Florida is known for many things: Disney World, alligators, oranges. It’s not known for ghosts specifically, but there are plenty here. If you’re curious about the darker, more mysterious locations in our state, check out this road trip below. It’s a 14-hour drive, so consider taking a long weekend and staying at a hotel along the way. (Some of our stops are even haunted hotels.)
Here is the Google Maps route, so that you can follow it or revamp it as you wish. Enjoy!
1. Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine
St. Augustine is the oldest city in the country and also one of the most haunted. Castillo de San Marcos is the only remaining 17th-century fortress in the country. The history of this place is long and brutal and has led to numerous ghost stories, from the Seminole man who can be spotted leaping to freedom from the fortress walls, to the lovesick woman in a white dress who wanders the premise.
2. Veterans Memorial Bridge on Orange Ave in Daytona Beach
Orange Avenue in Daytona Beach is one of the spookiest streets in Florida and a quick drive over the bridge won't take you out of your way. Watch out for a well-dressed young woman hitchhiking across the bridge: Drivers have reported picking her up only to have her disappear before leaving their cars. It is said that she is the spirit of a girl who was hit by a car and killed on her way to a homecoming dance.
Cassadaga is the "Psychic Capital of the World" thanks to its huge population of psychics. Though spiritualism is not necessarily terrifying, Cassadaga is a quirky, unusual place that will pique your interest on this trip.
4. NASA's Launch Complex 34 in Cape Canaveral
Complex 34 was initially meant to be a major landing pad for NASA, but in 1967, three astronauts tragically died in a cabin fire in the location. Complex 34 was shut down, and ever since visitors have reported paranormal activity at the location, from mysterious screams to an inexplicable feeling of dread.
5. Lake Okeechobee (Specifically Port Mayaca Cemetery)
As the second largest fresh lake in the country, you can bet that Lake Okeechobee is the focus of plenty of folklore. Set aside the tales of dinosaurs and lake monsters, ghosts by the hundreds populate these waters. We've directed you specifically to the Port Mayaca Cemetry, a mass grave where thousands of individuals who perished in a hurricane were buried in 1928. This is the second known mass grave that calls Lake Okeechobee its home---and the first is far more mysterious: In the early 1900s, fishermen came across a massive field of skeletons.
6. The New River Inn Museum in Fort Lauderdale
This museum, until recently, was a hotel. There are various ghosts who are spotted by visitors: A little girl can be seen peering from windows, a man paces through the hallways and more.
7. The Rod and Gun Club in Everglades City
The Rod and Gun Club has stood here since 1864, making it a historic restaurant in the famous Everglades. There have been long standing rumors of hauntings here and in 2011, the restaurant was the subject of a paranormal investigation.
8. Loews Don CeSar Hotel in St. Petersburg
The original owner of the Loews Don CeSar Hotel, Thomas Rowe, is said to haunt the hotel along with his wife. He can be seen strolling along the pristine property, on the beach or around the perimeter of the distinctive pink building.
9. The May-Stringer House in Brooksville
The last stop on our trip is also one of the most notorious. This gorgeous Victorian house is known by many as the single most haunted location in the state, possessed by the spirits of past residents who died here. By day, the house is now a museum that displays exhibits of antiques and artifacts from the late 19th-century. By night, it is the site of haunted tours, which only adults are allowed to partake in.
Have you been to any of these places—and which other ones would you suggest? Share your ideas below.