St. Pete Beach
June 18, 2001
By Brandy Buchanan
Published in Bayside News
It was a dark and stormy night. Thunder rattled the heavens as pregnant storm clouds threatened those below with all-consuming rain. A tall building stood against the skyline, a monument against nature's fury. However, unlike in the novels, this building was not old, nor was it a house. It did have some supernatural happenings, however, and the S.P.I.R.I.T.S. team was called in to investigate.
The structure in question is a high rise condominium complex. As with many buildings in Florida, which was lightly populated until the 1970s, this area was relatively newly constructed, originating in 1985. However, the "youth" of an area does not mean it doesn't have a few ghosts!
The homeowners, Leigh and Kevin East, bought the condo in February 2000. The previous owner was a woman recently widowed the preceding May. After a prolonged illness, the widow's husband died in the condominium, his final days spent in a room towards the back of the home.
Neither Leigh nor Kevin, who have lived in several haunted homes before, felt any negativity in the condo. Attracted by its charm, and planning to do some renovations of their own, the couple moved in May of 2000, 1 year after the man's death.
During the first stages of remodeling came early indications the area was haunted. Renovations often awaken dormant ghosts who are upset at the changes to their former residences. Kevin, who initially worked alone during the preliminary stages of the remodeling, began to notice a tension within the building. The negative energy started to have an impact on him, making him feel a "sense of anger" which he did not, at first, understand. One room, which the couple made into an artist studio, seemed to be the center of these heavy feelings, and it did not "feel" the same as the surrounding layout.
A short time thereafter, noises began to manifest in the hallway outside one of the bathrooms. Kevin worked in the construction industry for a number of years, yet these noises seemed inconsistent with a structural deficiency.
Shadowy images appeared near the hall and outside the bathroom. Kevin occasionally caught a movement from the corner of his eye, though turning to see who was there found no one. Their pets, a cat and small dog, sometimes stared at the walls and ceiling, their eyes following something the Easts could not see.
"Sometimes, I wake up late at night. A lot of streetlights illuminate the area, often providing a little light in our place, even with the blinds closed. On two different occasions when I woke up I could see a person at the far end of the living room, though my wife was asleep next to me. Upon investigating we found no one. Nothing was disturbed," Kevin East explains.
Leigh also has had her share of experiences with the unknown. She often has the sensation of being watched from the studio area. Late at night, Leigh has felt someone following her from the bathroom back to their bedroom. She no longer traverses through the artist studio at night, the shortest route to the bathroom, preferring to go around the room in question.
More recently, the doorbell started to ring on its own accord. The Easts investigated to find out if anyone in the building had a doorbell similar to their own that might be triggering the mysterious ringing, but found none. . On two occasions, either Leigh or Kevin stood at the door when it rang, and immediately answered it, hoping to solve the dilemma. No one was there, nor could they find anyone in the corridors outside their entranceway. Frustrated, they removed the batteries, though that still did not stop its mysterious chiming.
The Easts began to ask their neighbors about the history of the location. It was then they discovered that the previous household was wrought with tension: the husband suffered escalating pain from his illness, and the wife was overwrought with his care. The man's suffering intensified until the day he climbed out of bed, fell down in front of the bathroom and died.
Yet, what finally led them to call on the S.P.I.R.I.T.S. team to investigate was another late night event in June. At 2 a.m. Leigh was awakened by the low long moan of a man coming from the studio area. Though her husband did not awaken, the family dog did and intensely concentrated on the shadow-shrouded studio. That was enough for her to ask for a second opinion.
When the S.P.I.R.I.T.S. arrived on that rainy evening, they first did a "cold" sweep of the house. EMF (electromagnetic field) readings showed slight increase in the art studio and the studio closet. The needle also continued to minutely fluctuate, though no conduits ran in that section of the home and all electrical items were turned off. The highest readings took place in one corner of the room. There, one member of the team, who does not consider herself to be sensitive, felt a sensation of dizziness and immediately had the impression of a bed. Leigh and Kevin later revealed that neighbors confirmed the dying man's bed had originally been placed in that area of the room.
Temperature readings remained steady, though during the post-interview re-examination of the house a cold spot, felt by S.P.I.R.I.T.S. member Sandy, was detected in the hallway outside of the bathroom. No EMF corresponded, but photographs revealed a light aura-like image around her lower legs as she examined the cold spot.
Leigh, Kevin, along with S.P.I.R.I.T.S. members Brandy, Lee and Karen all heard the prolonged sound of a ringing bell. The sound lasted approximately 10 seconds, and EMF spiked in the area immediately after the noise died.
Video and three attempts at EVP (electronic voice phenomena, in which questions are asked to a potential ghost and answers may be recorded on tape), revealed no results.
No one in the group, including the homeowners, felt the presence was dangerous. Most concluded that the entity was fairly mild, and was probably the restless spirit of the previous owner, perhaps still seeking the peace he desired during the last days of his life.
History via home owner interview:
L & K bought the condo in February 2000 from a widow of
"C" who died in the condo May 17, 2000 from cancer. The man's
hospital bed was against the exterior wall in the studio where the couch is
now. L has talked with neighbors who felt that the wife abused "C" during
his illness and the neighbors would come in to care/feed him.
