Ghost tours offer a scare in Bradenton
Those seeking a ghost encounter this Halloween need not spook themselves in a cemetery.
The Paranormal Society of Bradenton offers ghost tours where participants can use special equipment to communicate with Hector the boozy ghost and other spirits who purportedly haunt the halls of community buildings and linger on Bradenton’s side streets.
“Everyone has their own ghost story,” said Liz Reed, founder of the paranormal group. “Some people talk about it. Some people don’t. Some people are too scared to talk about it.”
Reed said she first encountered a ghost at age 4. She shared a room with her brother in an old house in Minnesota. Each night after everyone went to bed, she heard someone creak open the attic door and walk down the stairs. She felt them sit on the end of her bed — her legs trapped underneath an imprint on her bedspread. She said she saw no one.
Reed, 57, and others give “ghost tours” of downtown Bradenton from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. weekend nights and by reservation during the week. They investigate people’s homes for activity when requested.
There are two types of hauntings, Reed said. Residual hauntings are when someone’s “energy” lingers in a place. Intelligent hauntings are ones in which the living can interact with spirits by asking yes or no questions and then checking their meters for electrical activity. High-electrical reads on the meter are interpreted as a yes response.
Those hoping to catch intelligent spirits can interact with them on the downtown Bradenton tour.
Hector Brandon is a crowd favorite. He drowned trying to cross a river on his horse during a hurricane more than a century ago. He tends to respond most to questions about booze. Rum is his favorite, Reed said, and he typically responds most to women.
“Someone told Hector they’d take him to the bar and his meter went off the whole walk back,” Reed said.
Pamela, a 10-year-old girl who died from a cough in the early 20th century, is said to be another intelligent spirit who tends to light up the meters of mothers and other girls her age.
On a Wednesday evening ghost tour, 8-year-old Sophia Delsignore asked Pamela if she liked the color pink and if she missed her friends. Delsignore’s meter lit up, indicating Pamela did.
“It was cool and then it started getting creepy because she only held on to me,” Delsignore said.
When Delsignore asked Pamela if she was going home with her, tour volunteers quickly shushed her.
Every time you leave a spirit, you are supposed say thank you and good night. They told her to never ask a spirit of they will come home with you.
They just might, Reed said.
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