Saturday's Investigation Report....
- Saturday was a real special investigation and of course we had two new members to help out with the investigation which adds to the creativity. We visited three locations out in the Lake Wales Region. If you remember a couple years back I visited Bok Tower in that area as well and my car was stuck in 3 feet of mud. Well at least this time nobody was stuck we didn't need any chains to be pulled out but it still was a night of strange occurrences.We visited three places which were the ghost town of Sumica, Spook HIll and Lake Wales Garden Cemetery. I mainly did these places for the historical significance for the website. More like a documentary really and of course these places will be up on our site so other enthusiast can visit these places to since they really are pretty much public locations so a nice little addition for the paranormal community.These investigations put us closer each day towards our goals as the countdown begins as to our relocation out west. I was pretty happy to have put together such a well organized trip. We will also have a radio show coming up either later tonight or tomorrow about these locations and I will talk more in depth about them. Our radio show is starting to grow with popular demand our radio show is also available on youtube which each week the amount of hits are increasing so definitely if you have not done so you should get on board for some of our adventures.Anyway's it would be a long long night for me as we would journey into the heart of Florida. I did want to take the time to thank Donna she drove all the way out from Palatka to help with this investigation she really deserves the biggest thanks since she had to driver further then anybody and ya know what guys she puts most of you to shame because she didn't complain...she hiked in the woods for miles...she also drove and for a lady in her 60s I commend her because honestly people my age often give up after having to drive 20 miles lol:) so again when I see hard work I like to point it out to everybody so they know how much perseverance pays off.Anyhow the investigation started off with Donna meeting me at my place I was running late because I dropped a piece to my radar detector so it took 20 minutes just to find the thing. I was not ready then again I always got a million things going on at once. I had lost the fuse piece that screws into the base on my walkway grrrr but found it then we loaded the gear and headed on off to meet up with Sherry.We arrived at Sherry's place just 15 minutes late but we got there lol and I got to meet her dogs he was pretty big and fierce looking but upon petting him I realized that the dog was just a big baby and loves attention. Sherry gave me a soda for the road and I enjoyed her working with the team because she is energetic...a lot of fun...and pretty laid back something my team needs or at least to be on it.Eventually we made it to Lake Wales Jim and Tammy were getting a hotel and my stomach at the time was thinking about a couple apple pies and a cup of lousy McDonald's Coffee. Two hotties walked up to the door they were closed yet the sign said 11pm go figure and they argued with the employee at thedoor and the employee was just dumbfounded. I went to go take a leak behind the dumpster no McDonalds bathroom met me either going in the pants or flaunting it lol. Honestly I rather flaunt it but that's just me.Eventually Jim and Tammy showed up it was funny Jim ran over the curb we were running late so all of us I suppose did something goofy Saturday night like me losing this and that at my house. Anyway's we headed on off to Sumica The Ghost Town and our journey begins here.SumicaWe started heading on out of town and once you leave town there is nothing but prairies...lakes and woods for miles. Trust me I studied the Satellite maps for days. So I knew this area would be interesting because we would be quite away from civilization something I enjoy very much on my journeys.We pulled down the wrong road it was a redneck village haha just trailers down a dirt dead end road. Eventually though we found the kiosk area and parking lot to this preserve. We gathered the equipment started to hike down the dirt trail which led up into the forest.A truck pulled in with a spotlight I am guessing a local got nosy cause there is a house nearby and called it in. They always have the locals keep an eye out on places like this I had a feeling it would happen. I was far away so I had Donna, Sherry and I jump behind a tree smart thing to do just in case its a psycho and its saved my ass a lot of times to in life.Jim told me on the two way radios its okay it was just a ranger and he talked to the guy awhile and the guy gave him directions on how to find the ghost town. I did not come out figured if the Ranger sees way to many people he will say sorry guys to much traffic because right now they really don't want people back here because its historic and there still trying to make it into a more public park for hikers and visitors.We regrouped started our hike on off in front a giant prairie. To go around this prairie would be about 5.7 miles as the trail split off in a Y of course we took the left trail because we had directions to the saw mill and structures in the ghost town.The trail was wide open with some wetlands on both sides kind of in certain areas. The trees were large and old draping the trail with some moss. There were also a ton of spider webs with various species of spiders trust