Florida is a vacationer's paradise. Beautiful white sand beaches that are unmatched in the continental United States, endless groves of fruits and vegetables, and the sparkling lights of Miami dot the landscape and emerge from the swamps. Home to the oldest community in the U.S. , and to the unmatched commercialism of Disneyworld that many natives resent, there are many, many stories to be told here - and not all are happy vacation stories.
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Florida Ghost Books
Apalaicola - Gibson Inn -
The ghost of a man who died of pneumonia in a room haunts the place, with
phantom footsteps heard in the hotel as well as the bar and restaurant. Room 128
has been subject to "things being destroyed", and guests have said their
blankets have been pulled off at night. There is phantom piano music heard, and
workers claim to have seen the apparition. Hwy 98
Clearwater - Belleview Biltmore Resort / Spa
Phantom voices are heard, lights turn themselves on and off, doors open and
close themselves, phantom faces appear in the windows. A disconnected phone in
the unused 4th floor will ring.
Boynton Beach - Holiday Inn -
Congress Ave. Rumored to be buried on an Indian burial ground, spirits are seen
wandering the hallways. 480 W Boynton Beach Blvd (561) 734-9100
Cassadaga - Cassadaga Hotel -
to be haunted by a cigar smoking gigolo, 2 small girls, and a mischievous
spirit, this hotel has psychics on-call.
Coral Gables - Biltmore Hotel -
restored to former grandeur, "The Bridal Floor" of the hotel, which, as I
understand it, is no longer in use, has the ghost of a bride who had an untimely
death here. Apparitions have been spotted in the rooms by travelers. Formerly
used as a hospital to the military during the second world war, floor #13 is
haunted by the spirits of dead WWII soldiers, with visitors also reporting odd lights and
Micanopy - The Herlong Mansion B & B -
ghost of a former own haunt this dwelling - after a long fight in court over the
inheritance of the home, the winner, "Inez" died after a diabetic episode the
day she won the case.
Crestview - Jameson Inn -
of the unusual cases involving a new structure, room 208 and the second floor in
general are said to be haunted by the spirit of a man, who wanders the halls.
The room's guests smell odd odors and feel cold spots
Key West - Artist House B&B -
Robert Eugene Otto is today less well known for his artwork than for his
hideously evil looking childhood doll, which he kept with him through his life.
"Robert" who was given to Otto by an African American nanny, is said to house a
malevolent spirit that is strongly felt in the attic room where the doll still
sat, prior to being moved to a local museum. Robert is the ultimate in creepy
looking folk art dolls; his evil looking pale blue eyes and pock marked head
would send a shiver down the burliest of lumberjacks. The spirit of Otto's wife is also
said to be trapped here in the turret room, Robert's (the doll) former home and
the artist's workshop before Robert Eugene died and the doll was banished to the
attic by Mrs Otto.534 Eaton St 305-296- 3977
Gainesville - Sweet Water Inn
- The third floor attic rooms of the blue
building (there are 2 buildings) are said to be haunted, with gusts complaining
of feeling heaviness on their chest when they awaken. Otherworldly faces have
been seen from the windows and there is a bureau that opens itself to the maids.
Hollywood - Ramada Hollywood Beach Resort Hotel -
a hospital, a Bible college, and an Al Capone hiding spot, the 7th floor seems
to be haunted by phantom voices, odd noises, and orbs. 101 North Ocean
Key West - Ocean Key House Resort -
3rd floor suite that faces Duval suite is claimed to be haunted. The sound of
jingling keys, things that move by themselves on the dresser, phantom "sighs",
and the feeling that someone is next to you in be when you're alone. The lights
and curtains also seem to be a target of the spirit.
Miami - Miami River Inn -
grand old Inn has a ghost who repeats it's actions every night at 11PM: "If you
stay in the first front room, you can hear a door opening and shutting very
loudly, feet wiping on the welcome matt and then a brief silence followed by
running towards your room and a fierce shaking of the door knob, which you can
even see move. The shaking gives up and is followed by the crashing and breaking
of antique ornaments right outside of your room, then running up the front
stairs followed by the opening of a door in the room above yours. The worst is
what commences after a minute of silence in the room upstairs. For an hour,
furniture can be heard moving, scraping and the room can be felt vibrating.
