THE PARANORMAL WORLD DATABASE       FLORIDA   APOLLO 1 LAUNCH SITE (CAPE CANAVERAL) The decommissioned launch pad, located in Cape Canaveral with its twin Launch Complex 37, were used by NASA to launch Saturn 1 and IB rockets as part of the Apollo program. With only seven recorded launches, LC-37 is believed to be haunted by the ghosts of Command Pilot Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, Senior Pilot Edward H. White II and Pilot Roger B. Chaffee, the three astronauts who perished during a pre-launch test on January 27, 1967 when the cabin of their Apollo I capsule was engulfed in flames, temporarily putting an abrupt halt to America's space program. Some NASA employees and visitors who have been to the abandoned launch pad claim to have heard screams and experienced an overall dark feeling when near the pad. So much so that at one point NASA stopped allowing visitors to the site due to the strange occurrences. NASA has never publicly commented on the reports the Launch Complex-34 is haunted, but the bleak remains of the launch pad, two plaques and three granite benches remain as a memorial to the fallen astronauts. ARCADIA OPERA HOUSE (ARCADIA) Built in 1906, it played host to both silent films and later “talking pictures”. It has also hosted political rallies and religious services during WWII as well as school dances and graduations. Today the theater houses a museum and antique shop but the seating area and balcony still exist as well as some vintage theater items which. legend suggests, come with an attachment to previous owners. Throughout the years there have been many reports of supernatural occurrences here and one of the most common claims is that of the sound of a large crowd of people coming from inside the old auditorium and late-night staff reporting the feeling of having hundreds of people standing around them. This has seemed so real that police have been called in multiple times out of fear of intruders. The smell of popcorn, phantom footsteps and disembodied voices are also common reports, but more disturbingly, people claim to hear the giggling of small children and feeling tiny, icy hands wrapping around their own. Then there’s the story of a woman who was sitting at the stop light on the corner of Oak and Polk, who looked up and saw a little girl staring at her. She sat through three red lights until somebody finally honked and when she glanced back, the little girl had disappeared from the window. ASHLEY’S RESTAURANT (ROCKLEDGE) Ashley's Restaurant & Bar is a Tudor-style wood and stucco building furnished with old stained-glass windows and antique pictures on dark wood walls. According to its website, it's also the setting for a ghostly legend. On Nov. 21, 1934, the body of 19-year-old Ethel Allen was found in Eau Gallie on the bank of the Indian River, mutilated and burned with her skull crushed and her throat slit. Ethel was last seen at Jack's Tavern, which would later become Ashley's. It's thought Ethel’s murder is the main source of the ghostly activity, much of which takes place in the women's restroom. One manager claims she's seen the feet of a woman dressed in 1930s-era shoes in a stall, only to exit her stall to find the other suddenly empty. Female patrons have also reported seeing apparitions of a young woman in the bathroom mirror. Others claim to have been pushed by an invisible force while going up and down the stairs. Lights flicker on and off during the night, alarms go off without explanation and glasses and dishes fall and break without cause. BLUE ANCHOR BAR (DELRAY BEACH) The Blue Anchor Pub was originally built in the mid-1800’s in London and existed there for almost 150 years. The facade of the pub was shipped from England to the United States in the 1990’s and now resides in Delray Beach. When the pub welcomed guests in London, it saw many famous and infamous guests walk in and out of its doors. Winston Churchill dined here and Jack the Ripper claimed a couple of his victims right outside its door just after they dined there. Bertha Starkey was a longtime patron of the pub and was in her lover’s arms when her husband returned from sea early and subsequently murdered her right there in the heat of the moment. It’s said the her ghost still visits the Blue Anchor and staff normally hears her ghost around 10 o'clock which was the time of day Bertha's murder took place. To keep her at bay each night they ring "The Ship's Bell” which they say keeps her appearances and nuisance to a minimum. Candles extinguish themselves and then re-ignite seconds later and heavy kitchen pots have been known to lift themselves off meat-cleaver size hooks and crash to the floor CAPTAIN TONY’S SALOON (KEY WEST) It was 1865 when a tumultuous hurricane hit the Florida Keys and water came crashing through the city, destroying nearly everything in its wake. The city morgue that would later become Captain Tony’s was not spared the devastation as many corpses that were awaiting burial or autopsy were washed away save for one. History tells us that it was lying in front of the building and later buried beneath the building, surrounded by holy water, and enclosed by a wall where the poolroom now sits. Later, the local pub would expand, incorporating a tree that was once used for hangings including that of a woman who murdered her two sons and husband and was unceremoniously hung in a blue dress that was still covered in her victim’s blood. It’s claimed she is the first ghost to inhabit Captain Tony’s and many who’ve visited this legendary bar have experienced some sort of inexplicable encounter. Often,it’s focused on the ladies restroom where patrons have reported various mysterious occurrences. One woman reported that she tried to go into one stall but found it locked. When she went into the adjacent stall, she noticed that no one was in the first. Before leaving the bar later that evening, she went back in only to find the same stall still locked and before she knew what was happening, the outside door to the restroom opened and closed by itself. Upon going into the same stall she used earlier, she heard the door of the other stall unlock and