By: Jamie Roush Pearce July 28th, 2013
Some people believe a building has to be very old to be haunted. Well, that
isn’t always the case. A short time ago I came across a private residence that
was constructed less than 50 years ago, and is known to be more para-normally active than other homes that are more than 200 years old or older.
Built in the 1970s, the house is the Jacksonville Beach residence of Caterina
Lionti, a well-known local artist, and her family. I recently traveled with my
team, Historic Haunts Investigations, to Lionti’s home where we had the honor of
researching and investigating. We learned that there are other homes in the
neighborhood that are reportedly haunted, as well. While historical accounts
vary, we discovered that the area may have been tied in to a long-gone farmhouse
property, and that it has something of a paranormal history with residual
energy and intelligent haunts still lingering there.
The activity and strange phenomena in Leonti’s home began as soon as she and
her husband moved in. They never believed in ghosts before and, at first, she
wondered if she was “going a little loopy.”
Little things occurred in the beginning; paint brushes floating across her
art studio and people hearing their names being called, but then a full body
apparition of a man in Colonial garb was seen by her family. Guests to the home
also started experiencing and describing the same thing. More spirits started
appearing, disembodied voices were repeatedly encountered and, in some cases,
arguments were overheard. In addition, more items in the house were being moved.
After discussing this with nearby residents and hearing a few neighbors share
their haunted stories, Lionti knew she wasn’t losing it, she knew there was
something going on.
She went to St. Augustine when she heard that members of a popular,
nationally televised, ghost hunting group were filming on location there.
Through one of the group’s members, she came into contact with C.A.P.E., a local paranormal investigative group led by Vishi Garig. Lionti allowed C.A.P.E., and
several other groups, to investigate her home a number of times and has even
allowed a local paranormal TV show to film an episode in the home.
Collectively, the groups have captured a large amount of paranormal evidence.
Hundreds of electronic voice phenomena, or EVPs, have been gathered. Psychics
or mediums involved with the investigations and research claim there are as
many as 13 spirits who reside in the Lionti home. Lionti set up live web cams
in the most haunted hot spots of her house, and hosts a live chat through her
website www.hauntedartist.com where she is online most evenings with her “arm chair paranormal investigators,” as she affectionately refers to those who join her.
During the investigations, psychics and mediums have come up with names for
several of the spirits. There are two men, Douglas and Cliff, who seem to be
from the 1940s and wear pinstripe suits and fedoras. Robert is known to sit in
the living room; Annie is a little girl who plays with the balloon Lionti keeps
in the art studio and with her dolls. Denise is another spirit often experienced
in the art studio, with whom I connected during my own investigation. During my
first meeting with Lionti, she invited me to sit in her art studio and get a
feel for the room and the activity that occurs there. As I entered, I moved to
turn off the lights. As I did, to the left of my head, I saw a green ball of
light which darted into the closet behind me. It also was seen by a guest on the
live chat website.
The spirits seemed to interfere with our investigation. During the initial
setup, one of our main cameras wouldn’t function, but when I returned home, the
camera worked just fine. In addition, other pieces of equipment and batteries,
all new and triple-checked shortly before arriving for the investigation, were
now dead or not functioning. Spirits are believed to draw energy from these
types of items as well as storms and other energy sources, but this was pretty
extreme. We salvaged what equipment we could and asked questions of the spirits. I
picked up on the presence of a very private spirit named Denise.
Later, we felt a child’s presence. We decided to ask, “If you want us to
leave, please turn the flash light on for yes.” The flash light turned on. We
respected the wishes of whichever spirit was there and left the studio.
Later in the living room, we encountered some mild responses with our K2 EMF
meter picking up on spirits manipulating the electromagnetic field, but we
received better responses with the flash light. When we asked questions, spirits
seemed to turn on the flashlight at the appropriate times.
Overall, our interactions led us to believe that spirits seem to be very
interested in Lionti and her art work. She is in the process of publishing her
memoirs, and I look forward to reading them.
She is considering the title, One House, Two Husbands, and Thirteen
Ghosts, A Memoir.