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When I first met the ghosts…

Added March 12th, 2005

On Dec. 5, 2001, when the idea to go ghost hunting in the Gulf Coast city of
Venice, Florida, was presented to me, I had never heard a ghost story in
relation to that city.

Turns out, there were several and, one by one they began to drop in on me.
Within five months, there were enough stories for a slim volume of stories,
I had met several mediums and the hunt continued for more stories, moving next
to Sarasota and then, this past year to the Clearwater& St. Petersburg
area. Through it all I had ongoing help from the person who started me down
this interesting path and for that I shall be eternally grateful.

Not only were ghost stories dropping in my lap, a circus history book also
begged to be written and was published in April 2004. Although there is nary
a ghost story in that book, that book came about because of the Venice ghost
book. Because of the importance of the circus to Venice,which was the winter
home of The Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus from 1960-1992 and
of its circus college for an additional four years, I felt strongly that I
needed to have a circus-related ghost story in my Venice book. Perhaps the
circus ghosts were playing tricks on me or, perhaps they really wanted that
circus book to be written for, I had to interview more than 70 circus performers,
fans and show personnel before I finally found my circus ghost story.

In two years I had gone from someone who was open to the idea of ghosts and
their stories to someone who seemed to be guided by those spirited characters.
Never one to look a gift horse (especially a whole circus act of Liberty horses)
I penned the circus book before getting back to my ghost hunting.

The spirits must have been happy because the Clearwater & St. Petersburg
book fell quickly into place and Ghost Stories of Tampa Bay began to arrive
in all manner of ways—some by e-mail,some from my new Clearwater friends
and others from casual acquaintances who appeared in my life.

About the same time, I also decided to write a book of day trip ideas for
residents and visitors in SW Florida. Working on both books are once, I was
making great progress. That changed when Began to concentrate totally on
the day trip book. It seems the spirits had no problem with my working on two
books but they did not like being put on the shelf.

All of a sudden, road blocks appeared to disrupt my day trip book’s progress.
The spirits seemed to be speaking.

And,to make sure that I was listening, they even sent me a new medium, a lady
named Rosemary Altea, who is internationally known for her work and her gifts.
She has been on the Larry King, Diane Sawyer and Oprah shows, has had several
New York Times best selling books and has healing centers in Great Britain
and in Vermont. My first knowledge of her appearance on the scene came from
Susan Lockwood, a Clearwater medium who had helped me find stories for the
Clearwater book. Out of the blue, Susan emailed me about Rosemary’s coming
appearance in Tampa. A few days later, Rosemary’s secretary contacted meat
the newspaper where I work, to tell me that Rosemary would be conducting a
program in Sarasota and, she had recently moved to Venice and, would I like
to interview her.

Does Hershey make chocolate?

The interview was arranged for the following Wednesday afternoon, and, accompanied
by several family members who are in spirit, I headed over to her Venice home.
Actually,at the time, I did not know I was accompanied by anyone at all but,
an hour into the interview, Rosemary began carrying on a conversation with
my late husband. She had described him and his arrival in detail and also had
described my father, mother and my mother’s twin sister. It seemed that all
of them were with me on that day.

As the interview ended, Rosemary asked me about the possibility of going ghost
hunting in the area. Since Susan Lockwood and her husband had already contacted
me about heading up to Tampa on the following Saturday, it seemed I was getting
another message about the Tampa book.

The following Saturday, Rosemary accompanied me to Tampa where we toured the
American Victory, a U.S. Merchant Marine cargo ship that served at the end
of World War II, in Korea and Vietnam. While our guide stressed the use of
the ship for cargo, Rosemary sensed that troops had been aboard too and when
she asked about that, learned she was right.

Still not sure if there is a true ghost story there but it is a start.

Rosemary and I are going back again in a couple of days—this time to the
Falk Theatre and some other places recommended by Chris Lockwood.

And with some more help from my spirited helpers, you BLOG readers may be
moved to add some stories to this site.

May the spirits be with you

Topics: Blog, Ghost Hunting

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