September 11, 2019

Contributed
The Coral Castle Museum in Homestead is offering its first Historic Ghost Tour on Friday, Sept. 13, guided with paranormal investigator David Pierce Rodriguez.

Contributed The Coral Castle Museum in Homestead is offering its first Historic Ghost Tour on Friday, Sept. 13, guided with paranormal investigator David Pierce Rodriguez.

HOMESTEAD — Two bell peals at Coral Castle Museum summon the ghost of a Latvian-American immigrant who died more than 60 years ago, says paranormal investigator David Pierce Rodriguez.

For the first time the public is invited for a chance to witness this phenomenon during the Historic Ghost Tour. It’s set for Friday the 13th, of course.

As founder of the nonprofit Paranormal Research and Investigative Studies, Pierce Rodriguez will be armed with high-end ghost-hunting equipment that will allow Coral Castle guests to interact with the original megalithic castle builder, Edward Leedskalnin.

“Two chimes bring Ed back,” he said.

Limestone is very porous and easily conducts a lot of energy, which are fortunate circumstances, says Pierce Rodriguez.

“When I walk into Edward’s bedroom, what I can feel is a lot of pain. I think he’s trapped in his room,” Pierce Rodriguez said. “I was hoping he would respond, and I was lucky enough he did. … I think that Edward Leedskalnin never let go of his love. I think he’ll be there forever.”

Reportedly at age 26, Leedskalnin was jilted at the altar by his younger love interest, Agnes Skuvst, before leaving Latvia for America.

After emigrating to the United States Leedskalnin eventually built the Coral Castle to be his home. Before his death in 1951, he offered tours for 10 cents to those who rang the bell affixed to an outer wall.

Pierce Rodriguez says PRISM South Florida’s high-end ghost-capturing technology will allow tour guests to communicate with Leedskalnin, the 5-foot man who constructed the 1,100 tons limestone structure single-handedly.

That feat remains shrouded in mystery, though some speculate it must’ve taken supernatural abilities to build the castle as homage to his unrequited love.

Pierce Rodriguez, as part of the PRISM South Florida team, has been investigating the Coral Castle since 2015. He says Leedskalnin is a good spirit.

Earlier this year Pierce Rodriguez conducted an electronic voice phenomena session followed by a ghost box session. During both investigations, the lights dimmed when Leedskalnin was asked for a sign if he was in the room and distinct voices were heard over the hum of traffic on U.S.1, Pierce Rodriguez says.

“During the Ghost Tour, I’ll connect the SLS system, which throws a thousand lasers out so it can find human beings hiding out. We’ve got some crazy things there before,” he said.

The Coral Castle Ghost Tour is set for Friday the 13th, a day minted in folklore to be unlucky, but Laura Maye, director of management, marketing and sales at the Coral Castle, promises a family-friendly event. Pierce Rodriguez added that kids are better at ghost hunting than adults.

Maye and other Coral Castle staff have worked with Pierce Rodriguez during his previous investigations.

“I’ve been here when there’s been a lot of response from electromagnetic field and static electricity, but I was enamored with the SLS equipment that showed a little child crouching, as if trying to hide away from the camera,” Maye said. “Plus, this is a chance to experience the castle at night.”

When Pierce Rodriguez was a teen, he says he saw things he couldn’t explain and began documenting them with photography.

“I’m not trying to prove things to people anymore,” he said. “I’m just trying to take them to the places where they can experience this on their own.”

PRISM South Florida continually investigates other purported haunted structures and aims to help those in need of help with a paranormal situation occurring in their homes.

The tours will run from 8 p.m. until midnight, Friday, Sept. 13. Wine, refreshments and finger foods will be available, and staff will offer non-ghost tours of the Coral Castle.

All ages are welcome. Tickets are $30 per person and may be purchased in advance by calling 305-248-6345.

The Coral Castle is located at 28655 South Dixie Highway in Homestead. For more information, visit coralcastle.com or follow it on Facebook.

For more information about David Pierce Rodriguez, visit doyouseedeadpeople.org.

tjava@keysnews.com