Captain Benito Julian Rocheblave
1861 - 1942
Sheriff James Van Pelt
This is the corridor the ghost was (and possibly is) seen in. Take note of the small grey spot deep in the passage way. There are NO LIGHTS to give a shadowed affect... mmmmm. I wonder what it could be?
Also..., getting photographs of ghosts, orbs and apparitions
IS NOT a common happening.
I have 15 collected photos that have been taken of
ghosts, orbs & apparitions. Some are historical photos and some by
people who have been on the Ghosts, Murders & Mayhem tours
that are done by
Emerald Coast Tours... YEAR ROUND.
These photos were taken when IT WAS NOT HALLOWEEN!
As photographs are acquired, they will be added to the many
happenings that have AND STILL DO OCCUR.
Yes, THIS IS PENSACOLA BEACH. There have been quite a number of deaths over the many centuries since Pensacola was founded. Here, someone was just taking an evening photo while being at the beach and got a surprise when the photo was developed. And NO, this was NOT anywhere close to Halloween!
This was taken in the 1960's and is a residential home in the Pensacola Historical Village.
This photo was taken a Victorian home in North Hill. The photo started with the intention of just photographing the staircase.
These 3 photos were taken at the house on the southeast corner of Florida Blanca & Government Streets.
There have been more incidents there than one could imagine... and none of them were planned.
This photo was taken by Guy Winters. The above photos are the remarkable result of a picture he took of an upstairs window downtown. The image of a vaporous pink ghostly woman is rather clear. He did not see the figure at the time he snapped the photo, but saw it only after the film was developed. An analysis of the film (in the second photo) determined that the image is present on the film's negative.
Here are more photographs that have been taken in the GHOSTLY areas around downtown.
Here is a VERY short list of who has come to Pensacola to investigate and proved the reports of supernatural events.
George Noory of Coast to Coast AM Radio, Scott Tepperman of “Ghost Hunters International", Brian Joseph Harnois of Sci-Fi Channel's "Ghost Hunters" and "Ghost Hunters International", Dave Schrader of Darkness Radio, Brian J. Cano of "Haunted Collector", Chris Mansuco of Sacred Flims, Christopher and Philip Booth of Spooked TV, Ken Gerhard of Monster Quest, Daniel Emery Taylor of Swamp Thing, Alyne Pustanio Author, Deborah B. Lantz, Joey Ward of WGPRS, Nightmare Theatre, Bryan Whatley of "Ghost Hunters", Morgan Beall of MUFON Florida, Brad and Barry Klinge of Discovery Channel’s “Ghost Lab,” Patrick Burns of truTV’s “Haunting Evidence,” author Marley Gibson, Southern Paranormal Researchers, American Paranormal Adventures, Two Feathers Paranormal Investigators, Ghost Asylum. There are a lot more I could list, I just don't have the space. This gives you a for real look into the truth of Pensacola being in the TOP 10% OF NATION WIDE SUPERNATURAL OCCURANCES!
Sea Captain Thomas Moristo
Click here or call (850) 417-9292
This is the attire of what is seen in an
apparition manner and has been by locals
& visitors in Pensacola.
The Confederate ghost that was photographed.
The new entrance on Intendencia Street done in 2007
Station 5 NOW (no longer a fire station)
The OLD Sacred Heart Hospital
If you go to the restaurant, bar, salons or anywhere else in the 1st to lower level of the old Sacred Heart Hospital there is some information/ or incident that you may get! And yes, like everything else that is reported, it has been validated... having occurred several times by different persons. There is a hallway that is where the nuns would cross to go to the chapel of the hospital. It is been reported several times that there is the kind old spirit of one of the sisters that frequents the hallway and corridor. She will often tap people on the shoulder from behind much as she did in life. Below in the first photo is the nuns in the chapel and the second is the corridor leading to the location of the where the chapel once was located. This is the main area that people have felt the tap on their shoulders and seen an old nun.
Wesley photographed while playing pool in Fast Eddies shortly before his death.
Fast Eddies is the photo to the left.
(you can see the pool tables, still in use).
Seville Quarter is located on Government Street, between Jefferson & Tarragona Streets. The cause of these sightings is from an employee that died while working there. This was Wesley (I don't know Wesley's last name). He was well known to the owners and employees there. He was a construction worker and after a hard day at work he spent much of his "free" time coming by for a mixed drink or beer. While doing construction he had a very bad fall and seriously injured his head. The injury was so bad that he would experience fatigue, dizziness and a very occasional seizure. His symptoms subsided after a while and during all of this he never stop coming by Seville Quarter to visit/spend time with his friends. He was very well versed when it came to mixing drinks and after a while he was asked if he would like to become a bartender. Wesley was a man in his late 30's or early 40's, was tall, had short receding dark hair and, after a few years working both at Rosie O’Grady’s and throughout Seville Quarter. Wesley died as he was cooling off in a walk-in beer cooler. The cooler (pictured below in 2014) is just beyond the end of the bar in Rosie's. He had earlier stated that he was filling a little dizzy, this was due to the very busy evening (& night). He went to the cooler to cool off. He sat on a couple of wine boxes and moments later he passed out. In doing so, Wesley hit his head on a keg that was right next to him and died from the head injury. The previous head injury didn't help and the fact that he was knocked out from the impact to the head only put him in harms way. He ended up dying of hypothermia after being knocked out. He haunts Rosie O’Grady’s to this day. By those familiar to Wesley, he is remembered as he was; a tall thin man, having light hair. This information not only comes from employees, but also the fullness of this coming from one of the owners son's who knew Wesley pretty well. He’s more of a smoke-like entity which lurks around the corners of the restaurant and even throughout the Seville Quarter late at night. This spirit is said to have a human form, sometimes almost solid with augmented facial features, such as heavy eyebrows and dark eye sockets, and sometimes having a simple human outline that hides when spotted. Sometimes a restaurant staff member or patron will spot Wesley walking from around the bar, or near the bathrooms. Indeed, people have also witnessed this loyal worker throughout the entire area of Seville Quarter - like building awnings and porches with his head lowered, as if sad or pondering on something deep. On some occasions, this spirit appears to be mischievous, when his presence is felt in the downstairs men’s bathroom, turning the water and the hand dryers on and off, while people are using them. The bartenders were having an after hours drink in Fast Eddies and a new bartender was told to go over to Phineas Phogg's and refill the pitcher. When he came back without the pitcher he stated that there was something wrong with the tap and it kept turning off. He started it again and again it turned off. Then, it turned back on. The lead bartender told him of Wesley and that he (the new bartender) was sent over there for just that. It would seem that this spirit seems more of a prankster than that of anything scary.
This is the Saenger Theater. It is said the balcony is where strange voices may be heard, and odd things happen with the lighting system here as well. The reason? The grounds keeper died in a boiler-room explosion. Reports of a problem with water and steam sent him to the basement level. While trying to adjust the boiler it exploded. He was killed from the blast. No one else died as all patrons and actors/performers/orchestra members made a fast exit. There have been many reports of strange/odd things that have happened and it is plain to see that he still hangs around. Being the caretaker of the building he emptied trash, adjusted heat, changed lighting and would oversee the cleanliness and maintenance to the building. Sightings have been seen, heating and cooling get unexplained adjustments and his apparition is seen from time to time. This by patrons and employees. There are NO reports of the "incidents" causing harm to anyone. I guess he still does his job. Taking care of the site and patrons, not scaring them.
