Gold Coast Railroad Museum
In the 1930’s, Naval Air Station Richmond was on the same land as the museum is today. The Gold Coast Railroad Museum has been in existence since 1957, becoming a state museum in 1997. It’s adjacent to the Miami Zoo. Since they already had many tracks, this seemed an ideal spot to locate the museum. There are over 30 historic trains on site, including the California Zephyr; the Presidential Ferdinand Magellan; a “Jim Crow” car; the East Swamp and Gatorville Railroad; and the Florida East Coast Railway No. 153. Trains from the mid-1800s through the mid-1900s are on display. The Magellan was used to bring F. D. Roosevelt to his burial.
The railroad personnel contacted us because members of the staff felt they were being watched, heard noises, and saw figures when no one was supposed to be there. They all wanted to know who was inhabiting the grounds and why. Activity could certainly come from the trains, which had traveled for so many years, to so many places carrying passengers; from the people at the air station, who would have had heighted emotions during WWII; from the participants in a blimp – sub battle that took place not far away in 1943; from the terror that came with the hurricane and subsequent fire in 1945; from the early Native Americans; from early explorers and settlers; or from others that we aren’t aware of. There is the possibility of energy from many sources! OPI was asked to investigate staff claims. On our first visit, we had a nearly full team: Greg, MaryJo, Paula, Angel, TJ, and Terri along with two trainees, Audrey and Shawnee. Matteo, a tour guide with the museum, gave us a historical tour and then we set to work.
MaryJo, TJ, and Paula all had recording devices. In addition, we used our K2 meter, REM pod, Mel Meter, full spectrum cameras, SB 11, and flashlight. Terri was aware of strong electricity near the office area of the depot. We determined it was the computers, and other electronic devices. Initially we split into 2 teams. Greg, MaryJo, Shawnee, and Angel started in the Magellan, the train FDR used when he was president. We had very little response, although the K2 briefly lit to red. There were 2 EVPs. In answer to the question, “Would you like to step up and talk?” we heard, “No!” and when Greg asked, in reference to the K2, “Would you do it again?” we heard, “Do what?”
We moved to the Jim Crow car. This is the car the Black people had to use from reconstruction after the Civil War until the Civil Rights laws in the 1960s. There is a small museum set up there as well. We commented that this was the Jim Crow car. “It’s true,” a voice responded. I asked about the songs that night have been sung on the train. “Would you tell us some of them?” “Sho’ nuff,” replied a female voice. “I only want you-u,” she sang. After that we had no interaction.
Paula recorded a voice telling her group, “No one, no one can help you now.” It may have been residual. She also caught train sounds on come of her recordings, but there were no working trains that night!
Matt wanted us to see the theater and miniature railroad room. Paula joined us. We found that to be our most active area! In the theater, we used the spirit box. “Where are you from,” we asked. “1941,’ came to the answer, in a female voice. The K2 flashed to red. “Talk to us,” we urged. “Leave me alone,” a feminine voice demanded. “Have you been here since before the 1940s?” we queried. “1903,” was the response. Another vice sang, “In the 1940s!” It seemed there were several spirits in the room. Another voice called, “MaryJo, help me. I’m afraid of falling!” I’m not sure where this one was. It was a fairly tall building, and built in the 1930s. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to hear that plea at the time, only later when I heard it on the SB11. I’d like to know more! And been able to help! The original blimp building was 17 stories tall, back in the 1930s. Paula asked if a spirit would say “hi” to her. “No!” was the definitive retort. When I said I couldn’t understand everything I was hearing, but would listen later, the K2 went to red. I interpreted that as sign of approval. Shawnee walked into the back room, so I asked, “Do you ever go into that room Shawnee just went into?” “Shawnee walked into me!” a voice complained. Greg took a picture of a negative energy on the floor and my feet. We commented that it was not a happy camper. “To bad!” was the comeback! We were very glad the spirits felt like communicating with us!
