Featured in SyFy’s Ghost Hunters episode in October 2008, this inn has experienced much activity that clearly validates the known “seven spirits” that have never checked-out of the inn, including two of the original inhabitants that lived in the gothic Victorian for over fifty years, Emma and Ben Rheinauer. In addition, there is George, a flirting gentleman from the 50s era, that has made himself seen on several occasions.
Three children provide activity that is playful but incredibly noticeable and beyond “coincidence”. Never has a guest been “spooked” into an early check-out from the inn, for the spirits do protect and watch the inn with much care.
On any given day one can hear footsteps, wispy sounds of long period apparel, mystical relocation of items and apparel, whispers of voices, and knocks on the wall that clearly welcome the visitor to its house. Bring your camera and recorders … you will bring home a souvenir or two!
In addition, the Innkeepers keep a collection of photos, EVPs and stories that they gladly (and honestly) share with their guests.
The Seven Sisters Inn can be described as an exquisite and enchanting Gothic Victorian abode. Its rooms (of which there are 5) are named after exotic locations, including The Cairo Suite, Casablanca, Madrid, Beijing, and Paris. Each one contains artefacts and era appointed antiques, each pertaining to the far flung destination the room is named after.
Located in the serenity of the rolling hills, horse farms, and natural springs, the Seven Sisters Inn is ideally situated to Ocala’s Historic District, where you can find vibrant shops, restaurants, pubs, theatres and galleries. It’s also just a short drive to many Flordian hotspots such as Orlando, Tampa, Saint Augustine, and Gainesville.
The iconic “Rheinauer House” or Seven Sisters Inn as it’s known today, was built in 1890 by Linda B and Joseph Lancaster, and was originally known as the painted purple lady. The house was given the name “Rheinauer House” after prominent Ocala businessman, Charles Rheinauer. He moved in to the house on Fort King Street in 1895, with his wife Emma.
Mr. Rheinauer remained their until his death on May 18, 1925, at the age of 79. He was survived by his wife for nearly 17 years, dying on May 7th 1942.
Charles Rheinhauer was born in Germany in 1846 to a Jewish cantor. He emigrated to Georgia, USA with big aspirations in business. Shortly after marrying his wife Emma Hohenburg in 1890, he migrated to Florida and established a retail dry goods business with his brother Maurice. Located on the south side of the town square, the impressive building quickly became known as the “Rheinauer Block”.
The brothers’ business flourished, and their retail store opened a chain of other stores throughout Florida. It remained open (although out of the family’s hands) right up until the early 1990’s.
As well as his retail business, Charles was also a prominent member of the community, working on a number of commercial projects that would benefit the town. He was the founder of the Ocala Board of Trade, the founder and director of the first bank in Ocala, and he was also instrumental in setting up the Chamber of Commerce.
His prominent place in society led him to become the presiding officer of the Hebrew Society of Ocala, and in 1906, the Mayor of Ocala – only the second Jewish person to do so at the time.
His friendship with the Latin America freedom fighter, Jose Marti was well known. He worked with Jose and formed the La Criolla Cigar Company, becoming its president. This partnership meant thousands of Cubans would emigrate to Ocala, working in the La Criolla factory. This move was core to the establishing of “Marti City”.
Mr Rheinauer experienced all this in what is now the Seven Sisters Inn. He and his wife are buried together locally at what is the only Jewish cemetery in Ocala, the Temple Beth Shalom Cemetery.
Things to Do
Located in the heart of Florida, and on the doorstep of Ocala’s historic downtown, you really are ideally located to enjoy the best of what both Florida and Ocala have to offer. As well as local restaurants, pubs, theatres and shops, you have a variety of outdoor activities including, Ocala’s horse farms, its natural springs, Ocala Golf Club, Santos Bicycle Trail, and Ocala Zip Lines, as well as the attractions in Orlando, St. Augustine, and Tampa.
If you’d like to explore more of the paranormal side of your visit, you can book with Ocala Ghost Walks who have tours running every Saturday and Friday. If you’re staying at the Seven Sisters you’ll be entitled to 10% off. Private ghost tours are also available.
- The Paris Suite – weekdays (Sun – Thurs) $189.00/night, weekends (Fri – Sat) $209.00/night
- The Beijing Suite – weekdays (Sun – Thurs) $189.00/night, weekends (Fri – Sat) $209.00/night
- The Madrid Suite – weekdays (Sun – Thurs) $239.00/night, weekends (Fri – Sat) $259.00/night
- The Casablanca Suite – weekdays (Sun – Thurs) $239.00/night, weekends (Fri – Sat) $259.00/night
- The Cairo Suite – weekdays (Sun – Thurs) $239.00/night, weekends (Fri – Sat) $259.00/night
Be spoiled, with a complimentary: (* Premier Suites only)
- “Southern Victorian” three-course breakfast served with the hearth of a 19th century fireplace
- Privately appointed “Jerez” (sherry) for two in your suite
- Imported Himalayan salts for your bath water
- Home baked delectables, fruits, waters and soft drinks are offered throughout the day… at your beckon call
- Soaking jetted tubs for two, accompanied by imported Himalayan Salts or Jasmine Oils*
- Original Fireplaces*
- Private baths, most with Spa Stoned Showers
- Imported Toiletries from New Zealand
- Incredibly fluffy and comfortable beds smothered in Italian Egyptian linens and lush mattress toppers
- Towel warmers
- Turkish Bathrobes & Towels
- CD players with media hook ups
- Flat Screen Televisions
- Wireless internet access
- Business services: PC with MS Office and internet; Complimentary Faxing Services; Presentation Rooms available for small fee; Quiet and private Library room
- Concierge Services and recommendations for many local historic tours, events, restaurants, shops, pubs, theaters, festivals, sports / equestrian functions and attractions.
- Convenient and complementary parking
- Events planning for special gathering, such as weddings, elopements, business meetings, holiday and family reunions.