Hunting for Hauntings
A Local Resident Tours Historic Properties Seeking Ghosts of the Past
In this month of Halloween, it’s fun to think about ghosts and goblins. But for a group of paranormal investigators, the idea of spirits coming back from long ago to communicate with us is a year-round happening.
Larry Lawson, founder of the Florida Bureau of Paranormal Investigation (FBPI), is a retired law enforcement officer who has dealt with evidence all of his professional life. He concedes, however, that the problem with investigating the paranormal is that the evidence he is looking for cannot be supported by science. “We only have theories,” he says, adding, “I’ve spent most of my frontline cop experience as a detective, so I see this as a mystery. But it is the biggest mystery of all time.”
Indeed, he has more than theories. He points to sightings, including his own, photos, and sound recordings of unexplained persons. They seem to show up at inappropriate times and often in period costumes to … well … haunt. “I don’t claim to have the answers, but I just can’t deny that something is happening.”
He and his team of volunteers are certainly not alone in their thinking that something or somebody out of the ordinary is hanging around. Upon request and at no charge, they investigate 18 to 24 local sites a year where the owners have allegedly heard or seen the spirits of past inhabitants. Investigators have searched the old Fellsmere School, Marsh Landing Restaurant, Vero Beach Woman’s Club, Sebastian Woman’s Club, Driftwood Inn, Waldo’s Secret Garden, Justin Salon & Spa, historic Vero Beach houses, and the abandoned prison off Oslo Road, to name a few.