me I know I got a nice abdomen shot as one spider hit me in the face and I had to throw my hat off cause I had web all over me with the spider still attached not fun.I did not bring my sword normally I just cut away as I walk staying ahead of everybody clearing the webs but even a long stick works I found over my few years of hiking in the woods down here.Eventually we looked over to our right and Jim said he seen eyes. Nobody knew what it was but I knew what it was off in the distance. It was a bobcat they stay low to the ground and they sort of look like my one kitty but there hair is longer and there just 2 to 3 times bigger. They will not hurt you there just big pussy cats.There are also panthers back here and probably gator's in some of the ponds no big deal respect them and they will respect you. But we would have to differentiate the difference between ghost and animals so that is why I bring it up.Sherry thought she heard something that sounded like a gator or a roar probably an animal maybe even a panther off in the distance its hard to say. Our team split up a little and we used two way radios which is a great way to cover more area and see different things.We seen a board walk lookout area and then came up to a intersection with a red round reflector maybe this was the site of an old railroad bed it was narrow enough to be one and fairly straight. I did read that some of the train tracks are still back here but I did not see any so who knows.We kept on by this time hiking over a mile we found a new trail this one had a lot of sugar sand there was not as many woods on either side of us. There was a lot of open prairies and palmettos growing mainly with a few stray trees and patches of woods.Along this trail were small trails that were overgrown. I had split the team up at this point the girls went further down the trail looking around while we went into the woodsy trail. That trail ended up dead ending up in a patch of woods. After careful examination it was evident that part of the town was located back here since we found a couple bricks and we found open areas were probably at one time houses had been.This area would be one of many we found were a trail or driveway led into a patch of woods. The patches of woods would shade the houses and structures within the town. You could also seen what appeared to be square plots in the woods big enough for houses at one time. The ground was even leveled out and cleared.You see this was a lumber town so all the cutting that was done was done just outside of the community hence the large open prairies and open patches remaining. Of course they would not cut the trees down surrounding the home but just outside of it along the sugar sand trail appeared to be the area the townsmen cleared.Jim was worried about getting lost but my view is if your not lost your not investigating. It isnt fun till you get lost and well unfortunately this place was to easy to get lost so even if I tried it couldn't happen. Now if you take me out towards tracts in Ocala well that's another story lol your looking at 400,000 acres so yeah lol.The group seemed worried also about wild animals there is really nothing in this area that can eat you primarily the animals are panthers, bobcats, raccoons, red fox and a lot of bird life. I know cause I studied the animal chart with also having a lot of woods experience I sort of laugh at Florida wildlife cause everything is miniaturized unlike in California where I am moving you get these 500 lb mountain lions that do eat humans and stray grizzly bears which take like 8 shots to bring down lol. So these woods I just sat back and enjoyed cause I know when I go out west Ill be contending with bigger beasties.We caught up with the girls passed another road leading into a patch of woods which we would hit later. The girls were getting EMF readings some of it came from our two way radios but some of it I am sure did not. Jim also mentioned seeing heads a few times watching us but then again as he said he could be imagining things. Its hard to say I mean this was a LARGE ghost town it had over a hundred structures and over 600 people.Jim also noticed a lot of wood earlier on the trail broken...spread out on the trail etc the wood obviously came off houses or structures as some of it were rectangular and long pieces all rotted. As he mentioned it looked like someone may have been hauling off some of the ghost town debris.Anyway's we kept hiking down the trail maybe this was an old railbed I think it may have been since the forest on both sides was chopped away. We hiked about a quarter of a mile to a half of mile down and everybody was getting tired wanting to call it quits here. I told Jim I would go around this bend in the woods check out more and have everybody just wait there.I went off by myself I heard some movement also not sure but it was pretty defined then the bend straightened out to a long road. Further up it I found two more trails one going to the left in an open grassy area then the other to the right which was a wide logging road. There were some tire tracks someone had been back here in the last couple months you could tell.I called it in with Jim he was with the girls and we sent them back the other way to start heading back. While I called it in I looked between the trees and seen a glowing white light. It appeared to be moving in the tree line. I signaled it and it signaled back to me. This area in the last few months has been high in UFO phenomena so I figured I