slam. Alarmed, she jumped up to see what was happening and saw no one in sight, but the neighboring stall was again locked. Another patron reported getting third degree burns on his hands an hour after touching the tree that stands inside the bar. CASA MONICA HOTEL (ST. AUGUSTINE) The Casa Monica Hotel in St Augustine was built in 1888 by architect Franklin W. Smith. Around 4 months after the grand opening, Henry Flagler, the founder of Standard Oil, purchased the hotel and re-named it Cordova. Under his ownership the hotel experienced a period of great success but he eventually abandoned it after the stock market crashed in 1932. Throughout the sixties and seventies the building was used as the county courthouse and it wasn’t until the mid-nineties that Richard C Kessler purchased the building and invested $1.2 million to restore it to its former glory, reopening it as the Casa Monica again. Though the owners and management of the hotel refuse to acknowledge any ghostly presences there, housekeepers and other workers share plenty of stories. Many despise cleaning the fourth floor because of the things they see and hear. Dozens of maids have reported hearing kids running, playing and laughing in the hallway when cleaning rooms, but when they open the door to speak with them they find the hallway empty. Others hear radios and alarm clocks turned on in empty rooms and faucets turn on by themselves. The stories and experiences are so common that the housekeeping department now allows maids to work together to clean rooms. There are also stories told of ghostly apparitions dressed in 1920s clothing spotted in various places around the hotel such as room 511 where a man once checked in but was found hanging there the next day. The room is said to have icy breezes and cold spots and the sound of footsteps are commonly heard inside when its vacant. Room 411 plays host to the apparition of a man in old fashioned clothes and a woman and man dressed in garb from the 1920s have been reported on occasion. CASSADEGA HOTEL (CASSEDEGA) The magnificent hotel that currently stands in Cassadaga was constructed in the year of 1928. Prior to this, another building stood in its place that was constructed in the latter part of the 1800s but was destroyed by fire in 1926. In the earliest days of the Cassadaga Hotel, the structure stood as a means of attracting individuals that would come to participate in the many programs that were sponsored during the winter months in this area of Florida. These programs were issued through the group that founded this quaint town, the Southern Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp Meeting Association. It was not at all unusual for those that considered themselves to be Spiritualists or those interested in the appeal of Spiritualism to participate in these programs. The hotel’s primary spirit is a man that went by the name of Arthur and was said to have been a friendly Irish tenor that resided in room 22 on the second floor. According to locals, Arthur stayed in the hotel during the 1930s and enjoyed placing a chair at the end of the second floor, near the window, so he could sit and watch what was happening outside. Today, many guests and locals claim that Arthur still lingers in the immense structure with many catching a whiff of alcohol or the distinct smell of cigars. Many that make their way to the end of the hall where Arthur sat have often felt his presence and claim that they feel as if someone is tapping them on the shoulder. Other guests have captured pictures of orbs and other types of unexplained phenomenon. CASTILLO DE SAN MARCOS (ST. AUGUSTINE) The largest masonry structure of its kind in the USA, the magnificent 17th century fort stands as it has for many centuries, guarding the coast against invasion and surviving more than 300 years of battles and storms. It’s here that many supernatural enthusiasts flock to investigate the accounts of inexplicable events. Within one of the watchtowers there have been reports of a light shining from a fixture that has no electricity running to it. Other spooky occurrences include the sighting of a Spanish soldier standing at the edge of the fort, looking out to sea just when the sun is about to rise or set. In the dungeon, many people say they feel as if someone with cold hands is touching them while others feel queasy and cold while walking through. It’s also not uncommon for visitors that have shot videos and taken pictures while taking a tour to report the appearance of misty shapes, glowing orbs and even the transparent shape of a person in them. CORAL GABLES BILTMORE HOTEL (CORAL GABLES) The Coral Gables Biltmore Hotel in Florida has long been a favorite haunt of celebrities and dignitaries as well as the general public. It is also a favorite of long-dead guests who have chosen to return to spend eternity at the hotel they loved so well in life. One of the spirits that is said to haunt this 1926 hotel is that of mobster Fatty Walsh who was killed at the hotel in the midst of a gambling dispute. Ever the gentleman, he is said to open doors for the waitresses as they carry trays in and out of the restaurant and write messages on mirrors, steal lampshades, turn off lights and play with the elevator buttons sending guests to the wrong floors. There have also been reports of a woman in white who is believed to be the spirit of a guest who jumped out of the tower for unknown reasons. There has also been a couple seen dancing a waltz across the floor before vanishing abruptly. CUBAN CLUB (TAMPA BAY) The club was built in 1917 to accommodate the migration of Cubans to the country. Skilled Cuban workers not only made fine cigars but also excelled in arts and crafts. The original clubhouse was destroyed in 1916 by a huge fire and members immediately began plans for a replacement and the present building which everyone sees today sits on the site of that original clubhouse. It had a pharmacy, ballroom, cantina, library and a 2-story theater, a gymnasium, two bowling lanes, lockers and a swimming pool. There are three confirmed deaths in the Cuban Club dating back as far as the 1920s. An actor committed suicide on stage, a