People often ask us why we shoot documentaries about haunted places. The answer is, it is extremely interesting, and fun! Throughout the past four years, we have met various paranormal investigative teams and visited some awesome historical places in our great home state of Florida. This was what inspired us to create our latest feature film, "Real Haunts".
One place we visited was the Lakeside Inn in historic Mt. Dora, FL. This beautiful hotel, built in the 1800's, has been beautifully restored by the current owner. The inn has been well loved by famous people throughout the years, including vacationing American Presidents and notorious gangsters like Al Capone.
We met Andrew Mullen and Karen Santiago in the lobby of the grand hotel on a sweltering summer day. Andrew and Karen do the ghost tours for the city of Mt Dora and are involved with the historical society and a local paranormal research team, respectively.
We introduce them to our mother and son paranormal duo, Ryan and Janet, from our movie "Ghosts Behind the Screen". Andrew tells us right off the bat that he is a skeptic and doesn't believe in ghosts.
Our first stop on the tour is Ryan and Janet's room (7524) in the Terrace building closest to the lake, which was added on in 1929. We talked about the experiences they had in the room the night before, such as an alarm clock going off at midnight (they verified it wasn't set or turned on), knocking on the walls, and footsteps in the attic above. Janet and Karen compare paranormal investigation "toys", and we capture some voices on the "Spirit Box", a piece of equipment that rapidly switches through radio frequencies. Spirits allegedly are able to use this to manifest speech. All I can say is, we definitely heard a man's voice. Once it seemed like "he" was saying the number "7" to answer how many spirits were in the building, and answering "yes" and "no" to other questions.
Next we took the dousing rods and the K2 meter out into the hallway, where Karen says she felt some very heavy energy. We immediately began picking up on some electro magnetic frequencies in the stairwell, and using the rods asked some yes or no questions to determine that a ghost sits in that stairwell. Why? Because he was guarding Al Capone. Andrew verifies that rumor has it Al Capone was once in the Terrace Building for an extremely tense meeting with former president Calvin Coolidge! Andrew is shocked to see the evidence match with the stories he has told in the building and he seems to be uneasy about telling all of Al Capone's secrets on future tours. We all have a good laugh to see the skeptic a bit scared.
The most "haunting" place in the whole building for me was the attic of the Terrace Building. Not for the faint of heart, the attic was absolutely oppressive in the mid-afternoon Florida heat. With a peaked roof, and stuffed with insulation, the only walkway was a thin wooden catwalk that leads you through the center of the attic and back. Before we could even ask the "spirits" a question, the light on top of our camera seemed to be pushed violently off of the camera. Through the use of the rods and yes or no questions, we determine we are speaking to a child who is afraid of the "device" we were pointing at it. Several times we heard noises coming from an insulated corner of the attic which sounded like a child's voice. Upon inspection of our footage later we realized we actually picked up a very strange EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) on our microphones!
Some of the most compelling visual evidence was captured in the lobby of the main building. The dousing rods were spinning in Karen's hands with what she says was an "energy portal". Andrew used the K2 meter near the site of an old speak easy hatch and it was off the charts with a high field of energy. Andrew tells us that numerous guests have smelled cigar smoke near the fireplace of the lobby, so we used the K2 meter and discovered a high amount of energy there as well. Perhaps a residual haunting? Watch the movie to find out!
"Real Haunts" also visits the haunted Russ House, the Bellamy Bridge in Marianna FL, and the 90 year old Tampa Theatre. Coming soon to Amazon Prime Video. In the meantime, watch our previous films The Real Haunted Mansion or Ghosts Behind the Screen. Reviews appreciated!