April 12, 2002
Maderia Beach, Florida
Ghosts are notoriously shy creatures. Often, they shun the daylight, inhabit areas infrequently visited, and leaving intangible proofs of their passing.
That is what makes paranormal investigation so fascinating. One never knows what investigation will land
the proverbial gold mind or be the ultimate bust.
Johns Pass held promise. Several local sources sited rumors that the Pass was haunted by the restless
ghosts of two dead brothers. Soldiers for the wrong side during the Civil War, the Yankee brothers
loyalties earned the wrath of local townsfolk who killed them, burying their bodies in unmarked graves near the area of the channel.
The Tampa Triangle Dead Zone, by Capt. Bill Miller, a handbook for the paranormal in the tri-county area,
hosts a chapter on ghosts. Documented within is the eerie sighting of the two dank figures by Harold and
Donny, fishermen out for a bit of early morning sport.
Described by the Captain as pale and scrawny, with mold and grease dripping from their tattered clothes,
the unearthly shades are witnessed drifting with the current northward, ducking first under the bridge as they headed towards the Bay.
The SPIRITS decided to investigate, but there was one hitch: according to legend, the brothers only show
themselves during the pre-dawn morning after the new moon of each month. The late-night ghost hunters
would have to prepare for an early morning get together.
The bleary-eyed teammates gathered themselves at 5 a.m., Saturday, April 12th, for the investigation.
Research and equipment in hand, the group headed for the bridge to await the drab ghosts and the odor of
decay that accompanied them.
Arriving in the still dark morning, the SPIRITS encountered their first obstacle: the bridge. Though a
beautiful and historic structure, a long grounding wire stretched alongside the bridge and emitted more than enough EMF (electromagnetic energy fields) to make all of the teams meters ineffective.
The pre-dawn sea air also held a thin fog. Though barely visible, and dissipating with the coming dawn, the droplets of water took on distinction when the team used either flashlights or camera flash to record the earliest part of the event.
Mapping the area was easy. A walkway existed beneath the bridge allowing a view to both sides of the
waterways. Several support beams and columns held the hand written warning Something is out there.
Evidentially, the story of the ghosts had inspired a fan of the X-Files to comment about the local lore.
The remainder of the time was spent visually scanning for the ghosts and the occasional quip to keep one
another awake. One member, suffering from a cold, retreated from the investigation to warm herself in the
Other than the occasional splashing of a shark, a crab swimming in the current, a gathering of fishing boats, and a beautiful sunrise, very little spectral happened that morning. Despite a valiant effort, including interviewing our lone companion, a fisherman who had never heard the story, the team left empty handed.
However, if specters were spotted at every site the SPIRITS visited something would be wrong.
Supernatural phenomena is based upon ruling out natural causes, which may be varied, particularly when
combined with human imagination.
So, what of the rumors of the ghosts at Johns Pass? There may be several explanations. Could the story be
an urban legend? Bridges are often featured as the focus of paranormal stories. Perhaps it is the interaction
of human made structures over the unpredictable forces of nature that make them seem supernatural.
The Pass itself, an attraction for fishers, also known for their tall tales, can be eerily quite despite being in the
heart of a populated area. The combination of sea mist, with strong brackish breezes, and predawn silence
can create specters of imagination.
Perhaps the brothers are real, but simply put off by the high activity of the day. Or, maybe they have finally
discovered the rest that had eluded them so long ago and have ceased their nightly activities.
Only the creatures of the deep and the two Yankee spirits know for sure.Municipal Cemetery
Rumor has it that the spirits of two dead (I think Union) soldiers travel the waters of John’s Pass. They had been killed over 100 years ago and their bodies disposed of in an unknonw location. Along with orbs, there is supposed to be a horrible stench of decay.
The SPIRITS hauled up there very early on a Saturday morning. It was pre-dawn of the morning after the new moon. We waited from 5:30 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. for the entities. We trekked across the bridge and boardwalk area around the Pass.
Our EMF meters were useless because the bridge had a grounding wire which interfered with our readings. The conditions that morning included a fog, so many of the photos were also unuseable. (I was disappointed. I looked at initial notes and had to discount most of my images). I did get one orb image, however I think it was due to light refraction in the digital camera. I will post it with the report, however, just in case.
It was interesting to note that someone had taken the time to write “They are out there” on several different posts in the local. We were also able to intervied a fisherman who was a vacationing northerner. He saw nothing that morning, either.
It was a bit disappointing as many books cited multiple reports of the brothers. However, I think it may be attributed to urban legend.
There were no unusual smells. No orbs seen. We did see a swimming crab and a dolphin or shark swimming near the water. It was nice to see the dawn. Overall, though, this was an investigation with low results.