When you think of Florida, aka The Sunshine State, you probably think of sun drenched beaches and bustling theme parks. However, nestled among these tourist hotspots there are some hotspots of a whole different kind! Florida is steeped in history and as paranormal fans know, this often leaves its mark in the form of unexplained activity!
Here is a closer look at some of the most haunted places in Florida:
7 – Apollo 1 Launch Complex 34, Cape Carnaveral
Back in the day, Complex 34 was designed to be one of NASA’s largest and most prominent launch pads. However, in 1967 three astronauts died in a cabin fire and the launch pad was closed down permanently. What remains stands as a memorial to those fallen souls. You can actually visit the launch pad as part of a special tour operated by Kennedy Space Center and while you are there, if you are lucky you might experience some of the paranormal activity that has been reported here. Many visitors describe having an overwhelming sense of dread upon approaching the launch pad while others claim to have heard mysterious disembodied screams.
6 – Vinoy Renaissance, St. Petersburg (Stay Here)
The Vinoy Renaissance Hotel was built in 1925 to serve as a seasonal hotel open from December to March. It was a popular hang out for many celebrities of the time including the likes of Babe Ruth, James Stewart, Herbert Hoover and Calvin Coolidge. Today this historic hotel is filled with modern amenities and luxuries and if the stories at to be believed, more than a few ghosts!
There does not seem to be any ill will on the part of the ghostly guests, but several of them are known to be tricksters! Some of the most commonly reported unexplained occurrences include lights flickering on and off, toilets flushing of their own accord and phantom footsteps. Guests have also reported seeing a semi transparent man and even feeling like they are being held down on the bed as they sleep. Staff say that the Old Wing of the hotel is by far the most haunted area of the building and that this is where most of the paranormal events take place.
5 – Coral Gables Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables (Stay Here)
The Coral Gables Biltmore Hotel in Florida is a Mediterranean mansion hotel with fountains, terraces and columned loggias. It has long been a favourite haunt of celebrities and dignitaries as well as the general public. It is also a favourite of long dead guests who have chosen to return to spend eternity at the hotel they loved so well in life!
One of the spirits that is said to haunt this 1926 hotel is that of mobster Fatty Walsh who was killed at the hotel in the midst of a gambling dispute. Ever the gentleman, he is said to open doors for the waitresses as they carry trays in and out of the restaurant. He has also been known to write messages on mirrors, steal lampshades, turn off lights and play with the elevator buttons sending guests to the wrong floors!
There have also been reports of a woman in white, believed to be the spirit of a woman who jumped out of the tower although her reasons for doing so are not known. There has also been a waltzing couple seen dancing across the floor before vanishing abruptly.
Why not book your stay at the haunted Coral Gables Biltmore Hotel – one of the most haunted hotel s in Florida.
4 – Casa Monica Hotel, St. Augustine (Spend the night)
The Casa Monica Hotel in St Augustine, Florida was built in 1888 by architect Franklin W. Smith. Around 4 months after the grand openinf Henry Flagler, the founder of Standard Oil, purchased the hotel and re-named it Cordova. Under Flager’s ownership the hotel experienced a boom period, especially when a bridge was built connecting it to the nearby Alcazar – now known as Lightner Museum. However, Flagler abandoned the hotel when the stock market crashed in 1932 and in 1945 the connecting bridge was torn down. Throughout the sixties and seventies the building was used as the county courthouse. It wasn’t until the mid nineties that Richard C Kessler purchased the building and invested $1.2 million to restore it to its former glory and reopened it as the Casa Monica once more.
As you can see, the hotel has had a colorful past. Add this to the fact that the entire St. Augustine area seems rife with paranormal activity and you get the perfect setting for a haunting or two! The hotel itself does not freely admit to being haunted, but staff, guests and paranormal investigators will all tell you otherwise! The 4th floor is said to be the most haunted area of the hotel and some staff actually point blank refuse to clean certain rooms there!
Do you fancy checking in to the Casa Monica Hotel? Be sure to ask for the fourth floor!
3 – The Riddle House, West Palm Beach
The Riddle House is an Edwardian style house that was built back in 1905 in West Palm Beach, but it was moved to Yesteryear Village at a later date. Originally, it served as a funeral parlour until it was bought by Karl Riddle in the 1920s to serve as his private residence. It is said to be one of the most haunted places in Florida and one of the most active spirits there is a man named Joseph who used to work for the Riddles. Joseph hanged himself in the attic rather than facing his money worries and he is now said to inhabit this attic. He has a particular dislike for men and has been known to attack any who enter what he now regards as his domain!
2 – The Cuban Club, Ybor City
The Cuban Club was built in 1917 following the migration of a large number of Cubans into the United States. There has actually been a club house there in the past, but it was destroyed in a fire in 1916 which is why the members decided to start planning its bigger, better replacement. The new building which can be seen today has a neoclassical design and when it first opened it featured a pharmacy, a ballroom, cantina, library, 2 story theater, gymnasium, bowling lanes and a swimming pool. The fortunes of the club went downhill in the sixties when membership dropped to an all time low, but in 1992 the Cuban Club Foundation was formed to save and restore the building.
The Cuban Club is not only one of the most haunted places in Florida, but some say it is among the most haunted buildings in the entire world! There have been at least two confirmed deaths within the building dating back as far as the 1920s. It is believed that an actor actually committed suicide on stage and a member of the board was found murdered (gunshot to the face) in the boardroom after an argument with another member. Both of these men are known to haunt the building, but they are certainly not the only ones! There have also been reports of a woman in white wearing red heels who climbs up and down the stairs and who can be heard wailing sometimes. There is a piano that plays by itself and orbs of light are also common in the club.
Perhaps the most notorious of all the ghosts at the Cuban Club is that of a young boy. He’s believed to be the ghost of an 8 year old boy that drowned in the small pool in the Cantina, he’s without doubt the most “active” in the venue (voices, shapes, moving balls set on the floor, pushing doors open, etc.).
Why not pay a visit to The Cuban Club and check it out for yourself?
1 – St Augustine Lighthouse, St. Augustine
St Augustine Lighthouse stands at the North end of Anastasia Island and is open to the public with all admission fees going to the Lighthouse fund programs. It was originally built in 1824 and was privately owned by Dr Allan Ballard before he sold it to the government in 1865. However, the state offered him far less than the true value and when he refused they threatened to simply take it by force. Ballard was outrage and vowed never to leave the Lighthouse! Some believe that this may exactly what Ballard did since he is often sighted around the property!
Ballard certainly isn’t the only lighthouse keeper that seems to have decided to stick around. There have also been reports of the spirit of Peter Rasmussen appearing around the lighthouse usually accompanied by the smell of cigar smoke. Another lighthouse keeper, Joseph Andreau is also said to haunt the lighthouse and can be heard on the stairs. He passed away after falling from the tower while painting it. There are also reports that the daughters of another keeper Hezekiah Pity haunting the property. The 13 and 15 year old girls drowned when the cart they were playing with was swept out to sea. With so many spirits seen in the lighthouse, it is no surprise that it is considered to be one of the most haunted places in Florida.
More Haunted Hotels in Florida
Other Haunted Locations in Florida: