WHERE IS THE MOST HAUNTED PLACE IN TAMPA BAY?
Ybor City has a long history of haunted happenings, including ghosts of soldiers who died in 1908 during the great fire.
1. The Cuban Club. It was built in 1917 with a ballroom, cantina, library, bowling lanes, pool and two-story theater.
There were two deaths dating back to the 1920s. An actor died by suicide on stage and a member of the board was murdered during an argument. They are said to still appear in the building.
Reports of a misty dressed lady and Pianos randomly playing with no one around, along with elevators running at odd times COULD IT BE A GHOST...probably!
The Travel Channel named the Cuban Club one of its Top 10 Most Haunted Places.
2. The drunken Cuban ghost at the Florida Brewery Company. It is now the Swope, Rodante P.A. on East 5th Avenue, but the first night it opened as a bar, there was free beer. DUH, a fight broke out and a man was killed when he hit his head.
Now the drunk dead man can be heard speaking Spanish and walking around in the building at night.
3. The Old Tampa Book Company at 507 North Tampa Street used to be a tailor’s storefront. The bookstore’s owners kept the chairs from the old shop and now they are said to move on their own. The owners also found a pair of bloody scissors on the floor. Patrons have said pictures taken of the store front sometimes reveal a man in a top hat.
4. The Tampa Theatre
Statues and gargoyles guard the 1926 Tampa Theatre at 711 North Franklin Street. Foster “Fink” Finley, who spent 20 years as the theater’s projectionist, died and he never left. Staff members hear doors slam, and the power turns off without anyone around. They hear his footsteps and chains rattling and EVEN HAVE SEEN HIM SMOKING A CIG out of the projection booth when the door is opened and the back two rows of the balcony nearest the projection booth smelling like smoke.
Rosa Rio, who played the organ until she died at 107, may still be hanging around, too. A theater manager accidentally stepped back into the orchestra pit. She should have fallen directly on top of the organ, but the manager said that Rosa guided her fall so as to not damage the instrument. Some still hear organ music and believe Rosa continues to play today
5. Plant Hall at the University of Tampa at 401 W. Kennedy used to be the 500-room Tampa Bay Hotel. It was built by railroad tycoon Henry Plant in 1891 to accommodate passengers traveling to Florida. Theodore Roosevelt and Babe Ruth stayed there. The building is open and safe – but students have reported seeing an apparition from the windows outside. The servants are said to haunt the science wing.
6. The Sunshine Skyway Bridge that crosses the Tampa Bay region is considered to be haunted. The 5.5-mile bridge connects St. Petersburg in Pinellas County and Terra Ceia in Manatee County. The current bridge was dedicated on Feb. 7, 1987.
Many things have happened to the bridge over the years. The previous Sunshine Skyway Bridge was hit by a freighter in 1980, collapsing part of it and taking several cars and a Greyhound bus into the bay. Thirty-five people plunged to their deaths. Only one man survived. The ghost bus is seen by folks visiting the fishing pier, which is part of the old bridge. Many said they feel an actual breeze and even catch a whiff of the gasoline from the moving bus.
More than 200 people have jumped from the highest point of the Skyway to their deaths. And some motorists report “a weird unexplained light phenomenon” in the water under the bridge.
The best story is that late at night, motorists have slowed down and some have even stopped to help what appears to be a woman standing alone on the bridge. She has a history of climbing into cars before disappearing from the passenger’s seat.
7. The most haunted hotel in Tampa Bay has to be the Don CeSar Hotel, built in 1928 at 3400 Gulf Boulevard at St. Pete Beach.
Employees and guests see the ghost of owner Thomas Rowe and the love of his life Lucinda. The couple met in London but her parents split them up and sent her back to Spain. Thomas returned home and never saw her again. He built the pink palace to look like one where they met. He died in 1940 and now they can be seen walking hand in hand on the beach.
8. The Britton Theatre in South Tampa on Dale Mabry Highway is an old movie theatre that is still open. Both employees and guests have reported unusual occurrences, even though no one died there. Doors in the ladies’ room will shut and lock and toilets flush when no one is there. Voices are heard in the hall near auditorium No. 5 late at night. An usher heard someone call his name in auditorium No. 3 and visions seen in the balcony.