Florida is a popular spot for horror tourism where people visit the most haunted places in the world. This state has a rich history! Many groups of people have lived here including indigenous groups like the Seminoles and Apalachee as well as the Spanish.
Over 120 million tourists visit Florida every year. If you are joining this number, why not enjoy a thrilling and haunting experience? You never know, you might see something spooky! Keep reading to discover six of the most haunted places in Florida!
St. Augustine, Florida
There was no way we were going to create a list of the most haunted places in Florida, without mentioning St. Augustine. Technically, this is an entire city, but once you read about its rich and somewhat bloody history, you will understand why the entire city is considered haunted. This city was founded by Don Pedro de Aviles of Spain in 1585 and it is the oldest city in the United States. Some iconic buildings within St. Augustine include Castillo de San Marcos, the old jail, St. Augustine Lighthouse Park, the schoolhouse, and Casablanca Inn.
You won’t run out of things to see in do when traveling to St. Augustine, especially after dark! Dozens of ghost tours take you into these old buildings, some with spectacular ghost-hunting equipment. Since the lighthouse’s beginning, ghosts, people have seen ghosts and strange orbs. Sadly, while it was being constructed, three girls Eliza and Mary Pittee, and a friend were trapped in a hopper car that flipped upside down, drowning them.
Castillo de San Marcos also has a long history of spirits and death. In 1565, several hundred French Protestant soldiers were shipwrecked near the river and killed by Pedro Menendez de Aviles of Spain. You can visit the fort even when it’s not open in the mornings, but only on the grounds. This is where many people have seen shadows of spirits, one who may belong to Chief Osceola.
St. Augustine and St. Johns County Visitor Information Center
Address: 10 S Castillo Dr, St. Augustine, FL 32084
Phone: (904) 825-1000
Anyone who has grown up near Miami knows the chilling stories behind the Biltmore Hotel. George Merrick built the building in 1926. The hotel hosted glamorous fashion shows, water shows, galas, and golf tournaments. The pool during the first few years was the largest in the world. It didn’t take long for the drama to strike. On the 13th floor, a well-known gangster in the area — Thomas “Fatty” Walsh — was shot and killed.
During World War II, the hospital was transformed into a veteran’s hospital. Shortly afterward, in 1952, it became home to the University of Miami as a medical school. Sadly, a little over a decade later and the hotel building was left abandoned. Kids of all ages living in Coral Gables would sneak past the guards and hunt for ghosts. The city of Coral Gables couldn’t stand to see such a magnificent building left abandoned and falling apart.
They renovated the hotel, and it opened in 1987. In 1994, Linda Spitzer spend 30 minutes to an hour in the lobby telling ghost stories, while also wearing gorgeous hats from the 20s. Now, it’s a luxury hotel with a lot of history and personality, maybe with a few ghostly guests as well.
Address: 1200 Anastasia Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33134
Phone: (855) 969-3080
Fort East Martello Museum
The creepy stories surrounding the Fort East Martello Museum are shocking and nerve-wracking. The army started construction on the East Martello Tower in 1862. It was created as a defense against Confederate sea attacks. The tower was shortly abandoned once the war was over and they didn’t have use for it. The Key West Art and Historical Society had a unique vision and created the museum within the building. Now, it’s a popular tourist destination with interesting trinkets and chilling stories.
Have you ever heard of Robert the Doll? Legend says Robert Eugene Otto was given this doll as a child and immediately fell in love with it, but his family and neighbors thought the doll was up to no good. Almost immediately, strange things started happening. For example, Eugene saw furniture being thrown in his room, thought to be caused by the doll. His parents tried to open the door, but it was closed shut and locked. Even after the young boy was married, the doll stayed by his side. When he passed away, the house was sold. A little girl fell in love with Robert the Doll, but strange things started to happen again.
The doll is now in the museum, and it still causes strange things to happen. It is in a glass box with a warning to visitors. If you want to take a picture, ask first. If you don’t, the doll curses you and it won’t go away until you ask for forgiveness in person or through a letter. Creepy, right?
Address: 3501 S Roosevelt Blvd, Key West, FL 33040
Phone: (305) 296-3913
The Stranahan House is the oldest remaining structure in Brevard County in Florida. Frank Stranahan was a pioneer in Ft. Lauderdale. He built his home in 1901 as a trading post, but within five years converted it into a large home. You can visit the museum now and see the beautiful inside featuring his office and additional bedrooms.
His story is a sad one, though. In 1929, awful things happened to the family. First, the market crash affected their finances severely. Afterward, a hurricane destroyed his farming ventures, and he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, given six months at most to live. With all this news and stress, Frank attempted suicide, which landed him in an institution. He tried again, this time succeeding when he was allowed back home.
Frank’s wife, Ivy, could not use the insurance money because he had killed himself and instead rented the rooms of the home for money. Ivy did not let her grief take over and became the president of the Historical Society of Fort Lauderdale, passing away in 1971 in her sleep. Some staff members have said they’ve seen the spirit of Frank Stranahan roaming the halls weeping and dripping wet. Ivy’s sister, Pink, and her three children are also thought to haunt the rooms of the museum, crying and closing doors loudly. One visitor swore he saw an indigenous young girl sitting at the front steps, but when he blinked, she was gone. A young Seminole girl did die at home when searching for Ivy. Could it be her?
Address: 335 SE 6th Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Phone: (954) 524-4736
Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp
Cassadaga is a unique sleepy town home to some interesting characters. It is considered the “psychic capital of the world” and nearly the entire city is said to be haunted. For such a paranormally active place, there is no cemetery. George P. Colby started the Southern Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp in 1875, where a large community of spiritualists live and work together. Some people claim they can feel spiritual energy while just walking the streets. According to the mediums and psychics living in the community, they attract spirits, but they are all not bad.
If you aren’t too scared, you can also check out The Cassadaga Hotel. Stay for a night or a week and see if you can spot something unexplainable. Just a block away from the hotel is C. Green’s haunted history museum. Although staying a night in a haunted hotel is thrilling, why not enjoy the spooky sights and artifacts in the charming museum?
Address: 1112 Stevens St, Cassadaga, FL 32706
Phone: (386) 228-2880
Gilbert’s Bar House of Refuge
There was no way Gilbert’s Bar House of Refuge wasn’t going to make this list of the most haunted places in Florida. It is the last remaining of the original dozen shipwreck life-saving stations on Florida’s Atlantic Coast. The refuge operated for 70 years after 1876. Now, the Martin County Historical Society operates the location as a museum with life-saving equipment and artifacts older than 100 years old.
Gilbert’s Bar House of Refuge is a very active site for ghosts. Visitors often hear dripping water when no one else is in the room. A strong scent of cigars is just as common. Interestingly, Cyrus “Koresh” Teed potentially started and housed a cult within the refuge. He passed away and was kept propped up before being buried in a mausoleum. The mausoleum was swept away by a big hurricane. Now rumor has it that his spirit, and a few others who followed his religion, still roam the refuge.
Address: 301 SE MacArthur Blvd, Stuart, FL 34996
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