The Gulf Coast's Entertainment Destination since 1967
Paranormal Pensacola: Haunted by Explorers Since 1559
Visit Pensacola Blog 10/2013
Seville's Life of the Party
Lights at Phineas Phoggs
The Pensacola Bay Area is known for its sugar-white sand beaches, cool sea breezes and southern charm. But the City of Five Flags is not all sweetness and light. Behind the scenes of this picturesque location lives an entire population of Pensacolians most people will never meet. But maybe you could be one of the few they do reveal themselves to... If you are a ghost hunter, Pensacola is the equivalent of shooting fish in a barrel. Let us begin our tour of the paranormal at Seville Quarter, shall we?
Located in the heart of downtown Pensacola, Seville Quarter has been sitting on Government Street since 1871, when the main building was the Pensacola Cigar and Tobacco Co. However, the business of this building hasn't always been the most honorable... Being just a few blocks from the docks, Seville Quarter was a central part of Pensacola's red light district. If you look through the building's documents, it seems that the second floor of Seville may have been used for this purpose "off the books" even into the 1930s. On two separate occasions, strange women have been seen by Seville employees on the second floor. Nothing is known about these women because before any questions could be asked, they disappeared - literally.
Ladies in Waiting... And Waiting... And Waiting...
Before Nancy Rodriguez started working at Seville, she was active in their Mardi Gras crew. One day she was in the ladies bathroom on the second floor of Rosie O'Grady's trying on costumes when she felt... something. Rodriguez relayed, "I felt the air come on, and I felt someone in the room with me. I thought it was one of my crew members coming up, and she was right there," She was certainly not anyone Nancy had ever seen before. In fact, the unknown woman probably hasn't been seen by anyone in many, many years. The lady wore her hair in a chignon, a white, puffed-sleeve dress and an expression that showed she was just as surprised as by the interaction as Nancy was. "Both of us were like, 'Oh you can see me? Because I can see you!'" When Nancy could see her own reflection in the mirror behind the woman, that's when she realized she was gone. Nancy has yet to see any other ghostly visitors, but the same cannot be said of her office...
Upstairs ladies' bathroom at Rosie O'Grady's. The mysterious lady was seen by this door, standing in front of the mirror
Ryan Little's Sketch of the Lady
Westley's photo hanging in Rosie O'Grady's
Last, but not least, the most popular and widely-seen "resident" of Seville Quarter... Westley. If you've ever been to Rosie O' Grady's, you may have seen his picture hanging near the pianos. This young man actually worked at Seville in the 1980s and was very popular around the Quarter. Westley started out at the door and eventually worked his way up to bartender. After his first shift tending bar at Rosie O'Grady's, he went into the cooler to escape the summer heat. Little did he know that the frigid temperature of the cooler would prove to be overwhelming for his heart condition; and, at 27 years old, Westley passed away in what the employees call "Siberia." Everyone at Seville Quarter was devastated by the loss, but it seems they didn't lose him entirely. "We had a doorman who was walking from End of the Alley and apparently he saw him because he went straight out the front door. The head doorman said, 'What's wrong? You look like you've seen a ghost.' He said 'I did, and I quit.' And he's never been back," Rodriguez recalls. Though he scares grown men, Nancy insists Westley is just mischievous. "He enjoys being here. That's why he flicks the lights and turns things on and off. He's seen mostly upstairs at Phineas." Pam Rodgerson, also a Seville employee, is no stranger to the Quarter's most storied resident. The first time she saw him outside her office, she was on the second floor alone one night. At the time, she hadn't heard of Westley, so seeing the man in the white, collared shirt in the hallway was quite a shock. "About a month later, one of the owners was doing a tour for his son's boy scout troop, and he told the story of Westley and showed them the picture. I said, 'Westley had a white shirt on.'" Rodgerson declared, remembering the moment it all came together. When she saw him again outside her office she told him, "Thanks for checking on me. I'm fine." He disappeared. When asked if she feels threatened by his presence, she said she actually believes he is protecting her on those nights when she is working late in that empty office. Employees and customers are not the only ones who have seen paranormal patrons within Seville's walls. Rodriguez relayed, "The Tampa ghost hunters have taken pictures at the bar over Rosie's stools, and there are orbs over each one, like someone is sitting on each stool." So if you are looking for a good time or an eerie encounter with the other side of the Pensacola Bay Area, be sure to add Seville Quarter to your itinerary.