Tag Archive | "Pensacola Lighthouse"

‘I ain’t afriad of no ghost.’ Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum offer haunted tours

By Morganne Lennig

Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum at the Naval Air Station is once again putting on a haunted lighthouse tour. The Pensacola Lighthouse Association and the U.S. Coast Guard hold the tour every year October.

A wide-eyed girl stared up at one of the most haunted lighthouses in the country.

“Wait, I think there’s still a man up there,” said Julia Creel, 6. “This year I’m scared. Last year I wasn’t.”

Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum at the Naval Air Station is once again putting on a haunted lighthouse tour. The Pensacola Lighthouse Association and the U.S. Coast Guard hold the tour every year October.

The two organizations spilt the admission funds evenly. Half of the revenue goes towards the mission of keeping the property maintained and the lighthouse lit. The other half goes towards the Coast Guard relief fund.

Jason Balbuena is the resident paranormal investigator and tour leader for the Pensacola Lighthouse. Balbuena led the tour dressed as popular horror character Dracula.

“Hey! This is my theme song,” Balbuena said as a children’s mix of the theme song from the 1984 film “Ghostbusters” played over the speakers.

He has been participating in the Haunted Lighthouse exhibit for three years, The tours have been given since 2009.

Jed Daleiden is a 22 year old Coast Guard flight student who volunteered inside the museum, wearing a costume to scare visitors.

“It’s been a lot of fun and it’s great for families,” said Daleiden. “Last Saturday, we had a group of people that were terrified the whole way through and we chased them after they exited the tower all the way to their cars with chainsaws.”

Visitors Donna Clark and her son Eric Ireland, 15, are avid watchers of the Travel Channel’s show “Ghost Hunters.”

“I want to see a ghost, that’s why we’re here tonight,” Eric said.

There are many legends that surround the lighthouse, but the most prominent and featured of the tour is of a woman who died in her nightgown after hemorrhaging to death of childbed fever.

Since then, the Lady in White has been seen floating up and down the stairs of the tower and in every room of the lighthouse while ghosts of young children have been seen playing around the grounds.

After guests make their way through the haunted lighthouse, they are encouraged to climb the 177 cast iron steps of the spiral staircase, to the top of the 171-foot tall lighthouse.

“We do a lot of things like this to raise money for the tower as it is very expensive to restore a 154 year old tower,” said Glen Sefcik, collections manager at the Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum. “It’s survived numerous hurricanes and the Civil War. It’s a treasure here in Pensacola.”

There will be one final Haunted Lighthouse tour given on Halloween night at 6 p.m., located at 2081 Radford Blvd. at NAS Pensacola. Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for children.

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Local paranormal group ghost hunts at lighthouse

Pensacola is known for its beautiful white sand beaches and the Blue Angels.

However, what some people do not realize is that Pensacola is known to have the most haunted lighthouse in Florida, and the Pensacola Paranormal Research Group has investigated this location, and other haunted places in hopes of collecting evidence of the paranormal.

The Pensacola Paranormal Research group, a local group attempting to prove the existence of ghosts and spirits, currently consists of five members: Jason Balbuena, Tina Balbuena, Courtney Colvin, Ashleigh Cooper, and Katie Cooper. The members all fill various positions from audio technician to medium.

Jason Balbuena’s interest in the supernatural came from his childhood.

“Back when I was 11 or 12, I was staying at my grandparent’s house after he had passed,” Jason said. “I was sitting in the living room and out of the corner of my eye, I saw him standing in the hallway. I had to take another look because I knew he had passed away. I knew he was gone, but I knew I saw him standing there. I looked back and he was gone. So that’s when I knew that something is out there.”

Jason’s wife, Tina Balbuena, also had her interest triggered by a personal experience.

“I had my first experience when I was 23 at a friend’s house,” she said. “I was taking a shower when I saw a shadow pass outside the shower, yet I was the only one there.”

The group was started in early 2011 and was formed from another group they had been a part of at that time, Jason said. Once this group was formed, it was decided that they would try to find evidence of the paranormal full time.

The team’s favorite places to visit for paranormal activity include the Pensacola Lighthouse and the Daffodale Estates in Monticello, Fla. By far, the most evidence they have collected has been from the Pensacola Lighthouse — evidence which includes pictures, videos, and hours of Electronic Voice Phenomenon, or EVPs. But the most disturbing yet fascinating experience the group has had while investigating the Pensacola Lighthouse was seeing a “headless soldier walking the grounds here one night,” Tina said.

The evidence that the Pensacola Paranormal Research group has collected has been so extensive that they are now members of the Ghost Adventures Crew of the History Channel’s show “Ghost Adventures.”

Katie Cooper and Courtney Colvin have both had to deal with skeptics.

“You constantly run into people that don’t believe you, but if they’re open to things, they will find something,” Katie said.

“We have people come on the ghost tours that don’t believe but come to see if something will happen to them, and it normally does,” Courtney added.

 Katherine Cordero
Contributing Writer 

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