When strange things happen, in a building here on the Treasure Coast, some folks will shrug it off with the statement: “Must be built on an Indian burial ground!” This area was inhabited for 2000+ years by ancient tribes, and evidence of their presence is often unearthed. Here are some of the “ghost and monster tales” associated with our part of the country.
Each year at Halloween, interest in tales of ghosts haunting the Boston House abound. The Boston House was called Cresthaven, when it was built by the Jones family in 1909. Unusual sounds have been heard at the Boston House. One example is the sound of a beautiful female voice singing, often accompanied by a harp. There are said to be cold spots in the building, and at other times a searing hot blast assaults the body. One story indicates the house is haunted by a group of Native Americans and yet another is that the haunting is from an African American girl with red hair.
The Perkins family tale seems to be the most repeated “Ghost Story” associated with this early 20th century home. It’s said the ghost of Aleaceon Perkins wanders the hallways in search of her husband and son who were lost at sea. A young women was said to have been possessed by the spirit of Aleaceon, she told other people present she was desperate to find her son Tim. The spirit talking through the young lady said she wanted to leave the house, but she must find her child first. During this possession the spirit begged all who were present for help.
Just over a decade ago, a shop at 221 Avenue A also had visits from a spirit in search of her son. Two shops were troubled with strange noises at night. The noises were troublesome enough that the owner of one of the shops agreed to a mediation. The mediation turned into a seance. A group of 11 people gathered in the dark shop. Sitting in a “J” formation, each member began to gather impressions. Some participants saw the misty form of a woman. She wore a dress from another era. This ectoplasmic women communicated to various members of the group her desperate longing. Many years ago, she said, she had lived with her husband and little boy at the Stetson House. (The building had been The Stetson Boarding House.) She cried wretchedly for her little boy. All members of the group reported an indescribable smell. One member of the group told the spirit, in a loud voice, that she was in a different time. This man told her she must realize that she and her family were dead. She must go beyond- to another plane, to join her husband and son. Suddenly the door flew open, then slammed shut! The startled members of the group could only stare in astonishment. The door had been tightly bolted.
Emily Lagow Bell, wrote, My Pioneer Days In Florida, a book about her life here from 1876-1898. She writes of a visit with a Captain Houston at Horse Creek. He told her of the sounds that would awakened his family in the night. The sounds were of horses running, and their hoofs sounded like they would have heavy shoes on. There was also the sound of the clanking of heavy chains. Next it would sound as if boats would come to the shore and it would sound like a regiment of soldiers disembarking. He said the family would rush out from their house, and then there would be no sounds. When everything was quiet, they would hear it all over again. This only happened at certain times of the year, she was told. During this same trip, there was a visit with a Mr. Stone, who had lived on the end of Merritt’s Island since 1868. Mr. Stone knew Captain Drake, who was a pirate on the high seas. Stone said that about a mile from him was a place where no one could live in any peace. This was on account of the sounds like someone was pelting the house with rocks. In addition there was a tree there, that was always shaking like an aspen. He said there had been an old black women who had live there in 1858, but she was the only one that ever could.
Mrs. Bell also writes of a trip by boat to Jupiter in 1885. After her family landed, there was still an eight mile walk. Her mother would get behind to rest up a bit, but she had a gun, and was not afraid of man or beast. When the group was almost to their destination, Mrs. Lagow saw the bushes moving and heard twigs breaking. She looked up, and some 20 feet away, she could see something slowly dragging along. She called to her husband, who only waved back at her, until she sat down. With this he feared she may be hurt and hurried back to her side. She pointed at what had stopped her in her tracks. It was a sea serpent of some description. Well. it was green and black and a yellowish mingled colors, and they watched it crawl to the sea. It raised it’s head and looked all around till it turned their way. They said it looked like a human face. It stood up about three or four feet. They measured to where it’s tail was and to where the head was and it was about 30 feet long and looked the size of a small nail keg. When they mentioned what they had seen, they were told it was seen about twice a year and the Indians were superstitious and would neither kill or try to capture it. Another one of these “creatures” was seen 42 years later, in 1927, and some men from Fort Pierce went to get guns to kill it, but alas when they returned, it was gone.