This morning Christina and Corey came to take me away again. This time to … Historic Brooksville.
Now I thought I lived in Brooksville, and technically we do, the house is in South Brooksville, but it is closer to Spring Hill and that is where we spend most of our time. However, there is an entire part of Brooksville, an actual town a few minutes from here, which of course I had never been to before today.
There are many historical aspects to this town, much more than I thought I would ever find in Florida. The architecture and environment are very different from other places I have seen so far. Apparently, it is this strong sense of historic significance that makes Brooksville one of the most “haunted” places in Florida (according to my cousins and several internet sites). This of course was the emphasis of the tour.
Spring Hill Cemetery
The Spring Hill Cemetery, is located off of Fort Dade Ave. in Brooksville. It is an old black cemetery with the earliest “known” burial starting in the late 1800’s. At dusk you can see what seems to be a man hanging from a tree limb (source).
This was a brief one. We went down a creepy long winding path but quickly had to turn around as there were no trespassing signs and a gate. We did not want to get in trouble so we left. I only saw a bit and it was daylight so it wasn’t the spookiest of things. I’m sure if I would have gotten to see more of it and at night, it might have been creepier. Maybe I will one day soon?
Hernando County Court House
Built in 1913, this court house is alleged to be haunted by the ghost of a criminal who tried to escape from the second floor. Some say blood stains still appear where he was shot by the bailiff… but we’re not so sure (source).
This one we spent some time on. We looked around and found no blood stains but it was pretty creepy. Especially the two big trees out front. Not only were they oddly and eerily shaped, but it is said that these trees were used to hang people back in the day. You could feel some serious negativity sitting there.
House of Passage
Unfortunately, right across from the Court House, was a super cool vintage store called House of Passage, that sold just about everything from food to furniture. My cousins were not very fond of the place, but I loved it. Everything in the store screamed ME ME ME! I definitely want to go back when I have more money. Not very happy that I would have to go near the courthouse again. It is something I am just going to have to deal with so that I can get really neat things for my new place (once I get it).
May Stringer House
Now a “Heritage Museum,” the May-Stringer House dates back to the 1850s. The ghost of a girl named Jessie who died in the house at just 3 years of age is said to still be felt from time to time, rearranging toys and teacups to suit her whims. On rare occasions some people have said they heard whispers of “Mommy! Mommy!” coming from the attic (source).
By far the one place we really got to take a look at, as we took a $5 tour of the house. Hardly anything was original to the house as it had been ransacked, looted, and burnt prior to the purchase by the historical people but there are still genuine artifacts of the time period donated by several people. We learned about the unique items and about the families that lived there. It was in the attic that we found out more about the “haunting” of the house. Apparently Jessie is one of the more known ghosts, but Stringer ran a doctors office from the house when he purchased it, and so some ghosts come from patients that died in the house. Another thing is that many of the spirits are ones that have clung to specific artifacts donated to the museum (such as a chest in the attic that brought about a cranky drunk guy). Several of the tour guides swear up and down that they do have their own personal experiences with the ghosts. Whether they are made up for publicity or genuine I am not sure but when you think about the fact that they are all volunteers and don’t get paid for it you have to wonder what do they have to going by lying? My favorite part of the house was the room with all of the switch board and old time rotary phones. I actually got to dial another phone in the room and it rang!
We did not get to enter the 1885 Train Depot or the Countryman Family One Room School as they were closed, but those are two other important spots to go to on the historical museum association / haunted tour. As I live here now, I am sure I will have time to go there soon and check them out. We did drive in front of them though and got to see them from outside.
Russel Street Park
Down the block from the train station was a park with picnic tables. As Corey prepared and packed a lunch picnic for us we decided to stop off there to enjoy the food and fresh air. At first it felt nice, quiet and peaceful. The longer time we spent we started to get a bit scared. There was a rope hanging from a tree that looked mighty suspicious. The trees themselves looked oddly shaped, old, and perfect for hanging people; like the ones outside of the Court House. There was a creek behind the picnic tables that looked way too good of a location for body dumping. Then while I was eating I noticed that there was a swastika symbol painted on the back of the park sign that looked like someone tried to wash off. That was pretty much the last straw. We scarfed down our sandwiches, headed to the car and for home.
Over all it was a cool day. I cant wait to explore more of this place I have decided to try and make a home of.