Ashley's of Rockledge
Haunted Dwelling — Ashley's of Rockledge
1609 S. US1
Rockledge, Florida 32955
Web Link * (321) 636-6430
Ashley's Of Rockledge can be found just 12 miles north of the city of Melbourne, and just south of Cocoa Beach, just off of U.S. Highway 1. It sits between the highway and the train tracks behind it. It's easy to see from the highway, because of its distinctive, Tudor-style architecture.
While the outside of Ashley's presents a regal European stucco and wood Tudor building, a style of architecture that was popular in the 1930s, inside is an informal, neighborhood eatery and sports bar, that offers reasonably priced appetizers and entrees that are appealing to one's appetite. Old stained glass windows, antique pictures and pictures of the residing spiritual entities are a vital part of the decor. Dark wood inside continues the English pub theme.
As you walk in the front door, the bar area is to the left, and the bathrooms are to the right. There are tables and chairs and booths located around the bar area on the first floor. The kitchen is on the right side of the building. Along the left inside wall of the building, there is a staircase, leading up to the second floor, that has tables with an open view of the floor below. Again, pictures are on the walls of the second floor as decor. A second staircase leads down to the kitchen, and is used by the staff. Tom and I enjoyed a meal here, and the service was great. The restaurant enjoys a healthy clientele of local people.
There is an outside deck and bar, as well as an inside bar, with big TVs to watch sports events. A big attraction is NFL football.
The land upon which Ashley's was built, is said to be the site of an old railroad depot, that burned to the ground. According to Ashley's of Rockledge's history page, this handsome Tudor-style building was constructed probably sometime after the 1932 repeal of Prohibition. Jack's Tavern was a classy joint, where men wore tails and a top hat, and women wore their nicest dress. Built in a prime location, just off a main highway, and near the railroad, this tavern/pub/eatery survived throughout the years, with many owners along the way, and a change in names to go with the change of ownership. After starting off as Jack's Tavern, it was known as: Cooney's Tavern, The Mad Duchess, The Loose Caboose, Sparrow Hawk, and Gentleman Jim's, before it became Ashley's of Rockledge.
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS:
With so many changes in owners, some of the drama that happened here has been lost. There are stories, but not much is known for sure; Just the entities that stay here or visit.
A female entity is a front and center presence — A picture of her floating down the stairs was snapped fairly recently by a paranormal investigator, who hit pay dirt!
Some theories abound of who she is thought to be:
A woman who was murdered on site, during the time of Jack's Tavern?
Many legends swirl around a young 19 year old woman, known as Ethel Allen, who loved to come to this place in the 1930s, when it was called Jack's Tavern. Jack's Tavern was the last place she was seen alive. A psychic who investigated Ashley's, had a vision of Ethel being murdered there. Her killer was never brought to justice. If he was a gangster with money, he perhaps paid off the police to beat this murder rap. (The Biltmore Hotel of Coral Gables)
It is reported that she ran around with a rough crowd of folks, perhaps gangster types, or people who liked to party hardy, with little self-control. Perhaps a boyfriend or ex-boyfriend of hers was a bad boy type, with a temper, and a jealousy issue. In a lot of murders, the victim knows the attacker. It is theorized that she angered her killer. The condition of her body showed signs of this being a crime of passion. The remains of Ethel were found mutilated and burned on the shores of the Indian River. Jack's Tavern was the last place she was seen alive.
A variety of opinions are suggested by a variety of sources as to where this violent murder was done. Some say that Ethel met her violent end in the bathroom; or the second floor; or the storage room; or just outside the front door. The chase may have started on the stairs. Another researcher, Charlie Carlson, believes that Ethel was killed somewhere else entirely.
Entities of people who die at the hands of others, sometimes haunt the place of their death, looking for their killer, sometimes bothering the living that look like their killer, as they don't always live in the present. Sometimes these entities bother the living "to feel empowered and to get revenge." Sometimes the restless entity gives the living an example of what was felt during the entity's unpleasant, and sometimes violent death. Or sometimes these victims won't accept their death and continue to frequent the place that they loved on earth, getting chuckles by teasing the living, or giving personal opinions about changes to the building.
(Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House * Langston Western Wear Store * O'Henry's Roadhouse Building * East Wind House)
The entity of a man, the entity of a boy and/or girl —
Because the Ashley's of Rockledge building is located so close to train tracks, and the main highway, it is theorized that a child (boy and/or girl), and a man all could've died either in front of Ashley's; killed in auto accidents, or killed by a train on the tracks located right behind Ashley's.
One story tells the tale of a man being dragged down the stairs of Ashley's in the 1940s, to the police car by officers, while the man's autistic daughter watched and cried. It is said that she ran out into the road in her distress, and was killed by a car.
Sometimes people who are killed just outside or near a building, choose to be in that building for their after-life.
(Bobby Mackey's Music World * Rio Grande Railroad Depot * Orpheum Theatre * Kolb Ridge Court * General Wayne Inn)
The entity of an older man — is thought to be a long-time employee, who had worked there many years, and lived upstairs.
Sometimes dedicated employees/servants decide to continue working at their job location, not letting being dead stop them!
(Landers Theatre * John Hunt Morgan House * Jekyll Island Club Hotel * Kennebunk Inn * The White Eagle Pub and Hotel)
The living have felt icy hands on their shoulders and back.
Some staff who close the restaurant/sports bar have heard whispering.
Lights have a mind of their own.
TVs turn on and off by themselves.
The entity of an older man —
On his digital movie camera, a paranormal investigator caught an apparition of an older man, with a towel over his arm, standing by the inside bar.
A second investigator got a picture of this entity, standing on the employee's staircase.
It is thought that this apparition is the one who moves the chairs, objects, and straightens the pictures on the walls, still trying to be helpful.
He may also be territorial about the employee's staircase and may be the one who pushes and chokes people.
The entity of the woman, thought to be Ethel — Is described as being playful at times and perhaps tries to show others how she died.
She likes to tease the staff in the ladies room:
One staff member was in the stall, when she noticed the shoes of the woman in the stall next to her. The shoes and stockings resembled the 1930s style foot attire; boot-like shape with buttons and high heels. When the staff member came out, the stall was suddenly empty.
One staff member was trying to come out of the bathroom, but a force was pushing the exit door closed, so the staff member couldn't come out. Finally the door was allowed to open.
Sometimes a faint reflection of this entity can be seen in the bathroom mirror.
It may be this entity that tries to show others how her murder began:
With a terrified scream: This alarming scream is heard in the middle of the night, coming from this building, as reported by the police, that have a station right across the street.
With a choking: Some women/men have felt a slight choking sensation around their necks as they travel down the hall that leads to the bathroom, and on the stairs, going up to the second floor of tables.
The entity of the younger man — Could be a victim of an accident, or perhaps is the violent killer of Ethel.
On the second staircase, used by staff, more scarier incidents have happened. Waitresses have been shoved from behind, almost causing them to fall. They have also been choked from behind. A sense of doom is felt on this staircase.
A sense of doom is also felt in the storage area, and some of the corridors.
A paranormal investigator caught this apparition on his digital camera, who was walking through the front door.
If this spirit is angry because he died in a dumb car accident, he may be the one who throws things around the kitchen, breaks glasses, and is responsible for the poltergeist activity in the building.
The little girl or little boy entity — may also be the one behind the poltergeist activity.
Some people feel like they are being pushed either up or down the stairs, like a child wanting attention, and feeling ignored.
Some people have seen a little girl, out of the corner of their eyes, playing and dancing, using the entire space inside and out as her play area.
One group of paranormal investigators came in contact with a little 4 year old boy, through a sensitive and a Ouija Board.
Pictures on their walls show some of the spirits who stay there. Digital film has caught some apparitions. Plenty of personal experiences also point to restless ones. Except for the 4 year old boy, no direct communication has been successful with the spirits, who seem to prefer to show their feelings through visual, auditory, tactile means.
ashleysofrockledge.com * spookhunters.com
Florida's Ghostly Legends and Haunted Folklore:VOL. 1, By Greg Jenkins, Pineapple Press, 2005.
Haunt Hunter's Guide to Florida, By Joyce Elson Moore, Pineapple Press, 1998.
Haunted Places , the National Directory, by Dennis Hauck, Penguin Books, 2002.