So goes the introduction to the Ghost Train along Fort Lauderdale's original railroad line, and its tie to its darker past. The tale of this train has been told several times on the History Channel. It is but one of many tales related by the Ghost Tour Guides of the Ghosts, Mysteries & Legends tour of Old Fort Lauderdale, www.glghosts.com, Fort Lauderdale's premier ghost tour.
GML tours meet at the northeast corner of Las Olas and Andrews under the sign of the very modern Museum of Art in the heart of the city's restaurant and entertainment district, minutes away from the beach and the downtown and airport business hotels. There is the last anything modern that the tour has to do with. After that it is history and mystery. By mystery, they refer to the mysteries of the ancients.
With cape, gaucho hat and lamp in hand, Ghost Guides wander off into the night and introduce visitors and locals to Fort Lauderdale's "other night life" as they walk along the banks of the New River in the city's historic district.
But Ghosts, Mysteries and Legends is more than just a ghost tour, as Christian Rieger, its managing director tells, "There are more than just ghosts of the dead out there. We introduce our clients to the 'world of spirits." There are the visitors from other time zones, other times, other dimensions and other places on our physical plane. And there are the nature spirits, the angelic host and guardian angels -- all figure into the civilization on the other side and all watching us. Some are spirits locked in time. We talk pretty much about the whole pack."
Fort Lauderdale has two para-normal power aspects which makes it important in its revelations of what is going on in the non-material world. One is the energy that runs down the New River from the Everglades that are hoary with antiquity, perhaps three ice ages old. The other is Fort Lauderdale is at the western point of the venerable Bermuda Triangle. The lowest gravitational point on the planet is over its southern point at the Puerto Rican Trench, the deepest hole in the Atlantic Ocean.
A group of Danish scientists who have made it their life's study, have discovered that the magnetic field of the planet has declined 1 3/4 % in the last twenty years, while in the Bermuda Triangle it has declined by 20%. Mr. Rieger postulates, "We believe that these two important energy aspects contribute significantly to some of the paranormal events that have happened to us on our tours."
Orbs indicate the presence of, or are supposed to be, ghosts. People using their digital cameras on ghost tours everywhere else when they photograph orbs, are content to get what looks like large or small, shiny, bright, translucent ping-pong balls. But here in Fort Lauderdale the guides and the patrons frequently get faces in them. One night a man looked at one such very evil-looking wolf face from the depths of hell taken by a fellow patron and said, "I wished I never saw that."
One photograph of an orb on top of an old hotel, when magnified three times, showed an image of a phantom flying through the air within it. If orbs are supposed to be ghosts, this was proof. As far as Ghosts, Mysteries and Legends knows, no one has taken such a photo elsewhere.
"We have also photographed the activity of nature spirits," says Rieger. "Nature spirits are the entities that mystical tradition tells us causes the grass to grow, the flowers to be aromatic and the winds to blow. Frequently, at the beginning of rain storms, photographs will show hundreds of orbs. These will not be seen several minutes later. Some people think they are nature spirits bringing on the rain."
Classic ghost tails include the strange carrying-ons of the Women in the White Wedding Dress, the Mystery of the Wandering Left Hand, Shirttail Charlie, and the Drunk at the Bar.
"It is great family entertainment," says Rieger, "something for the family to do after dinner besides watch television in the hotel room. It also works great for local families, because ghost tours are a clever way of introducing local history to children - a way of making history interesting and easy to listen to. And be sure to bring your digital camera." Photographs taken by guests along the tour are at their website, www.flghosts.com.
Tours go out all year long. The price is $18.00 for adults and $13.00 for children 12 and under. Make reservations and get more information at 954 523 1501 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author
Olga Marie Pathinas-Brovanovitch was born in Moscow, U.S.S.R. in 1940 to two members of the Communist Party who worked as special agents directly for the Kremlin. She was brought up in one of the espionage training towns in the Urals, where she learned to speak English with and American accent. She was a natural whiz-kid at engineering and economics. She worked for the foreign service, but now does free-lance writing.