Ghosts, spirits, disembodied voices… those are just some of the supernatural things people have witnessed at the Cuban Club in Tampa and the St. Augustine Lighthouse. But are those spooky experiences enough to land the two Florida locations on USA Today’s 10Best list for Best Haunted Destination?
With Halloween on the horizon, USA Today is looking to shine a spotlight on the scariest places across the U.S.
A total of 19 locations were by nominated 10Best Local Experts, and two Florida spots are in the running.
Voters will have until August 26 to help the Cuban Club, also known as El Circulo Cubano de Tampa, and the St. Augustine Lighthouse make the list.
The other locations are: Waverly Hills Sanatorium – Louisville, KY; Villisca Axe Murder House – Villisca, Iowa; Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum – Weston, WV; West Virginia Penitentiary – Moundsville, WV; Fort Mifflin on the Delaware – Philadelphia, PA; The Queen Mary – Long Beach, CA; Ohio State Reformatory – Mansfield, OH; Eastern State Penitentiary – Philadelphia, PA; Lincoln Park Zoo – Chicago, IL; St. Louis Cemetery #1 – New Orleans, LA; Whaley House Museum – San Diego, CA; Moon River Brewing Company – Savannah, GA; Winchester Mystery House – San Jose, CA; Downtown Virginia City – Virginia City, NV; Malabar Farm State Park – Lucas, OH; Fort Delaware – Delaware City, DE; and Yuma Territorial Prison Museum & Park – Yuma, AZ.
The Waverly Hills Sanatorium is the current vote leader. The St. Augustine Lighthouse is in fourth place, with a solid shot to stay within the top 10, while the Cuban Club is next to dead last at 18.
It’s no surprise the St. Augustine Lighthouse is doing well. The location has been featured on the hit paranormal reality television series “Ghost Hunters.” The “Ghost Hunters” crew actually returned to the lighthouse for a new episode that will premiere on August 21. Hopefully the exposure will help keep the lighthouse in the top 10 and maybe even propel it to No. 1.
Despite polling poorly at the moment, the Cuban Club has been in the spotlight before. It has made the Travel Channel’s Top 10 Most Haunted Places and was also featured on “Ghost Hunters.”
When voters head to the 10Best site, each location has a short description of what to expect if they ever visited one of the haunted destinations.
The description for the St. Augustine Lighthouse reads:
“Paranormal activity reported at the St. Augustine Lighthouse includes the disembodied voice of a woman asking for help. Dark of the Moon ghost tours take visitors into the lighthouse at night to learn about the spirits that may still haunt the 1876 Keepers’ House and 1874 lighthouse tower.”
The description for the Cuban Club reads:
“The Cuban Club, or Circulo Cubano de Tampa, was a popular hangout for Cuban immigrants when it was built in 1917. The venue continues to host concerts and special events, where visitors report spirits playing the piano, riding the elevators and spinning around the ballroom dance floor.”
The winning locations will be announced on September 6.
Melissa’s career in writing started more than 20 years ago. Today, she lives in South Florida with her husband and two boys.