The original (and still used) entrance to the Saenger Theatre, 1925
On the north side of Garden Street you will come upon the Pensacola Victorian Bed & Breakfast. This Queen Anne Victorian in "North Hill Historical District" downtown Pensacola was originally built by a ship captain, William Northup in 1892. After his sea life he became a prominent Businessman, Collector of Customs (appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt), Postmaster (appointed by President William Taft) and Mayor of Pensacola (1897-1898). Chuck and Barbee Major have been the innkeepers for a number of years and are happy to share their home with benevolent spirits from the past. There is often the sound of classical music with no apparent source. Their son Edwin named one of their son's William, after his father, who was very active in community music activities, both instrumental and choral. Meetings of musicians in this home were the vestigial beginnings of the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra. There are the sounds of children playing and giggling. There have been at least four children raised in this house, one from William Northup and three from their son Edwin. One guest arriving back at the inn late one night saw a woman in a Victorian style nightdress walk into one of the other guest rooms and was surprised to find out the next day that no one was staying in that room and none of the guests matched her description. Chuck has also seen the apparition of a woman walking into one of the guest rooms when his wife was in their living quarters and no guests were registered at the inn. There is a solid history of ladies who lived there, William's wife Harriet and his son's wife Louise. Some mornings the sounds of breakfast being prepared and even the tempting aroma of hot food have drifted through the house before the Majors have started any breakfast preparation. Ghost Asylum investigated
it in 2016 and had incidents with anomalies and orbs.
These photos are from the Pensacola Police Department's Officer Memorial.
It is located to the right of the main Police Station entrance (on Haynes Street).
J.D. Carter, April 4, 1909, was found stabbed in the heart at Aragon Street and Lukes Alley. He had been stabbed while serving an arrest warrant. This
incident occurred during the prohibition era and Lukes Alley was an "under the radar" type of place where liquor and debauchery took place on a daily basis.
Officer Carter went to his horse after the assailant stabbed him. He made a valiant effort to arrest or flat out stop him. He tried to get on his horse, but died from
the stab wounds. He's the 4th Line Of Duty Death (L.O.D.D.) for the Pensacola Police Department. Between the first and Officer Carter there were two other
Officers that died in the line of duty. The 3rd was William Burnham, March 18, 1906. He was shot in the chest while going to a fight near the southeast corner of
Wright and Tarragona streets. The 2nd was John Yelverton, June 3, 1899. He was shot and killed on Tarragona St. near the Stratton Ice Works while trying to
arrest a fugitive wanted for a shooting in Georgia. The 1st was James Gordon and the Mayhem experienced was first mentioned further up the page.
Here is what is now the location of where Officer J.D. Carter was murdered.
Yes, this area was formerly Lukes Alley. The three photos (below these two) are of the Memorial.
Also between Alcaniz & Florida Blanca, on the south side of Intendencia Street.
The Hanah House was built in 1880 and the builder/owner ended up giving Ms. Hannah the home. She was his caretaker. Due to him becoming bed ridden just after it
was built, she took care of he and his home before his passing. But..., even before the owner died she was making her money "lying down on the job." She was a
prostitute by night in the Red Light District on Baylen Street. A trap door was built into the master bedroom floor to give her "patrons" a quick exit when the Police
Department came by. No one was ever caught, nor was she. The owners stated that the trap door has long since been closed off, but an outline of the doorway is
still visible. Here is the ghostly part of all of this. The owners still have sounds of coughing and what is thought to be mumbling in the bedroom. This is heard when no
one is in the bedroom, only the husband or wife being close to it. Although, at times, these sounds are heard when the couple has turned in for the night and everything
in thehouse is silent. Per the lady of the house, when she is sleeping, the blanket will be pulled up to her head. This happens when her husband is in the living room.
Once you go to the right on to Intendencia Street go about 100 feet and then look to your left. You will see a vacant lot. Upon close viewing, you will see portions of the foundations porches and a small bit of the driveway. What was once there burned down and was never rebuilt (obviously). Robert Hargis Pons , a barber at 316 S. Palafox Street, once lived there until the house was broken into. He was murdered by the assailant with a straight razor that he (being a barber) used to shave his customers with. The assailant then set fire to the house, hoping to take away any evidence. Well, the fire did not work like it was planned to, because the fire went out and left the murdered barber there to be found. The assailant was never caught and the house had to be torn down. Here's the strange part. There have been numerous times that men walking on Intendencia Street (directly at the vacant lot) that have heard a man asking them if they need a shave, followed by a soft chuckle. I think my response would be "Good grief, will you cut it out!" HA HA, of course I'm kidding.
This was the home of George W. Barkley and was built in 1825. The first and second photos are at the front of the house looking to the southeast. He had African
housekeepers (who were not slaves) and an out cottage was built (seen in the third photo) for their residence. This is where it gets ghostly. The housekeeper's family
was he, his wife and three children. The kids play area was to the back of the housekeepers home, towards Bayfront Parkway. One of the significant children being
spoken of was a young girl. She was 10 years old. It is a well known historical fact of the yellow fever outbreak that claimed many lives around the whole city and county.
One of the lives lost was the housekeeper's daughter that I just mentioned. She died due to the yellow fever and she is, at times, still seen in the play area. When she is
witnessed, she is always laughing and playing. During the day nothing is seen, but a child's laughter is still heard in the same area. Oddly enough, there is NO CHILD
around the entire area. The apparition has been, and at times still is, seen in the play area located to the southeast corner of the keeper's house.
The mayhem history is fully told of on the historic way-marker. The marker is on the very southeast corner of Seville Square at Alcaniz Street & Zaragoza Street.
The vacant lot you see is where the house once was. This photo was taken in 2014. Station 5 used to be at 9th Ave. and La Rua St. on the northeast corner. The building
remains, but the apparatus became too large to fit through the fire engine stall doors. The modern fire engine and the shift crews have since been moved to Station 1 on
Cervantez Street, but is still Engine 5. If you haven't already read the historical way-maker, please do. This occurance causing the death of a young fireman has given life
to all of the firefighters after him that must follow this rule and regulation. The Pensacola Fire Department DOES NOT want this to happen again! Firefighters lives are
more important than the Department's. This rule and regulation has prevented this type of happening to occur since Firefighter Lowe lost his life.
Keep heading east on Zaragoza Street and come to the cross street of Florida Blanca Street.
There you have two homes that have had, and still have, strange happenings.
First is the Barkley House on the southeast corner of the intersection.
Right after the Barkley House history (still at the intersection to the northeast corner) you will be at the "Captain's house."
In 1861, following the outbreak of the Civil War, all but two families in Christ Church moved to South and Central Alabama until the war ended. In Pensacola, the church was used by Federal forces (Union Troops) as a stable, a hospital, and a prison. Not taken care of and badly damaged upon their leaving. Eyewitness accounts held that the graves of the priests buried under the church had been violated. One of the coffins was closely examined and found it also having been desecrated.
Rectors Joseph Saunders and David Flower died of yellow fever, Rector Frederick R. Peake the second to die.
All three were buried under the vestual of the church.
The three rectors (bishops, preachers, ministers, reverends, pastors) were seen by two different individuals when the grounds had restored and the three given a proper consecration/burial. One was a University of West Florida student. The other a carpenter who made the coffins for the Rectors to be laid to rest in. Both stating that they had seen three men dressed like a monk or in reverend attire walking to the back of the crowd at the ceremonies. The three men were then seen disappearing through the church walls.
