July 30, 2009 – Brooksville
From “Florida Ghostly Legends and Haunted Folklore: North Florida and St. Augustine”. (V. 2)
Author: Greg Jenkins, published 2005
The house is located at 601 Museum Court in Brooksville, Florida.
Built in 1856
Four story home, 12 rooms total, with “a large country kitchen and an adjoining summerhouse kitchen toward the rar of the home, all decorated in a Civil War-era motif with over 10,000 pieces of antiquity on display” (p. 1)
Hosts a small schoolroom and library, which was used for local children, attic filled with items from Florida’s past
A child was born in the house; the mother died shortly thereafter, and the little girl died at 3 years of age. Before her death, the child would walk through the house crying for her mother; her spirit is said to still be wandering today. Reports include a little girl’s voice crying “Momma, momma”…which then faded away (p. 7).
She has a favorite doll that she still plays with (photo in book — p. 5).
Attic: also an area of poltergeist outbreak. Volunteers would arrive for work and found attic space in disarray, particularly if new toys are brought in.
Names of potential ghosts: Marena and Jessie May; both buried in the front yard (not uncommon for the time).
Note: The author of the book does not appear to have gotten a lot of response, either. On page 8, he does state:
“Parapsychologists and phychical researchers have come here to look into the ghostly goings on, and many of them claim to have found evidence of something out of the ordinary. Although the paranormal events at the May-Stringer House are usually mild, events such as teacups being found in a place where they should not be, and the bedroom and attic being ransacked from time to time by unseen culprits, points to classic poltergeist phenomena. However, most poltergeist activity is short-lived compared to this haunting, and so the remarkable events in the May-Stringer House may continue for centuries.”
However, with his lack of contact, and at least two ghost investigation teams present on our night, neither of which appeared to have gotten much, I am not sure that I agree. Jessie may have her own schedule and may do things on her own time. The manifestations cited are mild — mostly in the bedroom, attic, and kitchen, and with a long lag between events. I have not checked into events past 2007 so I do not know if activity has picked up, especially with the wave of interest from the media and new ghost enthusiasts. I am hopeful that Jessie may have found her mother and knows peace — which is the best case scenario for her. Nonetheless, the May-Stringer house is a beautiful place to go and, ghost or no ghost, worth the time to visit.