From there we went to the next room, really the first room, full of model trains, towns, hills, and so on. We heard some noises, and asked if we could hear more. There was a tap. I did the “shave and a haircut” knock, and we heard the last two knocks in response! We all said “Thank you!” We turned on the spirit box, and asked, “Do you know Matt?” “He knows all of us,” was the rejoinder! When we asked, “Why aren’t you happy?” the sad answer was, “I was perished.” It is an odd usage of the term, but conveys the message. We also heard the word or name Grundy. There seemed to be anger, so I remarked, “You really aren’t happy.” “Bitch!” the voice replied. “Did you call me a bitch?” I asked, to clarify. “Ya mon,” he came back. An islander? We tried to use the flashlight for a yes/no conversation, but nothing happened. In fact, none of the spirits used the flashlight that night. We asked, “Are you here because of the military, the trains, or the land?” The response was most interesting! “I don’t know! I’ve been here forever! I’m really gonna miss you. Take me with you.” Was he speaking to me as an intelligent spirit, or was there a residual energy of a person taking leave of a loved one? A little later a voice sing sang, “Make weapons. Then kill ‘em.” That would be a reference to the WWII era, when the space was a Naval Station. There were dirigibles on base, and of course, weapons. Greg was coughing, and as he was, a voice demanded, “Cough up somethin’!”
We took a break in the depot and regrouped. Both of our K2 meters began to flash to red. We put the spirit box on and asked for a name. Rarely do we get a full name, but we did this time! “David Black. It’s David. I’m David!” he stressed. We don’t know if a David Black was stationed there at one time, or took one of the trains and stayed. Of course, he may have been there for another reason, too.
This time, Greg and I went with Terri, Paula, and Shawnee. TJ, Angel, and Audrey made up the other team. Our team went to the Medical Car. There were three cots, vertically on the wall, and a display on the sugar cane industry in Florida. There was an overpowering smell of an old hospital! Matt mentioned that sugar cane is used to make ether, once used as an anesthesia, and so it has historical significance. “Yes,” a voice agreed. There was also a car next to that was set up as a conference or training room. Terri, Paula, and Audrey had encountered there earlier a spirit who called himself Robert. He had a community with him who were anti-fascists, according to our medium, Terri. TJ had captured an intelligent orb activity while in the car earlier. This group called themselves anarchists, and came from the 1960s and 70s. We continued to communicate with him. His followers called him Father. Paula’s recording earlier in the evening had the word “preacher” which is very relevant! Their symbol was a triangle. We researched the figure. It has many, many meanings! It can be Egyptian, a summoning for the occult, a Christian representing the trinity, water, change, and the list goes on. The triangle wasn’t much help in identifying this group, sadly. Terri thought that the group used a bus in their lives as a meeting place, and was using the train car in the same way.
We returned a few weeks later for a second visit. This time it seemed to be even more active than the first. Two other staff members, Chris and Daniel were there to tell us of their experiences. Daniel especially had encountered spirits. They were valuable resources for us! On this investigation, there was Paula, Greg, Shawnee, MaryJo, and a new trainee, Sandi. Sandi has worked with other teams, and has experience, but she is new to OPI. The first part of the night, Greg and Sandi teamed up, and MaryJo, Paula, and Shawnee formed a group.
Because we had so much activity in the model train room the first time, my group head there. We weren’t disappointed! Chris and Daniel came along. After about two minutes, I turned on the SB11, and we heard a female sounding voice say “hi.” A female sounding voice, uttered the same thought as the man last who called me a bitch: “You dumb bitch.” Not very welcoming! She continued, “Shut up, we’re nasty!” When we reminded the spirits that we had been here before, a deep male voice countered, “I’ve been here!” We asked if anyone wanted to speak with Chris or Daniel. “C’mon over”, a male voice invited. “Bring Daniel,” a child’s voice requested. A male told us, “He’s good.” And the child continued, “I love him.” The child also said the name “Chris.” Chris and Daniel spoke in the background, and a young woman’s voice replied, “How are ya!” When I asked who just called me a bitch, a male voice responded, “Laurie.” I asked if anyone wanted to talk to Shawnee. “Hello again,” a female voice uttered, as if remembering her from before. In answer to the question, “Are there any children here,” a child’s voice told us, “Just me!” A male spoke several words in what sounded like Spanish. Since the Spanish explored the area hundreds of years ago, it could be one of them, or a more recent spirit. We asked if spirits were here with the trains, or with the land. “Land,” was sung in a woman’s voice. The volunteers told us they thought a man named Floyd might be here. “Floyd, are you in here with us?” we wondered. “Maybe,” was the jocular response. One of the spirits seemed to be uncertain. “What should we do?” asked a voice. We don’t know if he was asking us, or another spirit. Chris said he had been scratched, so we asked who did it. “I’m Mark,” a deep voice replied. “Who are you?” a woman asked defiantly. A voice declared, “I’m tryin’ to talk to Paula!” I invited any spirit who wanted to talk to Chris to go ahead. “It’s over!” a male voice replied. This voice was not from the spirit box. Another voice, from the SB11 said, “Hi!” When invited to speak to Daniel, a voice pleaded “Please remember me.” Another said his name, Daniel. I persisted, “Do you follow Daniel?” “Remember me!” repeated the voice. At least some of the spirits seem to know Daniel and Chris. We didn’t notice it at the time, but the K2 did flash while it sat on the shelf, and so we saw it on the film recording.