Finally, the sound ceases and there is silence once again" (thanks to the
New Smyrna - Indian River Inn -
by odd voices and lights 1210 S. Riverside Drive (The Indian River Inn is
currently for sale, and appears to be closed.)
North Fort Myers - Motel 6 -
spots, the phantom smell of perfume, footsteps seen in puddles in the parking
lot, screams and moans are heard.
3350 Marinatown Lane Phone: (239) 656-5544
Ocala - Ritz Historical Inn -
a prohibition era party, a fire broke out killing several people and 2 dogs -
their screams and the sounds of feet bounding down the stairs can be heard from
time to time.
Orlando - Peabody Hotel -
Cold spots, and visual anomalies are reported here.
Panama City Beach - Holiday Inn Sunspree -
seem to always be awakened in one of the upper floors at 4 AM. One guest
reported a headless man in a T shirt with sunglasses around his neck in their
room, standing between the two beds.
Safety Harbor - The Safety Harbor Spa Resort -
The desk of this spa has received calls from
empty guest rooms, and housekeeping staff says they can hear their names being
called from the empty women's bath.
St. Augustine - Augustine Inn Bed and Breakfast-
ghost of a dapper old man with white hair and a white suit has been seen walking
through the ground floor guest room.
29 Cuna St, (
St. Augustine - Casa Monica Hotel -
Odd noises of speech that can't be distinguished
St. Augustine - Casablanca Inn Bed and Breakfast
- the flickers of a lantern moving about of the roof of
this B&B are blamed on a prohibition era owner who aided smugglers bring rum in
from the nearby islands - she would walk on the roof with the lantern, guiding
them in at night. Guests also say that they have spotted her inside the
building, and that their belongings move to strange places. Cold spots are felt.
Orlando - Super 8 Motel
- Room 206 is haunted by a spirit who likes to lay in
the bed beside the guest, get up out of the bed and shake the bed - the sink
also comes on by itself. 5900 American Way (407) 352-8383
St. Cloud - Hunter Arms Inn B & B -
by a ghost called "Vivian", guests report cold spots, odd noises and footsteps.1029
New York Ave 407-891-9855
St. Petersburg - The Don Cesar Beach Resort and Spa -
owner Thomas Rowe built the resort in memory of a lost love of his youth. His
ghost is said to be seen walking the beach, arm and arm with a dark haired
St. Petersburg - Vinoy House Inn-
Haunted by a man in top hat and tails who likes, in particular, to bother major league baseball players - waking them up at night.
Island - Bali Hai Hotel
A female ghost is said to walk the beach here every August.
DeFuniak Springs - Sunbright Manor
Odd occurrences like doors that open and shut themselves have been reported. Guests see odd things. 30 Live Oak W. 892-0656
Cabbage Key -
off the coast of Fort Meyers "Cabbage Key is a privately owned Island just off the coast of Fort Myers, Florida. One must charter a boat to get to this small, beautiful island. It is said that Jimmy Buffets famous song "cheeseburger in Paradice" was written by the singer after eating the fabulous cheeseburgers here. There are 6 guestrooms, 6 cabins, a bar and a restaurant---that does NOT serve milk, so bring your own. At breakfast you could get a dollar a glass for it, believe me.--there are cabins and trails. The staff all live on the island which has a great tropical setting, no swimming hole, and is one HOT place to visit in August--when we were there. I found the place listed in Joyce Elson Moore's 1998 book "Haunt Hunter's Guide to Florida" page 120. Mary Roberts Rhinehart built the island hideaway in the 1930's. The current owners DO NOT want the haunted stories told and will deny any haunting exists, but ask one of the employees when the owners aren't about and one by one throughout your stay they will find you and tell you the ghosts story from room number 3. When you call for reservations if you ask for the haunted room they will tell you the owners do not believe in it--but that you want room number 3! It seems a guest of the Rhineharts was visiting from New York trying to get over a case of Tuberculosis. While waiting for her family to join her she died. Now visitors to the room are frequently woke up by a woman coming in from the private patio, looking at you while you are sleeping and retreating to the patio again. The fabulous friendly staff told us of numerous "Unofficial" hauntings on the island. I can't wait to go back there, in the cooler months!! and give the girl in 3 another shot at walking in on me!"
