The Herlong Mansion of Micanopy, Florida was not always a mansion. The house had humble beginnings, built as a simple pine farmhouse around 1845. The farmhouse was built by one of the original settlers in the area.
A few years later, Zeddy Herlong and his wife Natalie moved to the area from Alabama. Zeddy became involved in a local lumber business and earned quite a fortune. The couple had moved into the farmhouse and started to remodel it quite extensively.
By 1910, the house took on a Greek style appearance, with a brick exterior and four Corinthian columns that graced the front. Known as the Herlong Mansion, Zeddy and Natalie started a family and raised six children within the house. However, Natalie died in the house.
Zeddy decided to remarry and moved to South Carolina with his new bride. The Herlong Mansion sat vacant for several decades, until a couple purchased it in the 1980s. They converted the property into a charming bed and breakfast, which it remains to this day.
A few Micanopy residents speculate whether or not the Herlong is haunted, but Stanley had not heard of these rumors when he decided to check his mother into the bed and breakfast as a birthday present. “I was shocked when she called me in the middle of the night, begging me to come to the mansion because she was scared of the ghosts,” Stanley said with a bemused expression. “I went, although I thoroughly believed she was just imagining things.
“After I arrived I asked her to tell me what had happened, but she seemed too hysterical to talk. I gave her a valium and helped her crawl into bed. I told her that I would stick around for a bit, just to humor her,” he said.
Conversations with the Dead
“Thus, I sat in a chair and waited. I started to drift off to sleep when suddenly all the lights in the room went out of their own accord. Within moments, I heard the rustling of someone moving about the room,” he gestured.
“I was afraid I would hurt my mother if we ran into each other in the dark, so I remained in the chair and politely told her she should go back to bed. And that’s when I heard her snore a little from the general direction of the bed. It hadn’t been her that was moving around,” Stanley murmured.
“’Who’s there?’ I demanded, trying to sound brave. ‘Natalie,’ a voice whispered from across the room. “I about peed myself when I heard that response,” he admitted, looking pale at the thought.
“’What…what do you want?’ I managed to whisper. The room went eerily quiet for a moment, then all of the sudden my chair began to tremble ever-so-slightly. I was terrified, but I also couldn’t leave my poor mother, who was sound asleep in bed.
“I refrained from yelling. Instead, I got up and woke up my mother. I told her we would be cutting her trip short and she seemed relieved to hear it.
“I think she was hoping we could have left even sooner, but she didn’t want to me rude since it was a gift and all. My mom, ever the sweetheart! But some things are more important than manners, like when you have a paranormal encounter.
“Micanopy is a beautiful place, but I highly doubt I or my mother will be back anytime soon,” Stanley said with a grave nod.