member of the board was discovered murdered as a result of an argument with another member and an 8-year-old boy was said to have drowned in the hotel pool. All spirits are believed to haunt the building to this day along with numerous sightings of other spirits in the building, as well. There are reports of a ghostly woman wearing a white dress and red heels who climbs up and down a set of stairs, a piano plays by itself and the sound of a woman wailing can also be heard. People have also reported seeing floating orbs in the clubhouse and several pictures of them have surfaced on the Internet. The TV shows Ghost Hunters and Dead Files  have investigated the Cuban Club, proclaimed the building haunted and it has been dubbed “Club Dead”. DISNEY WORLD (ORLANDO) Like every popular place that attracts millions of visitors each year, there are ghost stories that surround several areas in Disney World. One of the most well-known is the story of George, a construction worker who died while building the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. The young employee either fell to his death while working at the top of the "burning city" scene inside the ride or had a heavy beam fall on him during construction, but in either case, it’s known that George died in 1970, before the park opened to the public. Legend has it that since opening day, cast members who open and close the attraction say "good morning" to George at the beginning of the day, and "good night" to him at closing. If either of these greetings is missed, George is known to cause mischief, such as shutting down the ride, making phone calls from an empty control room and showing up on ride monitors. At EPCOT - Spaceship Earth - a small girl with long blonde hair has been seen riding in a car with a young boy running in front of her with both vanishing into thin air. In the Tower of Terror there has been a long-standing story among employees of a ghost walking through the attraction after closing hours. He's usually found walking the wrong way, does not respond to calls and then disappears. There is also a legend that a woman left the ashes of her young son in the Haunted Mansion and visitors see his ghost often, especially when the nightly fireworks to close the park take place. DON CESAR HOTEL (ST. PETE BEACH) In 1925, a heartbroken young man from the East Coast made his way to Florida and began what would be an eternal testament to love. Thomas Rowe spent three years building a tribute to his long-lost love, a beautiful, raven haired Spanish opera star named Lucinda who he met while studying in England when he attended the opera “Maritana.” The pair quickly fell in love and affectionately referred to one another as Maritana and Don Cesar during clandestine meetings by a secluded fountain because Lucinda’s parents forbade the relationship and quickly whisked her back to Spain. Thomas returned to America heartbroken and after establishing the hotel, spent years and much of his resources trying to reunite with Lucinda. Since his passing, staff and guests report otherworldly sightings of a gentleman sporting an old-fashioned Panama hat and a white summer suit strolling the grounds and sometimes even greeting guests. When approached, he disappears. Hotel staffers report strange happenings throughout the building, especially on the fifth floor where Thomas lived. Housekeepers hear mysterious knocking at doors while cleaning rooms, yet find no one there. Swinging doors open by themselves to accommodate staffers laden with trays, perhaps Thomas still helping his team as the gracious hotelier he was. To this day, sightings continue of a young couple strolling the grounds, he wearing a white suit and she a traditional Spanish peasant dress. FLAGLER MANSION (PALM BEACH) The Flagler Mansion, also known as Whitehall, was built by Henry Flagler, one of the founders of Standard Oil. Construction began in July of 1900 and completed on 6th February 1902. The home was presented to his wife, Mary Lily, as a wedding present, though the couple were so insanely rich it was only used as a winter residence, with the couple traveling there from their other homes in one of several private rail cars. Henry Flagler died in 1913 at the age of 83 from injuries sustained from falling down a marble staircase with his wife passing away 4 years later. The property was then passed to their niece, Louise Clisby Wise Lewis who immediately sold the property to investors. It was due to be demolished in 1959 but was saved by one of Henry’s granddaughters who started the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, a non-profit corporation. The number of ghosts that haunt the mansion is thought to be few, but certainly like to make their presence known to unsuspecting visitors. The main ghostly occupant of the house is that of Henry Flagler himself, though his actual place of death was the local hospital. There are many stories told about how he likes to make himself known, with most reports of his presence coming from the area which used to be his offices. He was known to spend huge amounts of time there and it seems even after his death he's not prepared to let it go. His apparition has been seen in the room along with stories of the lights dimming on their own, as if they were not receiving enough electricity. Foot steps from corridors and rooms known to be empty are amongst the other reports of this place, with orbs being photographed throughout, especially in the dining room and kitchen. FLORIDA SCHOOL FOR BOYS (MARIANNA) The Florida School for Boys has a long and dark history. Opening on the January 1, 1900 as a boys reform school it was spread across 1,400 acres. Originally being called the Marianna site after the town it was built in, the campus quickly gained a reputation for its cruelty with an inspection of the school in 1903 finding that the children being kept there were frequently placed in leg irons. In one case, a 13 year old who was sent to the school for rehabilitation after being caught trespassing in 1934, died a mere 38 days after arriving at the school. It was divided into two sub-campuses named "Number 1" and "Number 