It's impossible to ignore Halloween when decorations are being sold at Target in August and those Halloween pop up shops have already started opening. At this point, when the Pumpkin Spice Lattes start appearing, you have to already have your Halloween costume planned and executed or else you're too late.
Florida is known for a lot of things, but you'd never describe it as being particularly "spooky." But the history is rich and you'd be surprised that the building you pass by every day on your way to work is cursed. There are ghost sightings everywhere in the most innocuous places!
So if you've ever had a paranormal encounter, just know that you are not alone. There are plenty of places that are certified haunted in Florida. And it's not just made up for Halloween purposes.
If you're ready to get into the spirit of Halloween, take a look at this list and go to some of these places. You can go during the day when you're safest... or go when the sun goes down and see what happens. Good luck.
Ghost Roads of Fallschase
Where: Fallschase Parkway, Tallahassee
You never know what lies behind you. If you've shopped at the Village Center in Tallahassee, you've probably picked up some great stuff there! You can never go wrong where there's a Costco and Walmart. But just behind the Village Center in the woods is an abandoned housing development. The roads eventually turn into cul-de-sacs and one house remains there. Um... creepy, much?
Don CeSar Hotel
Where: 3400 Gulf Blvd, St Pete Beach
Stay at this hotel at your own risk! Even the hotel's website has a post about the supposed paranormal happenings people have experienced while working and staying there. People have said that mysterious things happen on the fifth floor. People recount seeing the old owner of the hotel walking around the grounds wearing a white summer suit. But if you try to approach him, he disappears.
Take a couple photos around the hotel and see what pops up in the photos when you get home. But realistically, a pink building can't be that scary, right? Right?
Miami Biltmore Hotel
Where: 1200 Anastasia Ave, Coral Gables
Everybody knows by now that 13 is an unlucky number. So kindly ask for another room on a different floor if you stay at this hotel. Before the building was converted into a hotel, there was a murder on the 13th floor and then it was converted to a hospital that became abandoned. There have always been ghost rumors about this place, but you won't know it until you live it.
St. Augustine Lighthouse
Where: 81 Lighthouse Avenue, St. Augustine
You know it's legit when there's a ghost tour. It's been said that visitors can feel the presence of the first lighthouse's keeper through the strong scent of cigars. But some have even felt the chills of seeing a keeper who fell to his death from trying to paint the outside of the lighthouse. So be on high alert when you're walking up those stairs to the top!
Where: 5770 W Irolo Bronson Memorial Hwy, Kissimmee
It's a haunted attraction. Or is it? Mortem Manor is the only haunted house open all year round! Come visit this two story house that's filled with actors lurking in the shadows waiting to scare you. But are they all actors? Or are some of them spirits? You can find out when you debrief with your friends and discover that one of you got scared by someone who wasn't an employee.
And if that isn't enough for you, there's something called the "Last Ride" Burial Simulator at the same location. You are in complete darkness mimicking being in a coffin. You know, if your thing happens to be experiencing what it's like to be buried alive.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Where: Walt Disney World
Don't laugh. You think you're just in line for a ride, but have you actually paid attention to the props or the general ambiance of the place? It makes it seem like you're in a hotel where somebody's about to be murdered. The employees are all dressed as bellhops, but there's supposedly one who roams the hotel as a ghost. So is it an employee helping you get on the ride or is it a ghost?
Where: Lake Wales
Is the story over if it's been explained? Not necessarily. Spook Hill is an optical illusion where it looks like cars are rolling up the hill. But for the elementary school across the street to adopt Casper the Friendly Ghost as a mascot, you never know what else goes on there. Ghosts are freaky even if they're friendly!
The Haunted Mansion
Where: Walt Disney World
Sure, it's all fun and games with fake ghosts and a funny Eddie Murphy movie. But people have said once you get off the ride, there's a ghost of a little boy that hauts the exit. So the actual ride is the least of your problems!
Koreshan State Historic Site
Where: 3800 Corkscrew Rd, Estero
The state park used to be home to a commune. Cyrus Teed was a doctor who changed his name to Koresh and created a new religion. Long after the commune was dissolved and Teed had passed away, people have commented that there's an eerie presence around the park. They have heard unexplained voices and shadows of people who suddenly disappear on trails. So, um, beware of that.
Dysfunctional Grace Art Co.
