August 1 investigation: Heritage Inn
(Brandy)Possible EVP caught via digital camera video. Listen between the voice that says "flickering" and a very soft "okay". Also, what of the odd flash that shows up in the bottom of the screen?
This month, we are featured in the St. Petersburg Times, Neighborhood section. The article will serve as our featured article for the month:
Could be flash-produced orb. However, two other shots taken afterward show no orbs. I took images of the three lights that flickered on and off for us.
Replicated shots. No orbs, similar relfections on wall.
Orb on stairwell. A second shot aimed at the stairs directly (looking up) showed a light orb at the top of the stairs. Hard to replicate image clearly online.
Four Spirit members met up at the hotel with three of the hotel staff and a writer from the local newspaper. We also had a room booked on the floor where phenomena had been observed by past guests. The hotel was fairly empty, so we could look around without attracting attention. Our first stop was in the restaurant. It was closed for renovation, so it was empty and the lights were out. The staff turned on a few lights, and we looked around and checked the EMF while Debbie set up her video camera on a tripod. We started asking if anyone was there, and watching the EMF meter for spikes. We were getting spikes for several questions. Then the lights flickered after one question, and it was a bit startling to all of us. Brandy asked if it could do it again, and they flickered again. One of the staff members checked the light switch, and no one had touched it. We checked the banquet rooms, and kitchen on our way to the lobby, and got nothing unusual there. In the lobby, Mary sensed a woman in a green dress. She said that her hairstyle and clothing looked like something from the 1930's. She was near a china cabinet that she seemed attracted to. We tried a question and answer session using the EMF meter, and recording devices for EVP's. We got EMF spikes for several of the questions, including that she was female, a winter resident of the hotel, and that the last year she was here was 1951. Next, we went up to the second floor where our room was located. We went to the end of the hall, near the stairs, and several members smelled something like perfume. I couldn't smell it, but others said it drifted past them and disappeared. We determined that it was none of us. While we asked questions with the EMF meter and recording devices, the fragrance drifted by again. After this, we went back to our room and looked at our photos. The staff and news writer left, and we discussed the night. Mary told us that she had sensed a man in the kitchen who was about 30, and had his hair pulled back in a ponytail. She said she thought that he had possibly been a waiter or dishwasher. She had also sensed an older man in one of the banquet rooms. Debbie and I ended up staying the night in the room. After Mary and Brandy left, we went to the end of the hall with our recording devices and tried one more questioning session for possible EVP's. It was very quiet, and the fragrance didn't return. The night in the room turned out to be very quiet. In conclusion, I didn't get anything in any of my photos or my recordings. I don't think that anyone captured the lights flickering on video, but we all witnessed it. Overall, it was a very interesting investigation, and we'd like to follow it up with a future one with other Spirit members present.
Present: Brandy, Mary, Debbie, and Jeanne. Three staff, 1 reporter.
This investigation was quite invigorating. We did have abnormal conditions to begin with: two days worth of rain with lightning earlier in the day. I had wondered if that would have an impact upon this investigation.
We started the investigation at 7 p.m. in the bar area. I had heard the story of a piece of furniture in the bar that had once belonged to Jefferson Davis and was reputed to have a haunted mirror. We did start to set up in the bar area, and noted a temperature drop from 81 to 78 degrees. However, one of the doors to the outside had been opened, which negated the reading.
EMF was kept on the 0 – 3 scale with an average reading of 1.6 EMF. I did invite the entity to communicate with us through the meter, spiking once for “yes”. I then asked if anyone was in the room with us, and we did get spikes on the meter in answer. I repeated the question and we received another spike, and repeated the question again and got a spike. However, other questions were left unanswered. We were unable to determine gender (male or female), though it did appear to remember some of the staff that accompanied us on the investigation.
Suddenly, the lights in the narthex to the room we were in flashed three times. We asked if the entity was doing that and the lights came on and went off again. We asked the staff if there was any issue with the wiring (they confirmed today that the wiring was sound via a professional. The staffers had never witnessed this activity before in the area). We then tried to get the entity to work with us on turning the lights on and off again. There was no response. We did not capture the lights on film, though we did have 4 non-SPIRITS witnesses to the events. In my memory, this was one of the first time the lights have ever done that on an investigation. (Other equipment has been affected, but never have I had lights do this).
We tried to get it to answer questions with the lights but there was no result. EMF also died down considerably after this event.
We proceeded through the bar area and checked upstairs with no real results. (EMF dropped). The temperature ranged between 77 and 79 degrees, and the EMF had to be turned to the 0 – 100 scale.
We moved back into the main building. We went through a computer area where EMF spiked. However, a fuse box was also present.
We moved through the lobby. Mary sensed a female presence in the lobby area. She believed that the older woman was attached to the cabinet. We attempted to use the EMF meter to communicate, asking what the last year was that she remembered (1951). Debbie asked if she had been murdered (spike to that) but Mary isn’t certain.
We moved upstairs. In one area, there was a strong smell of lilac or lavender incense (my term). I did ask others if they could smell it, and of the 7 of us present, 5 could. We had another person come up a minute later and we asked her what she smelled. She told us “incense”. The smell seemed to strengthen as we waited, and we asked questions in the area. The odd thing is that various people smelled the aroma at different times; people who smelled it once may not have smelled it again. For one question, I did not smell any aroma. For another, I did. We went upstairs and downstairs to verify the aroma was not wafting into the area. However, a few feet from the area, the smell died down. Staff verified that the place was not occupied since 4 days before, and there were no cleaning chemicals used that smelled like that.
We ended our investigation. It was nearing 9:30 and we were getting hungry. The staffers and reporter had to leave. We started to review our notes.
Mary told me of her impressions:
She thought that there was re than one entity present. She described going through the kitchen and seeing what she thought was a waiter or bus boy. He had long hair, was 30-ish, and may have had a mustache. In the computer area, she sensed an older man close to the computer wearing a gray sports jacket and glasses who was curious about us. In the lobby she found a woman from the 1930s. Initially, her left hand was on the cabinet. She wore a dark green dress, had brown hair in a hairstyle from the 1930’s or 40’s. She wore a clasp.
Jeanne had one small orb, didn’t smell the aroma.