We tapped into a conversation, possibly residual, that seems to be between entities.
“Give me that.”
“I love you, but I’m busy!”
“Daddy, you’re drunk!”
The conversation didn’t involve us, therefore it may not be intelligent energy.
Another voice informed someone, “The officer’s sick in Queensland.” We don’t know what that means. Paula asked if someone would make the lights “Go off” on the K2. “No flash!” a male voice informed her. Another EVP was “Don’t break the Reynolds!” A Reynolds is a type of bicycle. Perhaps in the 1930s or 40s a bike was used to get around. When we asked for a sound, a male voice, not from the spirit box, but heard later, responded, “Damn you!” as though he strongly resented the request. As I ended the session, a voice called out to Angel, who was not able to be with us. “Angel, come back and see me some time!” This leads us to believe that many of the same spirits who we interacted with on the first visit remembered us, and were hoping to see at least Angel again.
We often use music as a trigger to begin interactions. I asked is anyone liked Big Band music. One voice told me, “Yes.” Another told me, “Uh, no.” I played some music, and then asked about pirate music, this summer being the 300th commemorating of the sinking of the Spanish Fleet in 1715. This was an area of pirates at one time. “Stop joking!” I was told. A voice announced, “The Japs are coming, on the rooftop. Don’t shoot him, just watch. Don’t shoot.” This seems to be a clear example of WWII terminology and a possible event. We were involved in war with the Japanese, and a navy man could have encountered them elsewhere and returned to Miami. Another EVP that seems to back up the WWII aspect was,” I won’t forget the families.” A woman’s voice called for Diego, perhaps going back to the early Spanish, or perhaps a soul more recent. Miami has a very large Hispanic population, growing since around 1960. In this room the Mel meter spike to a 3.4, considerably high. We didn’t get the same co operation on the knock this time, but the EVPs were very relevant and interactive.
Behind the train room is the theater, our next stop. We had several EVPs from last time. We had barely turned on the equipment when we heard a playful, “Boo!” “There they go,” announced a voice. Shawnee told us, “It’s me whispering.” “It’s me,” a voice mimicked. We learned that a prison is adjacent to the museum grounds. I asked if anyone was from the prison. “I come over,” a male told us. There were some banging sounds, and a voice asked, “Come here.” It was here that I turned on the spirit box. Someone called my name. We heard a word sounding like “brisette” come through twice. Paula exclaimed, “Did you hear that!” A voice that sounded like a young girl declared, “”Talkin’ to you! Play with me.” A woman’s voice demanded, “Go away!” countering the request. A male voice requested, “Don’t go, Joe.” Another male voice replied, “Yes.” Yes sir.” Could it be military? The other time, someone had said he was falling. I asked, “Did anyone fall?” Remember that a blimp hangar was extremely tall. A female voice repeated, “Did anyone fall? Falling!” Paula thought she heard sobbing, so asked, “Why are you crying?” A woman’s voice replied, “It really hurts!” Paula wanted to know if help was needed. “Nosy bitch!” a woman’s voice chimed in. However, a juvenile voice answered, “Yes!” The camera jerked a bit, as though someone moved it or bumped it, but none of us did. Through the SB11, at that time, were the words, “help,” “fall,” “save me,” and “please help me.” We wish we could have seen and helped! The spirits continued to communicate! “Are you looking at us?” I asked. “Yes,” was the answer? As I was ending the session, I said, ending.” “Don’t end it!” pleaded a raspy voice. Choose to help – . “I couldn’t hear the rest of it. I counted back from 3, to 2. “Why are you disobeying us?” a voice wondered. Two other times a voice asked us, “Don’t go.” Unfortunately, I didn’t hear all that until later! There were times the camera went out of focus, as though it didn’t know where to focus.
While we were in the model train room and theater, Greg and Sandi investigated the training car, in which Terri, our medium, had experiences with Bob. They also went to the medical car.