An Episcopalian Rectors clothing
worn in the 1800's
As can be seen from above and just to the right, you can get a good look at what would have been seen here in the late 1880's
The Pensacola Children's Museum in the Arbona Building
When the museum moved to the 1885 Arbona building (115 East Zarragossa Street between the first Pensacola Police Station Headquarters and the Escambia County
Building), the staff realized that the ghost of a former resident inhabited the building. Eugenio Arbona came to Pensacola in 1869. Witnesses have detected strong smell
of cigar smoke, objects being moved around by unseen hands and mysterious noises are heard on the second floor. Also, the elevator sometimes operates on its own. In
the Military Room, guests have felt tugs on their clothing, and detected a strong sense of something unknown. It is said that volunteers giving tours to visitors mention Mr.
Arbona being called a mean man. At that point, three loud raps were heard from the back of the building. They don't call Mr. Arbona a mean man any more. The reason
they don't is in 2009 the "Ghost Hunters" SyFy television show came to Pensacola to investigate several haunted places. The Pensacola Children's Museum and the
Pensacola Lighthouse aired. With ALL of the sites that were investigated NONE of them could be disproven, this because proof was found!
In 1955, a gentleman bought the building to open a grocery store for downtown. There was a cinder block rectangle column in the center of the first floor. The gentleman
saw that it wasn't a supporting structure and wanted to removed it for more open floor space. When about a third of it had been removed skeletal remains were found. It
had possibly been built as a "hidden tomb". The remains were removed and taken to the coroner. Upon investgation, chips and slashes on the ribs were found. The
probability of murder was pretty evident. There is the suspicion that Eugenio Arbona murdered the man because he had been jailed for life for murder in Mobile, Alabama
and the fact that he had a very bad temper. He and the rest of the prisoners were been released during the Civil War. Mr. Arbona came to Pensacola and built the building.
Originally it was the Gulf Saloon (facing Zaragoza Street) and the Tobacco Tavern (facing Main Street). The saloon/tavern was on the first floor and he, with his family,
lived on the second floor. The haunts have been proven and it may very well a man that he murdered. Or maybe both of them. Mmmmm.
1. An appearance of a ghost or ghost like figure.
2. A figure appearing; phantom; specter; the disembodied spirit or soul of a deceased person.
3. The act of appearing or being visible.
If you really have or have had an incident to report, contact www.pensacolaparanormalsociety.com
City Jail, now the Pensacola Museum of Art
Shaw hung on a light pole in the Plaza
Below is the former Escambia County Building as it faces Jefferson Street. This was constructed in 1911 and housed the Escambia County Courthouse, Judges Chambers, County Business and the 3 STORY County Jail on the south end of the structure (at Jefferson and Main Streets). The Jail's most notorious prisoner was Hosea Poole. Hosea and his brother immigrated to Pensacola from Spain in the early-20th Century and while the brother was a law-abiding citizen working in the docks while brother Hosea was "wild and crazy" in the Red Light District and spent a lot of time as a guest of the City Jail of Pensacola for thievery and other misdemeanors. After serving time for his last theft, Hosea was released from the jail and went back to his wicked ways, and this didn't go well with his brother who confronted Hosea about his lifestyle. Hosea didn't like being told what to do by his brother and took an ax and did what was described by Jim, a gentleman reporter of the day as, "the
Lizzie Borden Act minus the 40 whacks," and killed his brother with a couple of well-aimed blows to his head and body. Hosea was immediately arrested by the
Pensacola Police and held in the jail awaiting trial at the nearby County Courthouse (now the Pensacola Cultural Center and Pensacola Little Theater). After a trial,
Hosea was convicted of his brother's murder and sentenced to death by hanging in the County Jail. The sentence was carried out shortly afterwards. Jim did a poor,
but funny demonstration of the hanging with a piece of clothesline that he had in his jacket pocket. Today, the old County Jail is, as just mentioned, the Pensacola Little
Theater. The theater puts on many plays and other events throughout the year, but the story goes that the ghost of the executed murderer Hosea has been seen walking
the catwalks of the theater and throughout the playhouse with a rope around his neck and curtains rustle on play nights. The court was on the north side (at Jefferson &
Zaragoza, running lengthwise along Zaragoza) and all entry's for the court and jail was on Jefferson. Look below and take note of the arched entry at the center of the
building. This was the location of the hangings of inmates from the County Jail and they were performed indoors. This is now the entrance to the Little Theater
and the location of the snacks and beverage bar. The area even has casual seating tables. The food is pretty good so at times folks are "dying" to eat there and if
seating is full, they will "hang" around for a place to sit. HA HA! I came up with that one myself.
orb, orbed, orbing, orbs
1. To shape into a circle or sphere.
2. To encircle; enclose or an unexpected, often, circular photographable artifact.
Keep progressing to the east on Zaragoza and you will come up on Jackson's Steakhouse. This can be seen in the photo above on the left center of the pic.
On a complete side note, Jackson's Steakhouse and The Fish House and Atlas Oyster House is owned by Collier, Will, and Burney Merrill, Irv Miller and Jim Shirley. These restaurants (and owners with the lead chefs) have been on television shows, magazines and visited by ; "American Pickers", "Good Morning Joe", "Southern Living", Emeril Lagosse, Florida Gov. Jeff Scott, Mit Romney, Marco Ruebio, there's more but too many to list. The lead chefs here were also invited to the James Beard House in New York City.
Now let's get back to the scary stuff...
When you get to the intersection of Jefferson and Zaragoza Streets you are upon an area sprawling with ghosts, murder and mayhem. This intersection has a lot of history surrounding it, so be prepared to take in the "happenings" here through downtown's history.
Keep moving east on Zaragoza Street.
To the southwest corner of Jefferson and Zaragoza Streets you will see the Germania Hall, also called the Germania Fire Hall and the site of the Germania Fire Department. What is now the Quayside Art Gallery, housed the Germania Steam Fire Engine and Hose Company. The building served as their headquarters and social center.
In 1892, this building was reported haunted by several different firefighters. This happened constantly over several weeks. Firefighters sleeping in their quarters on the second floor were being awakened by the sound of solid foot steps on the floor. Heavy oak doors could be seen and heard while they creaked open by themselves. The firefighters woke up suddenly looking for causes of the noises, but no source was found. The men checked to make sure that the doors were locked and returned to bed. They got back to their beds and went back to sleep, only to be awakened again several minutes later by the same sounds. The occurances started happening more frequently and the sounds started escalating. An incident report was filed due to this happening constantly. The newspaper got word of this and reported it to the general public.
Two firefighters, George Suarez and Billy Britson, who were sleeping upstairs when they heard a sound of heavy walking on the wooden floor and a scaping sound of furniture being dragged across the floor. The sound was so loud that it woke them both up. They were shocked and astounded at a white glowing orb (glowing light) hovering over the room. Both of them sat up slowly in their beds. While transfixed on the orb it changed into a human like figure dressed in white. As the temperature dropped in the room it felt as though it was freezing. The ghost floated from bed to bed, placing it's ice cold fingers on the necks of the firefighters. After a few terrifying minutes, the apparition vanished. The firefighters were so frightened they did not get out of their beds until about 30 minutes had passed. They filed another report and, this time, spoke with a newspaper reporter about the incident. This being more than "rumors" of the first time this happened.
Both of the firemen were asked who they thought the ghost was. They said that it could be the spirit of a firefighter that died fighting a fire a few year's earlier.
24 hours after this happened it had become the talk of the town. Word of the incident spread and many people read the news in the paper.
