Clauser's Bed & Breakfast
May 19, 2002
Published in "Bayside News"
Florida is a most eclectic state. Though it is thoroughly modern, with a population explosion that took place in the 1970s, hidden throughout its landscape are pockets of antiquity.
Clauser's Bed & Breakfast is one such pocket. Located in Lake Helen, Florida, it stood as one of the earliest homesteads in the area. It was built in the late 1800s by Ann Stevens, a settler in the small spiritualist community of Cassadaga.
As time progressed, the home had a variety of owners, eventually evolving into a bed and breakfast. With its peaceful setting and remote location, Clauser's is the perfect getaway for anyone looking to leave the rat race behind. Even its resident ghosts agree.
The site was first brought to the attention of the SPIRITS by two of its members who had come across this charming place and spent some time there. Photographs of the vacation, however, developed unusual images. One was an electric blue fog descending a staircase. Another captured a black cloud, and two others showed lightening-like orange energy coming from a woman attending a party there.
Curious, the SPIRITS contacted the owners of the establishment, who agreed to an investigation.
Almost immediately various members of the team underwent unusual sensations. The investigation started on the third floor/attic level, where several orb images appeared in a storage space. An orb of energy manifested through the camera lens next to the stairwell exiting the third floor, as if it was patiently waiting for us to move on.
It was the second floor that captured the most interest. A closet, located in the back of an office, was filled with energy. One SPIRITS member, sensitive to the paranormal, was attracted to the closet and felt a strong presence there. Another was repelled away from the area. Still, a third felt compelled to stand in the closet doorway, as if called to be a barrier between the living and the potential entity inside.
Photographs of the area produced strong results, including fog and orb images. Another teammate, participating in his first investigation, caught an orb image on video. It is seen hovering over the head of one person before gliding out of camera range. Close inspection of the orb reveals a changing shape to the image: a notch in the side of the orb moves up and down, as a black line crosses the bottom of it, then disappears.
The SPIRITS conducted an EVP (electronic voice phenomena) experiment with the entity. The sensitive members attempted to attune themselves, as well, to the phenomenon that was occurring.
"I remained in the doorway during this time, since that is what I felt I was supposed to do. I turned around and faced the others, and I was asking questions for the EVP session. A few times, I felt as if something was lightly moving against my back, around my spine," Brandy explains.
Other teammates recorded goose bumps, particularly around the legs. However, the EVP session did not produce results. Those attending, however, felt that the entity was familiar with the home. When asked if the entity was George P. Colby, Cassadaga's founder, whose photo is posted in the inn's hallway, several felt a strong sense of affirmation.
Photographs of the room next to the closet, the "Peaches and Cream" room, revealed other orb images. At least one photograph appears to show an orb dodging the camera: it is cut in half, its lower section visible at the top of the frame.
Interviews with the Clausers filled in many details. The room where the half orb image appeared was one area of activity. At least one visitor reported being checked on in the middle of the night, her covers pulled up and gently draped over her. A little girl was also heard calling out in the area.
Though registered as belonging to Lake Helen, Florida, the building, in its incarnation as Ann Steven's home, was initially part of Cassadaga. Though Ann owned the house, the founder, Colby, held the deed to the land beneath it. However, the two shared a platonic friendship, and Colby often visited her home.
At least one death was recorded on the property: one owner died in the extensive back yard, from natural causes associated with old age.
The SPIRITS feel as if the building's physical nearness to the geomagnetic vortex of Cassadaga is one reason why it holds so much activity. Ann, who loved her home, may still reside there keeping an eye on things. If the spirit in the closet is, indeed, Colby, perhaps he still comes to visit Ann, maintaining their friendship even beyond the boundaries of death.