2" or; South side and North side with the North side being designated for black students only and the south side limited to whites. This segregation continued until 1966 when national legislation greatly addressed the inhumane treatment of non-whites. Also located on the North side section is the graveyard, which was little more than an area of ground used to bury dead children in shallow graves whenever they needed to dispose of their bodies. Graves were almost always unmarked and normally very shallow, displaying the minimal amount of effort that was put in to bury the dead there. There are many spots on the campus which people have reported encountering spirits or some type of ghostly happening and the graveyard is one such spot with the bodies of around 50 boys found here in unmarked graves perhaps leading to an angry or emotionally attachment to the area. As for the actual encounters, people have reported everything from sudden, intense feelings of nausea to being touched by an unseen force. In some cases people have even claimed being pushed or experiencing someone or something barging past them. There are also reports of apparitions walking the grounds close to the building and strange, brightly colored orbs appearing in both photos and audio recordings. The dormitory is the other main hot spot of the schools ghostly activity with perhaps the catalyst being a fire which broke out in 1914, killing 2 staff members and 6 inmates. People have reported hearing muffled screams and whispers coming from the building from empty rooms with unexplainable cold spots and objects being moved around on their own being quite common. FLORIDA THEATER (JACKSONVILLE) The theater opened its doors in 1927 over the site of the former police station and jail and in its earlier days showed films, plays and news reports. It gained huge notoriety in 1956 when Elvis Presley visited there much to the dismay of locals who deemed his act too provocative for the times. The theater was in a state of decline through the 1970s and finally closed its doors in 1980. Ownership changed hands and in 1983 it was renovated and reopened to the public. Throughout its history, theater goers have reported a long and strange series of inexplicable events on the premises including odd electrical interference, doors opening and closing themselves and unexplained cold spots. Some have reported small, shadowy people darting about in the seating area with some saying they have had pranks pulled on them by these entities. The ghost of a mysterious man has been seen throughout the theater with his presence often sensed and his footsteps heard. A hot spot for activity is the balcony where many have seen and on occasion photographed a mist-like form taking the shape of a person with one visitor claiming the form actually waved at his camera. Legend has it that a dead motion picture technician from the venue’s early days might still be haunting the building. GOOD SHEPHERD HOSPICE (AUBURNDALE) The hospice used to function as a hospital until it began its current function as a hospice. Reportedly, there were an average of about 2-3 deaths reported here each week and there are claims that around half the people who live in the local community pass away in the building from old age or illness. There is only one main reported haunting for this location and that is of the ghost of Mary Morrow, who was the wife of one of the doctors. It has been reported that her apparition has been seen by many patients and staff in the form of a woman wearing mid-1900s clothes walking through various areas of the building. She is considered a very peaceful ghost who has never appeared aggressive or angry. Other reports from this location come from staff who experience feelings of light headiness and nausea when in the office areas. HOUSE OF REFUGE AT GILBERT’S BAR (HUTCHISON ISLAND) During the early 1940s, a majority of the world’s commerce took place by shipping and Florida’s Atlantic coastline was vast and mostly uninhabited. Sailors who survived unfortunate shipwrecks would swim to Florida’s shore in need of food and shelter, so places such as Stuart began to build facilities known as refuge homes for those displaced sailors who managed to make it to land. Stuart’s house of refuge was located at a facility known as Gilbert’s Bar which was built in 1876 and became a sanctuary not long after. Supposedly there is a ghost of an old sailor that can be seen sitting on the rocks outside the house, staring into the sea or wandering inside Gilbert’s Bar. Guests have reported hearing a disembodied voice telling them to get out as he apparently does not like people wandering around in there. Others have claimed to smell things in the house, whether it is old pipe tobacco or beef stew cooking in the kitchen. There have been reports of cold spots, disembodied footsteps and even a terrifying masked figure. HUGUENOT CEMETERY (ST. AUGUSTINE) Although not the oldest in the city, the Huguenot Cemetery dates back to 1821 when the city was in need of a burial ground for non-Catholics. Considered a hotbed of paranormal activity, the cemetery serves as the final resting place for thousands of St. Augustine citizens. Ghost sightings, orbs, strange lights and noises abound on any given night there, but despite its many burials, there is one event in particular that ghost hunters believe caused an extremely disturbing haunting at Huguenot. John Stickney was originally laid to rest in this historic burial ground, but when his children grew up and chose to move away, they decided they wanted his body exhumed and moved closer to them. During the exhumation, it’s said the grave diggers, needing a break, walked away from the grave site for several minutes. During that brief time, a couple of grave robbers broke into Stickney’s coffin and stole his gold teeth right out of his mouth. Since this night, many guests to the cemetery have seen poor John roaming, floating and lingering around the cemetery, perhaps in search of his stolen property. INTERSTATE 4 “DEAD ZONE” (SEMINOLE COUNTY) Interstate 4 in central Florida - halfway between Orlando and Daytona Beach - is one of the most traveled