I and a friend of mine have spoken with two of the employees of the art gallery (which is now the Quayside Art Gallery, pronounced key-side and is the area adjacent to a quay (ki) or wharf or a system of quays, especially in a port city), they were spoken to seperately. Both of them spoke of the same types of instances that occur regularly. They, also, hear foot steps upstairs and know that no one is up there. This happens when the employee(s) are down stairs. They have went upstairs to help customers and have noticed pictures/paintings not being straight. They go down stairs with the customer and then go back upstairs to staighten the item.
To their surprise... THERE IS NOTHING TO STRAIGHTEN AND EVERYTHING LOOKS JUST FINE!
I have had an incident occur twice, and I am NOT a firm believer of ghosts-orbs-apparitions. I have seen a shadow through the second floor windows while going east on Zaragoza Street. After the second time I retraced my track to see if I would see it again. I didn't. So, I looked to see if there was anything that could cause a shadow ie; street lamp, trees between lights, headlights in passing. NOTHING. None of those things caused a shadow again, and yes I even waited for vehicles to pass by to see the results. NO SHADOW APPEARED WHEN THE VEHICLE PASSED. I am a retired Career Firefighter and I know that some firefighters lose their life doing their job. This could very well be the firefighter(s) who died in the line of duty. Germania Hall is pictured below on the left and right of centered photo.
Unlike "modern times", photographs of employees was not a normal occurrence. Major, devastating, catastrophic or even cataclysmic is what would have to happen to see "everyday" people and/or locations. Don't take that the wrong way and think that photographs of places and people didn't happen on a normal day, because they actually did. But, keep in mind that cameras were a lot more cumbersome than they have been over the last 30 plus years and they are getting easier as time progresses. In this next incident no photos from before or after were taken. Here are the facts. Pensacola Police Officer James Gordon was shot to death on September 22, 1889. The man that Officer Gordon had arrested the night before came upon him at the same location where the man was arrested, this being the southwest corner of Palafox and Zaragoza (Zarragossa) Street (center picture below) and they began to argue. Both men drew their guns and fired at each other several times. Officer Gordon was shot in the chest and died at the scene. James Gordon is the first line of duty death (L.O.D.D.) of the Pensacola Police Department. If there were others they were not recorded. This arrest, then murder, took place at the intersection seen below and took place just to the left of where the stop sign is (right side of photo you can see the back of the stop sign) in the photo. And NO, the first photo below on the left is a Pensacola Police Officer whose name is unknown. But, this is the Pensacola Police Officer uniform of the period. The photo on the right is the PPD's badge with their founding date on the bottom.
Women in groups of two to three have been seen walking down Zaragoza Street wearing Victorian attire much like you can see in the above photo. The ladies seen are ghostly in appearance, being somewhat glowing and transparent. Madame Mollie required the girls to always walk in groups of two or three, never to walk alone. The majority of times these images are seen by a male. No eye contact with ladies (2 or 3 of them) has ever been made. More so, the apparitions disappear before making close contact with the individual(s) seeing them. I had a rather odd, yet somewhat humorous, thing happen to a good friend and myself in the first week of October in 2013. As we passed by the location of where Mollie McCoy's home was, at 15 Zarragossa (Zaragoza), we had a rather unusual incident occur. Mind you this was in early afternoon, not late evening to nighttime. We had an albino squirrel cross right in front of us. Now granted, this isn't like seeing a dinosaur but an albino squirrel is definitely rare. Due to the fact that we were talking about ghosts, sightings and ghost tours around downtown, this surely got both of our attention. Maybe there is more fact than fiction regarding the sightings, honestly I have no idea. Yep, that's the little squirrel below. We didn't get it's picture when it climbed the crepe myrtle on the north side of Zaragoza. When it went up the tree trunk it stopped, then turned and looked directly at us. Nope, not like you see in the photo below. It looked directly at us. Kind of freaky. Anyway, just like we did then... let's move on.
BELOW is the The Red Light District in Pensacola at the turn of the 20th century was a thriving industry, and remained part of the port city’s identity until 1941 when the
U.S. Navy put an end to it. This was due to the Enlisted and Officers spending almost all of their earned wages while on weekend liberty there. Pensacola’s growth as a
port city created a unique economic and social environment. The port area emerged as the heart of red light district, accompanied by gambling houses and saloons. The
harbor area became notorious for its lawlessness, and the citizens of Pensacola viewed the red light district as a necessity to maintain order. Madam Mollie McCoy
resided over the renowned establishment at 15 Zaragoza (Zaragoza and Baylon Streets). McCoy's brothel catered to the more refined taste of politicians, bankers, and
captains. Her establishment was the most expensive of all brothels in the red light district, and she proudly displayed her name in gilt letters in the glass front door. In the
interior of the house, McCoy spared no expense in showing off her wealth. The fire place had a white marble mantle, the floor-length windows were shrouded in red stain
curtains, and the walls were painted gold. Mollie McCoy not only took pride in her house, but also in the girls she employed. The girls that lived at McCoy’s
establishment were handpicked by the madam herself from New Orleans, Louisville, Pensacola and other large southern cities. The girls dressed in fine gowns and were
not allowed to drink, smoke, or act unladylike. The girls were chosen by McCoy for their beauty as well as their skills of conversation and entertainment. It was said that
establishments such as Mollie McCoy’s rivaled the brothels in New Orleans’ red light district. Below is a photo of her (rather large) house that was located on the west of
the block of Main, Baylen and Zarragossa Streets. Read more below, because here comes the ghostly part that covers the ghostly incidents that have been recorded at SEVERAL DIFFERENT TIMES, BY SEVERAL COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PEOPLE.
With over 450 years of history, Pensacola rates very high in the National Per Capita Ghost Sightings. Actually, Pensacola is in the top 10% Nationwide. Throughout
downtown and all over Escambia County there are many reports, investigations and strange unexplained happenings (some with validated proof) taking place all year. In
2009, the team from the television show "Ghost Hunters" were here in Pensacola to investigate a few locations where people of completely different backgrounds, beliefs
and heritage reported "odd happenings/disturbances". Our strange happenings have even made television, so don't be scared to look through recorded evidence (Ha
Ha). This section delves into occurrences (not every incident) that the title specifies. That being Ghostly occurrences, murderous happenings and outright Mayhem.
Killam’s wife Wanda was a dancer at Jack Ruby’s nightclub in Dallas. Because of these two apparent associations, Killam’s life was forever changed after Kennedy’s death. Killam claimed he had “special knowledge of the assassination plot” and became convinced he knew too much and was being targeted by federal agents. “I’m a dead man,” Killam
Hank Killam is a name that’s likely unfamiliar to most Pensacolians. Half a century ago, however, his name put the city on the map for his bizarre and mysterious death and its alleged connection to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Just an ordinary house painter — or so it seemed. In reality, Killam was one of a few individuals who traveled in the same circles as Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby.
His death, and the mysterious circumstances surrounding it, have had conspiracy theorists buzzing for more than 50 years. With Killam’s ties to Oswald and Ruby, he was a noted person of suspicion in the assassination of Kennedy. Killiam’s suspicious death, almost 4 months to the day, has formed yet another peculiar chapter in the conspiracy theories surrounding the assassination. Before Kennedy’s assassination, Killam was a painter living in Dallas. His close friend and co-worker John Carter was a roommate of Oswald.
Investigators came to the conclusion that Killam likely threw himself through the storefront window, cut his neck on the glass and crawled onto the sidewalk. Investigator Jim Harper, who wrote the report on the death, stated in his investigation, “that is no sure way to commit suicide. If he had been cut anywhere else except the jugular vein he would never have bled to death.”
