Monday, September 1, 2014

Newsworthy Haunts 9-1-14

In the past two months, a number of locations in the South have been investigated and written up in local media.

Antiques and Uniques Collectibles
7 Aviles Street
St. Augustine, Florida

In the old quarter of one of the oldest cities in the country, it’s no surprise that ghosts are found everywhere. The building housing this small antique store is a quaint, commercial structure with a balcony that overhangs the sidewalk. Painted a bright, gay yellow, the color gives no clue to the spirits that lurk within. According to a historian quoted in Elizabeth Randall’s Haunted St. Augustine and St. John’s County, part of the building was originally built as a jail, specifically a drunk tank, in the late 19th century. The building was enlarged and has mostly been used as a commercial building throughout the 20th century and into the 21st.
 
Aviles Street from Constitution Plaza, 2014. Antiques and Uniques
Collectibles is is the yellow building on the left side of the street
just under the sign. Photo by Michael Rivera, courtesy of Wikipedia.
According to an article by paranormal investigator and writer Jamie Pearce for Historic City News, the building houses several spirits including a spectral cat. Pearce states that, “the last time we investigated, five members of my team heard two distinct ‘meows’ inside the store, a store with no cats.” Other spirits, including two possible children, are known to occasionally raid the refrigerator and play with toys. The store’s owner captured video of the refrigerator door opening and closing on its own accord.

Sources
Pearce, Jamie. “Make some paranormal friends on Aviles Street.” Historic City
     News. 24 August 2014.
Randall, Elizabeth. Haunted St. Augustine and St. John’s County. Charleston:
     History Press, 2013.

Beauvoir
2244 Beach Boulevard
Biloxi, Mississippi

In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, many of the homes along Beach Boulevard—which look out to the Gulf—sustained extensive damage with some being swept away completely. Beauvoir, the last home of Jefferson Davis, the former president of the Confederacy, sustained terrible damage. Some outbuildings were swept away and others damaged severely while some 35% of the museum’s collections were lost. By 2008, the 200th anniversary of Davis’ birth, the house had been restored and reopened to the public.

Even after the hurricane’s extensive damage, the spirits have remained. While paranormal investigation groups have lobbied unsuccessfully for years to investigate the estate, a recent shakeup in the museum’s administration finally allowed Mississippi Gulf Coast Paranormal (MGCP) to investigate over a weekend earlier this month.
 
Beauvoir, 2010. Photo by Altairisfar, courtesy of Wikipedia.
According to articles regarding the investigation, paranormal activity is a very common occurrence at the stunning antebellum home. One paranormal investigation team member stated that while full-body apparitions are a rarity elsewhere, they’re quite normal here. They continued saying that a staff member in the house “sees Jeff Davis a couple times a week standing in the main hall.” In addition to the former president of the Confederacy, apparitions of Davis’ wife, Varina, and his daughter, Winnie, have been captured on film. In addition, a Confederate soldier is commonly encountered on the grounds by staff and visitors alike.

The MGCP investigation apparently captured a few occurrences the first night of the investigation including a rocking chair rocking on its own accord in Davis’ bedroom and many hits on the team’s K2 meters. It will likely be a few weeks before all the video and audio is thoroughly reviewed.

Sources
Beauvoir (Biloxi, Mississippi). Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed
     31 August 2014.
Ochs, Patrick. “Ghost hunters return for Round 2 at Beauvoir in Biloxi.”
     The Sun Herald. 9 August 2014.
Ochs, Patrick. “We ain’t afraid of no ghosts: Paranormal group investigates
     Beauvoir.” The Sun Herald. 7 August 2014.

T’Frere’s Bed & Breakfast
1905 Verot School Road
Lafayette, Louisiana

I’ve previously covered the “Little Brother’s” House a few years ago when I started this blog. For background information, please see my previous entry here. I was delighted recently to see that an investigation of this house was recently carried out.

Louisiana Spirits Paranormal Investigations, who has methodically investigated haunted places throughout the state of Louisiana, were granted access to investigate T’Frere’s recently after 9 years of trying to get permission.

Like the investigation at Beauvoir, a few minor things happened, the result will not be available for a few weeks.

Sources
Coen, Chere. “Ghost hunters search for inn’s oldest ‘resident.’”
     IND Monthly. 18 August 2014.
Ponseti, Valerie. “Ghost Hunt at T-Frere’s.” KATC. 17 August 2014.

Demopolis Public Library
211 East Washington Street
Demopolis, Alabama

While the hauntings at Beauvoir and T’Frere’s have been decently documented, there’s been another investigation recently for a location that has not been documented yet: the Demopolis Public Library. The Tuscaloosa Paranormal Research Group was called in by the library’s director to find out if the “creaks and quirks” of the old building are simply that or possibly paranormal. The director states that staff have discovered books repeatedly falling off the shelf as well as hearing footsteps in the building’s mezzanine. As with the other investigations, I’ll be keeping an eye out for the results of this investigation.

Sources
Averette, Justin. “HAUNTED COLLECTION: Paranormal group
     Investigates Demopolis Public Library.” The Demopolis Times.
     26 August 2014.

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