The famous poet Edgar Allen Poe once wrote, “The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and the other begins?"
So, is there life after death? Are there lost souls trapped between life and death as ghostly figures in this world?
Some would say yes. And according to some, Pasco County has its fair share of ghost sightings and paranormal activities.
According to the Sun-Sentinel, one of the most active “hot spots” in Pasco County for paranormal activity is reportedly along Anclote Road in the small coastal community by the same name.
Some claim there are several “key factors” that contribute to the spike in paranormal encounters here, including Native American burial grounds and the power plant that is said to act as some type of conduit between the beyond.
Whatever the reason, many claim to have seen apparitions along Anclote Road.
One ghostly figure that haunts the community is that of a young woman who goes by the name Cindy.
Believed to be between 18 and 20 years old, Cindy usually appears along the roadside wearing her 1980s-era pink tube top and tight jeans — sometimes clean and other times filthy with mud.
One of the most recent encounters with her ghostly figure was a little more than a year ago.
Cindy reportedly approached two young girls at a local mud hole off Anclote Road and told them she had escaped from four men who had raped her out in the woods.
Before the young girls could get the attention of their boyfriends, Cindy had disappeared.
Other reported sightings tell of a young naked woman running through the woods trying to escape her captors. After giving chase, witnesses say the frantic woman simply disappears into the dark of night.
And, if Cindy isn’t enough to make your skin crawl, perhaps an encounter with another roadside apparition will.
One un-named ghostly male figure, usually wearing jeans and a white windbreaker jacket, reportedly enjoys giving fright to motorists by dashing in front of their car, usually at night, as they speed down the desolate stretch of road.
One late-night driver was so shaken she pulled to the roadside believing she had just hit someone, but soon realized there was no damage to her car.
She vowed to never drive down that road again.
From Anclote, we turn attention to downtown New Port Richey, where a number of the 1920s era buildings are said to have ghostly residents. So much so, that a few years ago you could buy tickets for the downtown ghost tours.
One of the most popular ghost stories of New Port Richey is that of the Richey Suncoast Theater and of past president and patron Willard Clark.
In 1981, only hours after leaving the theater, Clark suffered a massive heart attack. Since his death his ghost has been a regular at the theater.
Richey Suncoast Theater’s ghostly tale revolves around Clark’s favorite balcony seat, BB1.
Sightings of his apparition to theater staff usually tell of a gentle old man in the balcony seat wearing his neatly pressed tuxedo, ready for the evening show.
And, other patrons who have unknowingly chosen the balcony seat for an evening of entertainment report an extremely cold presence, and not from the air conditioner above.
But, one of the most recent paranormal investigations in downtown centered around an antique desk on display at the nearly 100-year-old building that houses the West Pasco Historical Society Museum and Library.
After museum volunteers reported smelling a strong odor of cigar smoke near the old desk, once owned by Union soldier William Barber, they decided to call paranormal investigators to see if they could learn more.
The group of ghost hunters spent an evening in the old school building with a gambit of audio and video equipment. After several hours, it’s said they captured an audio recording of Barber’s ghost — a whispering voice muttering, “Come back, come back.”
So, if you’re looking for a local ghost story for Halloween, you don’t have to look too far.