Lee Harvey Oswald
THEN - Germania Fire Hall
NOW - Quayside Art Gallery
1875, John Wesley Hardin
Photo of his blood trail on the sidewalk
The orange Beetle he had
stolen and was caught in.
claimed after paranoia and fear led him to flee Dallas. He lived for a short time in Tampa before escaping to Pensacola. He cried in fear to his brother Earl Killam, “They’re going to get me — but I’ve run as far as I’m going to run.”
Killam was staying at his mother’s home on West Romana Street behind where Ever’man Grocery stands today. Killam confided in his brother Earl that “agents”and “plotters” began harassing him at his home downtown in the weeks after the assassination of the president. He even believed men claiming to be clergymen visited his home to harass him.
On the night of his death, Killam’s mother Mary Killam said her son received a phone call at 4:00 a.m. Shortly after, she reported Killam leaving the house and hearing a car door slamming. Less than a half-hour later, Killam was found unconscious and bleeding to death outside the Thiesen building, just three blocks away. Adding to the mystery, Killam’s mother told investigators she had no knowledge of her son owning a car. “I know too, that it is possible that someone picked him up, slit his throat, threw him into the window to make it look like an accident,” Mary Killam told police after his death.
Madame Molly McCoy's Brothel
The Pensacola Cultural Center
Pensacola Little Theater
The Escambia County Courthouse,
Court of Records,
Escambia County Sheriff's Department
& Escambia County Jail
Fire, EMS, and Police departments from all over the Southeast were present to pay their respects for Maurice and his family.
And for the Pensacola Fire Department.
Maurice was taken to the Holy Cross Cemetery atop Engine 5, the same engine he was riding the night of his passing. Hundreds of people participated in the one mile march from the Sacred Heart Cathedral to the Holy Cross Cemetery.
Firefighter Maurice Bartholemew
He rode on Engine 5, for his last call answered. Brother, Rest In Peace.
I want to share with you the latest MAYHEM that occurred downtown. This is where Pensacola Fire Department lost one of their finest! He is surely missed by his Brother and Sister firefighters (including me)... even to this day.
On November 25, 2000, the Pensacola Fire Department responded to a fire in a single family dwelling at E. Hatton Street and 8th Avenue. Upon arrival Engine Company 5 found a heavy fire condition in the rear of the single story house. Operating under the assumption that the occupants were still inside the house, Firefighters Maurice Bartholemew, Chuck Walters and Company Officer Captain David Allen of Rescue Company 32 advanced the hose line into the house and encountered a heavy smoke condition. Unbenouced to them, the occupants had evacuated the house. But, they did their job "Saving Lives and Property". They were operating 5 to 10 minutes searching near the rear of the house, Captain Allen realized that the fire was advancing behind them and that the room was about to light up (called a flash-over). He ordered his hose team to abandon the line and leave immediately. The three firefighters turned and were beginning to make their way out when the room did in fact have a flash-over. While exiting the building, somehow Firefighter Bartholemew became separated from his the other two firefighters. The company officer reported Firefighter Bartholemew missing. Captain Allen and Firefighter Walters escaped and were transported to the hospital for burns of the ears, face and hands. Both were treated and released. Captain Roberson ordered the transmission of a second alarm and called an additional engine company and a rescue company to the scene before the fire was brought under control. At least four searches were completed before Firefighter Bartholemew was located. This was about an hour after the flash-over. He had apparently become disoriented and ended up in the kitchen at the back of the house. The cause of death was listed as asphyxia due to smoke inhalation. The conditions experienced are very dangerous. More so, the Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) only lasts about 30 to 45 minutes. The time noted is when you DON'T have dire conditions and/or a lot of physical activity that causes use of more air, naturally. When conducting aggressive interior tactics the use of the SCBA is pushed to it's limits. Without it, like you just read, the outcome may cost you your life. But, we will try to save lives and property... even if it takes our own to do it.
Below, is who can take you on the Ghost Murder and Mayhem Tour...
ALL YEAR LONG!
Station 5 THEN
While touring the fort, there is a narrow stair case that descends below ground, and then goes through a tunnel, up a set of stairs that open up into this long hallway that goes both to the left and the right. It has a very strange feel, the barometric pressure will drop drastically. You may be kind of creeped out. If you have been or are a paranormal investigator, it will definitly get your attention. Head into that long hallway. Looking to your right, down the hall. You may feel something behind you. It may very well be a Confederate Soldier looking around the corner at the end of the hall. You may look right into his eyes. Don't be scared! He may tip his head at you and as he goes back around the corner. Don't think you will catch him, because he will have vanished. You can make sure you are not seeing what you thought you just saw and head down the hall way and around the corner. YOU WILL FIND NO ONE THERE!!! You will have seen an apparition of a Confederate soldier! Keep a close watch of your shadow, as you may be casting two shadows. One being yours and the other one that is about 6' 2" inches tall. You may also hear footsteps behind you, even if you are alone or whomever you are with stops. That is the apparition you have heard. Many people report hearing things and seeing shadows but very few actually see him, the apparition. One of the park rangers has spoken of a soldier who was one of two who were executed on the grounds. This was because they fell asleep while they were on guard duty.
More of the facts. There have been several reportings of shadows around the fort. Also, reports of obvious cold spots. The incidents were described as if a freezer had just been walked into. Everything up to that particular spot and beyond was of the normal temperature. If you want to test the reportings, go out to Fort Barrancas and explore for yourself. There is absolutely NO guarantee that ANYTHING will happen... but maybe it will.
Lighthouse at NAS Pensacola
Orbs in the lighthouse
An orb seen in the lighthouse
Without her seen
The Pensacola Lighthouse has made its place in the top 10 haunted lighthouses in America. There have been and still are reports of disembodied voices, echoing footsteps on the lighthouse steps to the light tower, cold breezes inside & up the staircase and icy grips that are felt from unseen hands. Even the stairway rail is icy cold in seemingly random spots. In 1840, the first lighthouse keeper died from injuries sustained from a major fall. His wife Michaela died in 1855 while giving birth. On the floor of the lighthouse keepers quarters there are blood stains by the fireplace mantel. This is where her giving birth started. These stains have been sanded and re-varnished with polyurethane numerous times. This was an attempt to rid the quarters of the blood stain. But, the blood stains continuously re-appear during thunder and lightning storms. On just a stormy night footsteps can and have been heard inside the house. Walk up the lighthouse stairs and stop mid-way to the top of the tower. You will hear footsteps and labored breathing... even when the rest of the tower is EMPTY! People can sometimes hear a woman’s voice calling their name specifically, as if to warn them, “I’m watching you!”. The person being spoken to has even heard their own name being spoken in the same woman's voice. People have reported that they felt a presence following them up the stairs to the tower, where they can hear her breathing behind them. Cold blasts of air rush past people making their way up the stairs. When I say cold, I mean as cold as a winter breeze. In 1938, electricity was finally installed, and indoor plumbing was to replace the outhouse and cistern wells, creating a living condition for twentieth century comfort. Soon thereafter, the United States Coast Guard officially took command of all lighthouses nationwide, thus extinguishing the use of civilian employees for private service. The first Coast Guard Keeper and his wife reported on several different instances of hearing murmurs of an agitated man. Upon investigation nothing was found of anyone else being there to do what was reported. Door knobs turn by themselves, laughter has been heard, doors will open and will close by themselves... no one is close enough or around the door to do such a thing. On several instances, faint images are seen of a female wearing clothing from over 100 years ago. Also, there are sightings being reported of orbs in and around the lighthouse and the quarters. The Travel Channel and Sci-Fi’s Ghost Hunters (TAPS) have called it one of America’s most haunted places. Oh, and yes, both have been there to investigate the ghostly reports finding all of them to true. It is one of the 10 most haunted lighthouses in America.