highways in the region and a quarter mile stretch of it in Seminole County is also one of the scariest stretches of road in the country. It’s considered haunted, with many deadly accidents and reports of unexplained phenomena taking place there over the decades. Rumor has that in 1886 a family of four German immigrants, two adults and two children, died of yellow fever. The road was built over their graves and ever since that time, strange weather events and unusual apparitions which include phantom truckers and hitchhikers, have terrified frightened motorists. Some people believe that Hurricane Donna’s strange and powerful trek across the state in 1960, passing directly over that stretch of I-4, is related to the “curse” that exists in that area. Witnesses have said their cellphones pick up strange voices on this eerie section of I-4 that some are convinced represent the voices of the dead. JONATHAN DICKINSON STATE PARK (HOBE SOUND) Vince “Trapper” Nelson—or “Tarzan of the Loxahatchee River”—arrived in Hobe Sound from New Jersey in 1930. He built a log cabin deep in the swamps and thus created his own private oasis. Here Nelson roamed bare-chested and barefoot in a military helmet, trapping raccoons and alligators and living off “wild cat stew.” Nelson never missed the chance to play pranks such as swinging out over the river on a rope to scare tour boat parties. He was also a ladies man and many wealthy, married women would sneak away to his cabin for romantic trysts. In 1968, friends found him dead from a gunshot wound to the chest and while the police hurriedly ruled his death a suicide, most people were convinced it was murder. He had enemies, including his own brother, a convicted murderer, who had just gotten out of prison and blamed Trapper for putting him away. To this day, however, some locals maintain the killer was a jealous husband, or a disgruntled landowner who believed Trapper had “stolen” his land. Even now, campers report hearing snickering outside at night and sometimes awaken to a trashed campsite. Another story has it that two men landed their canoe at Trapper Nelson’s cabin and one was struck by something he couldn’t see. Others claim to have seen Trapper waving from the dock, as if trying to get their attention or been tapped on the shoulder inside his former cabin. Sometimes he warns people to stay away from Indian burial grounds. If you’re a female camper, you may want to be extra careful as the womanizing ghost tends to pat women on their rears while whispering, “Will you go out with me?” KEY WEST CEMETERY (KEY WEST) A visit to this historic cemetery may offer you more than you bargain for. There are more than 100,000 people buried here and many of them are said to still be lingering between life and death. Prominent families who played a role in establishing Key West are buried there as well as people who died during a fire in 1886 or the yellow fever outbreak in 1887 and 1888. There is also a memorial section of the cemetery dedicated to the men who died on the Battleship Maine in 1898. As visitors stroll through the grounds, they enjoy reading some of the more interesting and even humorous headstones that read, “I told you I was sick” or “Devoted Fan of Julio Iglesias.”  There is the spirit of a well-known Bahamian woman who fancies herself as the guardian of the graveyard. She’ll only approach someone if she feels they are being disrespectful to the gravestones and burial plots by - as an example - sitting or leaning on them. Visitors report this stern ghost approaching them with an angry look upon her face and then vanishing. The ghost of Capt. Philip Cosgrove is said to not only haunt the cemetery, but surrounding properties as well. Other eerie encounters include disembodied voices, shadows and strange orbs of light. Many guests to the Key West cemetery report various mysterious lights, shadows and figures they capture on photos. LEACH MANSION (JENSEN BEACH) The Leach Mansion was built in 1936 when the Leach family first moved to the area. The building was purchased by the Florida Institute of Technology in 1972 but closed down in 1986 with the property standing vacant for over a decade until it became the site of Indian River Side Park with the first phase opening to the public in 2001. There are many paranormal claims attached to the mansion including, extreme cold spots in the hallways, huge amounts of orbs throughout the building and shadows in human form have been seen in all areas of the building when there has been no one there. The auditorium is said to be one of the most haunted areas with frequent reports of piano music and the sound of a young boy singing. One unique claim from this location concerns entering through the double doors and experiencing a very strange feeling, as if entering another world. The other most common report is the feeling you are being watched as if you were being followed around the building. MAY-STRINGER HOUSE (BROOKSVILLE) In 1855, a contractor named John L. May purchased some Brooksville property on which to build a home for his family. John lived in the simple four-room house with his wife, Marena, and their daughters, Matilda and Annie, until tuberculosis took his life only three years later. Marena remained in the home throughout the Civil War and eventually married Confederate hero Frank Saxon. She died giving birth to the couple’s child, a girl named Jessie Mae, in 1869. Jessie survived her birth but died of unknown causes three short years later. Marena and Jessie were buried on the property, as were John May and the infant son of Frank and Marena, a detail which fuels many rumors about the May-Stringer haunting. Restoration volunteers and construction workers have heard footsteps and voices in empty rooms as well as cold spots, mists, and eerie shadows. On more than one occasion, the sound of children’s laughter rang throughout the home which was odd as children were not allowed inside during construction phases. These strange events persist today, with guides reporting moving shadows, glowing orbs of light, and the sound of a wailing child. Many believe the child is Jessie Mae calling out for the mother