Wondering, “Which college should I go to in Florida?” Well, you could draft a list of colleges and weigh their pros and cons. But some things just aren’t listed in college brochures. One thing that doesn’t make it to these glossy pages is the stories of past students, faculty, and others who can still be seen in the present.
Yes, some of the best colleges in Florida have a few ghost tales to tell. And if you’re willing to hear them out, here’s a quick look at the top 10 where spooks do much more than just go ‘bump’ in the night.
The Ten Best Colleges in Florida To Spot A Ghost
Table of Contents
- 10) State College of Florida – Bradenton
- 9) Indian River State College – Fort Pierce
- 8) Florida Southwestern State College – Fort Myers
- 7) College of Central Florida – Ocala
- 6) Flagler College – St. Augustine
- 5) Miami Dade College – Miami
- 4) The Baptist College of Florida – Graceville
- 3) Valencia College – Orlando
- 2) Florida Southern College – Lakeland
- 1) Tallahassee Community College – Tallahassee
10) State College of Florida – Bradenton
Judging by the brochure, State College of Florida seems like the right place for the students in Manatee and Sarasota County. But there are some things the colorful photos won’t show you – the ghosts of the African American slaves whose artifacts are inside the Family Heritage House Museum.
Visitors to the museum have come across the figure of a tall man near the Underground Railroad displays. He doesn't seem to speak or move, until he slowly walks off into the shadows.
9) Indian River State College – Fort Pierce
Chosen as one of the ten best community colleges in the U.S., Indian River State College is home to one of the best technology centers in mid-size colleges. But that’s not the only thing it houses.
The halls of the college are haunted by Lenny Laden. Lenny died on stage after announcing the final act of a show he produced. Now, he enjoys watching the students from the president’s booth or teasing them by using the radio just to say ‘hi!’
Don’t let your guard down yet. There’s another entity, one which students and visitors alike are scared of. Residing in the broom closet, his presence has been described as “menacing”. His appearance is equally as scary, with two mouths and razor teeth where his eyes should be.
If you ever feel the temperature drop and you’re anywhere near the broom closet, pray that Indian State College doesn’t become YOUR forever home.
8) Florida Southwestern State College – Fort Myers
The alma mater of Pulitzer Award nominee Charles Ghinga, Florida Southwestern State College is known for its business, technology, education, and health programs. But it’s also one of the best colleges in Florida to meet a ghost.
Lurking on campus is the ghost of a baseball player in full gear. Rumor has it that he was on the college’s athletics program before it was discontinued in 1997. Frustrated at the college’s decision, he took his own life. After the program resumed recently, he began lashing out on current students.
The Buccaneers have allegedly seen him while practicing. However, he would disappear whenever they approached him. You’d better not antagonize him though. The phantom baseball player is known to swing bats at the living, be they students or visitors to Florida Southwestern State College.
7) College of Central Florida – Ocala
With many titles to its name, College of Central Florida in Ocala is one of the renowned Florida colleges. Unfortunately, people would think twice about stepping there if they knew about its resident ghost.
Failing to win the Florida Brain Bowl, a female student took her life after returning to her room in the College Square apartments. Some students claim that they can smell blood near the dining area, which is the closest space near her former room. Others have seen her crying in the living area or screaming angrily along the halls.
6) Flagler College – St. Augustine
A private liberal arts college, Flagler College is one of the Best Regional Colleges in the South according to U.S. News & World Report. But if you’re faint-hearted, this is one of the worst colleges to enroll in.
The tycoon who built the original building, Henry Morrison Flagler, is trapped forever there. Legend has it that he told his heirs to open all the windows and doors to let his spirit leave. However, someone did the opposite during his funeral. Now, he haunts the Flagler room, and he’s not happy.
He usually scares those visiting his room by making the lights flicker at the mention of his name. Just don’t repeat it too often. If the lights go out, you’ve definitely gotten on his bad side. Leave the room or else suffer the wrath of a frustrated, angry spirit.
There are other ghosts as well throughout Flagler College. The most famous two after Henry Flagler are the little boy stomping in the halls of Ponce and the tycoon’s mistress. So, regardless where you may be in Flagler College, spirits related to Henry Flagler will always be watching.
5) Miami Dade College – Miami
If you were wondering about haunted colleges in Miami, this is definitely the most terrifying. Miami Dade is the largest college, with 165,000 students across seven campuses and two centers. But what Wikipedia won’t tell you is that it’s home to a vengeful spirit that seems to come out after midnight.
A few rumors claim that a young female was assaulted during scream week. Her very real screams were camouflaged by other students’ noisemaking. Too angry to cross over, she attacks students around the same time she was killed. While many manage to get away with a few scratches, some have had worse injuries.
4) The Baptist College of Florida – Graceville
The Baptist College of Florida is the only higher learning institution to be supported by the Florida Baptist Convention. Initially focused on training Baptist ministers, it attracted several Seminole Indians who shifted to the Baptist faith. Till this day, you can come across three of the six first Seminole Indian students at the college.
While these ghosts don’t interfere with the living, there’s one you should definitely avoid. Laid off during the college’s financial crisis in the 1950s, a young minister shot himself outside the R.G. Lee Chapel.
Since then, students and visitors in the chapel can hear a single loud gunshot. Anyone venturing out at the time would pass out after feeling ice cold fingers at the back of their necks.
3) Valencia College – Orlando
Awarded the first Aspen Prize for College Excellence, Valencia College has proven its worth as a top community college. But what students don’t know is that it’s at the top haunted schools in Orlando.
There are several entities gliding across campus, including an old teacher who died of a heart attack and an athlete who supposedly died of overdose. But the creepiest entity is one that’s yet to be seen. Always invisible, it’s known for tripping students, flipping large items around, and breathing down the napes of their necks.
While no major incidents have been reported, don’t take your chances. Especially near Valencia College’s library as it’s more active there after the sun sets.
2) Florida Southern College – Lakeland
As one of the oldest private colleges in Florida, Florida Southern College has a lot of history. And where there’s history, you’ll find a lot of ghosts. In fact, if you’re ever walking in the freshmen’s girls’ halls, you’ll probably see or feel something out of this world. And not in the good sense.
The college has also had trouble with janitors reporting feeling the presence of foreign bodies in the halls. But what’s yet to be explained are the laughter of a young child and the sounds of a ball bouncing up and down the hallway.
One spot where you can definitely come face to face with the paranormal is The Buckner Theater on campus. Many students, especially those working there alone, have had strange encounters there. A student saw legs walking towards him, but without a body! You may also hear screams, music, or the sounds of doors shutting randomly.
1) Tallahassee Community College – Tallahassee
At the Tallahassee Community College, students are motivated to enjoy both their studies and college life. But this isn’t the college to be in if you get scared easily.
The land it was built on was once a cemetery. Rumor has it that three graves couldn’t be moved as no next of kin could be located. While the construction went on smoothly afterwards, the college showed signs of being haunted as students poured in.
Most recently, the shadow of an entity walking around the room was spotted during a night class. Neither the students nor their professor were anywhere near it. Another incident involved two janitors who stepped out for a smoke. They suddenly saw the lid of a nearby garbage can hover in front of them.
A group of students also became firm believers in the paranormal when they smelled the scent of perfume but saw no females nearby.
So, if you truly love the supernatural and are dying (figuratively… we hope) to see a ghost, spend two to four years in any of these ten colleges in Florida