Take a look below of the photographs that have recorded the incidents.
Both of the two photos to above are of Wesley... post passing, that is.
To the right, you can see Phineas Phogg's. Look at the steps in the lower center of the photo, then to the two trash cans at the bar. This is where the new bartender was TRYING to fill the pitcher and the tap kept turning off... then came on.
This is the cooler Wesley
lost his life in.
In the very early 1800's Sarah Wharton and her father (Don Irving Wharton, a well to do business man) were taking an evening stroll down West Romana Street (between Palafox Place & Baylen Street). Meanwhile, pirates had come on shore and were doing their normal thing of stealing, abducting and sometimes murdering during their robberies. They were doing "the norm" of pirates... causing mayhem! As Sarah and her father were walking, they came upon some pirates who were robbing a small group of people. Her father told Sarah to go hide being a thicket while Mr. Wharton tried to stop the assault. After a shout out to the pirates they came at him. He shot one of the pirates dead, but before he even had a chance to reload his pistol he was stabbed and killed by one of them. The pirates then saw Sarah crouched behind a bush and grabbed her by her hair. Well, after just seeing her father murdered, she fought back! Lovely ladies of the day had very nice finger nails. She scratched at the pirate very aggressively and gouged out one of his eyes. He did not let go of her hair and after just a moment he sliced off her head with his cutlass (scabbard).
This occurance actually covers all three titles of this page. Except that the title is reversed to Mayhem, Murder, then a ghost.
Shortly after this happened it is believed that it is her that is seen walking up and down the street. At times, she is seen with her head in place... and other times without it. But, the garments worn are the same from every reported sighting. She is seen in Victorian attire. The color of the dress is unknown because she is only seen in a ghostly manner.
This is (well, was) the "Drive-Through Mortuary". The 1st in America.
Willie J. Junior
In 1986, Willie J. Junior and a developer purchased an old church on Alcaniz Street and converted it into the Junior Funeral Home. Junior later purchased his buying partner's 49% share. The funeral home became famous for its "drive-through mortuary," allowing mourners to view the deceased through a window without leaving their vehicle. This was the very first "drive-though mortuary" in America. There are now 9 across the United States, but this one has been closed for quite a while. The building has since been converted back into a church known as the Mission Anglican Church.
This is the home where a young boy wanted to go swimming at night in the bay. He wanted to go swimming because his friends would go swimming there all the time and he had missed getting to swim with them this particular summer day. His mother told him no. It was too late in the evening to go and it was bedtime. Well, he sneaked out after he went to bed. The sad side is that he never came back home. He had drowned while swimming all alone. To this day the little boy is seen by men, women, visitors (tourist) and locals... quite often. This occurs in the late afternoon, evening and at night. People walk up on a little boy by himself and crying. They stop to ask what is wrong. The little boy answers every time that he wants his mother. When the person looks around to see if the mother or just a female is near, then look back down to the boy... the child is GONE! The same occurance has been reported umpteen times. The only thing that has been found out is the incident that occurred in the 1930's. But, I guess the child still wants his mom.
Another incident occurred in the Dharma Blue Restaurant. The lead chef was preparing for the day with two assistants in the kitchen. The owner and a market representative were in the dining area. The chef was seen leaving, quite upset, stating that he quits and could not take it anymore. Both of the ladies went to the kitchen to find out what happened. Both of the kitchen assistants where asked what happened and they both said that all of them saw a child's hands on the back of the prep table. Then they heard a child saying "I want my mommy." So, the chef got pretty upset and left. The assistants told them this is not the first time a strange occurance had happened there.
Even with all that has been brought forth, we are not even close to covering the occurrences of Ghosts, Murder and Mayhem!
The second recorded issue. This captain was deployed during World War II and thus left his wife there at their home by herself. Shortly after he left to serve his country,
she became ill with influenza and died from the illness. During this time frame there was a mandatory law of Lights Out at Dusk, no candles will be lit and no smoking
lamps (gas lanterns) were to be lit. Anything showing any light was NOT to be used. This was due to there being reports AND sightings of German U-boats in the Gulf of
Mexico and a few reports of U-boats within the bay area. This is when the oddities started. Numerous reports where made to the Pensacola Police Department (PPD) for
lights being on in the home. The light seen was of blue tint. More so, on the second floor from the window seen in the photo above. When PPD arrived they too saw the
blue hewed light and proceeded to knock at the door. When no one answered, they made entry and proceeded upstairs. The officers called out so they could be heard by
whomever was inside. They made there way to the room that the light was seen from. The strange part was that NO ONE WAS THERE and there was no longer any
light seen. The room was dark. Upon further investigating the second floor, and the rest of the house, no one was inside the home. Officers were reported several times
for the same incident and never found anything, except the light from the second floor window prior to entry. When the war was over the Captain returned home and was
briefed by the PPD regarding the occurances that had taken place while he was deployed. Once he had returned to his home... NOTHING EVER HAPPENED AGAIN!
I guess his wife was waiting for her husband's return and was comforted when he did. Or, the first wife took it as her's finally returning. As I said..., odd.
Now, let's proceed north on Florida Blanca up to Government Street.
Both of these photos are from 2009
In 1890 this Victorian house was built. John and Kate Lear had this house constructed and lived there for a few years. The house was later sold to Captain Benito Julian
Rocheblave. He was a rather rough tug boat captain. He ran guns and ammunition to Cuba during the Spanish American War. He had quite a reputation for being cruel,
angry and at times quite jealous. The initial recorded report from 1978 tells of a ghostly girl who danced across a locked room on the second floor. She is said to be one
of the Captain's five daughters, and folks have also smelled old-fashioned perfume when she is present. The window where the room is can be seen in the photograph
above. The room is on the second floor all the way to the left.
The first reported incident of recent times happened when one of the house painters saw something that startled him. He was painting the exterior trim around the window
I just mentioned. So startled he was, he slid down his ladder and ran inside to the only two men that were inside. The men inside was the site supervisor and the
maintenance manager. The worker confronted them and stated that he had just seen a girl in an old looking lavender dress dancing around the room. They told him that
there was no one and nothing upstairs. The three of them proceeded upstairs, first finding that every door was locked. They had to use a screwdriver to open the door to
the room the girl was seen in. Upon entry, not one thing was in the room. BUT, all three of the men smelled perfume. In 1977 the house became part of the Pensacola
Historical Village. Steve Turnell donated his house to the village upon his passing and he let it be well known that he NEVER went to the second floor. He also kept every
door on the second floor locked... all the time. He had, on many occasions, spoken of a female wearing a lavender dress waltzing and the scent of perfume.
The second strange thing that has been reported, more than a few times, has been seeing a bearded man with an angry expression on the second floor facing the street.
He has been seen on the balcony and from the windows and at times with his arms crossed. But, he always has the gruff look. The description of the man is repeatedly
the same. This may very well be tug boat captain Banito Rocheblave. He was VERY protective of his daughters and his distemperant was justified concidering the port.
