James and Tamara Dourney, a Fort Pierce couple who run
the G.R.I.M. (Ghostly Research and Investigation into the
Metaphysical) Society, are paranormal investigators who say
the Boston House is high on their list of places they would
like to examine with their cameras and sensors. They have
never been inside the house to investigate, but they have
done extensive research on the home’s history.
“There are reports of paranormal activities there going back
to the 1970s,” says James Dourney. “There were apparently séances
held there in the attic and there are stories of repairmen
going to work on things in the building and having experiences
there. There are stories of doors locking, and unlocking,
things moving, and the scent of rose perfume.” The two say
they witnessed a blue light floating through a hallway as they
observed the house from the street one evening.
More researchers, historians and investigators than ghostbusters,
the Dourneys have used newspaper articles, property
deeds, public records and archives to piece together a
history of the house that debunks some myths but raises even
more possibilities for a ghostly presence.
“The real stories of the house are even more fascinating,”
says Tamara. “It doesn’t diminish that it didn’t happen; we
just don’t have any historical records to prove it.”
GHOST OF A GHOST
Most glaringly, in all her research, Tamara was never able
to track down Aleaceon Perkins, who is supposedly the
female specter who waits at the attic window for the return of
a husband and son lost while fishing. “Perkins, to the best of
our knowledge, never existed,” she says.
Her presence could possibly predate the house itself, according
to Phillips. Since the house was built on the highest
point in Fort Pierce, it was the best vantage point to look out
over the river, and it makes sense that someone looking for
lost loved ones would wait there. Phillips says that in all his
encounters, he has assumed that the spirit — described by
one person who had an encounter with her as wearing Victorian
dress — was Perkins.
The builder and first owner of the house suffered his own
tribulations. Born in Georgia, William Turbin Jones was an
engineer for the Florida East Coast railroad who came to Fort
Pierce in 1900 to operate the trains between Jacksonville and
Key West. He was seriously injured by an explosion of dynamite
carelessly placed on the tracks by workmen. With the
$6,000 he received as a settlement, he built his new home on a
high ridge overlooking the Indian River. The home, which he
called Cresthaven, was completed between 1907 and 1909.
With five bedrooms and 4,300 square feet, it was considered
a palatial mansion and architectural marvel of its day.
Jones was apparently a friend of railroad magnate Henry
Flagler and was able to bring in construction materials from
around the country, including its distinctive red Georgia
brick, by railroad. Its architecture is a mix of Georgian and
neoclassical with a two-story portico lined with columns.
The floors were hewn of Dade County pine. Jones and his
Built by William Jones, the third sheriff of St. Lucie County, between 1907 and 1909, the Boston House shows both Georgian and neoclassical architectural