Ghost Hunt at Eau Gallie Cemetery Oct 29, 2013 19:57:03 GMT -5
Post by Joanna on Oct 29, 2013 19:57:03 GMT -5
Paranormal phenomena at Eau Gallie Cemetery
MELBOURNE, Fla. – The names on the headstones at the Eau Gallie Cemetery read like a who’s who of local history. Gleasons are there, as are Rossetters and Hodgsons. So are Hopkinses, Creels, Matherses, Ozakis, Wickhams and Johnsons.
Who among them – or with them – still makes spectral appearances around the graves?
Having heard reports of ghosts in the cemetery most of his life, that is what Scott Dwyer wanted to know, and so he brought a team from Florida Unknown, which investigates the paranormal, to spend an evening and record what they saw and/or heard.
“We asked a question and our answer came from a female voice,” Dwyer said. “But two of our recorders still need to be examined.” Dwyer, a Melbourne police officer who investigates crime scenes, has been fascinated by the paranormal for years, and although he will as easily discount the possibility of haunted places as not (“We debunk a lot of it.”), he believes some spirits may remain at some sites, most not with any malice.
He recalled hearing about the Eau Gallie Cemetery from his childhood, which was spent in the area.
“I have lived here just about my entire life and I have always heard the Eau Gallie Cemetery was haunted,” he said. “It was just something that you grew up with.”
Growing up with such stories set Dwyer to wondering, and eventually, investigating. In 2007, he co-founded the Space Coast Paranormal Research Association with fellow law enforcer Ron Streiff and last year started Florida Unknown, which describes itself as “a group of individuals with years of experience in technical fields and law enforcement. We share a desire to investigate what is claimed to be paranormal activity.”
Business is good, Dwyer said, the group having checked out supposed apparitions and strange doings throughout Brevard, some of which have been handily debunked. Others are just plain odd, such as sounds, spectral sights and moving objects at various sites in downtown Melbourne and in North Brevard.
He’s heard his share of reports about elsewhere in Eau Gallie, too. Strange voices are said to be heard in what once was the elegant State Bank of Eau Gallie, later home to a series of restaurants. Odd things are said to have happened near the historic Rossetter House, where a victim of a traffic accident is supposed to make appearances at a nearby intersection. The Pineapple Inn is supposed to be haunted by a neglected wife from Victorian times.
In fact, so many were the tales of unusual occurrences in the Eau Gallie Arts District that “ghost walks” took place there in past years.
Dwyer laughed. “All kinds of things are supposed to be happening at businesses on Highland Avenue,” he said.
But little matches the reputation of the cemetery for ghostliness, historic as it is.
A fountain of information for those interested in history and genealogy, it dates to 1902, founded on land donated by William Gleason. In 1934, the city of Eau Gallie took over its operations, which went to Melbourne after that city absorbed Eau Gallie in 1969.
Tales of spirits odd goings-on there have been told for so long that many people simply ignore them.
“I’ve heard bits and pieces, but never really checked it out,” said Carol Andren, president of the South Brevard Historical Society.
“I can remember back when I was 9 years old, I was a member of our (Melbourne Police Department’s) junior police program, which was like the Police Explorers,” he said. “We used an old schoolhouse (the former West Eau Gallie School) as our meeting place. It was next to the graveyard and we always heard stories of ghosts. Once, one of our members saw a shadow person walk from a tree to a gravestone and then disappear.”
And so in early October, he and Florida Unknown finally set to work.
Jason Koenig of Melbourne, who noticed an increased sensitivity to things strange and dangerous while he was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan with the Marine Corps, was with Dwyer.
“I could have sworn I saw a person there,” he said, meaning, “among the tombstones.” “I was drawn to one corner of the cemetery and was telling myself ‘I don’t want to go there,’ so that’s the best place to go. I sat down on a bench and ... knew I felt something. Then I walked east and hit a spot where my adrenaline started pumping. You could feel it.”
Dwyer hesitates to judge what his equipment, and human eyes and ears, picked up during their time in the cemetery because the investigation is incomplete. But it wouldn’t shock him if the suspicions of generations of local residents are confirmed.
“I really wouldn’t be surprised if something was there,” he said.
Source: Lyn Dowling, Florida Today, October 25, 2013.