Debbie reports a possible EVP, but is currently still checking her information and her information will appear in the report.
My own information I have deciphered throughout 8 –2 and I will discuss further down.
As we were in the room, the incense aroma lingered near us for a few seconds; it was a very distinct smell. However, as quickly as it came it also disappeared.
Debbie and I did go downstairs to get her video camera. No unusual activity occurred on the way to or from the bar area. We did talk with another staffer who told us that he had been seated in the computer area and heard the heavy door between kitchen and computer room open and close. He showed us the door – this is something that could not happen on its own. He had clear view of the area and saw no one coming in or out of the area.
We went upstairs; Mary had to go. I also left. Jean and Debbie stayed the rest of the night. I left around midnight.
Other phenomena reported by staff:
Feeing of being watched Feeling of being watched by the image over the fireplace.
Peripheral vision manifestations.
Manifestation of an entity: At 4 a.m. “I saw a young man, approximately 20 years old with dark hair and wearing blue jeans and a long sleeved blue shirt. As I looked at him, he just faded away.”
Yes, ice cold spot around bar area on side of bar in front of TV set (second bar area)
Ex employee spotted a little girl in bar area (main bar)
Crying of a woman on the second floor, end of hallway (where we had the aroma).
Structure built in 1926
Someone did die in the structure
In review of the images:
Video/IR: Nothing unusual.
Digital camera video: possible EVP.
Digital camera images: Orb images in bar area (right in the area of the lights that flashed), 1 orb captured on a camera that rarely captures orbs in the lobby area.
Overall impression of investigation:
We need to divide the area up some. I would like to focus on hotel and the bar area separately.
The lights and the aroma were the best part of the investigation. I truly hope that the entity (ies) will interact with us again.
When we return, I plan to have cameras in hand and already rolling to avoid another missed incident. I was impressed iwth Mary's accuracy; she spotted the 30 year old male. We also went to the areas of the lobby (though may have had suggestion), bar (known area) and second floor where we had phenomena recorded.
August 1 2007
Undisclosed Downtown St Petersburg Location
Members present: Brandy, Debbie, Jeanne and Mary. Also present for the majority of the investigation, Hotel General Manager, Director of Sales and Marketing, an interested party associated with the general manager and a local newspaper reporter.
Weather conditions: Raining and stormy
Equipment used: Fijitsu Lifebook table pc with external mic and WavePro software for evp recording, Sony digital recorder, Sony camcorder with IR capability, Digital IR thermometer and Casio digital camera.
Being the primary contact for this investigation allowed me prior knowledge of this large complex and it’s plethora of first hand witness accounts of paranormal activity. During the investigation substantial activity was witness by not only SPIRITS team members but also by an equal number of non-members present.
Due to the extreme size of this facility I am only going to mention areas where we received positive paranormal reactions.
Our team assembled at approximately 6:30 p.m. where we were met by 2-hotel employees and the news reporter. We headed up to the room I had booked to unpack our equipment.
We began our investigation in the restaurant-bar area of the hotel. This specific spot has enough paranormal activity to be of general public knowledge. As I set up my equipment in preparation for filming, Brandy and the others received almost instant recognition from the entity. EMF registered low in the bar which helped to validate the EVP responses to Q&A. I requested that the lights be turned off for IR filming purposes. The hotel employees lowered the lots in the entrance area as well as the bar itself. With in just a few minutes of lowering the lights off in the front room they began to flicker on and off. Brandy asked if it was the entity causing the lights to flicker and to please make them flicker again the lights started to flicker. This was repeated one more time with equal success. But, as things go in paranormal investigations, I neither had my camcorder pointed in that direction let alone turned on. None of us caught this phenomenon on anything other than audio only devices.
Historic phenomena reported in this one area include but is limited to: Sightings of a man’s face in the mirror of the very large game/gun rack owned by Jefferson Davis that was purchased and moved to the hotel directly from Jefferson Davis’s Biloxi estate.
Other historic reports about the bar and restaurant:
During current renovations the owner who is working late at night will see a figure of a man standing at the top of the stairs by the bar but when he looks to see who is there he sees nothing.
One of the night auditors/registration desk personnel from the graveyard shift (ok, I know but I said it anyway) reported that while his co-worker, and only other employee on the premises that night was working on the computer in the Ballroom. It was approximately 3:00 a.m. in the morning. He heard a very large and very heavy door leading between the ballroom and into the kitchen open and close. Brandy and myself investigated this door and found it not only to be extremely loud with the faintest of movement but also far to heavy to be affected by any breeze not directly related to a Category 2 hurricane. It shuts with quite the bang too. The employee repeatedly verified no other person was present in any section of this portion of the hotel when the incident took place. This coincides with historic reports of a male apparition seen walking from the hotel proper and into the restaurant.
This large and bright area has a wonderful welcoming aura, especially on such a dark and stormy afternoon like this was. Our sensitive, Mary, felt a female presence on the northeast corner of area. Our blended group gathered in that area for a series of questions to try and verify an active entity. We received positive EMF spikes toare you female? Yes to last year remembered 1951. Yes to last month remembered June. Yes to the female dating or involved with someone in the area and yes to the question, “were you murdered?” Our hosts for the evening will try and research any possible records from this time period to see if we can verify this interaction.
I received two of the most amazing EVPs of the night. The EVPs are amazing for their clarity and amazing for their overall 10 point rating on the weirdness scale. First EVP sounds like it’s saying “Put the red sandwich over on the bar” The second EVP states “To find the prints” (or prince) as we spoke about moving to the second floor.
Other reported phenomena in the lobby includes:
Sighting of a male, approximately 30 years old with dark hair, wearing blue jeans and a long sleeve blue shirt standing at the center of the hotel lobby. As the night clerk stared at the figure it simply faded away.
A portrait of a black haired female hanging over the fireplace has eyes looking off to her left. Hotel guests have reported the eyes of this painting to look directly at them.
Late at night and early morning hours will have movement noted out of the corner of the eye that is very rapid but nothing is ever found when investigated.
