Creepy Biltmore Hotel – Courtesy: Shutterstock – Image by Rafel
The Sunshine State may be best known for its crystal clear beaches, exciting theme parks, historical museums, and adventurous hiking trails, but it also has its fair share of spooky spots. Like most places classified as haunted, these Florida destinations are characterized by bizarre stories and strange phenomena that up the scare factor.
If ever visiting these destinations, keep in mind that their stories are not for the faint of heart.
- Castillo de San Marcos, St. Augustine
Besides being known as one of the most historic fortresses in the country, Castillo de San Marcos is also famous for being one of the most haunted places in the United States. The fortress’s eerie history dates back to the Florida War when it was used as a military prison.
During this time period, thousands of prisoners were kept and tortured here, leading to several deaths. After, it became widely known for paranormal activity and ghost sightings.
Those who visit often report strange feelings of cold hands touching them in the dungeon and images of a Spanish soldier standing at the edge of the fort and looking out to the ocean.
- The Tampa Theatre, Tampa
Visitors and workers of the Tampa Theatre have reported accounts of peculiar activity in the theatre for years. According to the establishment’s history, a woman perished after being stuck in a carriage near present-day Polk Street before the theatre was constructed. It is said the woman is behind the strange happenings in the theatre. Many have reported seeing apparitions of a woman in a long, white gown passing through the building.
In addition to the woman, it’s thought that the Tampa Theatre is home to the ghost of Fink, a meticulous actor who worked there. The man reportedly cherished the location so much that even after his death, his ghost still frequents the projection booth, which was his preferred area of the theater, to carry out his daily tasks, which included drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes, and shaving.
Those who have used this projection room have mentioned smelling cigarettes and coffee, as well as occasionally feeling a tap on the shoulder while changing film reels.
- The Plaza Resort & Spa, Daytona Beach
A resort is supposed to be a place where one can enjoy a stress-free, relaxing vacation, but the Plaza Resort & Spa might offer the opposite. Here, the chances of guests catching glimpses of ghosts are high. Reports of terrifying images and strange noises have been made at the resort since it was destroyed by fire in 1909.
Many people think that the unusual things that frequently happen to visitors are caused by spirits who were trapped in the resort during the fire. This hotel’s eerie aura is heightened by the rumor that a man died there by his own hand.
CCTV footage of a ghostly figure moving strangely on a porch before retreating when someone entered the area was a recent, unsettling story from the resort.
- St. Augustine Lighthouse, St. Augustine
As America’s oldest city, St. Augustine makes the list once again! One of the most popular haunted places in the area is St. Augustine’s Lighthouse. History tells the story of the passing of a man and a group of young girls here. Their spirits are believed to roam the lighthouse to date.
The lighthouse is now a museum, and those who have visited have reported sounds of little girls playing and laughing. People have also complained about the smell of cigar smoke, which legend has it was created by the lighthouse keeper and cigar enthusiast, Peter.
- Biltmore Hotel, Miami
Mysteriously shaking glasses, strange messages on mirrors, and lights switching on and off in empty rooms are the norm at the Biltmore Hotel in Miami. The hotel’s history definitely has something to do with the strange occurrences.
After its development in 1926, the hotel was the spot for vibrant parties and events. It was at one of these parties that Thomas “Fatty” Walsh, a gangster, was shot dead on the 13th floor.
The building was also used as a military hospital for veterans. After, it was abandoned and became renowned for ghost rumors and paranormal activity. The most popular ghost tale still revolves around the gangster–legend says that he still visits the 13th floor to avenge his death.
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Born and raised in South Florida, Krystal is a recent graduate from the University of Miami with professional writing experience at the collegiate and national news outlet levels. She’s a foodie who loves all things travel, the beach, & visiting new places throughout Florida.