March 27, 2004:
arrived at Ashley's around 7:30pm. As you walk through
the front door you immediately see a bar, and to the
right of this bar is the women's bathroom and a staircase.
Our table was past the staircase and around a little
partition so that our group could have some privacy.
Charlie Carlson was able to come out and join us.
He also invited Ryan Lewis, the film maker that directed
the documentary that was filmed here.
While we waited for our meals we
were encouraged, by the staff, to look around take
pictures and ask questions. Everyone that worked at
Ashley's were extremely nice and ready to share their
experiences. I don't think there was one person that
worked there for more than a month that didn't have
some kind of story to tell. However I did notice a
lot of the stories were of things that happened to
Also while we waited, Mr. Carlson
tested the group. At one point he pointed to a dark
corner of the room and claimed to see a man in a top
hat. He began to snap photos and really sold it, as
if something was really seeing something there. Gretchen
said that at the same moment she saw a figure with
a top hat, and I believe Karen said she thought she
saw some mist or something that looked like heat waves,
but when she tried to focus on it, there was nothing
there. No one else said they could see a thing, including
myself. Later on, Mr. Carlson told me that he never
saw anything and just wanted to see if by the power
of suggestion, what others would see...or think they
see. I am not sure if this is were Charlie got his
ghost from or not, but on the cover of the menu there
is a ghost wearing a top hat (see the picture above
in the History). I believe it is entirely plausible
that subconsciously Gretchen, who seemed to see a
very similar version of what Charlie described, may
have seen that drawing on the menu earlier and at
that moment wanted to see what Charlie saw, so her
mind flashed that image.
Charlie said that the ghost ran into
the men's bathroom, so I went in there and took a
few photos later on, hoping something would show up.
Needless to say, I don't see anything.
The lighting in Ashley's is definitely
moody. Large shadows were cast upon the walls. If
one was to look quickly at some areas of the restaurant,
I could see how some people might think they see something
like a figure or a man in a top hat. I asked a couple
of the employees if they had ever seen a man in a
top hat before, but none of them ever had, nor did
they ever hear of anyone seeing a ghost like that.
I asked about the menu drawing, and they were not
In any case,
since I still at that time believed they really
saw something, I got my chance to premiere the
new SpookHunters uniform! Talk about sexy. A
full orange jumpsuit with a bunch of patches
from former spookhunts. The patches didn't stay
on since they were iron on, but it was a successfully
funny premiere anyway.
I brought along a digital voice recorder
with hopes of capturing something strange on that.
Karen went into the women's bathroom with it alone,
but nothing happened and after reviewing the recording,
there was nothing out of the ordinary on it either.
I would have included it on the web page, but I accidentally
deleted it. Christyn and I also got a chance to explore
the women's restroom. we spent some time in there,
but again nothing happened. I wasn't choke, and Christyn
After we were through eating. The
group split up, some went up stairs where furniture
tends to move by itself and strange sounds can be
heard, while a few of us went out by the train tracks
to take some pictures. I did manage to get this strange
recording outside while on the tracks, but something
tells me it's not a ghost.
We then returned inside and joined
the rest of the group upstairs. The night begins to
get interesting. The Ouija board is out. Karen and
Gretchen are operating it while Greg observes. Now,
I do not believe that Karen or Gretchen or anyone
else that was there that night, would purposely mislead
or fake a Ouija board session. Karen and Gretchen
both seemed to get genuinely upset by some things
it was spelling out, however everything it said seemed
to link back to them in some way, and once an idea
was planted in the operators mind, the board went
in that direction. All this will be explained in more
detail soon. Below are the two sheets of paper where
all the letters that the Ouija board pointed to were
First thing the board spells out
was 'Ellen'. That's Greg's wife's name. Karen is uncomfortable
at the current time and gets up, so Greg then sit's
down and takes over for her. The board then Spells
out 'Elijah'. Elijah is Gretchen's Godson's name.
She gets shaken by that and can't go on. Karen then
sit's back down with Greg and tries to get something
going again. The board spells out stuff like 'look'
at this same time, some of the others were looking
around the upstairs. They found warm spots. That's
right, warm, not cold. There would be AC vents that
were obviously on, but 5 feet away from them it would
be very warm. You could walk from one side of the
room to the other and feel two or three distinct temperature
changes. I personally feel that Ashley's is an old
building with circulation issues, but it was still
To the left
a very defined orb can be seen. Is it dust,
dirt or demon? The booth in this picture is
only a few feet away from where they were doing
the Ouija board.
While this is going on, Diana feels
something on her face. A tingling or something. Here
in her own words from an E-mail that she sent to me,
she describes what happened.
happened twice but I didn't think anything of it till
it happened the 2nd time. When I was near the outside
of the bathroom door by the salad area I felt it the
first time. I didn't think anything of it because
of the cough attack I had 5 or so minutes prior. When
it happened upstairs is when I recalled the first
time. Remember when Jeff said for me to come over
to feel the difference in temperature in the corner.
I left the Ouija board area and walked past the top
of the stairs and right there is when I felt it again.
It felt like a tingling on my cheeks. I have no idea
what it was."
Now here is where something happens
that I really can't explain. Because there was such
a large group of people I brought some motorola talkabouts
with me. Just two. As I sit down to join Greg and
Karen on the board and start to place my hands on
it, my radio goes off. I thought it was someone else
just messing with me. Then as we get ready to actually
start it rings for a second time. Like I said, I don't
think anything of it because I figure someone has
the other one and they are playing a game or something
with me. However
when reviewing the video, the other radio is on Greg's
side, and it is never touched. Another thing is that
Greg's radio it is definitely on. You can see the
green light blinking on the video. And when you alert
the radios in that fashion to make that noise, they
both go off...but his didn't, only mine. I thought
maybe there was interference from something outside,
but again, they both would have went off, not just
Since I'm not comfortable with the
whole Ouija board thing anyway, I get up and let Jeff
sit in my place. They ask the ghost of Elijah if he
is still there and he is, but he seems to be warning
us of some kind of danger and is telling us to run.
They ask him his age and he says that he is four.
I then ask the group if Elijah was killed on the tracks.
At first everyone says no, but then I push the issue
saying one of the legends was that a little boy was
hurt like that. So they ask the board and it comes
back with a 'yes'. Here is an example I believe of
the power of suggestion. Like I've said already, I
don't think karen or anyone else was purposely misleading
anyone, but it makes sense that if there was a legend
of a little boy getting killed on the tracks, and
a little boy is apparently talking on the board, they
must be one in the same. Keep in mind though, the
name Elijah started out as the same name a Gretchen's
Godson. Also I looked for a news article or something
like that that mentioned a child by the name of Elijah
getting killed or hurt on the train tracks in rockledge,
but didn't find anything. I'm however not a professional,
so if anyone else can find something please E-mail
it to me.
Karen then starts to become a little
emotional. It's becoming clear that this ghost child
is alone and wants help. Karen leads the boy to the
light and then the board stops.
Karen, Greg, and Jeff then try to
contact another spirit. They do and this one too says
'run'. Karen leaves the board. The Emotional strain
is obviously too much. Jeff and Greg continue to try
and contact something, but to no avail. Just a lot
a few minutes Jeff leaves and Karen returns. Immediately
a spirit is talking. Either Karen has a connection
to ghosts or subconsciously she may be projecting
scenarios onto the board. Anyway, this ghost gives
warnings about being outside, and keeps referring
to a 'mean man'. The ghosts then asks for me to leave
because I 'joke'. It asks that I go outside by the
train tracks and wait for it to hit me in the arm
to prove to me that it exists. I do go outside and
wait, but nothing happens. I tell Jeff and Christyn,
who followed me out there, that when Ii go back in
I am going to tell them that I felt something hit
me in the arm just to see what the boards says.
When I return, Karen is gone and
Greg and Gretchen sit by the board. I tell them I
was hit, and sure enough the board confirms that I
was hit. I believe this is another great example of
the power of suggestion. It's not a lie on the part
of the users of the board, just a subconscious reality
being played out for us to see.
In the mean time Karen was called
to the women's restroom alone by a spirit through
the Ouija board. She returns shortly after I let everyone
know I wasn't really hit. She said the board demanded
she go down there. So she did, but nothing happened.
With that the night pretty much ended.
I seriously doubt that Ashley's is haunted. The over
all feeling from the staff was that stuff use to happen
a lot, but not so much anymore. It sounds to me that
if ghosts and poltergeist do exist, they've moved
on from this place. There were a couple of strange
things that happened, like my radio going off, but
I am sure there is a perfectly reasonable explanation
for that. I do feel comfortable in saying that I think
Ouija boards are nothing more than a very clever illusion.
An illusion that doesn't even need an illusionist,
but rather uses a person subconscious and faith in
the afterlife to work. Maybe I'm wrong, but I find
it hard that a glow in the dark board game that was
bought at Toys R' Us for less than $20 can produce
results anything more credible than a magic 8-ball.
While having plenty spirits behind the bar, Ashley's
came up short with the ghostly ones.