High EMF in this area next to the room the hotel had booked us in. Though no single room in the hotel has ever been reported as hotel guest has reported having activity at the south end of the second floor activity. We assembled in the hall at the very end of the hotel. One hotel employee joined us approximately 10-15 after we began. Almost as soon as we focused our attention here a very distinct and sweet smelling aroma started to move among the investigators. Brandy mentioned that it smelled like incense. The aroma was obvious to those who smelled it but at no time during this event would the same people report the ability to smell it at the same time. All but one person in the group of 8 reported not smelling the aroma. When our missing hotel employee rejoined us she too could almost immediately smell the perfume. When asked what it smelled like to her she also said “incense”. It was confirmed with the hotel’s general manager, who was with us during all most all of the investigation that the aroma had nothing in comparison to the cleaning products used by this establishment.
Reported phenomena on the second floor:
An elderly woman in a wheelchair is seen. Another version has a woman apparition standing in the hall way as well as that of a little girl seen playing both on the second floor and the first floor.
A member of a rock n roll band staying on this end of the hotel vehemently insisted to have his room changed because it was haunted. A couple at 3:00 a.m. in the morning also staying in this area left the hotel refusing to stay because the hotel was haunted.
The SPIRITS will continue to investigate this wonderful place and the hotel members have agreed to begin to track events in a logbook for us.
Present: Brandy, Jeanne, Debbie, Mary, 3 employees of the establishment and a reporter from the St Pete Times
Conditions: Evening thunderstorms
Equipment: digital cameras and recorders, camcorder, EMF meters, laptop with software equipped to distinguish possible EVPs, digital thermometers
We met at 6:30 pm in a room reserved for the night for as the "headquarters" for our investigation. About 8 pm we went down to the restaurant/bar area which is undergoing extensive renovation, to set up equipment. While in the process of doing so, Brandy asked a question directed to any unseen entity and as soon as she did, 3 lights recessed into the ceiling of a foyer-like area blinked off and on. Brandy asked a second question with the same response. All 8 of us witnessed this phenomena. None of us were near any light switches and all were in plain view of the others when this occurred.
On the way to the restaurant area, as we passed through a large kitchen, I was aware of a man who was approximately 30 years old dressed in a white long-sleeved shirt with white pants. His brown hair was neatly tied back into a ponytail. He did not seem to me to be a cook, but perhaps a server or busboy.
On the second floor of the restaurant I saw what appeared to be a shimmery movement in a caged in pantry, much like heat coming up of a road. but with no glimmer. Leaving the area to return to the main part of the buildings, I sensed an elderly man with grey hair in the ballroom area. He was wearing glasses and a grey sports coat. He seemed mildly interested in what we were doing and watched us with some curiosity.
Upon entering the elegantly appointed lobby, I was drawn to the front corner near the windows. I took a picture and got an orb that has its own light. Control shots do not show any orbs nor were there any reflective surfaces that might have caused it. I felt the presence of a woman in 1930s style. She was wearing a green dress, not as dark as hunter green, but a darker green that was clinging to her somewhat and that had long sleeves. She had her left hand resting on the corner of a small china cabinet that is in that area of the lobby. Her hair was pulled back somewhat in the style of the 1930s or very early 40s with a golden clasp in the back. Her face was turned slightly to the left and I had a feeling of distant sadness with her as if thinking of someone loved and lost with whom she had spent pleasant times, perhaps in this same spot. The group began to ask questions of the entity and got immediate responses to their questions by means of EMF meter spikes. She stated that she was a seasonal visitor and that the last year she remembered was 1951. I did not have the feeling that she died here or even died in St Petersburg, but that she returned only to remember happier times perhaps.
We went back to the corridor outside of our room. Present also were the hotel staff and the reporter. At the end of the corridor we smelled a fragrance like a "old time" perfume oe as Brandy stated "like incense." Interestingly enough, some of us did not smell it, and the ones that did smell it, did not necessarily smell it at the same time.
The SPIRITS are delighted to have had this opportunity to investigate a property that is a part of St Pete's historical downtown district. The staff was extremely cooperative and very cordial and we look forward tp working with them in the future.
Orbs in the bar. The orb, below, fits with the time of phenomena. You can see the lights that will be manipulated in the background. Guests cropped from the shot.
35 mm photos: Top two have orbs; third is a false positive to compare to the two orb images. Are these orbs or flash refraction?
Debbie's images (digital):
Text that the lady's aroma (see initial reports) is not produced by these aroma canisters.
Aug. 17 Investigation
Location: St. Petersburg, FL Date: 08/17/2007 Author: Partha Saradhi Peddi
No prior knowledge about the history or events concerning this location.
Silent walk through Stage
Initially I used iron filings for finding a DC magnetic field. I found the filings aligning themselves in the second floor of the restaurant in the dark room with the glass table in the middle. Verna was right beside me to witness this event. The field disappeared in a few seconds. The unreliability of the iron filings casts a doubt on the experiment. The site of the investigation was very hot (~93 F) and humid. The second floor was hotter (~100 F). There was a very high pitch (frequency) sound from the Computer/Security Room on the second floor.
Experiment: Shake the flat container containing the iron filings so that in the presence of a magnetic field, the filings align themselves in one direction. In the experiment, the filings aligned themselves in the NNE direction at first even after rotating the container clockwise and counterclockwise. After a few seconds, the filings stopped aligning in a specific direction.
Break before second round of walk through
We took a break during which, we received a small compass that was more reliable than the iron filings. A compass also provides the direction of any DC magnetic field if present.
Pre walk through: I tested the magnet of the compass to be reliable in aligning itself to the Earth’s Magnetic South Pole (North). Sometimes the magnet gets stuck, but on shaking it, it got unstuck. I found a changing DC magnetic field in the location of the pre-test.
Walk through: I found the presence of a DC magnetic field in some locations that changed the alignment of the compass. These MF changes were not repeatable.
Tests for the future investigations: Check the Flux density and direction. Perform tests on what it takes to cause the change in magnetic flux. Check the effect of these changes on people.
Discussion after walk through
During the discussion, I smelled alcohol that can be attributed to the open bottles of alcohol in the bar. Found that the magnetic field changed witnessed by other investigators. The compass did a complete rotation without any physical disturbance. It was placed on the bar’s granite slab.
