Bradenton really is a ghost town

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Bradenton really is a ghost town

Kaitlyn Schafer, Reviews, Features. and Editorials editor

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Downtown Bradenton is full of more fascinating history than people may realize, or more specifically, spooky history on ghosts and urban legends. Freaky encounters, mysterious disappearances and strange noises have all been experienced in this city and The Paranormal Society of Bradenton, FL is the group to call when they need to be reported. The Paranormal Society is made up of investigators in the area that specialize in ghosts and other supernatural phenomena. The society offers two ghost tours in the Bradenton area: The Bradenton Beach Tour and The Downtown Bradenton Ghost Tour.

Ghost Hunting- Junior Hayleigh Sexton looks for the ghost of Hector Braden. All participants of the tour got to use EMF readers that showed when a ghost was near. “It has good history of Bradenton for somebody who hasn’t lived here their whole life,” said Sexton.

For those who are daring enough to know the specifics of the many sinister stories and ghosts haunting Bradenton, the Downtown Bradenton Ghost Tour is the perfect event.

“It was great learning about the historical places I never knew anything about. It was especially fun doing it around Halloween time with a bunch of people,” stated junior Tristan Christensen.

All along Old Main Street, there are hidden rooms in restaurants and stores, well-preserved ancient paintings that have terrifying histories, old tunnels dating back to prohibition in the United States and much more. The tour guides do a great job of engaging their audience with interactive elements, such as the use of electromagnetic frequency readers, or EMF readers. The guides seem to love their jobs and because of this, it pulls much of the participants in.

“Well, I’m from St. Augustine originally, so I grew up really close to the St. Augustine Lighthouse, which is pretty haunted, so I was always aware of these kinds of things going on. But I also had some friends who are tour guides for the Society, so I started touring mainly through word of mouth,” stated ghost tour guide Orion Morton when asked why he works for the Paranormal Society.

The downtown Bradenton tour takes visitors throughout the city’s spookiest and most thought-provoking downtown areas, but that is not all. The tour guides also give visitors history on Bradenton and the people who used to live here in the late 1800s to early 1900s.

“There is a lot more going on that people can not see than people think that there is, you know like there’s a whole world out there that we can’t see, but that doesn’t mean that it is not there. There are ways we can learn about interacting with that world and I think this tour can enlighten those who are interested,” stated Morton.

The tour visits buildings like the Suntrust Bank, the Hampton Inn, the old Manatee Players lot, which is now a Springhill Suites, the old courthouse and so many other places. The tour starts by the Riverwalk near Pier 22 on Tuesday through Saturday and lasts for approximately 90 minutes. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children.