Peninsula Hotel

March 5, 2011 – Gulfport

Misc. information: We were to be featured on Para-Probe internet TV show regarding this investigation. The second group arrived with more people than I thought would come. I do not know what they found; this group left before we completed our investigation. 


Marie (familiar with the hotel; works in the building) 
Started in October 2010 

What do you know about this hotel? It is 110 years old. It was military hospital and a boarding house. Isabel lived in the boarding house, party girl. Died in her 50s of a heart attack on the way to the hospital. Lulu, the cat, is here. She is a polite cat; she doesn’t go into any room. Isabel lived here in the 1950s (died in 1953 or 54). 
What is your impression of the hotel? It’s got a great feel to it. I am here because I’m drawn here. I feel like I belong here. It is very comfortable. It is very good vibes. It’s laid back, peaceful. 

What do you think of the ghost stories? I think the stories make for good stories; I lean more to not believing in ghosts. I am open minded, sensitive and discerning. The only time I felt uncomfortable here was in the other wing where the storage rooms are. I don’t know why. 
It is nice because it has history. I think that is why the elevator is as long as it is; so that hospital beds could fit in here. I am here a lot; it’s like a second home to me. 
Have you had any paranormal experiences? One night I came up here and I was really upset, crying. I left, as it was late at night. The next morning, I came up here there was a mint. It was really odd because it looked like an old mint (old style wrapper, yellow with a musical note on it). I walked up to it. I don’t know how it got here because I am the only one up here. I went downstairs and asked the people who work here about any mints. They don’t have or use any. I asked the guests if they had given me mints and no one said that they had. 
My mom was visiting and she knew the story. She didn’t want to be left alone up here because she was afraid of the ghost. I had given her this glass, like this one, (she showed me a tumbler) and it was full of water and ice. We were talking about the ghost and I said that I didn’t believe in them. If anything, the ghost could be a demon pretending to be a ghost. As soon as I said that, she had set her glass on the counter and it was as if something had come and hit the glass knocking it down. As if it was angry, and there was a lot of anger in the action – anger at me for saying that. The glass hit the ground and shattered. Later, I came back up here when no one was here and I apologized; I said, if you are here and you are not a demon then I apologize. If I am right and you are a demon, then stay away from me. That’s all I said. 
Another time, I have been doing pedicures, and I have heard papers rustling, as if someone is reading a newspaper. That was the only other thing. 
I told Alex this when I first came, the massage room….it is painted lavender…when I first started to work for the spa, I went into the massage room. Every time I go in, it smells like flowers. It felt as if this smell was coming out of the walls. I can’t make out the smell; orange blossom or lavender, very pretty light smell. I noticed that smell and I liked it. The funny thing is that no one put anything into it. (Possible: perfume; Florida water? Need to check into the history of the perfume). 

One day, when I was greeting people here, there was a woman from New York here. She was a sensitive, which I found out later. She was a pretty normal lady. She looked at me and asked me about the ghosts here. She said that there was a lady from the early 1900s. I didn’t tell her anything about anything; she said that she saw a heavy set robust lady from the 1900s. She said that there were several ghosts here. I asked if the woman ghost liked me, and she said yes, that she did. 

Jack Beary, patron who lives within walking distance of Gulfport 

What have you heard about the hotel? This place dates back to the early part of the last century. There is a series of four photographs on the walls downstairs; from when it was the Bayview Motel. At that time, the water came right up the street outside (30th Ave). After that time, it had been a nursing home, a state mental hospital, it might have been a veteran’s home at some point. The history goes back more than 100 years. It is one of the oldest sites in Gulfport, and the legend has it that it is visited by a spirit by the name of Isabel. I am not quite sure how she got her name. Some say it is from the times that this was a mental hospital. People who have visited and worked here have said that they have found a non-physical presence here. That is the lore of the place. 

What do you know about the ghost cat? The word is that people have seen a cat collar minus a cat in the hallways. Who did the cat belong to? |The thinking is that it was associated with Isabel. It is one of the things that is passed around at the bar and at the veranda around Halloween. There is an actual cat who lives around here named Lulu, who is apparently not afraid. 

From Ghost Stories of St. Petersburg, Clearwater, and Pinellas County: Takes From a Haunted Peninsula (Deborah Frethem) 

Reports: Hotel had problems at the start. Ellsworth Chandler started the hotel and died of a stroke before construction started. Frank Davenport took over, hotel opened November of 1914 (p. 49). Went bankrupt, skipped town. Hotel changed hands repeatedly for several years. 

1950, hotel became a restorium (nursing home); “The Cedars”. Deaths did occur on property at that time. 
1964: Nursing home closed, building vacant. First report by Eric Larson, a boy, who saw a couple standing in a window on the 3rd floor. Told his mother, who returned. Nothing seen by her, but when she showed the boy pictures of his great-grandparents, he confirmed that’s who he’d seen. They died in that room at the Cedars. 
2007 (date of book publication): Robert and Karen Chapman (owners at the time) have reported seeing a female they named Isabelle. Woman with gray hair walking down hallway; dressed in white. Appeared real until she vanished. 

Third floor: Guests report coverlets being lifted, toes tickled. Small rolled pillow is moved (moved from position to middle of the bed). (The above appears on page 50). 

Feb. 2005: Couple staying in Serengeti Suite on 2nd floor of Peninsula; woman woke up at 4 AM. She and her husband heard a loud bang “like ‘someone hitting an old iron radiator with a pipe wrench;” (50). Then, heard pacing on floor above. Ended at 5 a.m. No one else reported the sound. Owners speculated that it was Isabelle trying to get out. Sound has been heard by others, but only on second floor and only between 4 and 5 a.m. 

Ghost man reported; prefers to stay in corridor behind the front desk that leads to the Six Tables restaurant. Feeling from spirit is “very nasty” (51). Doesn’t bother guests. 

Waiter describes seeing a little girl with blonde hair and white dress running around. Turned and walked through a wall where door used to be. 

Sightings of ghost cat; appears on 3rd floor hallway; sometimes walks through the same wall as little girl in lobby. 

Visiting group left prior to our reports (11:25 p.m.) 

Brandy: Massive distraction trying to keep up with teams and guests. Observed the monitors with Don’s cameras and saw a lot of dust, but particularly heavy. Did interviews.


8/31/2017: Update on the Pennsylvania Inn (Gulfport): One of my colleagues lives there. I asked if there was any new activity and he said he never experienced anything, but that every now and again someone reports seeing a little girl in a white dress in a window on the second floor facing Gulf Blvd. So….there’s that!

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