For somewhere between 40 and 50 years, the Ambassador housed some of Jacksonville’s wealthiest and most elite. But then things changed, and the upscale clientele disappeared. The Ambassador became temporary, low-income housing, and eventually a recurring pattern of code violations, criminal behavior, and drug raids forced the city to condemn the building in 1998. What was it that drove away the rich clientele from the Ambassador? Was it simply a change in the socioeconomic climate around the building, or something more sinister? POI wanted to know.
The paranormal history of the Ambassador is murky at best. Perhaps it was an evil presence that lead to the exodus of the wealthy hotel clientele from the impressive six-story brick and limestone Georgian Revival-style building. Word of mouth from long-time Jacksonville residents (in addition to former tenants whose interests were piqued by our presence at the site) spoke of strange and occasionally harmful occurrences in the hotel. Reports of malevolent forces in the building came as recently as 1997, when one of the building’s final tenants and her children were marauded with boiling water and falling windows. Additionally, a woman was murdered in her room at the hotel in the early ‘90s. On Saturday, December 18, Feanix, Cynder, Sean, and I set out to see if there was anything to the reports of paranormal activity at the Ambassador. With permission from the building’s owner and a helpful guide named JJ, we ventured inside the abandoned structure with EVP, EMF, K2, infrared thermometer, and video equipment in tow. No sooner had we gotten to the building’s entrance than we were met with the freezing temperatures trapped inside. Using the infrared thermometer, Feanix determined that it was at least 10 degrees cooler inside than it was outside. Our guide, JJ, informed us that this temperature was constant, even during the blistering Florida summer heat. Once inside, we decided to do a sweep of the building from top to bottom. On the bottom floor, four of the five of us felt the sensation of breathing coming from behind us while on opposite ends of the building from one another. As we moved up from floor to floor, we noticed that the temperature remained much colder inside than out, despite an increase in elevation and outside light. The building itself was not in terrible shape, and the remaining telltale signs of the former hotel were quite a sight to see. Upon further inspection of the building, we found the usual signs of vagrancy and vandalism one would expect in an abandoned structure such as this one. Despite this, we did stumble upon some markings that caught our eye. On the second floor, we found a room that had been marked “SAFE ROOM” above the door. A room on the third floor was littered with handwriting all over the walls, all of which predated the closing of the hotel. The writings varied from religious doctrine to birth notices to a handwritten calendar. Additionally, many of the hotel’s rooms were marked with a large blue “L” on the walls and ceilings, the meaning of which we were unable to discover. Following our initial inspection, we came back with our equipment and split into teams, with Sean and I taking the third floor and Feanix, Cynder, and JJ going to the second. Sean and I had not progressed very far when the fully charged camera Sean was using powered off. After charging it again, we gave it another go, only for the same thing to occur. When looking back later, we discovered that the camera had gone out both times in the room with the strange writing on the walls. In the meantime, Feanix, Cynder, and JJ discovered that boards JJ placed on the windows on our first run-through had been removed. We later splintered off individually, with each of us taking a separate floor to investigate and have EVP sessions. Three of us each reported hearing footsteps coming from behind us, as well as wild fluctuations in temperature. After regrouping, we held a group EVP session in the spot where breathing had been experienced earlier. Except for an extreme feeling of cold coming from behind us, there was nothing of note in the session before it was interrupted by intruders to the building. JJ ran off the intruders, and we made another trip to the boiler room before heading back up to the second and third floors for one last run. On our return to the third floor, we discovered that doors and cabinets we had closed were now open again. Feeling that perhaps the building’s “inhabitant” (should there be one) did not like closed doors, Feanix closed the door to Room 215 before we started another EVP session. Almost as soon as we began, noises like scratching came from behind the door. When the door was re-opened, the noises ceased, as did our journey through the Ambassador. In summary, our trip to the Ambassador proved inconclusive. There were some strange occurrences and eerie feelings, but nothing concrete that would lead us to believe there is anything paranormal occurring inside. EVP and video reviews are still pending though, so stay tuned…
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Most Active LocationsPOI has had the pleasure of investigating many said-to-be haunted and historical locations. Several of these hot spots provided us with phenomenal evidence, while others were easily debunked. Here are a few of the most active location we've experienced to date: Sloss Furnace | Birmingham, Alabama
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