would have a little fun I would ask to be abducted but not sure they want me lol I might be to annoying for them cause then I will want to control the space ship...make out with the alien girls....fly to the moon...you get the idea ha.Well Jim caught up to me and we started hiking up this road the entire area on both sides was logged you could see the old tree stumps but nothing grew here but palmetto on both sides and a few stray trees. The girls reported seeing the UFO also or object as well moving into the tree line. Jim went back to go get them I stayed alone on the logging road for about 10 to 15 minutes in silence. If I ever felt watched this would be it that I can say.They did catch up and we took this road which ended at a fence. If you get lost you just follow the fence out to the road but we still did not find no saw mill or foundations. The team headed back and went to the left. I was not done yet so I went to the right I wanted to see where this trail led if the ranger was accurate the ghost town would have been just a little further ahead.Since the group started to head on back I was not about to go on much further down this trail. But I did shine my spotlight down the road and about 900 feet ahead off me the road deadended at this patch of woods. I feel that this probably was the saw mill. There are still some structures standing today I will post the photos on my site taken from the news recently. But based on how the road ended ahead and it would be about a mile down that was probably it.But I think if I would have walked just a little more I could have found them but at this point I was alone felt a very strong presence around me and noticed a heavy cold spot as well. I also heard a lot of movement when I was alone. I took me quite awhile to catch up to the others cause I was going a totally opposite way so they were pulling away lol. Eventually I caught up I no longer seen the strange lights in the woods and above the trees.We explored one last area together which was this little trail to the left in a thick patch of woods. We did find more bricks from the town. This place was odd you had a trail that zigg zagged sharply in the woods. So thick the trees were you could not even see the sky. I started to hike back in there and soon I could not even see my teams flashlights. This area kept going back and so did I but it had to end just an open path in between the trees where it turned sharply left then right then left then right.Eventually I caught up and we started to head back to the vehicles. Jim and I pulled ahead while the girls rested there is no rush rest..camp whatever its all good as long as we can cover a thorough search of such an area.We went down the opposite way down the sandy road found another trail to our right same thing a patch of woods with a clearing. It was obvious at this point that this town covered a large area it was not just in one small area but spread out along this sandy road and that these trails were actually driveways. Back then this town did have vehicles as it was only 80 years old so they were not totally incapacitated so the driveways thing made sense in my theory.We started to hike on back everybody regrouped at the three way split. It was a long hike back and along the way I found another brick. Jim is right that probably a lot of the town was hauled off because that brick should not have been on this trail. This trail was for public hiking and no structures were supposed to be on it or near it so that brick was carried here by a human possibly.Eventually we made it back to the car I had another spider get caught up in my hat had to again throw it on the ground. I also ate a spider web oh yeah tons of fun. But we made it back in pretty good time. The mosquitoes were pretty big back here Jim mentioned one stung him through his shirt. There are over 100 types of mosquitos in the world most of them I have gotten bit by on my journeys but these were large and had stripes on them.When we arrived back at the car I sensed a little disappointment from everybody because we did not find the saw mill. Unfortunately as I tell everybody who joins what we do here is not a pretty site its not always meant to be fun its a live and learn experience. If you miss out on something that's okay because where you didn't find the saw mill you still got to see the bobcat...you still got to see the bricks that were part of the town...you still got to see the UFO etc etcWhat we do here is nothing like a television show most of what you see on TV is fake people working in air conditioning with fans....make up preparations etc etc but the real explorers are the ones who go out in the night looking to uncover mystery and history. Sure you sweat...sure your feet are going to hurt...sure you will get bit by mosquitoes it comes with the adventure.Also one can tell from our website that we do a lot of outdoor things ghost towns, haunted trails, Indian mounds, caves etc we don't do just cemeteries only we don't just do haunted houses. We do a little of everything and it has its rewards in the end.Anyhow Jim and Tammy needed to go to the gas station to get something to drink and eat so we met them up there. I came back from using the restroom they were eating energy bars and they told me they are calling it a night because there feet were soar. I was a little disappointed cause I worked hard to put this trip together and it didn't matter if the sun was coming up in two more hours if we have to investigate with the sun up we