History and Research of the location:
George Colby was deeded the land to what is now Cassadaga in the late 1800's. He sold the property of
the current B & B to his close friend Anne Stevens around the same time as the two were prominent
members of the spiritualist camp. The B & B was opened in the early 1990's by the Claussers, with the
carriage house being built in the mid 1990's. The original house is on the National Register of Historic
Places and has been featured on several TV shows. The building is also unchanged since it was first built
around the turn of the century.
Mrs. Claussen witnessed the swinging of a hanging candle one afternoon as she discussed tearing down a wall in the house. No one was near the candle and there were no windows open or air conditioner running that could have caused the swinging.
A guest reported having the covers pulled over her in the middle of the night as is someone were tucking her in. She asked the owners the next morning if they had come in to the room and both said no. No one ever claimed responsibility for the action.
An older woman has been seen sitting the rocking chair in the sitting room several times.
A female guest reported hearing a young girl crying in the night and calling out for her mommy. There were no children staying at the B & B at the time.
Upon leaving the carriage house I felt a male presence staring down at us from the two windows of the white room/home office located on the second floor of the main house.
While in the loft (third floor) of the main house I felt the presence of a male standing at the bottom of the stairs looking up at us, watching what we were doing.
In the white room/home office I stepped into the closet and felt a strong energy force me out and away from the door of the closet. I got the image of a woman in a long blue dress with long sleeves and long, dark hair. I got the feeling I reminded her of someone she knew in life and she didn't like me very much. I was so uncomfortable I had to actually leave the house and sit outside on the stairs until called back in by other team members.
I feel that the spirit we communicated with needed Brandy to stand inside the door to the closet to act as a safety barrier between he and the vortex that was contained within. During the communications session the date of the early 1900's popped into my head. I also felt the presence of three other spirits join us in the room and others out in the hall. We had an audience on several occasions.
During the second communications session my legs felt heavy and weak and I had a wave a dizziness pass over me as I filmed the room.
You could feel the difference in the first and second floors of the main building with the distinction being at the landing of the staircase. The upstairs felt heavy and I had a pressure in the middle of my chest while the downstairs felt fine.
While downstairs in the sitting room I felt the presence of a young child looking through the spindles of the staircase at us.
I feel the spirit we talked to in the white room/home office could very well have been that of George Colby, founder of Cassadaga, due to several precise questions that were asked. I feel there are many spirits roaming through/around the B & B due to the vortex in the closet there. Other than the annoyance from the woman I felt no ill will from any of them. The B & B is said to be sitting in a direct line with the vortex in Cassadaga, which adds to the energy of the place.
Lake Helen, Florida
This investigation was pretty unusual. The area itself seemed to be charged with energy, perhaps because of its nearness to the Cassadaga Geomagnetic Vortex. (The inn is on a diagonal with the vortex).
Of the two buildings, the older building, Ann Steven's home, was the one with activity. On the third floor, where we started to investigate, Lee and I went into an attic area. I immediately felt cold, and told Lee. We took a couple of pictures in the area, and of those I believe we got a light orb image. The EMF meters picked up electrical interference from wiring. Also learned that the walkie talkies produce a large amount of EMF energy that inhibits our equipment.
On the way out, Sandy felt that there was someone on the stairwell. Several of us took photos. I got another image on film of a solid white orb; I could even see it in the camera's viewscreen.
The second floor was strange. Noted candles in the windows (later learned that is an inn keeper's tradition). The whole team was drawn into the office...particularly the closet. It was strange there. Heavy atmosphere, unlike anything I've experienced in a while. Lee felt drawn to the closet, that the entity that was there wanted to pass on a message. David felt a similar notion, though Sandy felt as if she was being pushed out by a female presence. I stood in the closet and unconsciously remained in the doorway. I guess I was compelled to stay there, for when we tried the EVP session, the entity did not want me to move. At times, I was covered in goosebumps. I also felt a tickle against my back a few times, around my spine. Similar to a light finger-only-touch. The questions and answer session provided some information: the entity believed itself to be George P. Colby. Lee kept feeling compelled to go in and communicate with the entity, that it wanted to have a message passed on, but the team did not feel that wise. We broke after the first session, though the rods indicated the entity did not want us to, and promised to come back.