Post discussion walk through
After the discussion, all investigators walked to the location of the maximum activity. I found that the magnetic flux change was detected by the compass. I also found a cold spot that could have been attributed to the presence of a shaded window (glass closed) that was cooler than the surroundings. The cold air draft is a possible explanation since the cold spot was right beside the window and closer to the floor.
I am unsure about the idea that unrepeatable events can be assumed to answer simple questioning. Asking questions and taking EMF deflections as answers is being speculative in my opinion.
Undisclosed Downtown St Petersburg
August 17th 2007
Attending members: Brandy, Denise, Amy, Mary, Juanita, Shaun, Verna and Partha. Also attending a local newspaper photographer.
Weather: Usual Florida August weather, hot hot hot and humid.
Equipment used: Fujitsu Lifebook with WavePro recording software and external mic, Sony camcorder with night vision capability, Casio digital camera and infrared thermometer.
Our full investigation team arrived on time at 7:00 p.m. in front of the building. We did a passable impression of a group of tourists in matching t-shirts while we stood aside and waited non-investigators and clients to depart. After a few moments we also entered the beautiful lobby and while the group veered off to the left towards our intended investigation site I announced our arrival at the desk. I can honestly attest that even though paranormal events are historic at this undisclosed location, the staff here have been extremely hospitable and gracious in working with us.
Once behind the closed doors of the ballroom, Brandy opened the investigation in the usual manner. A brief explanation of our procedures were given to the guest photographer and we were off and hunting. We divided up into two groups with Brandy, Denise, Amy and myself on one team and everyone else took the first tour of the upstairs rooms over the bar area. We spent a portion of time investigating the bar but did not have a repeat of the previous phenomena and with Denise, one of our principle sensitive’s, back in the fold, we were sent off to investigate the long kitchen area and restaurant. We ended up by the stairwell leading down to the basement, an area we did not previously investigate during our first investigation. The basement contains the laundry and housekeeping area. I did not notice the aroma that played among us on the second floor during the first investigation and Brandy was quick to have me double check it. Though I hate to admit it, because Hollywood has done enough damage to the serious interests of the paranormal researcher, Amy mentioned, “This is like ‘The Shining’, a reference to a horror movie. Several other members repeated this independent of each other. I say hey, why fly out to Colorado when we have this location, without the melodrama of Hollywood to contaminate our findings and impressions?
After securing the padlock back to the basement door we climbed these stairs up to the second floor. Upon entering the second floor at the opposite end from where I stayed over night before, it didn’t take very long to have the aroma revisit with us. I questioned if there was an automatic scent dispenser in the air-conditioning system but found that there were automatic deodorant dispensers hanging from the walls. Though we thought we had discovered the source of the lilac incense aroma, further investigation proved these dispensers were empty. Nor, did they contain any smell that I could identify with what we are associating with an elderly lady seen on the second floor. After reviewing my recordings for EVPs I discovered several EVPs . One EVP sounds to me like a young girl saying “Claudi”. There is another EVP of snoring as well as a man saying,
“ Gotta whole bunch of ‘em”. Even though this investigation was missing the previous visual phenomena I am quite pleased with the many EVPs taken during this session.
This investigation though lacking the physical anomalies of the last investigation in comparison and because Denise was with us I found more EVPs being recorded because Denise kept us moving forward in the investigation. (How did you put that again, Amy, “we were following our bloodhound?” Did I get that right? I’d hate to be misquoted here.) Once we completed the second floor we headed back for the bar area to take our turn in the upstairs rooms over the bar. I had left my camcorder in the bar but at a different angle this time and I had a much wider view of the barroom area. However, nothing as interesting as the last light anomaly I recorded before. But, even using a different angle did help to validate that car lights do not have any effects on the interior of the bar after dark.
Upstairs was stifling and I had some difficulty breathing. Since this area is currently being renovated no air-conditioning was available. We usually ask for air, fans and heaters to turned off prior to investigations anyway so the intense heat was expected. Just as we landed at the first large upstairs room Denise wanted to know if anyone had a camera recording towards the entry way into the next room. Denise had seen a mist cross from west to east. We failed to capture this mist. It was here that we met with what I believe to be the little girl who has appeared numerous times to hotel guest, primarily on the second floor of the hotel. We had some anomalous light streaks on the walls but determined that a glass table in the middle of the room was the cause of these streaks. However, there is a large blue tinged orb directly over Brandy’s face in one picture. We called this room the chair-room. We spent time in this room due to cold spots that seemed to linger around Brandy. I felt them a few times as well. Denise felt as if the time was not right to attempt evp work but we did try very hard to capture this entity on all recording devices. Denise also held the attention of this entity though I was unable to get any temperature readings to substantiate the coldness she was feeling. Denise also said she was experiencing some very unpleasant feelings of dread and fear from this energy though Denise said “her energy is abundant and always on the move”.
We blended our groups back together and reviewed our photographs and each member reported their findings and impressions. I withheld my information as primary contact for this establishment to not corrupt anyone’s information. I had one blue orb over by the same lights that had flickered in response to questions during the last investigation. I switched these lights on and noticed that there were two extra track lights on the same switch that were not part of the light show we were treated to last time. This help to verify the lights display as being paranormal in nature. It was decided at the conclusion to the reports to continue our evp work upstairs.
After we went upstairs the investigation took on a bit of a darker overtone from the previous playfulness of our entity. It was brought forth that this little girl of approximately 8-years of age may have been a former resident of the location when it was a hospital. However, there was also a heavy feeling associated with a larger burly man. This is what Denise and several other members of our investigation reported as feelings of dread in this area. I had mentioned I had felt it difficult to breath upstairs and also during this period I had the impression of anxiety that I associated with a feeling of the “boss” being in the area. Denise had an overpowering feeling that she was going to be pushed when we were least expecting it. Fortunately, this event did not take place.
Though this investigation did take a turn towards tragedy at the conclusion of the hunt I still feel that this is a wonderful place not only for its grandeur but also primarily due to the people who staff these unique and historic buildings.
I look forward to our continuing follow up investigations.
Investigation: Undisclosed, St Petersburg, Florida
Report written by: Verna Peddi
Attendees: Brandy, Debbie, Juanita, Shaun, Mary, Partha, Amy, Denise and myself.
