Today is my 31st birthday! Woo! But instead of talking about my birthday, today I am going to tell you about something awesome that I got to do on Saturday night.
Several of my girlfriends and I took the “Last Call” Haunted Pub Tour with American Ghost Adventures as part of my friend Lara’s bachelorette party. There were six of us and we each paid $20 for the tour. We met our wonderful guides Robert and Christine at the Harp & Celt.
Throughout the night, we also visited Stagger Inn, The Attic (formerly AKA Lounge), Ceviche, and The Dessert Lady. So most of the tour was confined to the areas around Pine St. and Magnolia St. and then down by Church St. We learned a bit about the history of each place, and in certain instances, we also conducted real investigations using small flashlights and EMF detectors.
I don’t want to give too much of the tour away, and of course, no two tours are going to be the same, but I can say that we had some extremely eerie and unexplainable experiences in both the Harp Restaurant and (especially) The Attic. Note that this is NOT the type of tour where effects like these are engineered to happen on cue or where actors are trained to jump out and scare you. The tour guides take hauntings and the paranormal very seriously.
We had the Harp Restaurant all to ourselves (they are only open for lunch) and learned it had previously been a brothel back in the late 1800s. Lights flickered upon us asking questions, disconnected speakers crackled, and at one point a flashlight randomly started rolling and then stopped. I am not sure what to make of any of it (old wiring? uneven floors?), but it was definitely thrilling.
Our best experience of the evening was at The Attic. The former hardware store proprietor, Edward “Eddie” Kuhl built the place in the 1880s, and he eventually had a heart attack and died on the stairs going up to the 3rd floor.
He was known to be a prankster and it seems like he wanted to pull a few pranks on us that evening. A small, ordinary flashlight was placed on the stairs where he died, and we all asked very nicely if he would turn it on. Much to our shock, the flashlight came on!
Eddie saying “hi” to us with a flashlight.
We all shrieked and it turned off again. This happened a few other times over the next 5 or 10 minutes. At some point, our guide Christine decided to try to get it on video, so she counted to 3 and had us all say very loudly “We love you Eddie!” Prankster Eddie decided to choose that time to NOT turn on the flashlight. However, our guide caught a compelling video instead (click the link for the page where it is posted on Facebook). The video shows us standing by the staircase saying “We love you Eddie!”, and then suddenly a white dot (orb?) flies from the middle of the staircase right towards Christine and her camera. She immediately played it back for all of us and we were dumbfounded. The flashlight turned on and off a few more times and we all thanked Eddie for visiting us. I’m still not really sure what happened, but it was very very cool. We were on cloud nine while we were on our way to the next place!
The whole group on the stairs at the historic Bumby Arcade off of Church Street. The staircase is supposedly haunted by two children. We got some EMF spikes on the stairs (you can kind of see the one placed on the stairs next to my feet is lit up), and notice the “orbs” behind us. Still not sure what I think about orbs in photos…
I have been on many ghost tours in the past (Salem, Boston, two in Savannah, and St. Augustine) and this was by far the most fun I have had. Our tour guides were great and totally geared the tour towards our group specifically (we were the only ones on the tour that evening). I felt like it was the perfect mix of fun/party, history, and a real interactive investigation. I know that occasionally this same company conducts tours and investigations of Greenwood Cemetery, which is one of Orlando’s oldest. We found out that “Eddie” Kuhl is actually buried there, so I think most of the group is extremely interested in going to visit his final resting place, since we now feel like we have “met” him! I am keeping my eye out for the next tour of Greenwood so we can join them.
If you are at all interested in this sort of thing and are in Orlando, I highly recommend American Ghost Adventures.