The most revealing story is that of the "translucent lady" who appears to be in her mid 30's, dressed in her 19th century style dress, and commonly seen dancing in the upstairs' rooms. Those visiting the Dorr home for a paranormal experience are advised to be watchful of certain locations. One is the "sick room" upstairs. She would take care and look after children who were very sick and ailing. Children's laughter has been heard upstairs on many occasions. The other is in the "fainting chair" located in the parlor. The high back chair was regularly used for ladies (mainly Mrs. Dorr) to rest a moment. This was needed due to the victorian dresses that were worn. Another place she has been seen is in the apparel mirror. This is a large mirror that goes from the floor to the ceiling. Her translucent figure is seen when someone is standing in front of the mirror and looking into the mirror they have seen her. Upon turning around she is not there. She has been seen by many people in the house (those giving and taking a tour). Maybe you will be one of the lucky (or unlucky) guests to encounter the spirits that haunt the Dorr house.
T.T.Wentworth Jr. Florida State Museum
(formerly City Hall and City Courthouse)
The Gray House is located on Alcaniz Street, which faces west in the direction of the Dorr House (across Seville Square). It has been and is still claimed to be haunted by an old 18th century sea captain named Thomas Moristo. People claim to see his ghost through the windows. The Gray House is still said to be haunted even though the house is now a business location, not a residential home. The ghost of sea captain Thomas Moristo lived there in the 1700’s is believed to still reside there. Even when the home is vacant, a man has been seen peering through the windows. On one incidence, a resident was painting the house and left the paint inside the front foyer. The next morning he found all the paint had been moved outside. - The house was once in a bad fire, and it is believed the ghost does these things attempting to prevent another fire. Many people have become too frightened and refused to live in this house, and some residences have claimed to see apparitions of the old man while inside the house. Residents have had their stove turned off. While cooking or preparing to start cooking they turned on the stove and walked away from it for just a moment while it was warming up. Residents on more than a few instances have had their burners turned off when they had returned to cook. Cigarettes have been left on a table overnight and then found the next morning broken. A white incandescent light (an orb) has been seen throughout the house by whom ever is a resident there. As well as other objects and happenings.
The house is part of ghost tours in Pensacola. It has been investigated by paranormal investigators who have validated the incidents that have occurred. Although none of these have been life threatening, it is still a bit scary. These happenings have regularly taken place inside the house for quite a while. Southern Paranormal Researchers visited the Gray House during Independence Day weekend 2010, to conduct an investigation. While investigating, they conducted an Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) session using the device called “Ovilus-Puck…” what came through chilled the team to the bone.
The Dorr family resting place at St. Michael's Cemetery
Clara Barkley Dorr
Clara Barkley Dorr House
2012, Episcopalians Old Christ Church
Mr. T. T. (Tom) Wentworth Jr.
Oh yes, there is more. As recent as 2014, I spoke with one of the curators saying that one of the other curator's always wanted to be joined with someone when it was time to close the museum. She expressed concern due to there being someone who was not an employee or patron walking the halls with her. Also, they had motion detecting cameras placed around the museum and they would automatically be activated on the monitoring screen at the front desk, but there was NO ONE THERE. At times just one would be activated, other times several would come on at the same time. All the while, there was no one there. A computer AND an alarm technician were called to investigate the issue and found absolutely nothing wrong with the cameras, the sensors or the computer. Mm-mm, sounds like another "strange occurrence". But wait! There's more! On two separate occurrences the curators were getting ready to leave after locking down the museum. This has happened on two separate days (evenings) and has been witnessed by two different groups. An older man wearing a black casual suit has been seen getting on the elevator and both times the elevator was going down from the 1st floor to the basement. On both instances the ladies quickly went down the stairs to inform the gentleman that the museum hours were over and it was closed. When they got downstairs, the elevator doors were opening. Both times... NO ONE WAS THERE! I guess Mr. Wentworth does love history. He not only collected it, but is now making it!
Please understand and know, I mean NO disrespect to ANY person(s) whom this may offend.
With this history that I am sharing, it is only sharing the recorded history.
This (the history) being of Pensacola's history regarding Ghosts, Murders and Mayhem.
At the northeast corner of Jefferson and Zaragoza Streets is the former City Hall - City Courthouse. This is now the location of the Florida State T.T. Wentworth, Jr. Museum. This bacame the location for Mr. Wentworth in 1986. Unfortunately, he passed away in 1988. At least he was able to see his awesome collection of Pensacola's history put in a great place. All be it, he may still be around. When he died in 1988 the receptionist was sitting at her "post" (just inside the main entrance and to the right of the door). She had an incident that was reported to her boss, the supervisor/manager of the museum. A black bird (be it a crow or a raven) flew into the window right at the reception booth. This bird flew into it 2 more times... 3 times total. The supervisor was told of the happening and he ask the receptionist if the glass was broken. She told him it wasn't and she saw no damage to it, but that the bird was still standing at the entry way on the concrete... right in front of the window it just flew into 3 times! With no damages for her to report, he then told her that he was glad she had called. He proceeded to tell her that Mr. Wentworth had passed away about 3 hours prior to her calling. I find that rather odd. Namely because of the movie done by Alfred Hitchcock in 1963 from the book authored by Daphne du Maurier in 1952 titled "The Birds". Maybe there is more truth than fiction to the story.
Leander Shaw at Coroner's Office
CHECK OUT THE PAGE TABS BELOW TO SEE MORE HISTORY
Right back across Jefferson on the south side of Germania Hall (Quayside) is the Pensacola Museum of Art (below). Well, this was the location of the the Pensacola
City Jail. In 1906 the City of Pensacola made plans to construct a two-story building to house the City Jail, City Courthouse, Police Department and the Shore Patrol. It
was built in Spanish Revival Style and was the first permanent jail in the community. Prior to it being built there where only small, makeshift facilities to hold prisoners.
Building the structure was culturally significant because it was physical evidence of the community's commitment to public safety. From 1908 until the 1940's the jail
usually housed 15-25 prisoners, three or four being women. It was in July 29th of 1908, a man was lynched in Plaza Ferdinand. A female, by the name Lillie Davis was
allegedly assaulted by a black man. The woman's throat was cut, and she was left to die of her wounds. Shortly afterward, Shaw was arrested when found at Pensacola
Bay washing blood from his hands and shirt. He was taken to the hospital where Davis was on her deathbed, Shaw was identified by the dying woman as the man who
had assaulted her. Shaw was taken straight to the city jail (now the Pensacola Museum of Art), where he maintained his innocence for the rest of his very short life.
When word spread of the attack on Davis, a mob gathered from all parts of the city. At about 9 pm the angry crowd of about 1000 men congregated in front of the City
Jail. They demanded that Shaw be released to them so he could be lynched. Sheriff James Van Pelt tried to reason with the crowd as their numbers grew to about 1200.
Van Pelt told the crowd, "Gentlemen, here I am. You can kill me if you want to, but if you get my prisoner, it will be over my dead body. I have sworn to do my duty, and I
am going to do it even if I die for it!" Van Pelt became more concerned that something bad was going to happen. Van Pelt reportedly deputized the entire crowd. He
apparently thought that if members of the mob were deputies, they would have to obey the law and disperse. Instead, one person in the crowd said, "If we're deputies,
open the gate and let us in!" Another asked for guns. The mob stormed the jail twice. The gate was broken in the first attempt, around 9 o'clock, and Van Pelt and his
deputies fired a volley that dropped three men, forcing the others to retreat. A second attempt around midnight resulted in a melee, injuring Van Pelt and his brother,
John A. Van Pelt, and the prisoner was taken. Shaw was dragged from his cell, through the street, to Plaza Ferdinand VII. He was hanged without a trial from an
electric pole (what is now called a telephone pole) in the plaza, and per the coroners report his body was riddled with over 200 bullets from the angry crowd.
