:

Monday, September 20, 2010

Allison House Inn

The Allison House was built in 1843 by A.K. Allison, who was a speaker of the Florida House in 1852, President of the Florida Senate, and Governor of the State of Florida in 1865. Allison died in 1893, and his daughter Sarah inherited the house.

Sarah was born in the house, grew up in her childhood room, (now the Garden Room)and got married in the house. She eventually remodeled the house and managed it as a boarding house from the 1920's until her death.

I got a chance to stay in the Garden Room. When I checked in the room was pretty cold. Eileen the owner, manually adjusted the temperature for me. Through out the afternoon, the room kept changing from hot to cold drastically. I didn't think much of it until I woke up at 2 am and was so cold I had to wear a bath robe to sleep. The next morning at breakfast the couple staying in the Governors room next door experienced the same thing. I asked Stuart about the air conditioners and he said that each room has their own manually adjustable unit.

While I can't explain this as paranormal, it was a little odd and went along with several guest reports through out the years. Stuart's daughter in law even saw an aparition of a woman in white while staying in the Garden room and experiencing a temperature change herself.

Big Bend Ghost Trackers did an investigation of the Allison House Inn in 2002 and certified it as "haunted." For more information on their investigation:

For information on the Allison House Inn:

Sunday, September 19, 2010

1872 John Denham House

I came to Monticello to check out the famous historic 1872 John Denham house named "second most haunted place to sleep with a ghost by USA Today." I choose to come on Saturday Sept. 19, and the house was booked solid due to the big FSU football game. I did however squeeze some time in the afternoon to visit the inn and talk to Pat Inmon the owner.

When I arrived I took a series of photos of the house, when I climbed the stairs to the cupola the batteries to my camera were drained to low. This is common to electronic devices brought in by guests. John Denham himself is said to watch the town from the cupola in the afterlife. This story is told on ghost tours by Betty Davis founder of the paranormal investigation group, Big Bend Ghost Trackers.

I had the chance to meet with Betty and take her historic ghost tour of Monticello. She informed me of the most haunted room in the Denham house to be the "Blue Room." Aunt Sarah never married, and lived and died in the room. Her spirit shows up in orbs through out the house.

While I didn't get a chance to sleep with a ghost in the Denham house, I stayed in another one of Pat's haunted houses the J.M. Henry/Malloy house nearby.

For more information on the 1872 John Denham house:

Big Bend Ghost Trackers offer tours and ghost hunting workshops at

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Williams House B&B

Williams House

My husband Stan had the chance to stay with me at the Williams House on July 25.

He's usually along for the "ride," but this time he experienced a restless night and ghost reports for himself. It could have been the full moon, or the visit to the cemetery that I dragged him to at 11pm that kept him up all night. But I think it was the jovial spirit of a little girl that liked to play pranks on guests and owners of the Williams House that kept him up.

We had the chance to stay in the most haunted room, the Egmont Indigo Suite. Reports of a child have been seen in the room's mirror. While several people have heard giggling and seen apparitions of a little girl on the top of the stairway. I experienced the little girl named Sally for myself. Sally Williams lived in the house in the 1800's and died at a young age.

During the middle of the night, I woke up to my feet being tickled. With Stan's restless night, he told me the next day how he kept waking up to the sound of a child whispering and laughing. He had no prior knowledge of the ghost reports of the inn. We got a kick out of imagining a little spirit girl (just like our son Isaac) tickling and laughing at us while we were sleeping.

The Williams House was quite a luxurious house for it's time. Built in 1856, it has unique woodwork, gingerbread design, and stain glass windows throughout the house. It was used in the civil war as an infirmary and a safe haven for the slaves of the underground railroad.

For more information about the Williams House B&B:

Friday, July 16, 2010

Island Hotel and Restaurant

Cedar Key was my last stop on my five day trip. It was a historic, artsy fishing village with beautiful waterways and marsh land. It is still untouched , and the seafood was amazing.

I had the chance to stay at the Island Hotel and Restaurant. Built in 1859, as a general store, the building withstood the civil war and many hurricanes. The Island Hotel and Restaurant was definitely the "hot spot" in town. During the 1940's Bessie Gibbs owned the hotel and attracted many local characters and celebrities. Tennessee Ford,Vaughan Monroe, and Jimmie Buffet all stayed here. Jimmie even played in the Neptune Lounge.

Many of the deceased owners still haunt the hotel. I stayed in Bessie's old room by myself. Upon checking in, I reached to unlock the door to my room and it opened all by itself. I took it as a "welcoming gesture," since all the previous paranormal reports were of guests getting locked out of that room.

