NEWS & EVENTS
Published on November 09
LAKE SQUARE MALL OFFERING HALLOWEEN GHOST HUNTING FUN
LEESBURG — Have a hauntingly good time this Halloween at Lake Square Mall, or perhaps more appropriately Lake Scare Mall, with the Boo Crew ghost hunters. The mall, which opened in 1979 is a ripe hunting ground for spirits with reported hauntings by former mall visitors.
Kids ages 12 and older are invited to take a tour with the hunters from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday and Wednesday, Oct. 31 to explore some of the legends said to be haunting the mall. If attendance at the ghost tours warrants, more dates will be added.
Paranormal expert Jeff Bankson heads the Boo Crew. But before you start singing “Ghostbusters,” these guys are different. They don’t wear proton pack weapons, try to catch Slimer or the create the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. What the Boo Crew does is document paranormal activity — you’re on your own if you want to catch a spirit.
Groups of about 20 will start the ghost tour with a talk and the opportunity to try out ghost hunting equipment, including a spirit box, thermal meter and an electromagnetic field meter. Afterwards they will be taken to the back halls of the mall, where the ghosts tend to haunt, to see if they can read any paranormal activity. After the hunt, the session ends with a prayer that signals respect to the specters — you don’t want a mad ghost after all.
Bankson says of the experience, “As I always say, be careful what you look for — you just might find it.”
One of the spirits on the tour includes Cowboy, a daily visitor to the food court who always sat in the same seat. They say Cowboy is responsible for some disturbances in the area of his chair, such as drywall that fell over without reason, footsteps and glowing orbs. When he passed away, the maintenance crew took his chair to the back area and hung it from the ceiling. Underneath the chair is the inscription, “Going to miss you Cowboy. RIP.”
The spirit of Jeanette is also said to inhabit the mall. For more than 20 years, Jeanette pushed around a shopping cart decorated for the season. After she passed away, her cart was retired to the maintenance area and decorated with roses in her memory. They say you can still hear her footsteps and cart wheels in the hallways.
Annabelle, probably the most famous spirit that is said to walk the halls, is responsible for many reports of things mysteriously falling off shelves and displays being flipped.
“Rumor is, she used to work at one of the large retailers,” said Anna Marie Chwastiak, director of marketing at Lake Square Mall, adding that Annabelle is a funny, mischievous ghost.
For younger kids, there will be trick-or-treating at the mall from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 31 with candied apples and other Halloween treats at Center Court.