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Stranahan House Fort Lauderdale Florida
Supernatural Experience At The Stranahan House
By Sharon Stajda
My husband "Larry", spend a lovely winter in Fort Lauderdale Florida. One lazy morning my husband picked up a local tourist magazine, and came across an article on the " Haunted Historical Stranahan House". Larry, knowing my passion for the paranormal, suggested we purchase tickets to the homes "Ghost Tour". Which consists of a tour of the Stranahan House, and a water tour of "Haunted New River".
We arrived early for the tour and had time to sit near the home and take in the beautiful exterior of the Stranahan House, along with the tropical setting that surrounded the home. It was dusk, and all looked surreal. More than a bit spooky.
The tour guide gave a good presentation of the home and its history. She also spoke on the subject of the history of the home with the paranormal. The group was offered several compelling photographs, that other visitors to the property had taken. The photos showed orbs that were captured throughout the home. The tour guide had a photo that she took outside of the home, near the porch. One could see a very large mist like figure in the photo, and it certainly looked to be some form of a paranormal apparition.
The group as a whole was taken from room to room, we were allowed to take photos, as well as use digital recorders, which I did both. The home plainly felt "spooky". It felt as though at any moment someone or something may pop out of any corner in any given room. I experienced many cold spots throughout the tour. I could sense the presence of spirits in several rooms, actually, I just knew when to have my snap a photo of any given room. (Larry was taking the photos, as I used the digital recorder.) I might add, he was being a great sport about the whole experience.
I left the Stranahan house knowing I had captured some good technical proof of the supernatural. I not only captured tons of compelling photographs, I also hit on several shocking EVPs.
I would like to add, during my month's stay in Fort Lauderdale, I took 325 photographs. I found no evidence of any form of orbs or any anomalies in any other photos, but the photos from the Stranahan House.
The boat tour was wonderful, the gentleman that conducted the boat tour gave a wonderful history lesson on Old Fort Lauderdale. He looked the part, in his old navy uniform. (I actually found an orb on one of the photos I snapped of him).
Is the Stranahan home haunted, well ask me, and I would say yes! I will let you be your own judge. Check out the photographs I took on the tour, keep an open mind, and tell me what you think at my Guestbook.
Have You Visited The Stranahan House?
If so, did you have any personal paranormal experiences? Did you capture any interesting photos or EVPs? Would you consider sharing your evidence, and your experience with my visitors? If so, please leave me a request at my Guestbook.
A very spooky house
As my photos will show, the home has not changed much over the many years since it was built. The home was built from near by Dade County pine, and has upper and lower sweeping wrap around verandas. It was architecturally very interesting with its bay windows and wide porches. One could see the home was well cared for over the years, and well restored to its 1915 state. I would surmise that the home was quite impressive "in its day". It actually had all the comforts of a home of today, indoor plumbing, running water, and even electricity.
The Stranahan House has a long, and interesting history. During the restoration of this structure, all the woodwork, paneling and floors were refinished, and the outside of the house was painted the colors that Frank and Ivy had originally painted the house; white with green trim. A hurricane-proof roof was put on the structure in 1996. The interior rooms are furnished with Victorian era furniture, and other interesting pieces, such as Ivy's china, and other artifacts of the family, and turn of the century furnishings. The kitchen had an old fashioned ice box, a pump in the kitchen, and other items found in an early 20th century kitchen.
The house has a fascinating history, as its main occupants, Frank and Ivy Stranahan were movers and shakers themselves, flowing with the punches of life, facing problems and making decisions, evolving as people, which explains the many renovations made to this home throughout the years.
The home itself has been the site most closely associated with the founding of the City of Fort Lauderdale. and its economic, and social development.
Mr. Frank Stranahan selected the site for the building (now known as the Stranahan House) on the edge of the New River because it was where he intended to dock his barge ferry. His ferry stood as a means of crossing the New River , which was part of the new road from Lantana, to what is now North Miami.
