Historians tell tale of Calusa Indian ghost that roams Pine Island
PINE ISLAND, Fla. – There’s nothing like a good ghost story or urban legend, made even better when rooted in real history. A legend on Pine island, that involves the native Calusa tribe has people talking.
Pine Island Florida is known for being remote, and somewhat hard to get to. In the quiet fishing town, mounds dot the otherwise flat Pineland landscape. Those mounds indicate who used to live there.
“Right here at Pineland, this was the 2nd largest town for the Calusa people when Europeans arrived in the 1500s,” said Cindy Bear, from the Randall Research Center.
Inside the Randall Research Center are historians and archaeologists from the Florida Museum of Natural History. They’ve dedicated themselves to preserving what little remains of the native Calusa Indians.
“So many of these sites were lost in Florida’s rapid growth and change, and we are very fortunate that here in Pineland this place is preserved so people can come and experience that and learn this legacy,” Bear said.
Also preserved are legends and tales of ghosts. Stories from people who claim to have seen a Ghost-like-vision, someone who appears to be a native Calusa Indian, walking at night.
“Its specific locations. I’ve been to several burial sites that, well, they have a feel about them,” said John Paeno, from Calusa Ghost Tours. “So they are speaking to us now, it’s just we don’t know their language.”
In pitch darkness, swarmed by insects atop one of the mounds, John Paeno told the Calusa tale of the three souls.
“And they believed you had three souls. Two of the souls would die off, the soul in your reflection, the soul in your shadow would die off, but your primary soul was in the pupil of your eye,” Paeno said. “And that when you died, the other two disappeared, but the one in your eye would go into a smaller animal, and a smaller animal, and eventually it would disappear.”
Tall tales from a time long gone, yet keeping alive the memory of those who called that piece of paradise home…first.
“I would take fact over a ghost story any day, because if you really get into the history of this place, its a point of connection,” said Michelle Lefevre, an Archaeologist from the Randall Research Center
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