Mt. Dora, FL
The Lakeside Inn began as a small 10 room inn along the shore of Lake Dora in Mt. Dora in 1883. It was called Alexander House, and was there when Mt. Dora was still called Royellou. People came to the hotel for fishing and snake hunting. Over the years, it has grown to the large hotel it is today, with several buildings, a pool, two bars, lovely gardens, a gift gallery, and a fine restaurant. In the 1920s, it was believed to be a speakeasy. A trapdoor in front of the desk gives credence to that. Famous guests include Calvin Coolidge, Thomas Edison and Dwight Eisenhower.
Some of the guests and staff have never left, according to reports. People have reported a little girl playing in the dining room, a housemaid wandering the halls, two African American maids in the Coolidge Room, a little girl who disappeared in the lake, and many others. Off the Trails Paranormal Investigations, O.P.I., teamed with American Ghost Adventures, AGA, to investigate the Inn. We explored several guest rooms, including the one inhabited by Coolidge, the ballroom, dining room, and basement.
In the basement, one group connected with a spirit they believe to be a bouncer from the speakeasy days. The other group spoke with the spirit of women guests in the 1920s, a man who spoke only with the men, and a spirit we think is a child. We used the flashlight and K2 meter to communicate. In the women’s restroom, some of us women tried to speak with a spirit who may be an older woman. With all the noise of the large groups, we have an EVP saying. “That’s ridiculous!” I guess she didn’t like the noise, preferring the usual quiet of the hotel. In the basement, another woman told us honestly that she took her own life, but refused to tell us why. When we invited her to sit in a chair, we got an EVP saying, “I’ll sit here.” A man in the other hall wouldn’t speak to any of the women, but did communicate with the men, acknowledging that he was in his “man cave.” We think he may have been a resident from the Prohibition days. Angel’s K2 meter was flashing to the red sporadically, when she held it about waist high. Several of us felt cold spots, too. It seems unlikely that a child was there in the speakeasy, but she may have wandered in from another time.
In our room, we spoke with a gentleman, using the flashlight. He didn’t tell us much, but when we said we would pour him a drink if he lit the flashlight, it flashed brightly! We poured him a small Scotch and left it!
Also in our room, with our group, we connected with at least one spirit. We found the answers all through the night to be sporadic and not definitive. EVPs include, “I sees ‘em go.” “You clear me then.” “Sen sen,” Which is an old candy.
In one guest room, we asked if the spirits had any message for any of us. A spirit box voice answers, “Hello, Kevin!” Kevin was a member of the group. When Thinh asked the spirit box to say her name, it replies, “Ting.”
In the Calvin Coolidge room, a spirit turned on the flashlight when we mentioned teacups. We detected the presence of a child in the bed by using the Mel meter. The readings spiked near the pillow and again about the middle of the bed – about the size of a child.
In the ballroom, we had high Mel meter readings, and several orb pictures. There were cold spots.
We are certain there is paranormal activity at the Lakeside Inn. We met none that were belligerent or hostile. Some were secretive, and some were playful, just like people we meet every day. We’d like to go back again! The hotel is a lovely place for anyone wanting to relax or enjoy the antiques and outdoor activities of Mt. Dora.