"We didn't have any ghost activity until we went into the attic to do some repair work. We must have disturbed the spirit because after that, we had a ghost", said Pattie Dando, of her former store Pattie Anne's Vintage Land on the corner of Tenth Avenue and Donnelly Street. Lights flicked on and off on their own. Objects flew through the air, especially these little crowns. One day a friend walked in and said he wanted to experience the ghost. Right on cue, a crown whizzed by."
Crissy Stile is the owner of Barrel of Books and Games on Fourth Avenue. She describes herself as a ghost skeptic, but in spite of that, she did have one story to tell, "One day I went to the back of the building to turn off the lights, and when I came up front and checked the security monitor, there was an big orb captured on video. It was moving around the screen."
Even though Stile had this ghostly encounter, she is still a skeptic.
For the past 10 years, Marsha and Paul Goodale have owned The Windsor Rose Tea Room located on Fourth Avenue. When asked if they knew of any ghosts in the building, Marsha Goodale laughingly replied, "We have 10 years' worth of experience with the paranormal at The Windsor Rose."
Some of the customers and staff have commented on seeing the apparitions. One spirit is a woman dressed in a Victorian period outfit from the waist up and a vapor-like film appears from the waist down. The other is a young boy who is wearing a 1960s outfit. Though Goodale doesn't know the history of the woman, she was told that the young boy was killed in a car accident in front of the building during the '60s.
Goodale shared a recent sighting of the little boy, "He entered through the front door, passed through the restaurant while customers were eating and into the men's room. He was in there for quite awhile, so Paul knocked on the door. There was no answer. Paul then tried the knob. It was locked. He opened the door with a master key. No one was there.
"One night my husband was upstairs in the office working, and I was in the kitchen cleaning up. We were the only ones here. I had my hair pulled back in a ponytail, and I felt someone brush up against me and flip my ponytail over my face. At first I thought it was Paul, but no.
"We held a 'Wicked Windsor Night' where actors scripted a seance and put on a show for restaurant guests. I think we upset our ghosts. They didn't like being taunted, and for awhile, they showed their displeasure and stepped up their activities--knocking things off shelves, rearranging displays and playing with the lights.
"Occasionally, dining guests will call me over and tell me that their dinner plates just moved across the table with no assistance. We don't want to frighten our guests but we do put forth that we have friendly, and sometimes, naughty ghosts. The usual response is, 'That is cool.' "
The Lost Parrot has its own ghost, too, and owner, Patti Roe, knows who it is. "It is David. Back when it was Eduardo's, he worked at the restaurant and played music upstairs. Over 15 years ago, he was tragically killed in an I-4 car crash. He lives here now," said Roe.
"In life he was a big kidder, and he continues the kidding in the afterlife. He messes with the lights. Things go missing. Glasses fall and break for no apparent reason. Phone and cameras will go from fully charged to no charge. I even find myself yelling, 'David stop that!'
Roe continued, "He got attached to us and never left. His spirit lives on here, and he watches over us now."
You have been introduced to some of Mount Dora's friendly ghosts. There are more. When you find yourself in one of the city's old, historical buildings, you might want to ask the staff if they have any ghost stories to share. You might be surprised at what you hear.
By Jane Trimble
To read Part 1 in the series, click here.
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Above: The type of paper crown hurled at Pattie Anne's Vintage Land
Above: An orb, similar to t his one captured on the security camera at Frog & Monkey, was also seen on Barrel of Books & Games' security monitor.