Plaza Hotel, Desoto Restaurant and Smith Building-Tag a Long
Arcadia, Florida
 11/21/09
The Plaza Hotel

History:

The building was originally called the Plaza Hotel. It was built by Michael Schlossberg, building began in 1925 and was completed in 1927. It was a very classy place with mosaic floors, but unfortunately some of the original architecture was damaged during  hurricane Donna in 1960. There used to be arches on top of the building with large flower planters around the roof top patio. There was two stained glass pyramid skylights at the hotel. Only one of the originals still has the red glass still in it and it's located at the top of the interior staircase. In later years it became a Keswick hotel.
Mr. Schlossberg built many buildings in Arcadia and in 1913 he started the first 5 and 10 cent store which operated for over 60 years. Later it became Schlossberg's which was a ladies dress shop.

Some of the most popular residents of the hotel were cattle dealers who came to town and travelers from the train who only had to walk less than a block to the hotel. It also housed military families who were based out of Carlstrom and Dorrfield military training bases.
It was said that they charged $1.00 a night for a single room in the 1930's. There was approximately 48 rooms with some only having just a sink and some had a full bathroom. Some were two bedrooms called a Jack and Jill which is 2 rooms that share the same bathroom and even a 3 bedroom. A few may have had a kitchen. There was also wash rooms that were later turned into private bathrooms. It is thought there hasn't been any residents living in the hotel since 1987. The Greystone apartments next door were living quarters for many of the hotel employees.

There have been various business over the years in the downstairs plaza. Some business were the G.P. Lamb realty company, fun foolery, Palace barber shop, I.O.Eller Candy company and a appliance store.

The downstairs restaurant kitchen is original and was half the size of the now present one. The original managers office is now the dish cleaning room. The present buffet area was once the main dining room. The present owners office used to be part of the main lobby for check ins. It still has the original lights sconces, staircase, heater, radiator, electrical and phone panels. The office holds the elevator which was last serviced in 1978. There is a small basement that is considered the boiler room with a above ground kerosene tank that kept the boiler running. The Desoto Restaurant has been a local favorite for many years and it's said that supposedly Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone dined there while traveling through town.
Duration - 7:00pm-1:00am
Present - Elizabeth, Andy, David, Rebecca, Stephan, Sara, Jason, Jim, Ariel, Donna, Teri, Doni, Dani, John, Cathy, Tracy, Dina, Dawn, Jeff, Jose, Eric, Mikey, Jerry, Thomas, Dennis, Tracy, Amanda, Nick, Scott, Sprout, Lori, Toni, Tom and Craig
Tools -4 IR cameras
Hi-8 video cameras
digital cameras
35mm cameras
pyrometer
gauss meter
tri-field meter
audio recorders
A Plaza Bathroom

History of Haunting:

* Strange noises at 3am when owner is comes in to prep the kitchen.
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Shadows are seen in the corner of your eye especially in the kitchen which makes you do a double take.
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A black lady has been seen in the kitchen on several occasions and as recently as the first week in June 2009. She has a very distinct walk with big hair which possible could be afro style. She is wearing a white kitchen apron and it thought to be a past kitchen worker.
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An employee has walked into the far West dining area to see the Spirit of a cowboy sitting in there.
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It is said that an employee had seen the toilet paper unrolling by its self and the water faucet turned on by itself in the lower woman's bathroom.
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Employee Billie-Jo said that the front door to the lobby will open up by itself for a few moments as if someone is coming through.
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Billie-Jo said 6:30am to 7:00am Conversations are heard in the lobby and dining area.
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It is said that a psychic was dining and she heard a conversation coming through the speakers while everyone else heard only music.

* We did a preliminary walk through of the whole building on 7/8/09 and since that day until our investigation the employees report the following experiences.
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At closing time all employees were in the main lobby when they heard the back door alarm go off. The whole restaurant was locked and when they checked, no one was at the backdoor.
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Waitress report of being in the wait station and hearing two men having a conversation at the closest table. When looking around the wall to the table, no one was there.
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Employees have witnessed the office door off the main dining room, open slowly and then close as if someone just walked through it.
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During our tour, Scott was standing in the area between the lobby and the dining room. He said he could hear a mans voice talking but couldn't make out what was being said. This is common to the location.

We had to return to the hotel a few weeks (7/15/09) after the investigation to disprove some strange sounds we captured on our evidence. We found that as recent as 7/8/09 employees have continued to experience what would be considered playful activity.
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They day began when stacks of white linens where continuously being flipped onto the floor in the waitress station.
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Later in the day Robin was working in the kitchen when she was notified that her box fan and scale were on the floor in the middle of the hallway. She put them both back onto the counter and a very short time later, she found the box fan on the floor again and the scale was pushed to the edge of the counter. Robin had enough of the pranks so she said out loud "Go play with the linens again".
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That evening one of the waitresses had set all the tables with red linens. She folded them in a very common way in which they stand up. Robin was called to the main dining room to see what the Spirits had done. Every single linen was laid down on the plates.
Plaza Outside Night

Personal Experiences:

* 9:16pm There was spikes on the EMF meters in room 323
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10:02pm Almost the same time, a camera shut off and Thomas heard a cry from the hall to his left.
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10:10pm In room 205 there was a snap and flash. Scott saw the flash and all in his group heard the flash.
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Thomas saw something move in front of a doorway.
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Feelings of a cold breeze were felt
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Feelings of dizziness.
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Flashlights died with new batteries.
The Plaza Hotel

History:Smith Building

In 1886 a 25 year old W.E. Daniel came to Arcadia and became the town’s first merchant. In 1886 he built his first business which was a general store which only measured 18 by 31 feet. The small size of the store was just fine since the town’s population was only 50 people and the whole residential area was only 5 log houses.
After the Thanksgiving fire of 1905,a man named E.T. Smith built a new building in 1912 which housed his hardware store on the bottom floor and as many early hardware merchants they were sometimes undertakers too, which that office was on the second floor.
The building has a barrel vault entrance in back for unloading in rainy season and to protect the bodies when brought in. The elevator lift is still present for bringing the bodies up to the second floor. In 1932 W.E. Daniel moved his packing house into the same building which was ironically the location of his first business.

NOTE: The building is quite unsafe and not recommended for future investigations.

History of Haunting:

* There aren’t a whole lot of stories about this building except for the uncomfortable feelings in the upstairs areas. Prior to our investigation we did a preliminary walk through to get the lay out, look for and mark off dangerous spots and also meter readings. During this time Sprout was walking from the west window to the entrance, while she past the elevator lift she received a very hot burning feeling on her left shoulder blade. Scott was there and did notice there was a significant temperature difference.
Smith Building Inside

Personal Experiences:

* Rebecca, Andy, Scott and Lori all had their batteries die in their flashlights.
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9:30 Tracy’s recorder switched to hold position.
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9:35 Two of our battery operated tap lights we use for safety lighting went out.
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Dennis and David also had batteries drain.
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Some batteries that had drained were registering 101 degrees in temperature.
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Several people witnessed a burning smell and others smelled cleaner.
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Several people witnessed a punching bag hanging from the ceiling rotating. It seemed to respond when questions were asked.
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When asking general questions about the building being a possible mortuary, the EMF meter was spiking.
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Lori was using a black light in a lamp fixture for illumination. She had found the switch turned to the off position.
Evidence:
* With all the great personal experiences we had, we were surprised to not capture any hard evidence on our equipment.
Smith Bottle and Shoes