1941, Thiesan Building
Taking a step into more MAYHEM...
In February of 1978 the serial killer Ted Bundy was caught behind Oscar's Restaurant "The Hotcake King" on West Cervantes Street in the community of Brownsville. Pensacola Police Officer David Lee noticed an orange Volkswagon Beetle in an alleyway behind the restaurant. Being it was 1 am, Officer Lee called in the license plate and a "wants and warrants" check showed the vehicle as stolen. When told he was under arrest, Bundy kicked Lee's legs out from under him and took off running. Lee fired a warning shot and then a second round, gave chase, and tackled him. The two struggled over Officer Lee's gun before the officer finally subdued and arrested Bundy. In the stolen vehicle were three sets of IDs belonging to female FSU students, 21 stolen credit cards, and a stolen television set. Also found were a pair of dark-rimmed non-prescription glasses and a pair of plaid slacks, later identified as the disguise worn in Jacksonville. As Bundy was being transported to jail, Officer Lee heard Bundy say, "I wish you had killed me." Officer David Lee was unaware that he had just arrested one of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives.
This is the photo enlarged and it has NOT been altered at all. The lady in the center DOES NOT look "normal".
There are 3 photos taken from here when I gave an ECT
Ghosts, Murders & Mayhem
tour. They're further below.
With the ghost seen...
This is the "Captain's House" located on the northeast corner (across the street).
Oddly enough, there's two possibilities to the haunting here. Here's the first.
It was built in 1888 by Gustav Axalson. He was a captain of a 3 masted schooner that carried
lumber that was cut from one, or more, of the MANY lumber mills here, here being Pensacola
and Escambia County. It was 1910 when the ship left heading to Cuba and northeast South
America with a full load of lumber. The ship never returned.
His wife , Ester, burned a candle in a window that was located on the second floor. This room
is to the southeast corner from the front door entry. Every evening, awaiting the return of the
ship...and most importantly her husband, she would light the candle. Gustav never returned.
Some of the artifacts he used that
were in the Volkswagon Beetle.
The railway sight where is was caught leads to the Port of Pensacola and is still in use today.
The location is right where Pensacola's Historical Villiage main entrance is on Tarragona Street.
Now, I know the photo on the left doesn't look like anything related to Ghost, Murder & Mayhem. This is actually a photo of a close friend of the family (he and his family).
He stopped me to say hello while we were at the grocery store and into our conversation he pointed out the selfie picture he took in the spring of 2018 with his dog (it is pretty cute). We live in the same neighborhood that happens to be registered on the National Historical Sites and has a Historical Marker.
Go to THEN and NOW 3 and scroll down about 2/3 rds for a closer LOOK at the history. Now speaking of a closer look, the enlarged photo on the right depicts the ghostly image right outside his window. Their house is just a few houses from the (still active) spring. This is where the British were training the Redstick Creek Indians for the American Revolution and take note of the face, the sash across the chest and the cravat just above the sash. This was NORMAL attire in the 1700's and this was when the Brits were here! Another image of truth.
The restaurant opened in the early 1940's as the Brownsville Restaurant
by Oscar Woerner. It was soon renamed Oscar's for Woerner, whose pancakes earned him the moniker "hot cake king." The restaurant was purchased in 1980 by Helen Rollo, who is still the owner. And yes, their pancakes are BIG and VERY GOOD!
A shadow was caught in the window and is not the first time this has been seen & photographed.
The Lear - Rocheblave Home. It too has had
several reportings and validated investigations.
John Barclay Armstrong
THEN - The Escambia County Building (County Courthouse, Sheriff Department and County Jail)
NOW - The Pensacola Cultural Center & Pensacola Little Theatre
After years of searching for the most notorious gunfighter of
the old west, the Texas Rangers finally caught up with John
Wesley Hardin here in Pensacola. He was caught right outside
of the main entrance to the Pensacola Historical Village. An
intercepted letter mentioned that Hardin was hiding out on the
Alabama-Florida border under the assumed name "James W.
Swain". On August 24, 1877, Hardin was confronted on an
L&N train about 200 feet from the Tivoli High House by the
Rangers and Escambia County Sheriff's Officers. When
Hardin realized what was going on, he attempted to draw a
gun, but got it caught up in his suspenders. (In Hardin's
version, he was captured while smoking his pipe, and Ranger
Duncan found Hardin's .44 Colt cap-and-ball pistol under his
shirt after his arrest.) Hardin was knocked out and two of his
companions arrested. During the event, Texas Ranger John B.
Armstrong shot and killed another of Hardin's companions, a
man named Mann, who had a pistol in his hand. Read the
Historical Way-marker for closer details if the happening.
1872, Hardin 19 years old
This is outside the home of the young boy who drowned.
He has been seen numerous times there
and up & down Government Street.
These three photos, above, are at Saint Michael's Cemetery, located on Alcaniz Street. Voices have been heard in the cemetery late at night, as well as strange lights
that circle some of the headstones. In the photo to the right you can see a blue orb mid-left and 2 smaller orbs just right of center, and NO these were not street or
house lights. Nothing by background matched up. In the mid-1980's an action of undetermined mystery took place where the Pensacola Police Department (PPD) was
notified of a woman in white, seemingly hovering or walking around a headstone. Nothing was found by the PPD.
Outside of the Christ Church where three
of the Rectors have been laid to rest.
Take a close look at the center of
the photo to the right. It is giving
a very distinct view of an apparition.
It was taken by a person during a
Ghosts, Murder and Mayhem tour.
This photo was taken in 2020
It gives visible proof of what has
been seen, reported and
investigated (more than once).
This is the telegram sent to the Rangers Headquarters
by John B. Armstrong
“Arrested John Wesley Hardin, Pensacola Florida this P.M. He had four men with him. Had some lively shooting. One of their number killed. All rest captured. Hardin fought desperately. Closed in and took him by main strength. We are waiting for a train to get away on. This is Hardin’s home and his friends are trying to rally men to release him. Have some good citizens with, and will make it interesting.”
The next run of photographs took place in 2015, well before Halloween.
An investigation was being conducted at the Pensacola Cultural Center by American Paranormal Adventures and Two Feathers Paranormal Investigators. Before conducting their investigations both groups went on a walk to check out several other places that are very close to that location. All of the places they visited have a deep (and consistant) history of paranormal occurances. The photo below to the left was taken when they were setting up their equipment. The room this was in was the judges chambers when this was the Escambia County Building. The gallos was just on the other side of wall. You can see the wall on the right side of the photo. That wall is where there was a pull rope. The judge could (and would) pull the rope to lynch whomever was on the gallos to be hung. If you haven't already, go back up this page and get some history regarding the last man hanged from the gallos. By the way, the paranormal investigators had more than a few paranormal incidents occur there while they were conducting their investigations and while on their curious walk through the Pensacola Historical Village.
Equipment used while performing the investigations; Air Ion Counter, barometer, camera with black and white film and/or infrared film (very useful for capturing any pictures), digital recorder, EMF (electromagnetic field) detector, EVP (electronic voice phenomena) devices, motion detectors and thermometers. These are just a few that were used.
RED ARROWS ARE PLACED TO POINT OUT THE ORBS THAT WHERE CAUGHT WHILE JUST TAKING PICTURES.