Here’s a story I thought many of you would find interesting. The Drew Mansion in the Springfield neighborhood of Jacksonville was abandoned and became known as the “haunted house” between 1967 and 1973. In March 1970, eleven students from Ribault High School ventured into the decrepit mansion on the evening of Friday the 13th. As described by the United Press International, “two negroes” barged into the home, one wielding a knife and the other with a sawed-off shotgun. They wanted to know if the teenagers had any “reefers”. When they were told no, a hat was passed around demanding the teens put their money in it.
The men picked out two girls from the group and herded the other teens into a bathroom, taking the keys of one of the boys with them. Taking the boy’s car, they drove the girls to another abandoned home where they were joined by three other men. The girls’ sweaters and blouses were pulled over their heads and then sexually assaulted multiple times. The girls were then driven away a short distance and released, and the car was returned to the Drew mansion.
Unbeknownst to most people at the time, there was a human head buried in the backyard of the mansion around this time. The head was discovered by two young kids who ran out to the street and notified two teenagers, who then called the police. The head was buried in a hole 18 inches deep. It belonged to a white male, around 50 years old, and packed in a germicidal bag which prevented decomposition.
It was reported that the head belonged to a body stolen from Duval Medical Center back in November. An informant told investigators that the head was taken by an orderly who worked there and would occasionally take their friends back there to go see it.
On July 12th, 18 year old Michael Tiliakus was arrested just before clocking in for his hospital shift and was charged with “dealing in parts of dead bodies.” Tiliakos had apparently known the man who had given his body to become a teaching cadaver and wanted to keep a part of his friend as the body would be cremated. He apparently slept with the head the first night before burying it behind the Drew mansion out of fear of getting caught.
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While technically it is the first day of summer, it’s felt like summer here in Florida for the past few months now. For some reason, it reminded me of when I visited the Brooksville tree house and how excruciatingly hot it was that particular day.
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The top floor of the old Pahokee High School, words still on the wall which read “ENGLISH DEPARTMENT.” A number of pigeons and owls have made this their home, covering the walls with their droppings and the floor with the bones from their previous meals.
The Mt. Zion Primitive Baptist Church of Mount Dora is currently undergoing repairs and restoration after being abandoned for over a deacde.
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Hallway to the pediatrics ward at Everglades Regional medical Center in Pahokee.
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Big bend Jai-Alai fronton near Quincy. Jai alai was once the fastest growing spectator sport at the time but saw a sharp decline due to a strike in 1988, along with the rise of football, basketball, and hockey around the same time.
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My new book, Southern Comfort, releases today! It features 16 abandoned homes and residences throughout Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida. Unlike my previous book where most of the places were already lost, these included are still standing and my hope is that one or more of them can be saved.
Copies purchased from my site will be signed by myself unless otherwise told not to.
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St. Mary’s Liquor Store and souvenir shop, located on the Florida/ Georgia border.
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This was once home to a wealthy business who controlled most of the lumber industry in the area. It’s been undergoing restoration until recently when the group restoring it ran into some financial hurdles. You can learn more about it in my new book which can be purchased here: https://ift.tt/2pwrNvB https://ift.tt/2G3Kcdv
Located in New Orleans, most people don’t know the story behind these abandoned homes, but 75 years ago, they were once part of a concentration camp used to house Jews and other innocents just because they were German.
This is just one of many places included in my new book which tells the history behind homes and residences throughout the South.
It releases next month and you can start preordering it here on my website. Once released, it will also be available via Amazon, but those purchased from my site will be signed by me: http://ift.tt/2pwrNvB http://ift.tt/2G5zmiW