Our 2 month rental ended and we had to find a new place that was bigger and would allow our dogs when we come back from the States so we found a house to rent in the jungle!
Although, living in the little 400 sq ft condo in the middle of town was full of noise from our neighbors, tourists, roosters, chickens, dogs, taxis, etc. it did have many perks. We were walking distance to groceries, restaurants and bars. Here, in the jungle house, without our own transportation, we have to walk to main street and wait for a taxi to drive by hoping it isn’t already full. We have to plan our shopping trips for things we need for the new place and groceries. If we forget something we have to do it all over again.
Let me back up just a bit and tell you about how we came about the house. I put an ad on the local Facebook group pages stating what we were looking for. This nice young surfer like “dude” messages me and tells me that he has a “mansion” in the jungle in an area of Isla Colon called Big Creek available because another couple backed out of rental last-minute.
We come to look at it (on a Tuesday) and he tells us that the previous tenants didn’t take care of the place so he had some work to complete before we can move in. As I am walking through the house, I had a very creepy feeling about the place, especially in the downstairs (basement like) unit. Its cement, musty, cobwebby, and just plain creepy! I feel that the creepy feeling I was getting is because the house had been empty and needed work so I let that feeling slide and we literally shook hands on a deal to rent the place. That evening I ask him who owns the house because he kept mentioning that he was the caretaker. He tells me that his deceased uncle owned it but it was willed to another uncle and he made him caretaker of the house.
The next day (Wednesday) he emails us the contract, we make changes that we both agreed on and sent him the deposit. That same day I go to the Floating bar for their end of the season “drink us dry” party. As I sit next to the owner of the Floating Bar on the floating dock getting some sun I tell her I wasn’t 100% sure about the place because it just had this creepy feeling. She asked me if I thought it may be haunted. Now why in the world didn’t I think that in the first place, I am a paranormal investigator after all! LOL!! I tell her about my company, American Paranormal Adventures, LLC and said maybe I should investigate it. She proceeds to tell me her story about a haunted home she grew up in. It seems like anytime I tell someone about that they tell me their ghost stories. I love them all!!!
The next day (Thursday) we are invited to go to a birthday party in the jungle. I walk in the back yard and first thing I see are 2 or 3 holler monkeys in the trees next to her house. It was incredible watching them swing from branch to branch and tree to tree then hearing them hollar. These small monkeys have HUGE voices! I see a couple of parrots fly over head and look at the beauty of the jungle all around the house. I was getting excited about moving into our jungle house!
We spend the day getting to know other expats. When asked, we tell them which house we are moving into and the name of the caretaker. Many knew which house we talked about and some did not. As we are waiting for a taxi to take us back to our little condo in town, a nice woman comes up to me and introduces herself as my new neighbor. We talk about our dogs and she tells me how she loves shepherds and cant wait to meet our Angel. Then she was called away by someone and I walked to the gate about to leave when another woman comes up to me and tells me that the house I am moving into was one of the houses that a serial killer they called Wild Bill killed the owner of the house and stole all of his assets, including the house. It was unclear if he was murdered in the house or elsewhere, but it certainly put together the reason I was feeling creeped out about the house. Then our taxi arrives and we leave. I stayed up late that night googling all the stories and YouTube videos I could about the story of WIld Bill and the owner of the house Bo (Yancy) Icelar. I tell Allan that I’m now not so sure I want to live in the house but I would go into it again and see how I feel one more time.
The caretaker messages me (Monday, almost a week from when I first went into the house) and says that he wants to meet with us to show how things work in the home. In order to have hot water you have to go down into the creepy “basement” each time and light the hot water heater. We come back to the house, I walk around again, now knowing the story but the house had a little better feeling about it. The basement still feels creepy, as does the house, but not as creepy as the first time I came through. The caretaker is talking to Allan about how things work as I come back around and tell him that I know the story about the house. The guy hadn’t stopped talking from the moment we came in, but when I told him I knew about the house he was immediately quiet. I tell him that if that truly was his uncle I am sorry for his loss and for what happened to him and he says thank you. I tell him how I had a creepy feeling about the place the first time I came through and he said he felt those same feeling when the police let him come into the house after all the investigations. He then tells me his uncle was not killed in the home, I tell him it didn’t matter, the house was feeling a little better since my last visit. He thanked me (with a fist bump) and told me that he was feeling better about it too and was glad that we were the ones renting it.
Allan and I have been here in the house for just over a week. The first night as we went to bed, we both heard what sounded like a crash in the kitchen. Allan gets up to go investigate and doesn’t see anything out of place and no one in the house. He shuts the bedroom door and I have my headphones on watching Netflix in bed. I hear another noise that sounded like someone was trying to open the door in the kitchen, which is also the entrance door. I take earphones out of ears and listen a while but hear nothing else except for Allans snoring. I kept those earplugs in until I was exhausted and was able to fall to sleep without staying up all night listening to every sound the house (or critters outside) may make. I’ve slept through almost every night we’ve been here. Maybe there is something here and it just wanted us to know that first night but nothing has happened since. It’s actually been pretty peaceful. I feel that we are bringing in a lot of light, love and positive vibes into the house and making it a nice place again.
Today (Wednesday) I’m swinging here in my hammock on the porch listen to the holler monkeys in the jungle, watching all of the colorful birds flying around me, and searching the trees for sloth. It’s absolutely incredible! The jungle has a life of its own and we are falling in love with the peace and tranquility of it all.
If you want to read more about the house, google Bo Icelar, Panama murder or Wild Bill, murder in Paradise. There is a 20/20 or dateline show about it as Wild Bill had killed others including a man, his wife and their 17 year old son to steal their homes, money, and belongings. There is also a book called “The Jolly Roger Social Club”. I just finished reading it and learned a lot. Not only about the tragedy this insane couple Wild Bill and his wife/girlfriend Jane brought to this beautiful paradise archipelago but I also learned a lot about Panama and the expats of Bocas Del Toro.
Be sure to keep reading my blogs because you never know what kind of crazy things may happen to us in the coming few months.