L, who is very sensitive to spirits, felt nothing when he and K first
toured the home and moved in. Both are active ghost hunters and feel the
presence is not something they brought home with them nor have they
purchased any used furniture or other items since moving in. The phenomena
began happening in May 2000 when L started remodeling the condo. They feel
it is "C"who is present and both L & K have had numerous paranormal
experiences in the past. Some of these include:
Carrollwood home in 1997 but don't feel the presence is from there.
N.E. St. Pete had a warning presence that tried to signal them about L's
upcoming accident and then stayed for a few days after his return from the
hospital to comfort. This presence was picked up by both the dog and cat and
appeared to L & K.
Old N. E. St. Pete had a very negative presence, DOP (disappearing object
phenomena), shadows in the shape of human form seen walking through the
house, the kid's bedroom/closet always torn up, L blacked out in the bath
and hit his head on the toilet. A priest who was called in to bless the
house freaked out and seemed very afraid before quickly leaving. The
Catholic Church refused further help to the family.
K has lucid dreams.
There has been no DOP in the condo. L sensed a feeling of anger around the
first of May 2000 when he started remodeling. A sense of anger and
bitterness is felt in the studio that began to affect L until he realized
what was happening and got it under control. Noises are heard in the hall
outside the bath and shadows are seen in this area as well. A very bad
feeling is felt in the bath and studio closet. The studio had a very heavy
feeling for the longest time.
A stain in the carpet in the studio by the TV had an extremely bad feeling
to it and would not come clean no matter how many times L & K tried. They
finally had that patch of carpet replaced. K wouldn't't go from the bath to
the bed during the night for the longest time because she felt as if someone
where trying to get her. In the corner of the dining room by the patio
several images have been seen by L. L would hear a bell ringing when the
condo was quiet on several occasions.
The doorbell is a Radio Shack remote that rings but no one is at the door.
It rang one time while K was standing right next to it and immediately
opened the door to find no one there. There isn't't another doorbell like
theirs in the entire complex (L searched thoroughly) and the teenager down
the way was also ruled out. At times the bell will not ring even though
someone has pressed the button.
K's Mom and sister have visited and her Mom feels that it's definitely
"C" who is present.
The dog has a tendency to stare at one spot as though he is watching some
thing/one while the cat tracks movements through the condo.
On June 11, 2001 K awoke in the night and heard a moan come from the studio
area. L slept through this but the dog's head shot up at the sound. On June
17, 2001 the cat was going nuts in the hallway.
L has done a great deal of cleansing with various rituals (done on a monthly
basis) and it calmed the phenomena down but now it's picking back up again.
Lived in home for 1 year 4 months. The husband believes himself to be sensitive and ha had OBEs, lucid dreams. Pets (1 cat, 1 dog) have been known to stare at a spot and follow something with their eyes. There were no energies until they started to do constructions. They do not have any antiques or second hand items. The couple do have a history of paranormal activity in the past.They have lived in haunted houses in the Bay area.
History of the current home:
After living in the home for a few months, husband began to sense an anger. They bought the house, then began construction (in Feb.). They moved into the home around May 1st.
The husband, who did some of the construction himself, would feel "strange" things, i.e. anger, bitterness. He started to hear noise and saw shadow figures.
Noticed that an area of carpet near the bathroom constantly remained dirty.
The studio didn't feel "right".
The emotions grew stronger to include resentment and anger, illness.
Husband has been cleansing the house with salt, sage, incense, holy water, prayers, but the emotions linger.
Recently, the wife has also reported a fear of traveling from the bathroom to the bedroom. In June, around 2 a.m., wife heard a low moan from the studio. The dog that sleeps with her woke up and looked in that direction, husband did not hear it nor wake up. Wife did not investigate.
They have also been hearing their doorbell go off when no one is at the door, and they have investigated to find out if:
There is another door bell like theirs in the building, triggering this
If it is a person. So far, neither has answered their questions no person has bene caught, even after the doorbell run and wife was near enough to immediately answer it.
Wife's mother also thinks there is a spirit there.
Owners did investigate the history of their home. It seems that a certain CG died in the studio, in a hospital bed against the wall. There are some questions as to how he was last treated by his wife. CG had cancer, and died June 11th.
Nothing was picked up on tape during the three attempts we made.
I feel it's "C" who is present in the condo due to his death there after
a long/painful illness and due to the alleged abuse by his wife during the
illness. L stated that he feels "C" vomited on the carpet by the TV and
then died in the hall outside the bath right after. I agree with this the
more I think about it and it may account for the cold spot felt in this
area. The anger/bitterness could be from the illness and how unhappy his
During the first walk through, around 7:30 PM, I felt a slight dizziness in one of the rooms. I immediately had the sensation of "Bed", that there had been abed in that area.
I also noticed the batteries on my camera (digital) were draining. The camera is new to me, but the behavior matched nothing that it had done in prior use.
The second time I walked through the room I could feel no real "wall." The sensation was not there.
The temperature in the home remained normal, only slight constant flux with the EMF meter. The West's meter's needle continued to "bob" in the one room, art studio.
We also tried the EVP. We asked a series of questions:
1) Is anyone here?
2) Can you tell us your name?
3) Why are you here?
4) Do you want to be here?
5) Do you need help?
6) What kind of help do you need?
We repeated the EVP test three times, to no avail. The tape continued to pick up clicking noisesin conjunction with the emf meter's bobbing? I wonder if the two are related.