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Staying at the Haunted Hotel

Two nights ago I saw this in the Sun-Sentinal:

The pregame clubhouse discussion among some players Thursday centered on the hotel where the Marlins will be staying for this weekend's series against the Devil Rays in St. Petersburg. The Renaissance Vinoy supposedly is haunted.

Normally I would just quote the blurb and say something completely void of wit.  But not this time.

Okay, the witty part will be missing, but I do know someone who knows about this stuff.

My cousin is an expert in the area and has several books published on the topic.  When he visits a place that is supposedly haunted he goes in with the Missouri attitude of "show me".  

In fact he has a blog about the subject:  Ghost-Blog.com.

Anyway, I emailed about the hotel hoping that he had ventured there in his travels - unfortunately he hadn't but he did know a bit about it and sent on the links.

One of the historians in the Renaissance Vinoy Resort was giving a tour of the hotel to a group of children. They entered the elevator to go to the mezzanine when one of the kids asked if the hotel was haunted. The historian said there was indeed a story of a "white lady" who roamed around the fifth floor.

At that moment the elevator button for the fifth floor lit up, according to the tale. The elevator rose past the mezzanine and went straight to the floor that was supposed to be haunted. The door opened, and no one was there.

It doesn't just happen to children and employees of the hotel.

Last season Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Scott Williamson claimed to have seen the ghost of a man at the old Renaissance Vinoy Hotel in St. Petersburg, Florida, ''dressed in a 1920s, 30's style, staring at me.''

There is even more to Williamson story.

It's always about more than baseball when it comes to the Red Sox, and this week the Sox will be staying in a hotel some believe is haunted. It's an old St. Petersburg joint where Babe Ruth stayed back in the days when the Yankees trained in Tampa. Sox righthander Scott Williamson insists a ghost woke him up from a sound sleep when he was at the St. Pete hotel on a trip with the Reds last year.

"I was laying on my stomach and all of a sudden, I couldn't breathe," the reliever recalled yesterday. "It was like something was pushing down on me. I turned around, when there was this guy dressed in a 1920s, '30s-style staring at me. I never believed in ghosts before, but, like I said, I couldn't breathe. I told somebody about it the next day in the clubhouse and then it was all over the news.

"It's just crazy stuff, one of those freaky things. I'm not one for ghosts, but I know I couldn't breathe."

Kevin Millar added: "When we were in Baltimore at the start of this season, I heard another story about one of their infielders, Brian Roberts, when they stayed there. Supposedly he had some dry cleaning delivered to his room and when he came back to the room the clothes were all laid out on the bed."

The hotel has two sections, one old, one new. Williamson's episode took place in the old section and he won't stay there anymore.

Finally, he sent me this: Haunted Baseball.

Look, I don't know but if I wanted to avoid any possible encounters I wouldn't hangout on the fifth floor of the old section.

Given how we are playing this year our team's travel agent has an "unique" sense of humor booking this place.