Date: August 17th 2007
Prior to this investigation, I was unfamiliar with the history concerning the location. Upon entering the hotel, it appeared to be like any other local business would appear to be like. It appeared to be very inviting.
We were instructed that we would be investigating a portion of the building that was not being used at this point and time. The adjacent portion of the building consisted of two kitchens, a dining area, area on the second floor and a basement. I was unaware of the basement and did not investigate that area.
We began the investigation in the bar area. We went over a few protocols and broke into two groups. The group I was involved in canvassed the upstairs area first. Before entering the upstairs area, I was noticing that I was getting a sensation from the staircase. It was not a bad sensation, but it was not clear either. When we went onto the second floor we entered a room with tables and chairs. There was another room that was like a sitting area with a couch. In the sitting area I was picking up a sensation that was not exactly pleasant. Still I was not able to pick up on exactly what was the exact feeling. Throughout this investigation I was unable to verify a lot of what I was getting. There seems to be some confusion. The sitting area had another room right behind it. I was picking up a lot of activity in that room. I had the 35-mm camera and began taking snapshots.
The group went back through several of the rooms and then we traveled downstairs. We roamed the area and I did not pick up any sensations. My husband Partha was actually walking with me and we were both drawn to the bathrooms downstairs. We both went in and I photographed both rest rooms. Later after the investigation we found out that paranormal activity occurred in the foyer where the bathrooms are located. Perhaps we were drawn there because of the foyer.
Once again the group ventured back upstairs and we were in the second kitchen area where there was a chain-linked cage where certain items were being housed. I picked up a strong feeling in that cage area and photographed that area also. I found out later that another group member picked up on sensations there also.
While we were upstairs we went back to the room where the tables and chairs were located. Partha had this toy that had metal particles and a magnet on the under side to draw designs. Partha was picking up an alleged magnetic field in the middle of the room. I actually witnessed while he was shaking the board and the metal pieces were scattering, then all of a sudden the fragments aligned. We called the rest of the group to witness the phenomena. We were unable to recreate that experience.
Finally we all grouped together downstairs and went through each person’s account, which was extremely fascinating. While we were down in the bar area again I was picking up something telling me that there was some sort of violent act, a bar fight, maybe and then a young man in his early twenties came to mind. I do not know any connection between the two mental thoughts that came to me, but it was rather interesting.
As a group in its entirety we went back upstairs and tried to receive EVP through conversation. We continued to record via video. After a sufficient amount of time we closed the investigation.
Side note: During final conversations it seems that there was discussion that vibes were being picked up about the past activities within the hotel were being picked up.
Also, received information from gentleman running the front desk about hotel being used as a children’s hospital one time.
Present: Brandy, Debbie. Denise, Amy, Juanita, Shaun, Verna. Partha, Mary and a photographer for the St Pete Times Conditions:
Hot and humid Equipment: Digital cameras and recorders, camcorders, digital thermometer, EMF meters, EVP equipment. magnet, metal particles enclosed in a plastic covered child's toy (as an experiment) The group met at 7 pm and went to the area of the establishment that was the restaurant area. This area is under extensive renovation. On this visit the air conditioning was not on, making it oppressively hot. We set up our equipment in the bar area and split into 2 teams of Verna. Partha, Juanita, Shaun and myself and the other of Brandy, Denise, Debbie, Amy and the photographer. <u team went to the second floor of the restauratnt. We explored the room previously identified as the "chair room." In this room Partha got some activity involving the metal shavings that inexplicably lined themselved up. It appeared that there was some type of magnetic activity that is frequently associated with paranormal activiity. Interestingly enough the only picture that I took that was blurry was taken at about the same time in the same room. We explored the restaurant fully, but did have to stop for a while due to the heat for a little while. We noted that the restaurant appeared to be kind of pieced together, as if it had not been origiinally built as a restaurant. When we joined again with the other team, we learned that Denise had seen a little girl who was just brimming with energy. She appeared to be about 8 years old and was wearing a dress no later than the early 1950s in style. As we sat down upstairs, we could feel cool air passing by us in stark contrast to the oppressively hot still air. Amy asked the child to sit by her on a chair and one of my pictures shows an orb in that chair at that time. There were other magnetic anomalies in the bar area and the ballroom when the compass moved off of due north and pointed in other directions. Again it was a very productive investigation. The SPIRITS are again grateful to the management for allowing us to investigate this fascinating property.
Aug 17, 2007
Location: Undisclosed, downtown St. Petersburg
Description of place: Large, multi-floored building; includes a basement
Ghostly manifestations: Reports of a haunted mirror (a man’s image reflected in the mirror when no one was behind the witness), an old woman on the second floor, a girl’s spirit, a 30 year old man’s spirit, a mild, anxious male spirit, a man who looks like a “mountain man,” old-time lady associated in the lobby, gray haired man who watches for someone on the couch. Also reported: Eyes in a picture that move.
Identity of ghost: All ghosts are unknown.
Personality of ghost:
Haunted Mirror: Startled one employee very badly, but nothing malicious known from the contact.
Old woman on the second floor: weeps, very sad. Also associated with an aroma of lilacs/incense.
Little girl’s spirit: playful, may be responsible for lights turning on and off in front of the SPIRITS and witnesses. Cold spots also associated with her.
Male spirit: Anxious, feels as if the “boss is watching”
30 year old: Has been seen by one man, then sensed by a SPIRITS sensitive. No real personality.
Mountain Man: Somewhat heavy handed, possibly associated with the little girl; gives off very heavy presence
Old-time lady in lobby: associated with curios cabinet, no real personality.
Gray haired man: witnessed by night staff; appears to be waiting for someone. Does not interact, fades away.
Witnesses: Multiple reports from staff who work at clinic.
Best time to witness: Night seems to be active.
SPIRITS of St. Petersburg have now been there twice on investigations. Initial report at top.
This investigation featured no thunderstorms; it was considerably hotter in the rooms and harder to work. We had a much larger SPIRITS group and no staff present; 1 photographer. We did split into two groups: Mary, Juanita, Verna, Partha, and Shaun went upstairs; Debbie, Amy, Denise and I (Brandy) stayed downstairs.
Meter kept on 0 – 3 scale. We started at 7:30.
Is there someone present in the room? Spike on meter.