she never knew. One day, volunteers removed a doll said to be little Jessie’s from its cradle for review by an appraiser. When they returned the antique they were shocked to see the disassembled cradle scattered across the floor. The docents quickly reassembled the bed and returned the doll to its place of honor. Other ghosts rumored to haunt the historic structure include Marena May, some of Dr. Stringer’s patients, a shooting victim, and an angry spirit known to staff as “Mr. Nasty”. Though there’s no proof of Mr. Nasty’s existence, he’s said to be a soldier who hanged himself in the attic after learning of his fiancé’s infidelity. OLD COURTHOUSE (BARTOW) The Old Courthouse was built in 1909 after a previous courthouse that was built on the same plot of land in 1883 was demolished. It is the 3rd building to serve as a courthouse in the area and is still open today though a newer, much larger courthouse has been built across the street. There are many ghost stories attached to this location with some of the most common ones being the sound of screams of pain coming from one of the 4 basements that can only be accessed by elevator. It is said that a worker was killed there during an explosion. Feelings of sadness have been felt by many on the second floor area, as well as the appearance of apparitions of two men that are said to be the ghosts of the Mann brothers, who were lynched by a mob for committing murder and their bodies displayed on that floor after they were killed. On the 3rd floor as well as near the 2nd floor bathrooms, the apparition of a lady in white has been seen, though who she is remains a mystery. The other most common report is of a room on the first floor that contains ancient Indian artifacts in which strange things are said to occur, from footsteps to objects being moved and malfunctioning electrical equipment that was earlier working perfectly. OLDEST WOODEN SCHOOLHOUSE (ST. AUGUSTINE) The Genopoly House as it was originally known, is St. Augustine's oldest surviving wooden structure and immense care has gone into its preservation over the years. The property was once a guard house for the British army during their occupation from 1763 to 1782. It was purchased around 1780 by Juan Genopoly, a carpenter from Mani, Greece, who added a second story to the cedar crafted home. As early as 1811, members of the Genopoly family taught the children of other Minorcan families in the first floor “schoolroom” of their home while they occupied the parlor and the upstairs. Juan Genopoly died in 1820 and his home later served as a tearoom for tourists, a retail shop, and a photography studio. Some visitors have said there appears to be a moving light that looks like a candle in a second-story room despite the building being closed at night and no one living there in years. Local police have even been called but they can’t explain the odd occurrences, either. Others report hearing the faint giggles of children at the schoolhouse, especially near the area where the kids used to play. OLD ST. JOHN’S COUNTY JAIL (ST. AUGUSTINE) Railroad tycoon Henry Flagler was less than fond of the central location of the original jail in the Nation’s Oldest City as the high- society clientèle staying at his famed Ponce De Leon Hotel would have a view of prisoners on the chain gang breaking blocks and building gallows. He promptly went to the city and pleaded his case, asking that a new jail be built on the outskirts of town. The city responded with a unanimous ‘no’, so a few weeks later Mr. Flagler came back with 10k in cash and “asked” again. That time, he got the answer he wanted, so the jail was finished in 1891 and was in operation until 1953. Today, it is a living history museum, where a prisoner trustee or perhaps one of the deputies will take you through the nationally-recognized historic building. One of the many complaints to those living close to the Old Jail is the frequent sounds of footsteps walking inside with the loud, clinking noises indicating that these footsteps likely belong to the disembodied souls of criminals that once lived and died there. At any given time, visitors and workers at the Old Jail can smell the aroma of sewage in the air although no open sources exist on the property. Those who tour the Old Jail hear voices in the cells and hallways and there are many reports of wailing, moaning sounds coming from the maximum security and solitary confinement areas with some visitors claiming to hear the voice of a little girl coming from the sheriff’s quarters. Others have heard someone whistling at them and several guests have reported hearing a disturbing laugh from one of the women’s cells. There have also been many accounts of people feeling as if someone with a cold hand is touching their shoulder. Other reports from visitors include the sensation that someone is tugging at their hair and that someone is blowing air on them as they walk by. THE OLUSTEE BATTLEFIELD (BAKER) The Civil War is considered the bloodiest part of American history as Confederate and Union soldiers fought for their lives and freedom during several battles. The Battle of Olustee in Sanderson is considered to be the second bloodiest of those. Fought on February 20, 1864, it was the only large scale battle that took place in Florida. Union General Truman Seymour and his troops were first in Jacksonville, attempting to cut off food supplies headed for the Confederate army and having been successful, Seymour ordered his troops to march towards Tallahassee to cut off more food supply routes. Visitors to the battlefield report the phantom sounds of gunshots, cannon fire and the cries of war. On occasion, passing motorists tell of seeing what they at first thought were full-scale reenactments of the battle only to find later no such event was scheduled for that day. The actors who do  take part in the re-enactments claim that they come across mysterious orbs while clicking photos of the events and one swears seeing a translucent Confederate general standing over him. PINEWOOD CEMETERY (CORAL GABLES) Pinewood is another cemetery included in the list of most haunted places in Miami. It was also known