While walking around town I got a chance to talk to several locals. From the ladies working in the bank, to the local coffee and restaurant workers, everyone had a story to tell of the ghosts at the Island Hotel.

It has definitely made it's mark in the history of Cedar Key. The spirits, just like the guests and locals, just loved staying there. For more information on the Island Hotel:

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Grady House

The Grady House is a wonderful example of Haunted Hospitality. Lucie's warm personality makes sure everyone is comfortable and taken care of. And boy can she whip up a delicious breakfast. One of the best I have had so far.

I stayed in the Peach room, which was beautifully decorated and equipped with a separate sitting room and desk. Just about all of the rooms in the Grady House have had some sort of paranormal activity, says Lucie. In the peach room, guests have reported being tucked into bed at night and their belongings tidied up. I drifted in and out of sleep in my comfy bed last night. I wasn't aware of being tucked into bed though.

I would highly recommend staying at the Grady House next time you are in Highsprings. Highsprings is a small artsy antique town nestled in a beautiful countryside. I even got my vintage jewelry into the Mad Hatter's Gallery and Cafe!

There are numerious springs located 5-10 miles of the town. For more information on the Grady House:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Magnolia Plantation

I stayed at the Magnolia Plantation in Gainesville Monday July 12th.

The house originally built in 1885 by Dudley and Melinza Williams, was later known as the Baird Mansion after Emmett Baird who owned and lived in the house for 70 years. There is a pirate treasure legend associated with Baird and the house. During the 60-90's the house became a haven for hippies, squatters, and college students. It went through vandalism and disrepair until Cindy and Joe Montalto bought it in the 90's and completely restored it in 120 days.

As soon as the rennovations started, strange things began to occur. Various people reported seeing apparitions on the third floor and stairway, and a ghost cat.

I got the chance to stay in Heather's room, and had the entire house to myself for the night. I experienced the ghost cat for myself. I was awoken in the middle of the night by purring on the top of my head. Other strange things happened with lights, and the television turning on by itself.

I was grateful to experience the lovely house for myself. It took a lot of love and dedication from the Montalto's to save and restore the Magnolia Plantation B&B to what it is today.

For more information on the Magnolia Plantation:

Monday, July 12, 2010

Herlong Mansion

My first stop on my 5 day book tour was the Herlong Mansion, in Micanopy, Florida.
Originally a 1845 pine farm home, and transformed to it's grandeur by Natalie and Zeddy Herlong in 1910. The Herlong's had 6 children who lived there. Eventually the house went to Inez Herlong who had an 18 year fight with her siblings over ownership.

When I arrived in Micanopy, the rain had started to drizzle and the electric storm put on quite the show when I checked in and found myself alone in the house. This has happened the last couple times I have arrived at the inn's. It reminded me of a scene out of a horror movie. But I just smiled enjoying myself immensly.

I stayed in the Magnolia Room, which was originally Mae and Inez Herlong's childhood room.
I got a very peaceful vibe in the room, until I tried to watch Ghost Hunter's via the internet. The room didn't have television so I tried to watch t.v. on my laptop in bed. As soon as I tried to download an episode, my wireless wi fi was cut off. It had been using wi fi all afternoon and most of the night.
So I retired to bed, and tried to log on again in the morning several times. Only to be cut off again and again. Carolyn the owner, didn't know what to think since all guests have access anytime. She only laughed and said that it was Inez test of my patience. Earlier Sunday evening my digital camera batteries suddenly were drained causing me to go on a hunt for batteries.
The highlights of the mansion were the mysterious brick room under the house that might have been used in the underground railroad and the ivy ridden water tower in the backyard that Zeddy had built in the 1900's.
The Herlong Mansion stands out as Micanopy's jewel. For more information go to:

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Artisan Inn

Here is a recount of my experiences at the Artisan Inn, in DeLand going back to 2008.

I had been attending monthly meetings with the National Committee of Women in the Arts at the Artisan Inn's banquet hall since 2008. I was given the opportunity to display my artwork in June 2009 in the inn's art gallery. And that is where I had my first paranormal experience.

When I was alone in the room, I felt an extreme longing or sadness looking out the window. The gallery was rumored to be the original owner's room of Edwin and Jeanette Barnhill. Jeanette Barnhill died while owning the inn, and her husband was later declared insane. Another odd occurance happened while I was on a step stool. A painting came off the wall at me with with a force that would have had to pick the painting up off the hook instead of just falling down. Was this a sign that something didn't want my paintings on the wall?

There are also a lot of paranormal reports in the second story banquet hall. This room has been investigated by several paranormal groups. They have found high EMF (electromagnetic field)
readings. Witnesses have also reported an apparition of a woman looking out the banquet hall window.

