Do you believe in ghosts? Some people do; others don’t. But these 10 places all have many stories about their resident spirits—people claim to have seen them on multiple occasions. Read on to learn their stories.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. May Stringer House, Brooksville
Visit the May Stringer House (which is now a museum), and you might see or hear the ghost of little Jessie May, who died at age three. Visitors report seeing the face of a little girl in the attic window. Others report hearing a small child crying and asking for her mother. Some mornings, museum employees come into the home to find Jessie's toys scattered all over, though they were put neatly away the night before.
2. Key West Cemetery, Key West
The Key West Cemetery is supposedly haunted by numerous ghosts, including one dark spirit who is vengeful and scary. Nighttime visitors have even been attacked by this angry spirit, and report being pushed and scratched by unseen hands. The ghosts of children who died in a house fire nearby also haunt this place. They're often seen running and playing hide-n-seek here, and their laughter and voices are heard at night.
3. Ybor City, Tampa
Ybor City was once the largest cigar manufacturing town in the world. In the early 1900s, tuberculosis swept through the town, killing many residents. Others may have died in two fires that wiped out several blocks. Now, this little section of Tampa is said to be haunted with numerous ghosts. The ghostly figure of a lady supposedly descends the main staircase of the Cuban Club. In a small shop, the ghost of a little boy runs through the clothing racks after the store closes for the evening. Visitors report seeing many strange things, including orbs and ghosts, and hearing voices.
4. Stranahan House Museum, Fort Lauderdale
The ghost of a little girl haunts the Stranahan House Museum, according to visitors who often see her running past the museum's windows at night or when it's closed. The ghost of a man in his 20s appears in the first floor windows. Some people, who have stepped onto the porch to peer inside, are terrified when the man puts his face and hands on the opposite side of the glass and screams at them.
5. Tampa Theatre, Tampa
This gorgeous theatre was built in 1926 and is still in operation today, but it may be haunted. A long-time employee, Foster "Fink" Finley, who worked as the projectionist died there of a heart attack in 1965. Ever since, employees report strange happenings. Fink has been seen by many, wandering through the theater. Another ghost, a lady in a white dress, is often seen on the mezzanine.
6. Bellamy Bridge, Marianna
Bellamy Bridge was built in 1914, and is a cool historic site in The Sunshine State. But, it was built near the site of a gruesome suicide. In 1837, Samuel Bellamy lost his wife and child just months apart. After years of depression and alcoholism, he wrote a suicide note requesting that he be buried next to his wife, then slit his throat with a razor at Chattahoochee Landing. Samuel was not buried next to his wife, and her ghost is often seen sitting near the bridge.
7. Greenwood Cemetery, Eustis
The ghost of a lady wearing a white lace dress is often seen in this cemetery. She approaches visitors, asking for help, then disappears right in front of them. She's also seen weeping at a gravesite.
8. St. Augustine Lighthouse, St. Augustine
The ghosts of two teenaged sisters haunt this lighthouse, which was built in 1874. The girls' father was working on the construction of the lighthouse that year, and his daughters had accompanied him to the work site. They hopped into a construction cart, which rolled right into the bay. The two girls, ages 13 and 15 drowned. Visitors often report hearing laughter and feeling cold spots here. Others hear footsteps running up and down the stairwell when no one else is around.
9. Ma Barker House, Carney Island
The infamous Ma Barker House was just moved in October, 2016 from its original building site in Ocala to Carney Island, where it will be available for tourists to view. It's hard to say if the ghost of Ma Barker moved, too, but her ghostly figure was often seen on the front porch of the home. The house was the site of an FBI shootout that killed Ma Barker and her son Freddie.
10. Sandlin House, Punta Gorda
The ghost of 14-year-old Mary Leah Sandlin is said to haunt this beautiful Victorian-style home, which was built in 1893. Mary Leah was ironing on the front porch when she spilled kerosene on herself and accidentally caught fire. The young girl perished in the flames, but her ghost roams the house even still. She's often spotted on the front porch, or in an upstairs bedroom.
What do you think? Are these places really haunted? If you have stories, we’d love to hear them!