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It seems like the towns with the most history are also the most haunted. For example, most people are aware of St. Augustine’s reputation for haunted hot spots, but apparently, there’s a town that’s even more haunted than the nation’s oldest city. Luckily (if you enjoy ghost stories) it also happens to be right here in the Sunshine State.
Welcome to Monticello (pronounced "mont-i-sell-o"). You might have never heard of this quaint community, but it has actually been nationally recognized several times for something unusual. This small town in Northwest Florida has been called the most haunted in the South and even the most haunted small town in the U.S.
Visiting Monticello feels like a step back in time. Although many of the pre-Civil War buildings were burned down, an astonishing number of the ones that replaced them in the late 1800s are still intact. In fact, it is so well preserved that even today, the town looks very much like a typical North Florida town in the 19th century would have looked.
Perhaps that's why so many of its departed residents have chosen to stick around. Although the town is small, there are many landmarks that are rumored to be hotbeds of paranormal activity.
For ghost hunters and lovers of history and architecture alike, Monticello is a fascinating destination, especially during the Halloween season. That's why we suggest all of you curious folks out there take an overnight trip to this little town frozen in time.
Spend your day exploring the charming town, but make sure you've grabbed a spot in one of professional ghost tracker Betty Davis's Historic Monticello 90-minute walking tours. These 90-minute tours will take you to some of Monticello's most haunted landmarks, like the historic opera house and some beautiful privately-owned historic homes.
Davis claims that one in three of all of the town's structures are currently or have at one time been haunted, but she does not believe that most ghosts are malevolent like they appear to be in popular culture.
The experience doesn't end with your tour, however. There are at least three haunted bed and breakfasts in town to choose from: The eclectic Daffodale Estate, the Avera-Clarke House, and the John Denham House, which has been named one of the top haunted places to sleep with a ghost in the country.
Some other supposedly haunted sites include the Old Jefferson County Jail, "The Hanging Tree," and the Palmer House, rumored to be the most "active" spot in town.
The Historic Monticello Ghost Tours leave at 7:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. on October 27th and 28th, and cost $15 for adults and $12 for kids age 8 to 12 (7 and under are free). Cemetery tours are also available. Please call 850-508-8109 for reservations.
Bed & Breakfasts’ Contact Information:
Daffodale Estate: 850-997-1111, daffodaleestate.com.
John Denham House: 850-997-4568, johndenhamhouse.com.
Avera-Clarke House: 850-997-5007, averaclarke.com.
Have you ever visited the haunted town of Monticello? What do you think is the most haunted town in Florida?
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