I stayed at the Belleview Biltmore back in July of 2005. I have had experience with the spirit world my whole life, however, my stay at the Biltmore drove me into a persistent fascination with the paranormal. Today, I work as a researcher and investigator for my local Paranormal Investigation Team. The Biltmore comes to my mind almost daily.

In late October 2004, my mother and I were staying in Clearwater for the week, visiting her mother, a self-proclaimed sensitive who lived there at the time. Sharing in her abilities and interests, we decided to go on one of the Biltmore’s “Haunted Tours.” The tour was excellent, and we enjoyed chatting with the staff, who was more than happy to divulge their own ghostly experiences. Naturally, when the tour was over we decided to do some poking around on our own. We went down to the basement, and once we were thoroughly creeped out, came back up the steps and out into the main stairwell room. The stairs above us began shaking with the thundering footsteps of at least three children, giggling and laughing extremely loud. Just when we thought they would come speeding around the corner and straight into us, the stairwell became dead silent. We walked up to the next level to look for the children. We were alone. If there had been people in that echoing stairwell making that much noise, they could not have gone up or down or out the door into the hallway without us knowing. This experience drove us to stay there the next year.

July 2005, we checked into the Belleview Biltmore, plus a close friend of mine and mother’s fiancee at the time. While mom was entranced by the resort qualities of the hotel, staying by the pool or getting a massage, then returning to bed early at night, I was focused on what I sensed around me. I was intent on gaining access to the off-limits fourth floor. My friend and I poked around until a bellhop overheard us discussing it and a with a smirk, showed us the way. “Have fun,” he warned. I instantly felt the change of atmosphere on that floor. Though there was no lighting on the floor, the moonlight and our brand new flashlights provided adequate light for our purposes. We were about midway down the hallway when I suddenly felt freezing cold. My friend’s brand new flashlight with brand new batteries died. Every hair on my body was standing on end, and we peered into the shadows down the hall.

A dark black shape, like a thick humanoid shadow, darted across the hall from one room and into another. I was consumed with fear. My friend tried to convince me to leave, then bolted down the hall and out the door. I continued to call out, “Hello?” as I poked around in each room. I walked back into the hallway, and I saw it again, this time closer. It went from the side of the hall it had entered, back into another room. I felt as though something menacing was watching me. Finally resolved to get out of there, I stopped near the door, compelled to turn around. Walking slowly down the hall towards me was a solid white figure. The figure was featureless, but it seemed to emit a sort of light. It seemed large, six feet tall or more, and I could make out its individual legs walking one foot in front of the other.

With that, I was out of there.
Despite it being close to 3 AM at this point, we decided to walk around outside the hotel to calm our nerves before returning to our room. We took a seat near the pool and discussed what we had seen. I glanced up towards the windows of the fourth floor, and there in window was a dark black shadow of someone staring down at us. We stared at it, entirely creeped out, and continued talking, thinking it would go away soon. It didn’t. As we sat there, the figure stared down at us for at least 15 minutes before finally disappearing. I believe it was the shadowed entity telling us it knew we had been in its domain, and keeping an eye out to make sure we stayed away.

Although I have had many experiences throughout my life, this is by far the strongest and most intense. In my work I hope to some day relive an experience as bold as this and capture evidence of it.

–Lainie H.