Can you verify this? If there is someone present in the room, please make this spike again? Spike on meter.
Could not get any other information verified.
Main dining room: EMF 1.8
Kitchen, 1.0, 1.2, Temp. 78 degrees
We moved to the basement: discovered laundry detergent; wondered if the aroma matched what we smelled last time. Debbie didn’t think so; too strong.
I felt a dizziness when we were leaving and I stood under the stairwell.
Moved to the stairs and went to the second floor. Walked across the second floor to area where we had aroma last time. Discovered aroma dispensers in the hall, but upon opening them discovered that they were empty.
Upstairs: 86 degrees
Denise reported seeing a mist move in front of her.
I sat in a chair and felt a cold spot on my left; verified by others.
EMF dropped to 85 degrees.
Cold spot; EMF spike.
Temp dropped to 84 degrees.
While sitting down, felt a cold spot by my ankle. The cold spot moved under the table to Amy.
Verna: Staircase area, top of stairs; felt someone was possibly hurt in the small upstairs pantry area (male).
Juanita: lobby: felt tension and tingly, near the curio cabinet. Nothing in the area where we were.
Mary: Not much, orb on ceiling in lobby.
Amy: Most felt as behind bar; pressure on shoulders, felt that there was something that happened there; got a moving blue orb in the area where Brandy felt cold spot.
Debbie: Had a lot of prior info.
Shaun: Upstairs: Kitchen, odd feeling.
Partha: In the chair room he conducted an experiment with the metal filings. Got them to align two times. Started to use a compass and was amazed that it turned.
Brandy: See above.
Denise: Felt anxious; didn’t want to go into kitchen area; felt a residual energy; sensed a girl in the area who is the one running and creating activity. What happened to her is unknown, she fears a afraid sometimes.
Second walk through: Upstairs
Tried to use EMF; little girl was there. Felt no fear, but was curious.
Asked her age: Under ten? Spike.
Asked numbers: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 (spike).
Did she stay in the hotel?
Did she go to the beach?
Was she from Florida?
From St. Petersburg?
(All no responses).
Would not get this to spike for anything else.
Review of video: May have disproven one EVP: 1 26: 50
Conversation on orbs, "I gotta whole bunch of them."
1 38: 34: "Not gonna get my feet in the shot" Probably dust image going past the screen.
We found out later that the hotel was built in 1926, but was used in the 1930s as a children’s hospital. This would explain the little girl’s presence. Staff told us that a psychic said that the little girl spirit had once been a resident of the hospital and had died there; she still enjoys playing in the area. The girl was supposed to be from out of the state; brought here for treatment. That would explain why her spirit didn’t respond to the questions.
Mary did some research and found out that before the building was there, a house was torn down. In discussions with Debbie, she wondered if the old woman was the former resident of the old house crying because it’s gone.
Data sources: Mary’s research, 2 SPIRITS investigations, staff, historical records, St. Petersburg Times documents.
Mary's pictures (digital):
Post investigation follow up:
Go ahead and make it public where you were. The only mistake is that the bar came from Jefferson Davis estate in Bilouxi and then went directly to Red Baron's auction house in Atlanta and then was purchased and came to the restaurant.
This is an accidential false positive, below, created by the same 35 mm camera as above. How does it compare to images above?
Amy's image: orb over investigator. This was taken during the cold spot. Digital camera.
Present: Brandy, Debbie. Denise, Amy, Juanita, Shaun, Verna. Partha, Mary and a photographer for the St Pete Times
Conditions: Hot and humid
Equipment: Digital cameras and recorders, camcorders, digital thermometer, EMF meters, EVP equipment. magnet, metal particles enclosed in a plastic covered child's toy (as an experiment)
The group met at 7 pm and went to the area of the establishment that was the restaurant area. This area is under extensive renovation. On this visit the air conditioning was not on, making it oppressively hot.
We set up our equipment in the bar area and split into 2 teams of Verna. Partha, Juanita, Shaun and myself and the other of Brandy, Denise, Debbie, Amy and the photographer. Our team went to the second floor of the restaurant. We explored the room previously identified as the "chair room." In this room Partha got some activity involving the metal shavings that inexplicably lined themselved up. It appeared that there was some type of magnetic activity that is frequently associated with paranormal activiity. Interestingly enough the only picture that I took that was blurry was taken at about the same time in the same room. We explored the restaurant fully, but did have to stop for a while due to the heat We noted that the restaurant appeared to be kind of pieced together, as if it had not been origiinally built as a restaurant.
When we joined again with the other team, we learned that Denise had seen a little girl who was just brimming with energy. She appeared to be about 8 years old and was wearing a dress no later than the early 1950s in style. As we sat down upstairs, we could feel cool air passing by us in stark contrast to the oppressively hot still air.
Amy asked the child to sit by her on a chair and one of my pictures shows an orb in that chair at that time. There were other magnetic anomalies in the bar area and the ballroom when the compass moved off of due north and pointed in other directions. Again it was a very productive investigation. The SPIRITS are again grateful to the management for allowing us to investigate this fascinating property.
This is the daughter-in-law of the first owner of the Martha Washington:
Mon, 17 Sep 2007 10:17:32 -0700 (PDT)
HELT, MARGARET OGDEN, 88, of St. Petersburg, died Sunday (Jan. 14,
1996) at Harborside Health Care, Palm Harbor. She was born in Wilkinsburg, Pa.,
and came here in 1923 from Lisbon, Ohio. A 1924 graduate of St. Petersburg
HighSchool, she was former owner of Martha Washington Hotel from 1928 to
1968 and also operated the Garden Cafeteria from 1941 to 1968. She was a
member of Westminster Presbyterian Church for more than 40 years and served
as a Pink Lady volunteer at Mound Park Hospital, now Bayfront Medical
Center. Survivors include a son, Howard O., Tarpon Springs; two grandchildren,
Kenneth S. Helt, Hudson, and Tamra Lin Helt, Wadmalaw Island, S.C.;
and two great-grandsons. John S. Rhodes, East Chapel, St. Petersburg.
Sept. 5, 2007:
I wrote up a quick report on today's phenomena at the Heritage Inn. I noted at the end that I did not pursue additional interaction after the first response due to our rule of not hunting alone, even though I was with the Lynda.