Paula, Shawnee and I wanted to go to the Jim Crow car, where the blacks and whites were segregated before the Civil Rights laws changed. We hadn’t had too much activity there on our first go around. That changed. We had only been settled a few seconds when a voice, which we heard later, can very clearly, announce, “Mark’s coming”! Mark was the one who supposedly had scratched Chris. We turned on the SB11. The camera went out of focus several times here for no apparent reason. All three of us were touched on the wrist or had within a few seconds. A voice, not of the box, declared, “She don’t want me here.” One of the staff had seen a woman’s figure bending out of the window calling, “Good bye, Charlie!” Was this Charlie? Had he followed her? Paula asked if Charlie was here. “I don’t . .. yes,” was the response. Chris said he felt a cold spot. Shawnee gave Charlie permission to touch her hand again if it were he. ‘Nooo!” a voice replied. Someone seemed to be confused about how to communicate. There was some background singing. Shawnee and Chris heard noise in the next car, so we moved there. A voice seemed to recognize our Mel. “It’s a Mel me!” it said. I asked if someone was following Chris. “Why, yes, ma’am,” a woman’s voice admitted. “Why?” asked Paula. “He doesn’t really like me,” the voice explained. A woman’s voice spoke the word, “please” in a very imploring way. The noise caused us to move again, almost as though someone was bringing us to a certain spot. We asked if something happened here. “Definitely, he kills me,” the woman’s voice explained. If she is honest, then something tragic happened on the train. We played some gospel and civil rights music, but it didn’t seem to have any effect. Matteo stopped in, so we asked if there was any message for him. “He’s my angel.” Someone there is fond of him. Another entity is not so positive. “Kill them all!” was one of our EVPs. Since this was the car carrying only the blacks, that may refer to them or it might refer to us. Or it could mean something else entirely. We were not harmed at all that night.
The observation car has a beautiful bar that reminded us of the 1940s and 1950s. We could see men and women sipping martinis and smoking cigarettes, the men in suits and the women is hats and gloves. Paula, Terri, and Audrey had encountered a spirit named Tex when they were here before. We wanted to see if he was still there. Tex liked two fingers of whiskey. We turned on the box. We talked about our favorite drinks. I mentioned martinis. A woman’s voice repeated, “martini.” I asked if the bartender could pour me one. “No, thanks,” he turned me down. I wondered if the porter could bring us some appetizers. A voice agreed, “I’ll get the porter.” We talked about cigars. “350,” a voice told us. A 350 is a popular cigar. Paula wanted to know what kind of cigars. “Cuban,” the voice replied. We asked about a time frame. A male voice told us “the late 1940s,” while a woman told us, “1940.” Another voice told them, “Stop it right there!” I heard that and asked if there was a secret. “Let me explains about the secret,” the voice started. We had to laugh when we heard that. We never did hear the secret! Because Daniel told us he had seen a figure going into the caboose, we up completed our second round there. As soon as we turned on the spirit box, an EVP announced, “The big box is on again!” The SB11 is much larger than the original spirit box. A woman’s voice asked, “Are we on video?” They were very aware of us and what we were doing. We heard the names Marissa and Mariah. One of the spirits seemed to have an interest in Paula. She asked if someone was touching her. “I just want to touch it. Did you enjoy it, Paula?” a male voice asked her. I heard that and asked, “Did you just tell Paula you want to touch her?’ “I’m not done yet,” he countered. A female voice challenged, “Take some pictures.” In the background is a faint sound of a woman singing. A male voice imitated Arnold Schwarzenegger’s famous phrase, “I’ll be back!” We also heard “dark ship,” “train,” and “don’t shift.” They are all relevant. The one looking for Angel was back, calling “Angela.” We played some train music. We asked, “Do you like the music?” Two voices responded, “I like it.” A somewhat whimsical answer, “Love is kind,” was the response to “Do you have anything to share with us?” Shawnee was talking, and a voice queried, “Who’s talking?” Maybe the essence couldn’t see her, just as we usually can’t see the essences.
Our final stop was in the Zephyr, a luxury sleeping car of the 1940s. It isn’t luxurious by today’s standards at all, but then it was the best money could buy! We used a K2 to communicate, and had some good interaction. The spirit communicating told us she was traveling on the train and had just lost someone important to her, someone she loved. She was very sad. Our EVPs include a voice saying, “Boo!” in a playful way; a female voice saying “Boo”; and another sound we can’t distinguish.
We believe we have strong enough results to show that paranormal events are indeed happening, and the staff probably is experiencing what they claim! Spirits can be there due to their time in the military, attachments to the trains, love of the land, or several other reasons. We appreciate Matteo, Chris, and Daniel sharing their experiences. We’re grateful to Alexandra for calling us in to communicate, and learn something about all the spirits there. We are fairly certain that there are children, military personnel, at least one angry woman, a Latin man, whites, black, and probably Native Americans.