earlier as the Cocuplum cemetery. It is the county’s oldest cemetery with grave markers dating back as far as 1855 and is a mere four acres in size. Exactly how many people were buried in the cemetery is uncertain due to improper record keeping, a massive hurricane, and lack of care for the cemetery but one estimate claims there may be anywhere from 200 to almost 300 people buried in the cemetery with very few headstones or grave markers present. Ghost hunters and the curious who have ventured to the old and almost forgotten cemetery have experienced an assortment of activity. One individual claimed to have seen the figure of a man appear out of nowhere and then vanish and others have experienced an uneasy or odd feeling that occurs when they are inside the cemetery. One individual captured what sounded like “thank you,” on her recorder when she went to the cemetery and cleaned up some of the grave sites. An unusual white mist has also been seen at Pinewood as well as visitors hearing strange sounds. THE RIDDLE HOUSE (WEST PALM BEACH) The Riddle House was built in 1905 by the constructors of Henry Flagler's hotels, using leftover wood. The house was nicknamed "The Painted Lady", because of its bright colors. It was originally a funeral parlor known as "Gatekeeper's Cottage" at Woodlawn Cemetery, the first in the city of West Palm Beach. In 1920, it was acquired by Karl Riddle, who was the first city manager and superintendent of public works in West Palm Beach. He and his twin brother Kenyon later built houses on a 36 acre property just outside the city in 1935 that would later become incorporated as Cloud Lake in 1951 after a vote by residents. According to legend, the house is haunted by the spirit of Joseph, a former Riddle employee, who committed suicide by hanging himself in the attic to escape some financial troubles. Karl Riddle's personal diary recounts how the family had trouble keeping help in the home as the staff reported hearing chains rattling on the stairs and murmuring voices. During the reassembling of the Riddle House, the dark haunting inside reared its head again as carpenters would find their tools thrown from the attic and on the ground below when returning to work in the morning. Third-floor windows would also be found mysteriously broken and at one point, the reconstruction had to cease for six months because workers were so shaken up by what they had experienced inside. The next ghostly legend attached to this seemingly-normal house is that of a big man named "Buck" who once worked for the cemetery and who, local legend states, was killed in town after an argument spun out of control. His ghost has been seen walking the grounds and on the porch of the cottage where cemetery workers would often take their lunch. One visitor who had arranged for a private tour was struck in the head by a piece of wood that appeared from nowhere while they were on the staircase. A maintenance worker was attacked while cleaning the building and refuses to enter the house again. Other witnesses have spotted a hanging torso in the attic window, but not jumping to conclusions later learned that no such mannequin exists in the attic. Security personnel have seen lights going on and off in the building, and many people just avoid the house altogether. ROBERT THE DOLL (EAST MARTELLO/KEY WEST) Robert the Doll is three feet tall, stuffed with straw and resembles an early 20th century American Naval officer. The doll was given to artist Robert “Gene” Otto - a painter born in 1904 in what is now known as “The Artist’s House” - when he was a small child by a Bahamian girl who was the daughter of a poorly-treated servant. Speculation is that the doll either contains a crystal, or was made much like a voodoo doll that housed an evil entity. It’s said Gene had been an ill-tempered person much of his life and Robert the Doll is said to be a reflection of his personality. As a child, Gene often blamed Robert for some of the disturbances around his old home. Robert and Gene lived in Artist House in Key West until Gene died in 1974 while his long forgotten doll was left in the attic of the old house. Neighbors soon began reporting hearing an "evil giggle" coming from the attic while some claimed to hear the doll moving about and peering outside from the attic window. Eventually, the notorious doll was removed and placed on display in the East Martello Museum. Supposedly, the attic of the Artist's House still remains haunted because soon after the doll's departure the ghost of Gene Otto's wife, Anne, (who was never a fan of the doll) took up residence there and continues to stand guard against the return of Robert's evil spirit. Robert is said to be possessed and often prevents his photo from being taken. Many experience camera malfunctions or see the photos of Robert totally blacked out while others appear quite normal. He often creates electronic fluctuations and is said to move his toy lion from one knee to the other and even taps on his display case. According to legend, individuals who desire to visit Robert in the Fort East Martello Museum and wish to take a picture of him must ask the doll politely, and if he does not agree (by tipping his head to one side) but the individual takes a picture anyway, Robert will curse that person and their family. ST. AUGUSTINE LIGHTHOUSE (ST. AUGUSTINE) St. Augustine was the site of the first lighthouse established in Florida by the new territorial American Government in 1824. According to some archival records and maps, this "official" American lighthouse was placed on the site of an earlier watchtower built by the Spanish as early as the late 16th century. The lighthouse is also the oldest brick structure in the city and the light keeper’s house was added to the site in 1876 as the place where the light keepers and their assistants lived and worked. There have been so many reports that several paranormal experts have come to investigate, including the popular TV shows, Ghost Hunters and My Ghost Story. One of the lighthouse’s first keepers was a man named Peter Rasmussen who was known for his meticulous eye and watchful manner of maintaining the lighthouse. He