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…
1. Ocean Key House Resort, Key Weststay at the ocean key house resort
The Ocean Key House Resort in Key West is a trendy spot for those searching for some much-needed relaxation. However, this hotel is also one of the most haunted hotels in Key West!
According to reports from some of the hotel’s previous guests, there is a great deal of paranormal activity here, with the most common reports claiming that items on the dresser have moved all by themselves.
It is not unusual for guests to hear jangling keys and breathy sighs, and they often say that they do not feel as though they are really alone.
2. Florida Atlantic University, Boca
There are a growing number of college campuses that are considered haunted, and when you think about it, it is probably no surprise considering that the college years are often fraught with broken hearts and shattered dreams.
That could be the perfect recipe for a haunting! The Humanities building of Florida Atlantic University is home to a female spirit that students and security staff have reported seeing crying and sometimes slamming doors up on the third floor.
Apparently, she was an underachieving thespian at the college who apparently grew weary of constantly being pipped to the post when landing the plum roles in college productions.
Now she hangs around the building and takes pleasure in suddenly appearing and then disappearing whenever anyone tries to approach.
She is keen to put on a show and is seemingly craving the spotlight she could never capture in life.
3. Coral Castle, Miami
Coral Castle sits in the Southern part of Miami-Dade County, and it is a well-known landmark in the area. This is partly due to the immense coral structures and partly thanks to the mystery surrounding the stunning sculpture garden.
The huge stone pieces were quarried, cut, transported, and constructed by Edward Leedskalnin in 1923 and have drawn comparisons with the great pyramids in Egypt. How exactly did one man do all of this on his own?
There are over 1000 tons of coral rock here, and Leedskalnin was a 100-pound Latvian emigrant! Some have suggested that he possessed magical powers, while others say that he had the help of aliens or supernatural forces.
We will never know exactly how he built his castle and everything in it – including the furniture, art, doors, and so on. However, we know that he was incredibly proud of his castle and his apparition is often spotted observing his handiwork during tours!
4. City of Miami Cemetery, Miami
The City of Miami Cemetery is the oldest burial ground in Miami. It is home to the Earthly remains of several well-known names, including Julia Tuttle, The Burdine Family, and Carrie Miller – the woman who was buried in her bed rather than in a casket!
The cemetery is split into 3 different sections to keep Jews, blacks, and military personnel separate.
The military section is home to 66 confederate soldiers and 27 union soldiers, and it is these Civil War soldiers who are said to be responsible for haunting the cemetery.
5. Deering Estate, Palmetto Bay
Nobody has lived in the Deering Estate since the 1980s, but that certainly does not mean that this beautiful mansion is completely uninhabited! Deering Estate is often considered one of South Florida’s most haunted places, and not without good reason.
This estate’s history actually stretches back 50,000 years, thanks to the variety of prehistoric burial mounds and fossils that have been uncovered on the grounds over the years. Tours and paranormal investigations of the property are now offered regularly.
One of the most common reports of paranormal activity that is reported at the Deering Estate is that the spirits will whisper in your ear.
Paranormal groups have also collected evidence of disembodied voices, EVP, phantom footsteps, and doors that move by themselves.
There have also been sightings of apparitions and unexplained shadows.
6. Villa Paula, Little Haiti
Villa Paula is not only one of the most haunted places in South Florida, but it also has a reputation for being among the most beautiful and most historic buildings in the area.
Villa Paula was built in 1925 to serve as the first Cuban Consulate in Miami. It also served as the main residence for Consul Domingo Milord and his wife Paula, for whom the house is named.
Unfortunately, around 6 years after moving in, Paula passed away following complications with a leg amputation. It was soon after her passing that the ghost stories first started to emerge.
Witnesses have described hearing phantom footsteps around the property, seeing doors and windows open and close by themselves, and smelling both Cuban coffee and roses in the air.
There are also reports of people seeing a full apparition of a one-legged woman in a full-length gown.
7. Blue Anchor, Delray Beach
The Blue Anchor pub is located in Delray Beach, an area of South Florida that has become popular for retirees looking for a place to relax. However, the property is considered to be one of the most haunted places in South Florida, thanks to the presence of a ghost named Bertha Starkey.
It is said that Ms. Starkey met her untimely end over 100 years ago when her husband sliced her up in a fit of jealous rage. However, this did not happen in Florida! The Blue Anchor was originally founded in Britain in 1864, and the entire place was relocated to Delray Bay in South Florida at a later date.
It seems that Bertha’s spirit made the trip right alongside the building! Her footsteps are often heard across the ceiling at night, and activity seems to peak around the anniversary of her murder each year.
8. Hollywood Beach Resort Hotel, HollywoodBOOK A ROOM
The Hollywood Beach Resort dominates the east end of Hollywood Boulevard, where it connects with Ocean Drive, and the 1920s hotel has long been considered one of the most haunted places in South Florida.
Over the years, the building has been used as a hotel and as a bible college! It was once the favourite hangout of famous gangster Al Capone!
The property underwent substantial renovation work in the 1990s, which is when it was reopened as a hotel, and it was then that the tales of paranormal activity began to surface.
The seventh floor is apparently a hotspot for the unexplained activity, with witnesses claiming to see strange lights there.
There have also been multiple EVP recordings captured on the seventh floor.
9. Apollo 1 Launch Complex 34, Cape Canaveral
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. 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 disembodied screams.
10. Vinoy Renaissance, St. PetersburgBOOK NOW
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 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. Members of 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 occur.
11. Coral Gables Biltmore Hotel, Coral GablesBOOK NOW
The Coral Gables Biltmore Hotel in Florida is a Mediterranean mansion hotel with fountains, terraces, and columned loggias. It has long been a favorite haunt of celebrities and dignitaries as well as the general public.
It is also a favorite 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 are 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 hotels in Florida.
12. Casa Monica Hotel, St. AugustineBOOK NOW
The Casa Monica Hotel in St Augustine, Florida, was built in 1888 by architect Franklin W. Smith. Around 4 months after the grand opening 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 the staff, guests, and paranormal investigators will all tell you otherwise! The 4th floor is the most haunted area of the hotel, and some staff actually point blank refuse to clean certain rooms there!
Be sure to ask for the fourth floor!
13. The Riddle House, West Palm Beach
The Riddle House is an Edwardian style house built back in 1905 in West Palm Beach, but it was moved to Yesteryear Village later. Originally, it served as a funeral parlor until Karl Riddle bought it in the 1920s to serve as his private residence.
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!
14. The Cuban Club, Ybor City
The Cuban Club was built in 1917 following the migration of many Cubans into the United States. There has actually been a clubhouse 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. It featured a pharmacy, a ballroom, cantina, library, 2 story theater, gymnasium, bowling lanes, and a swimming pool when it first opened.
The club’s fortunes 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.
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. A piano 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 who drowned in the Cantina’s small pool. He’s, without doubt, the most “active” in the venue (voices, shapes, moving balls set on the floor, pushing doors open, etc.).
15. 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 selling it to the government in 1865.
However, the state offered him far less than the true value, and when he refused, they threatened to take it by force. Ballard was outraged and vowed never to leave the Lighthouse! Some believe this is 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 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.
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If you’re looking to experience something paranormal in Florida, you may be looking at some haunted accommodation…If you are, you’re in luck! Florida has an abundance of historic hotels with a history of paranormal activity! If you want to learn more about the many spooky tales of these haunted hotels click the link below!
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