The Haunting Season is Here! Halloween… Día de los Muertos… All Souls Day... Spirits… the Afterlife…
So, when our own WQCS News Director Jill Roberts recently came across a sign promoting an Indian River Hauntings Ghost Tour… naturally, we had to find out more!
This led straight to Larry Lawson ---
“My name’s Larry Lawson, I am a former police officer. I’ve got 38 ½ almost 39 years. And I still am. I am a reserve out here in the City of Fellsmere.”
Lawson runs year-round historical ghost tours in Fellsmere and Vero Beach through his company Indian River Hauntings. The tour sites are thought to be haunted! He also investigates the paranormal with his team, the Florida Bureau of Paranormal Investigation.
Even just saying where we met up sounds spooky: The Old Schoolhouse in Fellsmere!
It is one of the stops on the ghost tours because it is so old – it was built in 1916 - and numerous people claim to hear and see the school children. In particular, it is thought there is a young boy called “Billy” there, still dressed in his early 1900s clothing!
“Everybody likes the adrenaline rush – there is no doubt about that. But you can only do that so often before it’s like, OK why are we doing this? And we are embarking on the road of let's find out what this phenomenon really is…"
Being a police detective, and seeing lots of strange things over the years, Lawson says his investigative work has naturally progressed to the paranormal. He also has a passion for history which he weaves into the tours, and he feels this is good for the community, particularly Fellsmere, which has a lesser-known past.
So, while it’s a creepy kind of fun, especially this time of year, Lawson is cut & dry about the investigative nature of it, and he emphasizes ……
“the collection of evidence, the proper keeping of it, the preservation of it.. I am really championing the idea of a worldwide repository of evidence that people can draw from and look at and compare with what they’ve gotten.”
The Florida Bureau of Paranormal Investigation focuses on the Treasure Coast, following up on people’s stories of encounters…
Like with the mysterious woman in the bathroom at Marsh Landing Restaurant...
Waldo Sexton at the Driftwood Inn… giving new meaning to the term “where’s Waldo?”!
And the notorious criminal Ashley Gang who were killed on a wooden bridge over the St. Sebastian River in 1924.
“I gotta look at it scientifically to be honest with you. I mean, I know things have happened and you can’t discount them, but if we are ever going to prove it, we are going to have to FIND – and there has no way been discovered yet – we are going to have to find a way to quantify to scientifically prove it.”
So, we wonder, how does he gather such hard evidence?
Just then, his son Evan and nephew Liam show up, carrying big cases filled with equipment they use during the tours and on their ‘ghost hunts.’
“Hi I’m Evan Lawson….
“What I have here is called the K-2 meter. The K-2 meter is the same kind of thing that electricians use to find wires in a wall. What is does is it detects EMF – electromagnetic fields. Which is the theory behind that is when spirits manifest, or they do anything, they give off this EMF and we are able to detect it with the K-2 meter…
“But you have to be careful because man made things can set this off…. Say if you are in a room and there is a breaker box….
The other cases hold video and audio recorders, light and shadow grids, and some fancier EMF models which also detect temperature and make alarm sounds …
“Whenever it detects a spike in the EMF it makes – (beep beep) - that sound.”
Indian River Hauntings has ghost tours year-round. Whatever you do, be safe and have a Happy Hallooowweeenn…!