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Searching for the Ghost of Inez at the Herlong Mansion in Micanopy

Herlong Mansion Historic Inn & Gardens - Photo Courtesy of the Herlong Mansion

One Sunday when we lived in Jacksonville, Wayne wanted to go exploring. I had been reading my Haunting Sunshine book and had just finished the section on the Herlong Mansion.

“Want to go to Micanopy?” I asked.


I had no idea how to pronounce Micanopy. Maybe I was saying it wrong. I spelled it for him. That didn’t help.

“Where is it?”

“Gainesville basically.”

“Perfect. It’s a nice day to take a drive.”


So we hopped in his truck and away we went in search of Micanopy and the Herlong Mansion. I wish I could remember now if it was 1999 or 2000. All I know is that it was right at the beginning of the first of our haunted day trips around Florida.

In fact, this was the excursion that Wayne dubbed our explorations “haunt jaunts.” Or, I should say, him wanting to do a day trip somewhere and me tricking him into taking me some place allegedly haunted.

I brought the book along to re-read the story of the Herlong Mansion as Wayne drove. He groaned when he realized what book it was.

“Let me guess. This mansion you’re so hot and bothered to see has a ghost, doesn’t it?”


“Why do all of our trips anymore have to be haunt jaunts?”

“I dunno,” I shrugged. “It’s just interesting to me.”

“So what’s the story behind this one?”


The Herlong Mansion was built in the 1840s. It started as a small house. A family from South Carolina moved to Micanopy in 1910 and into the house when the mother inherited it. This family was the one who added on and turned it from a “cracker style” pine farm home into the Greek Revival mansion it became.

There were six kids in the family. When her mother died, she left the house to all six children (Inez and her siblings, who were all grown by then), but with the condition they let their dad live there as long as he wanted.

Inez was the oldest daughter. By the time her father died, Inez’s husband had also died. He left her with enough money to buy out her siblings. But that caused a riff between them.

She set about restoring the house, which no one had kept up. She was working in what had been her sister’s room when she died of a heart attack.


A new owner bought the house and set about completing the restoration Inez had started. Those workers were the first to encounter Inez’s ghost. They worked by day and spent their nights sleeping in the parlor. They only spent three or four nights though before they demanded a hotel room at the owner’s expense.

You see, as they tried to sleep, they heard footsteps and a door opening and closing on the second floor. When they investigated no one was there. The owners thought they were being foolish so they decided to spend a night in a room on the second floor. They locked their door that night –only to find it unlocked and wide open the next morning.

Needless to say, they let the workers have their hotel room.


We didn’t get to stay in the Herlong Mansion. When we visited, we walked the grounds and I ventured up on it’s verandah. What I have never forgotten was seeing a gorgeous wooden staircase as I peeked into the front foyer.

The wood front staircase inside the Herlong Mansion - Photo Courtesy of the Herlong Mansion

Before I left, I took a brochure. I took one last wistful glance at the inn and wished we had enough money to spend  a night there. (This was back when day trips were all we could afford.)

We didn’t see Inez, but that didn’t stop Wayne from continuing to look for her when we went into town.

And when I say “town,” I mean that generously. Micanopy is small. Or was. Things could have changed in the last 12 to 13 years. But when we visited the main street only had a few shops. One of them was an ice cream parlor.

We stopped in to get cones, and that’s when Wayne thought he’d be smart and try to embarrass me.

“So can you believe my wife dragged me down here to look for a ghost?” he asked the girl helping us.

“Oh, yeah. Inez! Are you staying at the mansion? We’re pretty proud of our haunted house.”

Wayne’s big plan backfired. This time the joke was on him and I got to smile in smug satisfaction. Some places love their ghosts as much as I love traveling in search of them.


Our jaunt to Herlong was before I became fanatical about making sure I had a camera on me wherever I went. I thank Carolyn of the Herlong Mansion Historic Inn & Gardens for providing me with all of the pictures in this post, even though she really doesn’t promote the inn as haunted. I respect that and admire her honesty. As well as her generosity!

Below are some pictures she shared with me. I thought they were fun, and especially like that they decorate the inn for Halloween.

Herlong Mansion Historic Inn & Gardens by the light of the full moon - Photo courtesy of the Herlong Mansion
At Halloween it looks like they break out their guard cats. - Photo courtesy of the Herlong Mansion
Beware is right. You might be enchanted by this lovely inn and never want to leave yourself! - Photo courtesy of the Herlong Mansion


Courtney Mroch
Courtney Mroch, otherwise known as HJ's Ambassador of Dark and Paranormal Tourism, is an author, traveler, and ghost enthusiast. When she's not writing, jaunting, or planning her next trip, it's a safe bet you'll find her in one of three places: on a tennis court somewhere, on a yoga mat somewhere, or watching a horror movie somewhere. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

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12 thoughts on “Searching for the Ghost of Inez at the Herlong Mansion in Micanopy

  1. things like this makes me realize how much of a wuss I am. I love horror movies and I can watch those with one eye open with no problem. I can’t visit any haunted house IRL….I would lose it. It’s said that I fear the dead more than the living. lol

  2. Haha! That’s hilarious – in fact, you can probably blame Wayne for pretty much anything after that one!!!

    I suspect even Inez would be amused …

  3. This is pretty cool! My brother lives in Gainesville so I’ll have to tell him to check this place out!

  4. Oh, how cool he lives so near! Micanopy is like 12 miles away from Gainesville. Would make a pretty drive. Seems like there might be some hiking in the area too. And if the ice cream parlor is still open, they had some yummy cones…

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