The building was originally built in 1901, and used as a trading post for settlers to Fort Lauderdale, and the Seminole Indians. In no time the small settlement was in need of a post office. Frank Stranahan, soon became Fort Lauderdale's first postmaster, and the building was used as not only the post office, but also utilized as a community center, and town hall . Frank had become a banker and businessman, and it was not long after that he met and married another pioneer, Miss. Ivy Julia Cromartie. Ivy was the area's first school teacher, and it was not long before her influence was felt in the small community. The Post office, soon became a place of merriment ! Ivy organized dances, and community festivals . All held on the upper floor of the house. In 1906, It's said that Ivy became determined to live in the building. The post Office now became the residence for the Stranahan's, and remained so until Ivy Stranahan's death in 1971.
Sad to say, Frank committed suicide during the "Great depression". Weighing himself down, and jumping into the New River, right at the dock in front of his home. After Frank's death, Ivy decided to leased the first floor of the house to outsiders, which used the space for a restaurant. She continued to occupied the upstairs rooms of the home, until her death in 1971. In 1973, the Stranahan House was named to the National Register of Historic Places. In 1979, the restaurant closed, and the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society took possession oh the home. After the home was meticulously restored in 1981, Stranahan House Inc. was incorporated to preserve, and manage the property.
The structure, built of Dade County pine, is an excellent example of Florida vernacular architecture in a tropical wilderness setting. Expanded, and renovated numerous times, it presently represents its 1913 -1915 configuration. At that time the Stranahan's home had electric wiring, indoor plumbing and running water, interior stairways, bay windows and wide porches. All woodwork, flooring and paneling have been refinished and the exterior repainted in the original white with green trim. A new roof, a prototype for other historical properties, was completed in 1996 and meets current hurricane specifications.
Pink Cromartie Moss, Ivy Stranahan's sister, died due to the complication of a stillborn birth in the front Parlor of Stranahan house. AS the story goes, she was visiting her sister Ivy while having a difficult pregnancy. one day a man came to the door and asked her if she could speak with Mr. Moss's wife. Pink told the man, "I am Mrs. Moss". The gentleman claimed,"no you are not ". "I am well acquainted with Mrs. Moss!"
It was apparent that Mr. Moss was a bigamist. That evening Pink went into labor, and she and her unborn child died in the front parlor, where Ivy had provided her a bed.
Frank Stranahan, Took his own life, by weighing himself down with a heavy sewer cap, and hurling himself into the New River at the front dock of the home.
Albert Cromartie, Ivy's brother died of what was thought to be Tuberculosis, he passed away in an upstairs Guest Bedroom.
There is speculation that a young Indian child died in the doorway of the home. Who's death was reported to be heart-related?
Augustos Cromartie, Ivy's father passed away in the home of what is reported as old age. Augustus was in his late 70's when he died. His death took place in the back bedroom on the second level of the home.
Ivy Cromartie Stranahan was the last to perish in the Stranahan house. She died at the age of 90 in her master bedroom.
Frank Stranahan was born on August 21, 1864, in the town of Vienna, Ohio. As an adult he for health reasons "Frank" relocated to Melbourne Florida in 1890, settling in Melbourne. In 1893, Stranahan decided to move on to Fort Lauderdale to manage the overland mail route from Lantana to Coconut Grove. It was Frank that established the first Fort Lauderdale post office, that soon turned into a trading post and ferry service for crossing the New River. By the year 1895, Stranahan's Trading Post was a South Florida landmark.
Stranahan also established the first banking institution in Fort Lauderdale and financed the construction of the first road from the New River to Miami. He became one of the largest landowners in the Lauderdale area. he was known to give away large portions of his land for public welfare. Which included sites for the Memorial Hospital, and Stranahan Park to be built. Well known for his extraordinary early efforts in the area, Stranahan was quick to become known as the founder of Fort Lauderdale. He died by his own hand on June 23, 1929. It was believed that Frank had become distraught over his losses in the depression. Which led to his suicide. He weighed himself down and jumped off the dock in front of his home, the Stranahan House.
