Safety Harbor’s Philippi Park Temple Mound

April 20, 2019

I was contacted about doing an episode of Tripping on Legends with Christopher Balzano.  After sending him information on Safety Harbor sites, we met at the Philippi Park Temple Mound with Patroclus, the newest Paranormal Pug, in tow.  The meeting was to cover a podcast for Mr. Balzano, two podcasts for Paranormal Pets (at and to test out Patroclus as the next generation of paranormal pug.

There are several cases to look for while in this park. They include: 

1) The legend that the Temple Mound is haunted by a Native American shaman. The mound dates back to the Togobagan tribe. The mound was on the outside of what was likely a larger plaza complex. Native American remains were found in the area of the park and interred near the Temple Mound in the mid-2000s. This site was also visited in the 1500s by Narvaez, a conquistador with an ill-fated expedition of 400 men. Navaez was renown for his poor interactions with the native population, which included raids and murders. As only 4 of his troops survived the expedition, Safety Harbor is alleged to also be haunted by the dead Spanish soldiers. Note:  Note:  Another size visited by Narvaez, Weedon Island Nature Preserve, also contains a Togobagan mound that is allegedly haunted by the spirits of a mother and son that he killed during one of his raids.  

2) Odet Philippi was the first European settler to come to the area in the 1840s. He set up a grove and homestead near the mound. In a hurricane that wiped out the area in 1848, Phillipi and his family fled to the mound to avoid the tidal waves that followed. The mound was also reduced in size during that hurricane and its shape changed from rectangular to round with the erosion. Odet died and was buried near his homestead but a later hurricane wiped out the remains of the house and his grave. His is another of the missing graves of Florida history.  

3) There was a suicide in the area in 2009. (The SPIRITS had checked this before and found no residue from the area).

Prior investigations: 
The SPIRITS of St. Petersburg had investigated the mound several times before.  It has consistently been listed on our Urban Legends page. Prior investigations can be found here and include investigations in 2014 and 2016.

This is the Paranormal Pets episode from 2016:

Prior investigations with a larger crowd of SPIRITS members had gotten EMF readings from the mound, the sensation of energy, and the psychic impressions of a large gathering of people to the far-facing (tree-lined) face of the mound . (See photos). 

2019 Investigation: 
Background: April 20, 2019 is Holy Saturday on the Christian calendar as well as the pop cultural “holiday” of National 420 day. Passover/Good Friday fell on the full moon of April 19, the day before the investigation. Additionally, Pinellas County had a line of severe storms come through on the 19th bringing a cold front for the 20th. Temperatures at the mound were recorded at 70 – 78 degrees (the higher register was only when the device was out in areas with heavy sun) and the weather was very windy.

Patroclus was the primary instrument for this investigation. I did have an EMF meter, though it was not the standard Trifield that I prefer to use on cases. I brought a smaller and less sensitive model that included a temperature reading. It was easier to work with as I walked with Patroclus on his leash. The EMF meter only registered at times of cell phone signals. It showed no other activity during the investigation. 

Patroclus is the pug that I have selected to carry on the SPIRITS’ Paranormal Pug tradition.  I still have Achilles, 13 years old, who is of the prior generation of paranormal pugs.  However, I was concerned that the mound would be too much for Achilles to manage. Patroclus is a middle-aged pug of 8 years, but he has always been one of my most reserved pugs with personality.  He tends to be shy or aloof from others.  He reminds me of a feline personality — he wants attention on his terms but under no other conditions.  At 8 years old, however, he is a more mature pug but still young enough to walk the mound complex.

To my surprise, Patroclus was quite and even resting prior to our walking the mound.  He did not hesitate to climb the ramp heading up to the mound but was distracted and unfocused.  When we got to the top of the mound, he remained in a distracted state, but when we started to walk around he became fascinated with the far-facing side.  He stood on the wall and looked down at the trees.  He seemed interested in that specific area, which was the same side of the complex where the SPIRITS sensitive picked up imprints of activity.  He was animated and interested in that area.

We walked the base of the mound for a short time before climbing another set of stairs on another face of the structure.  Patroclus seemed hesitant to climb these stairs, pausing several times.  He did complete the climb back to the top and then gazed under the fence on that same side of the mound for several minutes.  

Photographs are beautiful but show no unusual activity.  

Facebook live video of the event by Christopher Balzano
Paranormal Pets interview with Christopher Balzano
Trippin On Legends:  Safety Harbor Mound podcast

Added 11/15/19

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