It’s never too early to be stoked for Halloween, and if you’re a fan of the spooky, the paranormal, and the downright weird, Florida is a great place to look for inspiration. With tons of urban legends and nationally registered haunted spots, you can even explore many of these places on tours. Whether you’re looking for some early Halloween inpso, or just love a good jump scare, check out this list of strange and spooky Florida legends!
Robert the Doll
Chuckie’s got nothing on this terrorizing little toy. Robert the doll was gifted to a little boy named Gene by the family's servant in their Key West house in the 1890s.
After years of wreaking literal and figurative havoc on the boy’s life, Robert was eventually given away where he now lives at the East Martello Fort where you can actually visit him. It's speculated that the servant cursed the toy with voodoo to get back at her bosses for mistreating her.
You can also see Robert for yourself on Ghost’s and Gravestone’s Key West tour.
The Old Jail
Built in 1891, the Old Jail in St. Augustine has held many a dangerous criminal over the years; while it’s now a tourist attraction, many believe the spirits of the inmates still reside there.
You’ll see crime weapons, view the cells, and hear stories of jail hangings. Many guests have felt cold spots and witnessed unexplained shadows and noises.
The St. Augustine Lighthouse
Dating back to 1874, the lighthouse is still operational today but it also draws in visitors for its numerous paranormal stories.
One of the most reported ghost sightings and well-known stories of the lighthouse is that of Joseph Andreu, who fell to his death while painting it.
The Maitland Art Center
As Greater Orlando’s National Historic Landmark, The Maitland Art Center is a well-known place, but not just for its art pieces.
The ghost of the founder, Andre Smith, is reported to still walk its halls, and guests have even smelled his cigar smoke and seen him working in his old studio.
Captain Tony’s Saloon
The history of Captain Tony’s Saloon is long and rich. Starting out as Key West’s only morgue, it’s housed bodies, had some found lying under the floorboards during constructions, witnessed murders, and is built around an actual hanging tree that saw the deaths of several pirates and one woman.
Today, dollar bills and bras hang from its rafters, and you can actually go there, grab a cold one, and listen to spooky stories of its past.
La Concha Hotel
Dubbed Key West’s most historic and tallest building at six stories high, La Concha is rumored to have witnessed 13 people jump from the roof to commit suicide over the years.
One story claims a man was drinking a glass of chardonnay before he leaped, and that drinking a glass of wine near that spot can trigger an appearance of his ghost today.
If you’re still not sufficiently spooked, you can pay a visit to Orlando’s year-round Halloween bar or experience what it's like to be buried alive at a year-round haunted house while you wait for October to roll around. Happy hauntings!
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