Where: 1903 E 7th Ave, Tampa
Interested in a little shop of horrors? You really don't know what you're getting into until you step into this shop. You can buy animal skeletons, banned books, antique jewelry, baby dolls, and even see a coffin. The theme of the shop is "death and dysfunction" and it really shows. Try not to hum The X-Files theme song while you're browsing.
The May-Stringer House
Where: 601 Museum Ct, Brooksville
It makes sense that ghosts would roam the oldest house in the area. Apparently, the historical museum is home to eight ghosts that roam the place. And as if that's not creepy enough, the ghost that people seem to see the most is a little girl who misses her mother.
This place is the psychic capital of the world! Supposedly, the mediums who are residents of the town use many different methods to communicate with spirits. So if there's anyone you want to talk to from the other world, head here! But be careful while entering and exiting the town. You don't want to bring anything or anyone home with you...
Castillo de San Marcos
Where: 1 S Castillo Dr, St Augustine
This Spanish fort was used for battle, but the soldiers never left. This is a popular place for tourists and supposedly their visit has left them spooked because they hear the sound of boots walking in the soldiers' quarters.
Elijah Hand Building
Where: 25 W Pine St, Orlando
What's scary about an abandoned building? Well, this one was the office of Elijah Hand who was an undertaker and a furniture-maker. It's been said that people who worked in the building since then have seen very suspicious things. They've had things thrown onto the ground or desks moved. There's also been a sighting of a mysterious woman named "The Lady in White." Maybe when you visit here, stand very far from the building.
The Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse
Where: 14 St George St, St Augustine
A schoolhouse is harmless. Right? Well, it is. But there is a very creepy part to the museum. When you walk through, you'll see the wooden staircase and just below it is a very Harry Potter-esque cupboard under the stairs. But, this is where they would keep children for detention when they misbehaved. And that's creepy enough without ghosts or demons.
East Martello Museum
Where: 3501 S Roosevelt Blvd, Key West
All dolls are scary. Let's just get that out of the way. Try not to get too scared, but legend has it that this doll has supernatural abilities. He can change expressions, move, and even giggle. SO HAVE FUN SLEEPING TONIGHT AFTER READING THAT.
South Seas Island Resort
Where: 5400 Plantation Rd, Captiva
This place is haunted from end to end. Even though you can have a wonderful and lovely stay here at this resort, there have been reported strange incidents here. The restaurant King's Crown is supposed to have a little girl who stirs up trouble after security has locked up and left the building. But the view from the resort is gorgeous! Just be on the lookout for any, um, active ghosts.
Old City Cemetery
Where: 400 W Park Ave, Tallahassee
Tallahassee has a White Witch. Witches of all varities often come to the grave of Elizabeth Budd-Graham to pay their respects. Since she's passed, rumors have swirled that she had a connection to witchcraft, but people always insisted she's a good witch who only casts spells of love.
Where: Brickell Point
This isn't like crop circles. But this is an excavation site that is a perfect circle that has 24 holes cut into limestone. After the excavation, it was discovered that there were human teeth and ancient tools buried in the ground. It is believed that these tools were used by Tequesta Indians. While there haven't been any ghost sightings in the area, the mysterious holes that haven't been explained are enough to send a chill down your spine.
Stogies Jazz Club
Where: 30 Charlotte St, St. Augustine
Before the jazz club existed, the original building burned down with four men perishing in the fire during a poker game. It's said that the ghosts of these men roam the club! People have heard cards shuffling and the smell of fire. So that's a nice little added bonus while coming to a jazz club!
Braden Castle Ruins
Where: 1 Office Dr E, Bradenton
Florida was home to a castle at one point. But the castle is now reduced to ruins since it fell to hurricanes, fires, and decay. But you can walk around the park and see the ruins. It's a nice to explore it during the day, but at night. Well, that's another thing. You never know what's lurking in the shadows...
Historic Stranahan House Museum
Where: 335 SE 6th Ave, Fort Lauderdale
Any old building can be deemed haunted at this point. This historic building is one of the oldest in Fort Lauderdale. People have reportedly seen a little girl in the second floor and have received chills when they make eye contact with her. There are also cold spots that run throughout the museum. It's very possible to leave the museum feeling weirder than when you entered. So try to shake it off... and look behind you as you leave.