Frightening Florida

Aside from the beach, the gambling, and the glamour, Florida is home to many haunting, frightening locations, adding ghosts to the list. I have listed some of these hotspots below. Enjoy…

Miami Biltimore Hotel in Miami

Built in 1926 by John McEntee Bowman, the Miami Biltimore Hotel is of luxury and is one of the tallest buildings in Florida since it was completed with its pool being the largest in the world at that time. It costed around 10 million dollars and took ten months to construct. Those who visited include Al Capone, Judy Garland, and some of the Roosevelts and Vanderbilts. Franklin D. Roosevelt had a White House office set up temperately for when he vacationed to Miami on fishing trips.

The hotel served as a hospital in the times of World War II then a VA hospital and then a medical school campus for the University of Miami. After years of being abandoned afterwards, it became a hotel in 1987.

Though luxury of course isn’t all the hotel has for it also has its share of hauntings. It is known that a mobster named Thomas Welsh met his fate at the hotel in 1929, fueling the modern activity.

King House in Mayport

While there is not a definitive date of construction, the date of the King House’s destruction by fire was recorded on April 25, 1881. It was noted that the house was used as a boarding house for sailors and that the was previously used as a resting place for the Spanish. In the 1940’s, it was also used as a Catholic church. It was then reconstructed in 1907 by William Joseph King and occupied by his son until his death in 1977.

The list goes on pretty far for this location as far as paranormal activity. During King’s son’s occupation at the home, ghostly occurrences were recorded and several paranormal groups investigated there at the time. A rocking chair moved on its own as one story goes that William’s aunt was killed by her jealous, sailor ex-boyfriend who pitchforked her to death in that same chair. Those who visited when it was a church reported hearing high-heels in the attic when no one was up there. Four known apparitions are also said to haunt the King House: a sailor, a butler who greets visitors and opens doors for them, a maid who stays in the kitchen and becomes aggressive when others use her space, and a bride who had been killed in a car crash on her wedding day just outside the home.

The Leaf Theater in Quincy

The Leaf Theater was built in 1949 but closed in 1980 due to competition. But in 1983, the theater was bought and donated to the Quincy Music Theatre group who – through funds, private gifts, and grants – restored it. Today, it hosts live musical performances and educational events throughout the year.

The theater is rumored to be haunted by former tenants and by those who worked there.

The Don CeSar Hotel in St. Pete Beach

The land beneath the hotel was purchased by Thomas Rowe and the hotel designed by Henry Dupont and opened in 1928. The Don CeSar still serves as a popular getaway among the rich and famous as it did back in the Jazz Age. With a blend of Mediterranean and Moorish stylings, it obtains a unique look along with its bold pink exterior and massive size.

The hotel is said to be haunted by its former ‘unchained’ owner, Thomas Rowe and two-hour ghost tours are given to those who desire a look at its dark side.

Old St. Johns County Jail in St. Augustine

Now serving as a museum, the old jail was designed and built in 1891 by the P.J. Pauley Jail Building and Manufacturing Company of St. Louis and served as a jail until 1953. It was made to house seventy-two prisoners with a maximum security area and a cell for those about to meet their fate on death row. A total of eight men were hung in the gallows during its time as a jail. The conditions were harsh and poor and those serving sentences were used for free labor during the day. The cell had one bucket for a toilet, showers and baths were infrequent, and the food typically was typically of animals caught by prisoners while working in the field. Racism, disease, violence, and death were commons within the walls.

It’s no wonder why the old jail museum is said to be haunted due to all the death and its gruesome past. The museum offers ghost toured guided by one costumed as a prisoner. I can only imagine the eerie and heavy feelings that place must provide…

Thank you so much for reading! Anyone from Florida who has anymore haunted places to provide or have anyone of you had a personal experience at any of these locations? Let me know in the comments!

Disclaimer: The information above is a combination of prior knowledge and research. No works were plagiarized, only referenced as a source of information. While anyone is welcome to comment, I attempt to make this a positive and friendly community where we can share our experiences. Any derogatory or negative comment(s) will be deleted. As always, reader discretion is advised.

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