The first floor hosts activity in the lounge, restaurant, and basement where guests and employees have seen apparitions and objects move.

With so many reports, I got a chance to stay overnight on my birthday on Nov. 21, 2009. It was quite a memorable night in room 302. With the feeling of being watched when I was alone in the room, to the extraordinary dream I had of being dragged out of bed. Needless to say, I had to sleep with the lights on.

Chryst, the owner of the Artisan believes "spirits are the heart and soul of the building." The Artisan Inn has a history of hosting guests living and non living since 1927. The inn recently refurbished their restaurant where you can catch a bite to eat and possibly experience something paranormal for yourself.

For more information on the Artisan Inn:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Beginning...Kenwood Inn

Located in old town St. Augustine, this is the inn that had such an impact on me after staying there on Halloween of 2008. It made me a true believer of life after death and my ability to communicate with spirits.

The experiences I had there opened my mind to paranormal occurances and dream visions. The intereactions with the two resident spirits Rammond and Lavendar, inspired me to write a book on haunted inns.

My favorite room #7, has had reports of Rammond tucking guests into bed and moving objects. I experienced both reports for myself. Another female spirit has an obsession with books in the room. Everytime I stayed in the room, books were hidden under the bed. When I asked owner Pat Dobosz about them, she had no idea how or why books would be under the bed. She also told me that recently a guest reported an unknown force flipping through her personal book during the middle of the night, only to be found on the opposite night stand the next morning. After staying in this room several times, I had this inner desire to start writing and researching the inn.

I found a lot of historical research on the Kenwood Inn through the St. Augustine Research Library. Constructed in 1886, one of the original owners was named Rammond LaBorde.
I also found record in the St. Augustine City Directory of a woman living in the inn from 1924-1927. This same woman belonged to the National Conservators of American Women, which was a professional writers group of the time.

My experience with Lavendar's spirit, who I think resided in the inn during the 1920's has lead me on the journey of writing spirits stories and paranormal activity in my book "Haunted Hospitality." During one stay, I envisioned Lavendar's violent and mysterious death in the inn.
Maybe some day I will find some answers on my quest for the truth.

But for now, my journey has just started...... I will take to the road again on July 11, where I will be in Micanopy, Gainsville, Highsprings, and Cedar Key, Florida.

For more information on the Kenwood Inn:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Stanford Inn

What an adventure I had when I stayed at the Stanford Inn, in Bartow Florida, Wednesday June 16th. Owner Tony Grainger supplied me with incredible amount of information on the Stanford Inn history, and paranormal activity. He even arranged for Apollo Paranormal Investigations and Psychic Gemini Rose to meet with me at the inn to discuss the paranormal evidence they had gathered on their 3 previous investigations of the inn. We spent several hours going over numerous EVP's (electronic voice phenomenon) that were recorded of voices and laughter in the tea room at night when no one else was downstairs, to loud tapping and bangs, and whispers. The highlight was a tour of the inn's most active areas.

Psychic Gemini Rose, had great insight about the spirits that reside in the inn. She picked up on original owners Cora Wilson, and husband Thomas Lee Wilson who had built the house in 1899, and seem to live separately in the house in the here after.
I stayed in the "cabbage rose" room that used to be Cora Wilson's old room. I definately felt Cora's energy in the room.

This trip was wonderful in the fact that I received insight from so many different sources. Apollo Paranormal found scientific proof of paranormal activity, to add to all the varied personal experiences from guests alike. I would highly recommend staying in the Stanford Inn to experience the lovely historic "My Girl House" and possibly catch something unexplained for yourself.
Thanks Tony for your gracious hospitality! Information on the Stanford Inn can be found at

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Haunted Hospitality: Guide to Florida's Haunted Inns

Join me in my adventure as I visit Florida's historic and haunted inns.

Last Sunday June 7, 2010, I visited Old Powder House Inn (built in 1899) , in St. Augustine.

Katie, the innkeeper put me up in a lovely room named "Serenity." And that is just what it was. For being one of the most active rooms in the inn, it was one of the most peaceful and relaxing rooms I have stayed so far. It over looked old town from the second story balcony. I was hoping to have an experience from Mrs. Capo, one of the inn's original owners. The only thing that I couldn't explain was the bathroom light coming on in the middle of the night.

The next morning, I had a delicious homemade breakfast and talked to Katie about the paranormal activity in the inn. The highlight was seeing the "haunted painting" of a conquestador located in the Miranda room.

The Old Powder House Inn was filled with nothing but positive energy. Information on the inn can be found at

Next week Wednesday June 16th, I am headed to Bartow, Florida to the Stanford Inn. This inn was filmed in the movie "My Girl."