do that's just how it is. But each member has a different talent so when one or two goes it hurts because one person might be good at capture anomalies while the other EVP then if someone goes you lose out on that amazing ghost footage or more evidence that could be compiled.So they parted and left so it was down to Donna and Sherry so we would finish off the night. I will be putting a new policy in effect. Anybody on the team taking a separate vehicle will no longer get a print out with directions to these haunted locations on them. If you take a separate vehicle you will be responsible for following me if you lose me we will keep in touch by cell phone or two way radio. Reason for this is I do not print out directions for others to call it quits and check out the places when they feel they want to.I know they were disappointed that we did not find the saw mill but that is how this business is you do not always see a ghost and you do not always find everything during an investigation. Sometimes you just have to pat yourself on the back and say well hey I hiked 6 miles in an area that very few have ever been to before an area that at one time had 600 people living...working...dying...and making a life for themselves out in such seclusion.So in the end I felt we did a pretty good job of this area. If after an investigation your feet hurt or your too tired there is other things you can do like sit in the car keep look out...or leave your recorder at a place for EVP and just relax for awhile. Point is that one of my biggest rules is I have is do not leave the investigation and I have to start enforcing this because this is not a pick and choose type of thing your in or your out that's just how it works. I never as a leader have abandoned my investigators don't want them doing it to me.Hell even if you have to walk around barefoot in the cemetery or upcoming place go for it nobody is here to impress anybody what matters is that you get it done whether you look like me shirt wide open stoned or your walking around barefoot and topless. As long as your comfortable that is what matters and that is what is gonna produce good results per investigation. I am just letting others know for future reference not speaking to anyone specific but in general if that makes sense.And so with that in mind since the big investigation of the night was out of the way we would be checking out Spook Hill. I sent out an article about it last week ago was actually doing to do this place a few years ago just never got around to it till now and so I give to you Spook Hill.Spook HillTrying to find this place was ridiculous because I had the right directions problem is that in Florida you have roads that are named the same like 17 A, 17, B, 17 etc etc so we took the wrong 17 down then had to turn back. We missed the other 17 which led right by spook hill and eventually I took another way and of course we ended up in the ghetto section of Lake Wales lol.Trust me we spent over a half hour driving in circles and Sherry was very patient with me as I had her back up, turn around, make a right here, make a left here etc being we missed our turn we sort of had to find a new way to get here with no maps, no gps etc so it was like a rat maze haha.We kept driving around my directions did not match up at all go figure mapquest lately just does not always give you the right directions or roads change. After awhile we came on out to 17 we took this dirt driveway behind a gas station thought that was it cause the sign said turn left so we thought it meant there.It was funny cause Sherry was like umm if this is Spook Hill we got some problems I was like yeah if this is Spook Hill I don't think Ill be adding it to the website haha.Then we made a turn earlier passed right by it but we missed it because you see this is a one way street because a lot of people technically put the car in neutral and let it roll on back.Eventually we found the right road there was the elementary school its called Spook Hill and yes their mascot is a ghost that looks like Casper. You bet we took photos here it was fun.Then we came around the corner read the historical sign on the road about this hill. It talked about an Indian chief...an army trail...and the hill itself. I guess the chief is buried along the road where the ridge goes along it. But there is a lot of history to the hill of course the school...and residential homes take away the eeriness of it all.Sherry put her truck into neutral and it started to roll back. I was laughing so freaking hard I almost fell on the ground. Even Sherry noticed she was like thinking WTF cause its obvious that if your on a hill put your vehicle in neutral its going to roll back. So I was laughing thinking to myself man we go all this ways to watch a vehicle roll back.It was obvious that if you carefully studied the road you could see that it slightly went downhill before it leveled off hence why when you put it in neutral the car rolls back. Its not magnetic...its not magical...there are no paranormal forces at work its just simple gravity and physics. Each year thousands travel to do this and honestly do not bother however my intent was to do more then that so hence why we visited this area was to uncover its ghost.Unfortunately my EMF was not working and since I lost my recorder I could not get any EVP. Jim and Tammy were not on this investigation and this is what I meant about people leaving early. I needed them to help me here because you see a road like this generally