The Haunting at The Purple Lotus
It all started with a casual visit to The Purple Lotus, a quaint little metaphysical shop in Saint Augustine, Florida. The shop is housed in a building that dates back to the early 1900’s and business owner Jackie Ronco and her employees were encountering the presence of multiple ghosts, one or two of which would make their presence known on a daily basis. Her comments exhibited all of the signs of a typical haunting. Besides seeing shadows constantly throughout the day and hearing conversations between multiple spirits, the doors would slam and the lights would flicker while talking to customers. It was not uncommon for her to walk in in the morning and find merchandise all over the floor. I decided to investigate. Below are a few of the ghosts discovered at The Purple Lotus and their descriptions and stories which were corroborated by Jackie and her staff.
Female, died in 1931 at age 82 of illness
Her name was Charlotte. A stoic 82-year-old woman, she was the widowed matriarch of her family. Her hair styled in a tight bun, she would be seen wearing a high collared dress and black-buckled shoes standing “guard” in the corner in a wide-eyed protective stance. Further investigation revealed she had good reason. The yellow fever epidemic had ravaged the city and robbed her of the lives of her children. Left as the only surviving family to raise her two orphaned grandsons, her protective stance was her determination that no more illness would befall the building or her family.
Male, died in 1932 at age 28 of illness
He was 28 years old, a businessman and a lover of fine hats and haberdashery. He stood about 5’8” according to staff and would be seen anxiously pacing the floors back and forth, back and forth. It was not uncommon to hear the voice of a gentleman spirit having conversations with multiple spirits. Tuberculosis was his cause of death and his refuge was the back porch of the house where he could breathe best. He was a malevolent (angry) spirit and his beloved back porch had become boarded up and re-purposed into a workshop. Perhaps this was his cause of anger?
Male, died in 1948 at age 13 of illness
He was only 13 years old when he died and an orphaned child – his parents, the casualty of the yellow fever epidemic. A quiet and solemn child, he would be seen seeking refuge under a tree that once stood on the property. It was there that he could contemplate and grieve the loss of his parents.
What do these ghosts all have in common? They all had their own personal story to tell. So, this Halloween, when all is about fear and fright, remember that the spirits that roam the earth have stories of their own, just like you and me. By the way, these spirits were all crossed over to complete their journey and Jackie and her staff are happy to report that all is now quiet at The Purple Lotus.
Happy Halloween Hauntings,
Lisa “The Ghost Gal” Evans