Suntan Art Center/Don Vista Building
October 22, 2016 – St. Pete Beach
Special thanks to the Suntan Art Center for all of the hard work that they did for this event. The place was beautifully decorated, three artists did demonstrations during our tours, and the food was fantastic.
This event was a donation-based fundraiser to help the Suntan Art Center, which is a 501 (c) (3). It is the oldest art group in St. Pete Beach and is preparing to celebrate its 55th anniversary in 2017. It has been housed in the historic Don Vista building since the early 1980s when members agreed to restore the building and rent it. It has hosted local artists from the area ever since. There are three galleries with rotating art shows, as well as the Craftsmen Gallery where artists who have passed a jury inspection sell their works.
We first started to investigate the building when rumors of odd footsteps in the building were reported. These happened when there was only one person in the building and was a bit unnerving. There were the occasional sensations of being watched as well. These entities are present, but they seem reserved to themselves. Even during the tour they slowly emerged, taking on a bit more form for the later groups.
Special thanks to those who came on the 4 tours offered this year. We also have a new booklet featured that encompasses not only the history of the building (which goes back to 1924), but describes the results of our investigations. It’s available through Amazon via Kindle ($.99) or softback printed copy. This booklet is the base from which a larger collection of stories about haunted spaces in Pinellas County (Florida) will emerge.
Though the event was done before with a prior incarnation of this group, this was the first official event under the new St. Petersburg Paranormal Investigation name. It’s a step forward! We would love to hear from folks who attended the event. Photos added with permission of participants (Brandy Stark photographed the area before the tours started and has provided images here). HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
A new SPPI member, Sarah, attended and has included her observations for this page:
Before entering I sensed the connection between the Don Cesar and the gallery building. I was not aware of the history of the buildings being connected.
1st floor gallery picture of running man: kept getting visions of young white man early 20s in age, slicked over black hair, small mustache, small mousy facial features, cigar/cigarette smoker, business man always back and forth working with numbers. Radar said ‘tobacco’ and after Brandy said we had a wonderful turn out on our 2nd tour (it was a large group) the radar said ‘terrible’.
Heaviness in chest 1st time in room. Felt like there was an injury or death due to something falling on top of someone or smothering. ( also felt a restriction breathing) 2nd time Radar said the name John, then Washington. I personally did not feel the female presence at the times we were in the room. The room felt empty… just felt a bit of dizziness on 2nd floor gallery.
Dizziness/confusion upstairs. In room with fireplace major confusion, increasing dizziness every time I entered the room. Sensed a male presence but kept to the corner of the room. Almost a homebody type of vibe.
Art studio I couldn’t sense much due to all the energy and action going on from the other people in the room.
Sent 10/23/16 to the SPPI Facebook page, from Christine:
Enjoyed the first haunt tour of the evening and especially learning the history of the Don Vista building. It did not occur to me at the time, but while in the downstairs glass studio, I did smell a musty odor throughout the room. However, since there was an artist working, I just assumed it must have been the paint chemicals. It was not until later that evening after the tour that I learned from the person who attended with me, that she did not smell the odor at all. I should have spoken up, maybe it was the running man?
Images from the event
Sent by an attendee at the event,. Haunted fireplace area (Loft). Craftsmen Gallery.