Did you know that Tampa is often referred to as ‘the damndest city this side of Hell?’ When you look at the high volume of haunted buildings that are scattered throughout the city it is easy to see how it managed to find itself stuck with that particular nickname! It almost seems like Tampa has a haunted building around every corner.
Let’s dig a little deeper into this spooky city and check out the 11 most chillingly haunted places in Tampa, FL:
11 - Fort Brooke Parking Garage
The Fort Brooke municipal parking garage was built in 1980 on top of a cemetery! It is believed that the bones unearthed when the ground was excavated to make way for the structure were the remains of both soldiers and Native Americans. The bones were removed and relocated in an appropriate manner, but that certainly does not seem to have appeased the spirits tied to them because this is one of the most haunted places in Tampa! Just some of the strange activity that has been reported here includes the sound of Native American drumming and chanting and sightings of shadow figures in the darkest corners of the parking garage.
10 - The Don Vicente de Ybor Historic Inn
Is the Don Vincente de Ybor Historic Inn one of the most haunted places in Tampa? Well, since it is actually nicknamed ‘Hotel Hell’ by the locals we think it is safe to say that it is! In fact – it is considered to be one of the most haunted buildings in the entire United States. The hotel was built in 1895 and over its lifetime it has served as not only a hotel, but also a medical clinic. There have been a large number of deaths inside this property, so it comes as no surprise that there have been some spirits who have stuck around to haunt the living! Common activity here includes flickering lights, phantom footsteps and faucets turning on and off by themselves. Room number 305 seems to be a particular hotspot for paranormal activity with many guests waking to find a man standing at the foot of their bed! There are also regular reports of a Spanish nurse down in the basement and a male spirit believed to be that of a deranged doctor who was known to experiment on his patients and then dispose of them in the incinerator! Creepy, huh?
9 - Loews Don CeSar HotelStay at the Don Cesar
The Don Vincente de Ybor Historic Inn might be spooky, but it has some competition! Loews Don CeSar Hotel claims for itself the title of most haunted hotel in Tampa! The hotel was built in 1928 by Thomas Rowe as a tribute to his lost love Lucinda. Staff and guests of the hotel have reported seeing Rowe himself wandering the halls of his hotel, sometimes hand in hand with his Lucinda. The staff have also shared tales of various other incidences of paranormal activity in various spots around the hotel.
8 - Sulphur Springs Tower
Not only is Sulphur Springs Tower one of the most haunted places in Tampa, but there is also a pretty interesting story linked to it. The tower that you see today was actually built to replace a tower that was once a marker on many pirate treasure maps! According to local legend it is now haunted by the spirits of long dead pirates who are still searching for the treasure that was never found. There have been sightings of a ghost ship flying a pirate flag and there are tales of a terrible sea creature that is seen on occasion in spectral form dragging a little girl down into the briney deep.
7 - Britton 8 Movie Theater
One of the most intriguing things about the Britton 8 Movie Theater is that not only is this building one of the most haunted places in Tampa, but the reasons behind the hauntings have remained something of a mystery for many years now. As far as anybody is aware there are no tragic events in the history of the building. In fact, it seems to be altogether unremarkable if we are being completely honest! Nevertheless, employees and customers alike have been reporting some very unusual activity in the building. In the ladies room, there are reports of the door opening and closing all by itself and the toilets seemingly flushing at random. There have also been reports of disembodied voices all over the theater and the apparition of a lady has been seen on the balcony and close to auditorium number 3! That’s quite a bit of activity for a seemingly unremarkable building!
6 - Tampa Theater
According to locals, the old Tampa Theater has is haunted by the spirit of a former employee Foster ‘Fink’ Finley – a projectionist who worked in the theater during the 1940s and died there from a heart attack in 1965. Staff have reported hearing his footsteps on the stairs and the somewhat stereotypical spooky sound of chains rattling! He has also been known to play pranks on the current staff including stealing items and hiding them someplace else! However, most will agree that he means no harm and was simply so happy here that is not yet ready to leave – even after his death!
5 - The Cuban Club
Since The Cuban Club was built in 1917 it has been considered one of the most haunted places in Tampa. The haunting here could be attributed to the two known deaths on record at the property which date back to the 1920s. One of these is an actor who is said to have committed suicide right there on the stage while the other is a board member who was murdered by a fellow board member during a heated argument. The spirits of both of these men are said to haunt the property along with a number of other ghostly entities. The most common reports of paranormal activity in The Cuban Club include the spirits playing the piano and riding up and down in the elevators!
4 - Old Tampa Book Company
If ever there was a location that proved how appearances can be deceiving then it would be Old Tampa Book Company. This looks like a quaint little bookstore, but it is actually one of the most haunted places in Tampa. The owners of the bookstore say that they inherited some antique chairs from the previous owners which are known to move by themselves. Perhaps more disturbingly they have also reported a pair of bloodstained scissors appearing on the floor of the shop with no explanation.
3 - Plant Hall, University of Tampa
The University of Tampa’s Plant Hall is now an academic building, but it previously served as a 500 room hotel which hosted the likes of Teddy Roosevelt and Babe Ruth as guests. It is now said to be rife with paranormal activity including the disembodied voices of long dead servants and the sound of rolling dice! Doors have swung slowly open and closed by themselves and staff and students alike describe an uneasy feeling that they are being watched by something unseen in the shadows. It is also said to be haunted by an entity known as ‘The Brown Man’ who is described as wearing a brown colored suit and having terrifying glowing red eyes! He is prone to appearing and ten vanishing quickly with no warning on staircases in the building. There have also been reports of a spectral couple dancing in the former ballroom.
2 - The Old Florida Brewery Company building
In the past this downtown Tampa building served as a brewery pumping out gallons of beer, but these days it mostly just pumps out spooky ghost stories! One of the most prominent ghost stories involves a fight that apparently broke out between two drunk men shortly after the brewery first opened. One of the men, who happened to be of Cuban descent, sustained some severe head injuries and died. Ever since then there have been reports of a drunk man with a heavy Hispanic accent hanging around the building.
1 - Old Federal Courthouse (now the le meridien hotel)stay at the le meridien hotel
The Old Federal Courthouse is one of the most haunted places in Tampa. It dates back to the later part of the 20th century right at the peak of organized crime and prohibition. The building is now said to be haunted by the spirit of a well known gangster named Charlie Wall. Charlie was called up to testify in court regarding organized crime in 1950 and he apparently revealed in great deal what had been going down in the Tampa area in that respect. Just 3 days later he turned up dead – murdered by his fellow gangsters. He has now been seen on the front steps of the former courthouse which is now serving as the Le Meridien Hotel.
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