Mermaid Tavern is a charming and artsy establishment in Seminole Heights, Tampa. The menu changes with the season, but customers rave about their unique burgers and craft beers. On the surface, the blue-walled tavern has delighted guests with its glass interior, mermaid-themed chairs, and outdoor seating area.
Mermaid Tavern appears to be the perfect place for a late night dinner with friends. However, it seems that if you decide to visit and enjoy great food, craft beer and an excellent selection of wine, you better opt to stay inside.
Unless you prefer to be the victim of a terrifying ghost.
Odd things happen in the outdoor area of Mermaid Tavern in Tampa
Florida is known for its mysterious places where strange things happen. Rumors fly about the Fountain of Youth, the Spook Hill, and haunted tours are common in beach towns. But what's going on at the Mermaid?
“Me and my friend, we were driving up to Spring Hill, decided to stop for a late dinner,” our source told us. “It was around midnight, and the place was packed.
“The food was great, and we had a good time, even though we were tired from the road. I kept thinking something was watching me from the branches of the palm trees.
“At one point, just as our food was ready, I thought I heard distant screams. I whipped my head around, but there was no one in the parking lot. The palm trees swayed, though there was no wind.”
The two friends enjoyed their burgers when they noticed that their friend had divided her burger into four pieces. “It seemed such a weird thing to do, but I was too busy enjoying my food to notice.
“I heard the distant screams again, and a gush of wind chilled me to the bone. I turned to my friend to ask if she felt the same when I saw it.
“Her eyes were dark. I thought it was a trick of the light; it was late after all. But no, when the light from the lamps hit her eyes, they remained dark. My friend’s eyes are blue.
“She had eaten only one piece of her burger. The other three remained on the plate, uneaten. I asked if she didn’t like the burger.
“She told me: no, these are for the kids.”
“Shivers ran all over me. My friend has a child, but not three. Then, the cold went through me again, and it seemed to flow from my friend through me.”
“Later, my friend didn’t remember splitting or eating her burger, and she did not remember saying that to me.”
It’s not a mermaid haunting the Mermaid – but a mother
Locals talk about the Grieving Mother, though you need to coax them into telling you the story. The Mother was a woman who had three kids, aged four, seven and nine. She had lost her husband out at sea; her children were all she had left.
It’s not clear as to how the Mother lost her children. Some say they died in a fire; others say she drowned them because she was unable to feed them. Giving them a merciful death over starvation.
Her bones are dust, and her body has been part of the earth for a long time. But violence always leaves a mark, and her ghost roams. The Mermaid appears to be her favorite spot.
The Grieving Mother finds loving, caring mothers, and takes over. She makes sure that passing mothers always split their food into four pieces, so she’d be able to feed her kids.
None the less, the food here is so good, that getting one of the best burgers in Tampa is worth the potential haunting.