Tour offers history, unexplained phenomenon

Downtown Fort Myers haunted walk
Posted at 4:46 AM, Oct 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-10 09:32:05-04

When the sun sets in downtown Fort Myers, the nightlife comes out.  And some believe, if you walk down the right path, the afterlife comes out, too.

"We hold our own for a little town," Lauri Grace, with True Tours says.  "There's quite a few (haunted) stories" in Fort Myers.

Grace is a tour guide for the Haunted History Tour. The 90 minute walking tour focuses on historic buildings and the stories about strange things people see inside.

Grace says the old Graystone Hotel, in the Patio De Leon, is one of the creepiest stops on the tour. The building is vacant, so you have to look up at the second floor windows.

"You can see it's empty," she says. "You can see it's in various stages of repair, because there have been many people who have come to work on it and have been frightened away. And did not return."

Grace says you need to take the tour, to hear the legend about what happened inside the building. But she also tells us, she and others have seen a shadowy figure looking out of the windows.

"We've had many psychics over the years who have told us about the things going on, and what is currently going on spiritually. And he's not the only one up there."

Gina Taylor owns the company that runs the tour.

"I'm a historian. I like facts and figures," Taylor says. "This is a little bit out of my comfort zone."

Taylor emphases the history in her tours. This is not a haunted "scare house" where people dressed in costumes jump out from behind walls. The tours are based on historical research, photo based sightings, and stories told by multiple witnesses.

Like the story workers at a school administration building tell.

"There was a man they saw in a stairwell and after he left, they could smell his cigar. He just disappeared and all that was left was the smell of his cigar," Grace says.

"I think there is something called paranormal activity," Taylor says. "Things that I just can not explain."

The tour runs year round, with extra nights during Halloween season. For more information and to order tickets, go to the True Tours website.

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