Today I was flipping through my website and noticed there was no stories in the Florida "Tourist" area. I said to myself, "Self, there has GOT to be a haunted attraction at Disney World." Well, it didn't take long to find one...
Orlando - Disney
World - The Haunted Mansion ride
During building of the Haunted Mansion ride, Walt Disney died. The huge looming attraction stood behind barricades for several years waiting to be finished by indecisive engineers who were unsure of how Disney had wanted to do certain things. In the meantime, urban legends were passed around about how the attraction was so incredibly terrifying, that it had actually killed somebody "from fright".
Anyway, years before Disney corporation purchased it's enormous chunk of Florida, some guy had died in an airplane crash on the site of the park. Employees at the Haunted Mansion attraction claim to see a man with a walking stick or cane, and assume it is the dead pilot.
Another employee claimed to have seen a phantom in a tuxedo near where you board the cars, who then touched her with an icy hand on her shoulder and faded into nothingness.
The Séance Room area of The Haunted Mansion has had some odd noises, as a worker reported for days he had heard music coming from within a wall, as if a radio had been plastered into it. The séance room was where an overzealous teenage boy had stepped out of a car to get a closer look, and plunged to his death - not realizing the track was elevated. I'm afraid to put a link to Disney, because they love to sue people who write anything considered 'un-family-ish' about their parks. I'm sure you can find their website pretty easily on Google...
Orlando - Disney
World - Pirates of the Caribbean ride
The Pirates of the Caribbean ride is haunted by a male welder who was killed during its construction in the 1970's, just around the "town on fire" part of the attraction. Supposedly, if no one says upon opening, "good morning" and at close, "goodnight" to "George" on the loudspeaker, the ride will malfunction and need repair in the morning. He has been spotted by workers and visitors alike.
Orlando - Harry
P. Leu Botanical Gardens
The mansion here is supposedly haunted, with reports of cold spots and apparitions
- Polk County Historical Museum and Genealogical Library
The boiler room of this former courthouse was the scene of a grisly accident, as well as a display spot for the corpses of 2 brothers who killed a local Marshall. Screams have been heard from the basement, the rotunda is haunted by the spirits of the brothers, and the ladies room on the 2nd floor, as well as the third floor has had sightings of a lady in white. The Indian artifact room and old courtroom both have had strange phenomena reported as well.
- Townsend's Plantation
Noises in the attic, odd lights and cold spots are reported here. Some internet sites say this place is now a restaurant, but it is unclear from the information I found. intersection of US 441 and SR 436
Cassadaga - Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp
Psychics and paranormal investigators consider this area a hotspot for activity, "one of the biggest geomagnetic vortexes in the country". The sky is said to glow blue in this area.
Bradenton - Coquina Beach
The picnic area and public beach on the southern tip of the
island is haunted by a male apparition, who wears black.
Brooksville - The Brooksville Heritage Museum
Vague stories of odd, possibly paranormal occurrences from this
former private residence. 601 Museum Court (904) 799-0129 open
Tues-Sat, 12P-3P. $2 adult admission
- The Royalty Theater
Among the spirits that are said to haunt this theater are a grizzled fisherman in a blue coat, a former homosexual manager who was murdered in a hate crime, and a little girl's benevolent spirit. Orbs have been reported, as well. 405 Cleveland Street
Cocoa Village - The Cocoa Village Playhouse
Footsteps and doors opening and shutting are contributed to a dead maintenance man
- Daytona Playhouse
The playhouse is said to be haunted by a forlorn couple. The man was killed in Spain, and the pregnant wife, hearing the news, threw herself into the river and drowned. 100 Jessamine Blvd.(386) 255-2431
- Bay Street Theatre
This theater features a plethora of otherworldly entertainment, including : spook lights, screams from the prop room, lights that flip themselves on and off, and even the apparition of a man hanging from the balcony ceiling from a noose.