Anyway, didn't know if you want to include this on the website or not.
Lynda mentioned that she has been contacted by a website, cabinets.com about placing the "haunted cabinet" on their website. They requested using the information from our website and I advised Lynda that this other site needed to contact us prior to posting anything from our reports. Let me know if they do contact you. I tried both cabinet.com and cabinets.com and didn't come up with anything that seems remotely paranormal in nature. Lynda agreed to forward the tbspirits email address to them.
Sunday November 18th
Saint Petersburg, Fl
Jen & Vick
Tri-Field EMF Meter 100XE (0-100 Magnetic setting)
Olympus Digital Voice Recorder VN-3100
Sony Digital Camera Cyber-Shot DSC-P30
I did not read anything about The Heritage from the SPIRITS site, although I plan on it tonight. I did not want to taint the investigation. The only thing I knew from Evie was that this was “the most haunted room.”
Vicky and I arrived at The Heritage around 3:00 PM after a day of antique shopping and lunch at The Garden. As we were checking in, one of the men handed me Evie’s bag of “goodies.” The bag contained everything from a thermometer, tape recorder, EMF meter, extra batteries, you name it! I went the day before and purchased my own tape recorder, so the only equipment I borrowed was the EMF Meter Thank you Evie).
It was a sunny and warm day and the air conditioner was on when we entered the room. I did not feel anything out of the norm at all, paranormally speaking. We were in the room about 10 minutes when Vicky was on the west side of the room (by the windows) on the bed looking down at something and I was standing facing the windows looking into my luggage when I noticed it get a bit brighter in the room. It was enough to notice, so I looked up and the lamp in front of me (behind Vicky) had gone on when we were not looking.
Base line readings throughout the room on the Tri-Field EMF meter remained constant at 3.5. By the alarm clock it was higher, about 6.5. Vicky began to take some pictures with her Sony digital camera. Her freshly charged batteries drained within minutes. Since Vicky has no actual prior ghost hunting knowledge, she mentioned the drained batteries to me finding it odd. I explained it to her. She replaced her batteries and placed the drained batteries back on her charger in the bathroom.
We decided to scout out the building so I placed a few objects varying in size and material around the room asking if anyone wanted could they please move them while we were out of the room. I placed a wooden ornament from Russia on the TV stand, a penny on the lamp and a paper clip on the night stand by the lamp that went on by itself. Vicky had turned off the lamp by that time to see how easily it could be clicked on and off. The lamp had a twist knob on the base and also by the bulb. Vicky said that both knobs were not easy to manipulate.
We left the room and I let the tape recorder run. I still need to listen to the tapes, but none of the bait objects were taken moved when we returned. We took pictures of each of these objects before we left for reference. My asthma was acting up at this time.
When Vicky and I returned back to the room we both felt entirely drained of energy. It could have been lunch digesting or the room. While sitting on the bed, the EMF spiked to 4.5 once.
I noticed the alarm clock said the time was 4:04, yet it should have been around 3:18. Vicky said this was not unusual, and I agree, yet you think that the staff would have changed it over by now. The clock at one point grabbed both of our attention out of the corner of our eyes. To me, it looked like the numbers (minutes) were scrolling quickly until I looked. She said she saw the numbers out of the corner of her eye also. At that point we thought perhaps we were just “looking” too much, but it was strange that this caught both of our eyes.
Usually I pick up on physical “pains” during investigations, please see back to my very first investigation, 54th Ave North (?). Besides the “drained’ feeling in Room 215, I had a fleeting sharp pain in my left eye. It was above the actual eyeball, my upper socket to the top of my skull. I felt perhaps a fall or an aneurysm. Oh, also, by Room 227 I had a sharp chest pain….I was already cued into that being a hot-spot, but I had that feeling.
Before heading out to dinner at Baywalk, we were both TRYING to get ready, although I was ready to sleep. It was hard to keep my eyes open, literally. I was even a bit crabby. We were putting on our favorite Maybelline lipstick and as we were discussing our love of this particular lipstick, Vicky noticed a sharp peak (she just caught it) in the EMF as I said “Maybelline.” We sat down and tried to converse, although that only resulted in a few small peaks. If anyone was there they never answered (EMF wise) if this was a male or female, but I felt female. I felt her name was Mabel. We tried, May, Maybelline, Mary, nothing. But I felt, Mabel. Perhaps even a black woman. We turned off the air conditioner and opened the window.
In room 215 during the day there was a mixture of sounds. Water in the pipes, the air conditioner, it was very loud. During the night, the only actual sounds were coming from the open window where it sounded like New York construction, I finally had to shut the window, and it was crazy.
Vicky was having some breathing difficulties, it sounded like she was drowning and I woke up about every hour to just sit up, see, feel and listen. To my disappointment there was nothing (except Vicky & construction). I let Vick “sleep” therefore we did not head out in the early AM as we planned on. I was just too damn tired and just wanted to lie down. I am still kicking myself in the arse about that, but you have to know how tired we actually were.
Now this was odd... I had a waking dream, the very intense emotionally sad type that is very rare, but when they do occur, you actually cry in your sleep. Just for reference, if this type of dream occurs with me, it usually involves the death of a parent, or both. Hence, super high emotions.
So here I was in Room 215. I was ½ in and ½ out of my dream wondering to myself if this could be something to do with an entity there, but I kept trying to let the dream run its course. I remember I did not want to wake up Vicky crying, I do not think I ever actually cried, but my eyes were wet. 98% of the time I can remember my dreams and this time, for the life of me, even directly after the dream, I could not. I just recall a man making me cry….which is so typical, who knows what it was! (; The even stranger thing is that when I mentioned this dream to Vicky; she said she too had a very intense emotional dream not being able to recall it. She said it was more like a feeling of intense sadness or dread, which is what I experienced, leaning more towards the sadness.
The EMF never changed dramatically on our walks around the Heritage except for wall circuit breakers and little access ways on the floor where it looked like plumbing. The EMF Meter only went off a few times in the room. Once I saw it go from 3.4 to a 6, but that was short lived and not repeated.
