I’d also like to check out some haunted places, if there are any, while I’m there. (Naturally. I couldn’t very well call myself a Haunt Jaunter if I didn’t, could I? Plus, it’s more material for the blog and the website.)
I’m planning a Haunt Jaunt to Florida’s Gulf County for July. When I was blogging at Families.com I wrote about Cape San Blas, a dog-friendly city in Gulf County. I’ve wanted to go ever since (and so has my pooch, Murphy). Wayne finally agreed that’s where we can take our next family vacation! Sort of a getaway to celebrate the end of my hitchhiker haunting me. Yes!
I’m now in the planning stages. I have to find us a place to stay. (Would be nice if it’d be a Spooky Stay, but I don’t think Murph would appreciate it that much.)
Speaking of the website, since I don’t have all the Jaunts loaded into HauntJaunts.net yet, I can’t turn there for help. So what do I do? Why, research of course.
While I’m at it, I thought it’d make a fun blog entry, too. A step-by-step look at how I plan a Haunt Jaunt.
STEP 1: CONSULT MY TRUSTY TRAVEL BOOKS
There might be newer Florida books out dealing with ghosts, but I’ve trusted and enjoyed these two for many years now: Haunting Sunshine and Haunt Hunter’s Guide to Florida. Whenever I go somewhere in Florida, I first consult them to see if there any haunts in the area I’ll be.
In Haunting Sunshine I found a story about Magnolia Hall in Apalachicola. In the book it was noted at one time it was a B&B, but that the state was going to turn it into a historic site. I found a Magnolia Hall Guest House at 177 5th St on a list of Apalachicola hotels online, but no link to a website.
So is it a Spooky Stay still? A Historic Haunt? I don’t know. It’ll be a mystery for me to solve when I get there…
The Haunt Hunter’s Guide didn’t list anything in the area. The closest would be Shell Mound down in Cedar Key and the Island Hotel, also in Cedar Key. That’s too far from where will be to scope out,though. (Over 4 hours.)
Okay, those didn’t turn up much. On to the next step…
STEP 2: SEARCH THE WEB
Alas, Haunt Jaunts is not a one-of-a-kind idea. There are other similar sites, we all just present it a bit differently. Which is great, because I can still benefit from something they might have listed that I don’t know about. Like now.
These are the sites I checked out to see if they had any info on haunted places in Gulf County, Florida:
A Ghost in My Suitcase and The Haunted Traveler didn’t even have any listings for Florida. TravelParanormal.com had a Florida button, but it didn’t have any articles relating to Gulf County.
Drat. But all is not lost. There’s still one more step.
STEP 3: ASK WHEN I GET THERE
There are several lighthouses in the area we plan on touring. Don’t know if any have any ghost stories attached to them, but, much to Wayne’s chagrin, it’s a question I always ask whenever we’re out sightseeing.
I’ll also do the same when we go to dinner or hit the shops. The locals always the scoop…and I just may turn up some new Haunt Jaunts that haven’t been covered to death yet!