‘Ghost Hunters’ to visit Ocala inn

Spirits of a woman, boy and old man haunt the Seven Sisters Inn.

OCALA, Florida – The pink and purple Victorian manors that make up the Seven Sisters Inn off East Fort King Street in Ocala seem like most other old Southern homes, at least on the outside. But ghosts and spirits don’t spend much time outside.

Inside, the air is heavier and sometimes cold. Slow piano music plays interminably, interrupted by the creaks and rumbles made by any 120-year-old structure.

But is there more to those sounds, those rushes of air and subtle drafts, those flickering of lights? The personalities for the SciFi Channel believe so, so much so that they will feature the inn during Wednesday night’s episode of “Ghost Hunters.”

Inn owners Bonnie Morehardt and Ken Oden say they don’t need spiritual mediums and paranormal experts to tell them their homes are haunted. They’ve already seen enough.

“There is a feeling of energy here,” Morehardt said Monday afternoon. “I think the spirits are here to care for the building and to care for us. It’s a protective thing.

“But there are definitely different feelings at each house.”

The Scott House, the pink-colored home on the property, is the older of the two and, Morehardt says, the brighter. Built in 1888, it’s hard to keep track of all the possible spirits that may reside within its three stories.

Morehardt says she’s seen a mysterious dressed-up woman, a young boy and an old man. Guests at the lodge have told her about a woman wearing white passing through doors and closets and checking them out in the bathroom.

Then there are the little things. Morehardt says she’s heard a few shouts, countless footsteps on the old wood floors and the slamming of more than one door. She had to move an end table because she says a ghost kept tipping it over.

“I had this table up in the loft and it got overturned and broken three times,” Morehardt said. “I finally just put it in another room. Clearly whoever is there didn’t like the table.”

Morehardt and inn manager Charlie Childes have trouble lighting candles, keeping the lights on and even keeping the locked front door from opening.

“I’ll be sitting in the house by myself with the door locked, and all of a sudden I’ll hear the bells on the door,” Childes recounted. “I pulled up to the house one time and saw a man dressed like Abraham Lincoln walk right in through a wall.”

One of the alleged spirits may have saved Childes life. As he was walking down the open staircase to the home’s living room, something caused Childes to trip and fall forward toward a stained-glass window.

“I was falling head first, but something grabbed me with two hands,” Childes said. “Then I was about to fall right on the coffee table and someone held me up.”

The ghosts can be playful too, Morehardt said. They like to move furniture, flip lights on and off or just move some items to another room. Monday, as she looked around the third-floor loft, Morehardt found a book – “The Lady of the Lake” – that belonged in a downstairs bedroom.

“That’s supposed to be in Sylvia’s room,” she said to Childes.

“Well, it wasn’t here yesterday when I was up here,” Childes answered back.

As playful and helpful the spirits in the pink house may be, Morehardt said, the same does not apply to the purple home next door. Built in 1892, the home’s bedrooms have been outfitted with decor from across the world. Rooms pay tribute to France, China, Egypt and India, countries diverse enough to bring with them a diverse clash of spirits.

“You will hear fighting and arguing in these rooms,” Morehardt said.

It’s not the environment Childes prefers. He works the day shift and tries to stay away from the purple home at all costs.

“I don’t like being here at night,” he said. “When I walk into the other house, it’s like walking into my mom’s house. This one is darker.”

Both homes will be featured on SciFi Wednesday at 9 p.m. For more information on Seven Sisters Inn, call 352-867-1170.

Full source: Ocala.com