Arts & Culture

South Florida’s Most Haunted Places

October 25, 2012 9:00 AM

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(CBS4) The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables

(CBS4) The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables

Up north, the first frost has yet to land on cemetery headstones, but in South Florida, pumpkin spice lattes have hit the scene heralding fall glorious fall. ‘Tis the time of year when the weather cools down, football starts and ghosts and goblins make their presence known for Halloween. South Florida’s truly haunted places provide tricks free of charge.
 Biltmore Hotel

(Credit: The Biltmore Hotel)

Biltmore Hotel
13th Floor
1200 Anastasia Ave.
Coral Gables, FL 33134
(855) 311-6903
www.biltmorehotel.comOne of the most recognized landmarks in all of south Florida for its beauty and grace, this sprawling hotel has been host to kings and queens and everything in between. It was hip, slick and cool long before society cared and in the Roaring 20’s hosted more than its share of connected and bejeweled gangsters at sumptuous parties. One amenity of any stay at the Biltmore is the chilling encounters with a spirit on the 13th floor who likes to flick lights on and off, open and slam doors, steal lampshades and open doors for waitresses carrying trays. Legend has it that it’s the ghost of outlaw “Fatty” Walsh who shot and killed gambler Ed Wilson in front of witnesses on the 13th floor after a slight dust-up. Though one might expect the ghost of Ed looking to tell his side rather than the ghost of “Fatty” still looking for his booty, some guests report the ghost’s sense of humor by stopping the elevator at a different floor anytime they try to get to 13.

Hollywood Beach Resort Hotel
101 N. Ocean Drive
Hollywood, FL 33019
(954) 921-0990
www.hollywoodbeach-resort.com

Looming at the eastward end of town where Hollywood Boulevard meets Ocean Drive, this relic from the 1920s has the look of a place capable of sinister intent. Through the years, it has been a hotel, a bible college then shut down and re-opened as a hotel after an extensive renovation in the late 1990s. Once the favorite ‘haunt’ of gangster Al Capone before he bought property in Miami, the seventh floor has been the documented epicenter of a spectrum of unexplained orbs appearing like sunspots in blinded eyes, as well as inexplicable electronic voice phenomena (voices making themselves known without any source).

Related: Familiarize With Founders: Important Places To The People Who Built Miami

 Ocean Key House Resort

(Credit: www. oceankey.com)

Ocean Key House Resort
0 Duval St.
Key West, FL 33040
(305) 296-7701
www.oceankey.com

If taking a lone trip for rest and relaxation in the Florida Keys is your thing, you better bring along an extra bathing suit for the spirits sunning and funning at this escape at the southernmost point of the U.S. According to Ghost Traveler, tourists have reported hearing the jangling of keys, seeing items atop dressers glide along by themselves and even sensing the presence of not being alone in your bed. The ghost here is particularly amorous, even throwing in a sigh or two for good measure.

Blue Anchor British Pub

(Credit:www.theblueanchor.com)

The Blue Anchor British Pub
804 E. Atlantic Ave.
Delray Beach, FL 33483
(561) 272-7272
www.theblueanchor.com

Delray Beach has long been a destination for retired seniors, so little wonder that mirth and mayhem of the ghostly kind abound. According to the Travel Channel, this pub hosts the ghost of Bertha Starkey who met an untimely demise during what was clearly NOT a happy hour when she was sliced and diced at the bar by her jealous husband over 100 years ago. Bertha’s not just any ghost; she’s a traveler. The pub was founded in Britain in 1864 and the entire structure was relocated to Florida, ghost and all. Among the ways in which Bertha expresses her continued patronage is the sound of her footsteps creaking across the ceiling at night. At the commemoration of the anniversary of her murder, an entire half-inch thick glass shelf collapsed and shattered on its own.

FAU

(Credit: CBS4)

Florida Atlantic University
Humanities Building
777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL 33431
(561) 297-3000
www.fau.org

College is a time of youth, learning and unlimited possibilities. It’s also a time for broken hearts, dashed hopes and shattered dreams as one ghost that inhabits the Humanities Building of this university attests. This spirit has good taste. In Boca, the grass is greener, the sky is brighter and the cars are definitely nicer as the posh cruise around town hoping to be seen with Starbucks cups in hand. Meanwhile back at the university in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Humanities building, students and security guards have reported sightings of a female ghost crying and slamming doors on the third floor. As an underachieving thespian beat out for role after role in the college plays, this spirit delights in showing herself and then vanishing like the wind when approached. Try beating that act.

Related: Best Literary Landmarks In Miami

Glenn Osrin is a journalist and seasoned consumer products sales professional living in Miami, Florida. A new vegan, his most recent assignment is writing about the benefits of a plant-based diet and lifestyle while learning about the Miami vegan community. His work can be found at Examiner.com.

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