The story (see above link to Ghost Stories of St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Pinellas County by Deborah Fretham, published in 2007).
Summary of the story: In 1970, a cat arrived at the Gulfport Casino. He was named and cared for by the workers of the casino until his death in 1985. A monument was built to him to house his ashes. Some people claim that the wind movements on the beach are the ghost of this cat.
Snapshot of Gulfport:
History of Gulfport:
History of Gulfport Casino:
*We have run an episode of Paranormal Pets Radio about the investigation (Click here to hear it) and have extended the request via the show to any area dealing with a similar story. If more areas across the US/world report similar stories then that may show it to be more of an urban legend.
*I have sent a request to the Gulfport Gabber to run about the Casino Cat to see if we can get either eye witness accounts or more on the legend itself. I have not heard back from the paper and am not certain if they will do this or not. If they do, then we may fill in some gaps on the legend, or if we find an eye-witness we might prove it to be a true ghost tale.
*We need to attempt to return at night when the cat is said to show up. We have yet to get any reports of a time when the cat allegedly appears, however, so it may be a guess for us.
*Due to the aspect that folks are familiar with the story but no one, to date, has come in contact with the entity, I’d say that this fits in with an urban legend.
–Two others had heard of the story and repeated it nearly the same as the inn’s owner. They had heard of the cat, and that his ghost showed up at night.
–A very historic inn’s owner reported hearing the story, and added that her inn’s ghost also attracted cats. I believe that there might have been a report of a ghost cat at this location as well.
–One woman had heard of a bar with an adopted feline mascot, but that cat was still quite alive. She had not heard of the ghost cat.
*Interviews with locals and business owners showed that most (3 of 4) knew of the legend, but no one had directly come across the cat. They did add that the cat’s spirit is supposed to show up at night (something not known before) and that there were other cat stories in the area.
*Beth sensed an older couple petting a cat, but not the one that matches the description of Morris. She also sensed someone who died of drowning in the location in the 1990’s; male, African American, young. Research indicates that someone did drown in 1995 (link to come). However, nothing showed “Morris” to be there.
*Odysseus showed no reaction to any presence.
*The only equipment readings showed that the EMF Pump was the only thing producing any energy at the spot.
We were able to find the monument, which is somewhat hidden against the building. While the monument clarifies a few things (Morris the CASINO cat), verifies that the cat was there from 1970 – 1985, and that its ashes are there, our investigation did not find any proof of a cat there.