was also known for his love of cigars and is one of the first ghosts that people report coming in contact with. Over the years, the smell of Peter’s cigar has been detected by many, including staff members and guests. Others have seen and heard another keeper, Joseph Andreu, at the top of the tower even though he’s been dead for more than a century. His presence at the lighthouse could be explained by the fact that he fell to his death while painting the outside of the tower. His spirit never left and is often seen looking out from the top. But perhaps the most well known ghosts of the St. Augustine Lighthouse are that of the two young sisters who also died on the property. Hezekiah Pity was hired to renovate the tower in the late 1800s and his daughters, Eliza and Mary, were playing inside a cart that was being used to carry materials back and forth to the lighthouse. When the cart broke loose, they weren’t able to jump out in time and the cart slid rapidly into the bay, plummeting both girls to a watery death. Today and most days since then, the girls can be heard laughing at the top of the tower late at night while others have spotted Eliza floating about the grounds wearing the same blue dress she died in. SPANISH MILITARY HOSPITAL (ST. AUGUSTINE) Located near the Spanish Quarter Village in Old St. Augustine, the military hospital was formerly named Our Lady of Guadeloupe. and the building that stands there today is a replica of the original which stood on this same site from 1784-1821. Some interesting, if gruesome discoveries were made when the city decided to overhaul the water lines which ran under the hospital and bones of the deceased buried there were found. Visitors to the Spanish Military Hospital Museum often have had experienced strange occurrences and have had many of an actual ghost sightings. There are stories of the original sick beds moving across the room and bumping into people’s legs, drink cans sliding across outdoor benches and the haunting sound of footsteps in an empty upstairs area. Many have said that they have often smelled sulfur similar to that from actual cannon fire. The sounds of prayers or moans and screams often fill the many empty rooms and occasionally, apparitions are seen inside the building. SUGAR MILL RUINS (SMYRNA BEACH) Tensions had been growing between the Seminoles, settlers and the U.S. Government and when the government decided to remove the natives from Florida by force, it pushed those tensions over the edge. In mid-December of 1835, Seminoles raided plantations near New Smyrna Beach and - aided by slaves - burned crops, homes and buildings in the area. The main targets were the lucrative sugar plantations that were a major source of revenue for the locals. One of the plantations destroyed during the raids at New Smyrna was the 600-acre Cruger-dePeyster plantation and sugar factory just west of present day New Smyrna. Henry Cruger and William dePeyster acquired the land in 1830 and set out to establish a large commercial sugar factory. The two borrowed heavily to purchase machinery, equipment and slaves to work the press and fields. The people of the Seminole tribe are said to still run through the woods here in the early morning hours and as the stories go, “shadow people” also appear around sunset. The ruins were built around 1830, reportedly on the site of a chapel built by Christopher Columbus VINOY HOTEL (ST. PETERSBURG) Vinoy Renaissance Hotel was built by Aymer Vinoy Laughner in 1925. Construction started in February of 1925 and ended 10 months later. When it opened, the Vinoy was a seasonal hotel, operating only from December to March and some of the most famous personalities of the time called the hotel their temporary home. Among the notables who stayed in the hotel were Herbert Hoover, Babe Ruth, James Stewart and Calvin Coolidge. During World War II, the US Army took over the hotel and used it as a training school. After the war, the hotel was sold to Charles Alberding for $700,000 but in 1974 the hotel closed its doors and most of its contents were sold off. Some of the hotel’s most prominent clientèle belong to pro sports teams who stay there on road trips. In 2003, Florida Marlins’ right-handed pitcher Scott Williamson noticed a faint light from the hotel’s pool area when he turned off the lights in his room. He had the feeling that he was being watched and when he lied down to sleep, he felt enough pressure on his back that he had problems falling asleep, describing it as if somebody was sitting on him. He also witnessed a man in a coat standing near the curtains. The strength coordinator of the Pittsburgh Pirates also described seeing a transparent male figure near the desk in his room and several individuals have also noticed a man dressed in a formal suit walking the halls of the hotel then seeing him completely disappear into thin air. There is also the story of John Frascatore, a reliever for the Toronto Blue Jays who checked in the hotel with his wife. Although first objecting because of the hotel’s haunted reputation, she eventually agreed to stay there. While her husband was off to batting practice she called him claiming that she and the children witnessed the water turning on and off by itself and the toilet flushing continuously of its own accord. The family was staying in the Old Wing of the hotel, a spot believed by employees to have some of the most paranormal occurrences. Toronto pitchers Joey Hamilton and Billy Koch chimed in that they’d been spooked the previous night when the lights in their rooms kept flickering. Several teammates echoed similar complaints, including hitting coach Cito Gaston, whose hotel room door, which he’d locked and chained shut, kept opening in the middle of the night and then slamming. Manager Jim Fregosi reported that his door, too, had slammed. Other guests have also reported flickering lights in their rooms at night as well as noises which cannot be explained. They have reported footsteps in the halls even when no one is there, shuffling and the sound of chains. RETURN TO PARANORMAL WORLD DATABASE SOURCES AND TEXT
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