The second attempt, again, had the confirmation that the entity was Colby. Something about his being tied to the lad. I felt that I was there because of communication skills or because of my desire to learn, others felt it was because I served as a shield for the entity...that it was uncomfortable. (Figures).
Cold spots were felt several times in the room. EMF didn't really register much, though equipment did go out of focus several times. The Peaches and Cream room, next door, was much more calming. Less draining. At one point, Lee felt that he was being held around the legs, or that his legs were very heavy; I experienced almost constant goosebumps around my legs.
The remainder of the investigation turned up little. One closet, located near the dining room, had a letter written by a previous tenate, describing her love for the home and wishing others well who lived there. The letter was written in plaster and thereby a permanent fixture in the home.
The other building did not have much feel to it. It was newer than the other, however, and had reports of paranormal activity, too. It is the place where an image of a descending fog was captured on the staircase.
At one point, a door slammed shut. I think it may have been a momentary gust of wind, though others thought differently. No EMF accompanied the door slamming and it happened near a time when we opened a second door to the outside.
The interview was interesting. The history of the house does include a time when it belonged to Cassadaga (horse lovers annexed the property to Lake Helen for voting rights), and that Ann Stevens was its original owner. The house is one whose main structure has not been changed since it was built in the late 1800s. Ann may still be around. At one point, Mrs. C reports that she witnessed a lantern begin to swing on its own into a nearly horizontal line. Colby visited the home when it belonged to Ann and held the deed to the land beneath it.
The closet area upstairs has been a constant focus for activity; it has been a computer office, a bedroom, and a gift shop. It seems to be in constant use. The Peaches and Cream room, which butts up against the closet, has had activity, including a child crying out and a guest reported someone coming from the area of the bathroom, tucking them in, and leaving. The room also had at least one orb image -- a half orb that appeared to be attempting to get out of the camera frame.
Interestingly, on the third and final trip to the closet, David may have gotten an orb on film. The orb is large and white, almsot looks like a flashlight. However, I did not have mine, and Lee's light is red. Here, the image is clearly white. Its center is also bright, wereas flashlights have a dark center. A notch on the left hand side of the orb moves, and a line crosses the bottom of the orb as it glides off screen.
I think that Colby probably is the one checking over things there. Ann is probably also keeping an eye on her home. The remainder of the entities...I'm not sure. The area has enough natural energy that it may be able to attract entities without difficulty.
Post Investigation Communication
Other Information Concerning the B&B:
Date: Thu, 30 May 2002 11:02:51 -0400
Subject: ghost story
I read your story relating to Clauser's Bed & Breakfast
I recently stayed there in the newer building ( the Lexington room )
I believe I have a ghost story for you...
My mother gave me and my boyfriend (by the way my name is Sara and my
boyfriends name is Loren) a gift certificate to a free night at Clauser's
and we went just a few weeks ago
we went out for dinner and came back to our room around 8:00
a few hours later while we were watching TV (it was late because we were
watching Saturday night live) the lamp started to flicker on and off ... I
freaked out and clung to Loren, he not thinking anything wrong laughed at me
and told me to turn the light off but i told him I was scared and asked him
to do it, he did and told me it was probably just some electrical thing but
I pointed out that none of the other lights flickered he was still convinced
it was just something electrical
However, usually I do not get afraid that easily but I felt very scared when
the light flickered and again I felt it was something more then electrical
because we had more lights on and none of them flickered it was just the one
next to the bed so i believe it may have been a ghost
my mother believed me and recommended I share my story with you, she was the
one who gave me your web site
thanks for letting me share and if you wish to contact me you know my email
You can put it on the site you can include our names as well I
don't mind, but I would like my email address unavailable for people to see.
Below: A vortex image taken at the Inn during a prior visit. Participants are celebrating a Hallowe'en party.