HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. — It’s got all the pedigrees of a haunted house—a documented spooky past, a documented spooky present—and there is even a graveyard off the kitchen.

What You Need To Know

  • The May-Stringer House will host Ghostfest, a spooky Halloween festival that is fun for the whole family

  • Ghostfest is Saturday from 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

  • Ghostfest is their largest fundraiser of the year

The May-Stringer House, built in 1856, is a Victorian-style four-story home in Brooksville.

A cadre of volunteers keeps the house going—from ghost tours to gardening—throughout the year. Ashley Bastedo is one of them. She's been a docent for a decade, and also runs a non-profit making appearances as a Ghostbuster. Before that it was the military and then law enforcement.

It's easy to see she is wrapped up in her communnity.

"This is my way of serving now,” said Bastedo.

Hosted by the Hernando Historical Museum Association, the May-Stringer House grounds will be open on Saturday from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. for Ghostfest, complete with food trucks and crafts.

There is a meandering trail through the lower floor of the house—filled with scare actors and little creepy touches—like rats on the antique dining room table among the fine China.

Bastedo is responsible for part of the outside haunted trail. It involves a wind tunnel with billowing sides that perhaps could swallow you up!

She has studied the history of the house and the area as a docent. She also grew up here, so there's no shortage of knowledge. 

And she goes all out because this celebration is the biggest fundrasier of their year.

“We have a very hefty responsibility of making sure that history doesn’t die," said Bastedo. "I want to make sure history stays alive. I want to make sure that that’s here for generations to come.”