- The Homestead Restaurant -
New owners theorize that former owner, (Ms.) Alpha Paynter, haunt this Jacksonville establishment - she has, in fact, been buried in the back yard since 1962. Among other things, dishes have a tendency to get smashed about for no apparent reason, as does silverware and table linens. One team of paranormal investigators claim that a glass case "flew at" them from a countertop, an that they photographed a number of orbs in the building. 904-249-5240
West - The Hard Rock Cafe
The Key West islands has had a link to the strange ever since the Spanish discovered it
in the 1500's. The island were covered with the unburied bones of local natives, remnants of a
tribal war. The Spanish named it "Isle of bones", Cayo Hueso , which was eventually bastardized in the English language to Key West.
Robert Curry, former owner of the home
that the Hard Rock Cafe is within today, is said
to haunt the restaurant. A depressed Curry hung himself in the 2nd story bathroom. Today, the
bathroom is still visited by Robert, as are the upstairs business offices. File cabinets open
and shut, chairs spin, phantom footsteps are heard, the Xerox machine runs itself, and papers on
a desk basically levitated and then flew across the office. Shadowy figures have been seen
flitting about the 3rd floor office, and one staffer has photographed odd, smoky images.
A customer claimed to see someone walk through a wall in the dining room, and he fled the
restaurant, ashen, before anyone could get further details from him.
- King's Crown Restaurant at South Seas Resort
A former manager haunts the restaurant at this resort. He reportedly plays the piano and rearranges the cutlery at night.
Carol City - Subway
A malevolent force is felt by workers, who say the back door know jiggles for no reason, and plaster will suddenly fall from the ceiling. There seems to be no Subway in this town, but these 2 are within 3 miles of Carol City, FL: 5730 NW 176th St, Hialeah; 9979 Miramar Pky, Miramar
Davie - Waffle
Employees and customers report an odd feeling of unease ever since two employees were murdered in the walk in cooler. 2580 Davie Rd
Throughout Florida, sightings of a crypto zoological creature, the "Skunk Ape", have been reported. Although the story varies, the creature is described as a yetti or sasquatch would be: extremely tall, covered with hair or fur - light gray, in this case. I'm assuming from the name he or she must be fairly rank (but then again, if you live in the swamp, what would YOU smell like?) There has been in the past a "Skunk Ape Festival at Shealy Campground on Tamiami Trail (US Hwy 41) near Ochopee, Florida , though I don't know if it's an annual event. And of course, like any good Florida attraction, he has a website complete with T shirts and postcards. As recently as 8/2004, a woman in southern Florida reported to the Sun Sentinel that she saw a creature, "six to eight feet tall... covered in dark hair about two inches long. The area around its eyes was whitish and its full lips had the color and texture of the pad on a dog’s paw". She was driving home with her two kids asleep in the back seat when she saw this thing pop out of a ditch.
Orange Blossom Trail
A Native American in a loin cloth crosses this trail, then vanishes.
- Blockbuster Video
A little boy's ghost has been spotted, and rearranges the tapes at night. Atlantic Blvd. and Coral Ridge Drive
This island is said to be overrun with dead Seminole Indians' spirits.
Boca Raton -
Boca Raton Inlet
Orbs are reported here, as well as a vague apparition
- Coral Square Mall
A small boy's apparition has been seen, as well as shouting and screaming near the Burdine's store at night.
between Daytona and Orlando
A ghostly car that drives without lights and swerves has been seen along this stretch of highway.
Daytona Beach - Auditorium Blvd
The area near Ocean Center & Pinewood Cemetery has had strange photographic anomalies of a transparent man and woman, in separate instances.
Daytona Beach - Northeast side of the Orange Avenue Bridge
A raven haired woman in a nightgown has been seen near the bridge, and a chair has been reported flying around there on a calm night.
Fort Pierce - Chinese Buffet
This place was supposedly closed down by the health department for (what else...?) selling cat and dog meat in the special - du - jour. I have no idea where this building might be, but locals say that a fire there also took the lives of 3 of the employees: the apparitions seen are the former cooks being chased by the pissed off cats and dogs
Fort Walton Beach - Brooks Bridge
A pack of ghostly wolves is said to cross this bridge, howling.
or, post it in my Blog
Florida Ghost Books
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