Ivy Cromartie - Frank Takes A Wife
Ivy Cromartie was born on February 24, 1881, in White Springs Florida, near the "Suwannee River". She was named Ivy, her last name is that of Cromartie. Ivy traveled with her family to Broward County in a covered wagon in 1899. Ivy went on to graduate from "Lemon City High School", and soon after passed the teacher's examination. She was known to be a progressive teacher, and well liked by her peers. In 1900, when she married Mr. Stranahan, like most women of her era, she was forced to give up her teaching career, to become a housekeeper, and care for her husband. However, it was well known that Ivy went on teaching the Seminole Indian children, long after her marriage
Ivy Stranahan was a pioneer when it came to women of her era. She not only taught the Seminole Indian children, she helped them adjust to the newly-created reservation where they were relocated in Dania. History shows that Ivy worked to create income-producing jobs for Seminole women, and introduced them to the sewing machine. In addition, she was active in pushing for women's right to vote. She served as president of the state suffrage league in 1917 and lobbied in Tallahassee Florida.
Ivy Stranahan lived out her life at the shores of the New River, in the upper floors of the Stranahan House. In 1971 Ivy passed away peacefully in the Stranahan home.
Ivy Cromartie Stranahan is shown here posing with her first class of children, in 1899.
Frank and Ivy Stranahan ... Photo taken while on tour at the Stranahan home
Check out the photograph taken in one of the bedrooms at the Stranahan House
Do you see then apparition of a woman's face and the large orb in the mirror?
Look into the mirror, top left, it appears there is an apparition of a woman's face starting to take shape. Also, note the orb on the bed's footboard reflection.
When taking this photo I was alone in the room and made sure I could not see my reflection in the mirror.
Notice the apparition in the top left corner of mirror. This mirror was in one of the upstairs bedrooms
Here Is A Closer Look At The Apparition In The Mirror.
Photo taken with my digital camera
I cropped the area of the photo that shows the odd apparition. It shows the face a bit clearer. It appears his spirit has a bred and mustache. Mr. Stranahan wore a beard and Mustache
Did you spot the womans face in the photo...
So, were you able to see the face in the photo above? Notice the bred and mustache
Large orb at ceiling above lamp
Check Out Our Cruise Guide 'Caption Sea Dog John's" beard. Bottom left - Do you see what I see?
I speculate that a spirit may enjoy for the River Tour" - And Caption Sea Dog John's narration of Old Fort Lauderdale.
Photo Gallery - The Stranahan House Had Orbs Galore..Click thumbnail to view full-size
On The Subject of EVPs...
Do you believe the dead can speak, using the technology of a digital recorder?
A visitor to this lens has provided her paranormal experience at the Stranahan House.
The Lady In The Window
This experience was sent via email. I hope if you have had an experience at the Stranahan House, you will send it along. I am sure my readers would enjoy your paranormal event.
My name is Alice, I was browsing the internet one evening, and came across this Web Site. I was so pleased to see that "Shar" the proprietor of this site was looking for paranormal experiences that occurred at the Stranahan House. I have never set foot in the house, and I never will!
My husband "Frank", and I have a boat, and many mornings we take the boat out on the New River. Most mornings we actually pass the Stranahan House. The home itself sits close to the water's edge, and when one passes by the home by boat, it is very easy to see the home up close, so to say.
On three occasions my Frank, and I have seen an apparition of an older woman in the upstairs window to the left of the home. You can see her pull back the curtains, and look out. She looks as if she is looking right at us. When she notices that we have seen her, she vanishes. It is not staff, this woman disappears right before your eyes.
I have not told many people about seeing the lady, my husband thinks it's best to keep it to ourselves. But, no one could ever convince me or my husband that we did not see this woman.
Visit The Stranahan House Web Site
- The Stranahan House
Planning a visit to the Fort Lauderdale area ? Don't miss a visit to the Stranahan House. Are you a history buff or perhaps a seeker of the paranormal. In either case, you won't be disappointed with the Stranahan House Tour. The tour includes not