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