means not a lot of activity that is where EVP, Thermal Readings, and EMF comes in handy.Based on the history its obvious that housing and the school were buried over the old army trail. The ridge and wide open area was still here as the historic sign explained so Sherry and I walked along it taking photos and feeling out for cold spots.There was a one tree that was very large and old that stood out. Sherry pointed out an old ax marking on the tree. That tree was around when Spook hill was named back in the 1800's. We took some photos and left do not expect much out of this investigation but it will be on the site so others can learn about its ghost, history, and mystery to it.Not to far away from this place was also a house that was on unsolved mysteries I did not have an address but the guy at the gas station was telling my team about it while I was taking a leak. So I did not get to ask him more about the house.Spook Hill was a lot of fun though I mean it was a nice area....it was not a lot of walking so I got all my energy back. I mean its very rare to even see a hill this size in FL one of the reasons I am moving out West is cause I like hills I love terrain. I love mountains and woods. It seems that at one point this area before it was developed probably was pretty spooky but today nahhhh city life has consumed it thus making it a more challenging investigation.We then moved onto Lake Wales Garden Cemetery which is one of the largest cemeteries in all of Polk County Florida.Lake Wales Garden CemeteryThis cemetery was fairly new I find with newer cemeteries we never get a lot of anything. I still put them on our site to show we investigated it. But the one thing that interest me about this place is that it was VERY large. I love large cemeteries because there is so much more to explore.We parked in the cemetery but it was in a newer area so we just ended up regrouping and parking elsewhere. I saw an older area then everybody split off which is good cause we could cover more areas this way since it was so large.The sun was going to be coming up in another hour but we managed to pull it off. I took off wandering just taking random photos. The girls studied this family plot which I must say was pretty interesting. They did a good job putting it all together reading the graves etc.I did not sense a lot here but I will say this. When Sherry was up on one of the hills walking I glanced on over and seen something following her. It looked like a white mass low to the ground moving very fast almost looked like a ghostly dog or human crawling on the ground.I was not to phased by it I just oh its a ghost and kept walking around lol. I almost covered the entire cemetery I fast walked it the entire cemetery one end to another almost. I did not see hardly any old graves some perhaps were around 50 years old so the cemetery was not very old.I took a photo of a statue...and a crypt those two sites interested me the most. But without my EMF working...etc not much else to do or see here. Hence again why I needed the other half of my team.We took on off It was a nice finisher for the end of the night. I did have 3 other cemeteries one being a civil war cemetery but we ran out of time so I had to pass them up. Which is fine I have been to so many cemeteries over the years I just at this pointed wanted to get home as it was a long trip for us all.Sherry went back to her place with us and then Donna took me home. Donna's trip was far from over cause she still had to drive me home from Kissimmee then drop me off here in Orange City then head on home to Palatka. By that time the sun was shining and the I-4 traffic was growing as we passed through Orlando.In conclusion to the report it was a long night I would not say it was one of our most active nights but the adventure was there with a little bit of humor throughout the night. I wish we could have found more remnants of the ghost town and I wish the rest of the team was there for Spook Hill. But it was a good night over all.I have to start thinking about putting together my trip out to Tampa Bay. I have an eerie island but with no boat we probably will not be able to get on it so Ill be putting together probably an Indian mound, ghost town, and a couple historic cemeteries out that way. I think Sherry and Donna held up real well they stuck it out they drove they helped out and did pretty good for there first investigations.It was a long night I do think that the ghost town could use some further exploring Jim told me before he left that he wanted to take his dirt bike back there during the day to look around. I think that would be fun unfortunately my time here in FL is short so I have sometimes only one shot at doing some of these places which means I have no choice but to succeed per place.I cannot wait to add the photos to the site some of you really are going to enjoy these investigations especially the younger age group on Spook Hill and so with that in mind this concludes this weekends adventure report!PeaceLord RickFounder
- Investigating has its rewards you might visit 3 places see nothing then by the time your dragging ass you get to see something amazing its just how it works. Its hard finding loyal investigators.RickIn a message dated 10/1/2007 7:41:14 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, LeClairehm@... writes:Rick, I really enjoyed reading this. I am so glad that Donna and sherry stayed with you the whole time. It sounds like everyone had a great time. Keep up the good work . Anna