When we turned the TV on, the EMF spiked quickly at which time I determined we actually had a small access door hidden behind the TV stand which could have been giving out higher than normal readings. I say “higher than normal” readings as I still have Evie’s Tri-Field Meter and the baseline reading here at my house is 1.5. Off the subject, I think I have found 2 vortex areas here, which is another story. One even seems to open and close…
After checking out of The Heritage the next morning, we walked while I took pictures and I got 2 very nice orbs in an unused corner. Vicky even said something to the fact like do not bother taking a picture here as it was “just a small hall.” I personally think spirits like comfy cubby holes that are left alone. You can see the times on the pictures along with the “now you see it” picture and “now you don’t.” The pictures do not state whether it is AM or PM, so I will have include that….
Oh, also, by Room 227 I had a sharp chest pain….I was already cued that 227 was a potential hot-spot by an employee, but I had that feeling. This was the time the maids were working, so I would take random shots into rooms trying to “bust” the ghosts! I did in a few.
I think The Heritage has activity; I am just not sure what it entails!
Girls of ghost hunting
By CRISTINA SILVA, Times Staff Writer
Published September 2, 2007
[Times photo: Edmund D. Fountain]
A thermometer used by the ghost hunting group takes air temperature readings in a section of the Heritage Inn currently under renovation on. According to the group, sudden changes in temperature can indicate spiritual activity.
On a steamy August night, four women dressed in purple shirts with the words "paranormal investigator" on their sleeves stood in a circle in a hotel hallway and debated whether the faint smell of perfume in the air indicated the presence of a ghost. It was hard to tell. Ghost hunting isn't exactly a science. The rumors about ghosts at the Heritage Inn, an old-fashioned boutique hotel at 234 Third Ave. N downtown, have been around for years.
In that time, staffers have complained about odd noises. Guests have reported seeing an apparition of a little girl. Once, a couple were so spooked they checked out at 3 a.m.
Popular science would suggest there are no ghosts at the Heritage Inn, or in fact, anywhere. Ghosts do not exist.
Still, for whatever reason, the hotel staff said yes when they got a call from S.P.I.R.I.T.S. - a group of local ghostbusters - asking whether they could investigate reports of a haunting.
They had no way of knowing the investigation would challenge their beliefs on life and death.
* * *
The ghost hunt began in a hotel restaurant that was closed for renovations. Quiet and empty, it was the perfect locale.
Debra Shapiro set out her laptop on a table and turned on its audio recording device. She crossed her fingers for signs of EVPs, or electronic voice phenomena. EVPs are inaudible to the human ear but can allegedly be captured with the aid of technology.
Standing nearby, Brandy Stark used an infrared thermometer to gauge any changes in the atmosphere. Haunted places allegedly produce thermal anomalies such as cold spots, and Stark soon gleefully announced that the temperature had dropped about 7 degrees.
She set out an electromagnetic field meter on a table.
"If there is anyone here, can you please make the meter spike?" she asked.
The meter spiked. Stark smiled.
Ghost hunters believe paranormal entities emit an electromagnetic field. To Stark, this first spike was practically a greeting, a sort of "How do you do?" in paranormal lingo.
"Can you tell us if you are a male? If you are a male, can you make this meter spike?" she said.
The meter spiked. A hallway light flickered.
"Can you make the lights flash again, please," Stark asked.
The lights flashed.
"You have had the lighting checked out, right?" Stark asked.
Lynda Rucker, manager of the Heritage Inn, initially along for a few good chuckles, nodded incredulously.
"Can you make the lights flash one more time, please?" Stark asked.
The meter did not move.
"Oh, please, it was so much fun," Shapiro pleaded.
Later, a maintenance man walked by and asked about the investigation.
"You would never believe us," Rucker said.
* * *
Ghost hunting is tedious business. It involves a lot of waiting, a lot of reviewing of audio recordings and photographs, a lot of defending your hobby to wisecracking friends and coworkers.
The 15 members of the S.P.I.R.I.T.S. all have different stories of how they got into investigating hauntings.
Mostly, they are a studious group. They have respectable, white-collar jobs. They are strict about not allowing outsiders to attend their investigations, and they encourage members to assume that all potential paranormal activity has some nonparanormal explanation.
An apparent apparition caught in a photo could just be a fleck of light. A light flickering could be faulty wiring.
Except, sometimes, there are no logical explanations. Then, even squeaky floors are potential clues.
* * *
In the hallway, the perfume debate continued. The women took turns smelling each other's wrists and hair. No one was wearing lavender perfume, but the scent lingered softly in the air.
Stark attempted to settle it once and for all.
"If you are here," she began, "can you make that lavender smell come back again?"
A faint whiff of perfume floated by, but the group still could not collectively agree on the evidence.
In the end, they decided the origin of the scent was too ambiguous.
They couldn't reach a consensus on whether it was real or not.
Cristina Silva can be reached at 727 893-8846 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Last modified September 1, 2007, 23:56:33]
Above, photos with article. Credit and caption at top of the article.
Dec. 16: Holiday Party and investigation
We had a number of SPIRITS members in attendance, as well as spouses and guests. The investigation, itself, was primarily SPIRITS members with two guests.
This time, the entities did not seem to be too responsive. The woman on the second floor did little, no manifestation of smell, EMF or imagery.
There was a small energy spike sensed in one of the ballrooms and there were some corresponding orb shots. However, it is hard to tell if the orbs are dust as we picked up other orbs in parts of the hotel earlier that night. The energy was not strong and did not respond to questions.
There was a small energy sensed in the lobby, female. Again, it was fairly weak.
One of my initial thoughts was that the entities may be getting tired of being investigated, or that an event, relating to another group, happened between our October and December investigations. This may have also upset the entities. However, I have no true basis for these thoughts -- just gut instinct.
Orb in first shot (SPIRITS member going into side room -- not a shadow figure) and gone in subsequent 2 - 4 shots.
Mary's image: orb over cabinet
Partha's image (where the old lady has manifested as aroma).
We were the first paranormal team to investigate the Heritage Hotel, studied it for a year, and released our results to other paranormal investigators, who also investigated the hotel, at the 2008 Florida Ghost Gathering. It's a wonderful place to study. We'd love to know of other investigations to link with ours to keep an accurate and continued log of research! Please send to email@example.com