While our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by Hurricane Matthew, we are compelled to share these frightening stories about the most haunted places to visit in Jacksonville. With a rich history, Jacksonville is the largest city in Florida with a variety of creepy destinations worthy of the most seasoned ghost hunter.
Learn about the ten most haunted places to visit in Jacksonville. Read on, if you dare – just in time for Halloween.
Table of Contents
10) Ginger’s Place
Currently a low-key watering hole, Ginger’s Place has been through a variety of incarnations, such as a grocery store, a dress shop and a fast food establishment. Currently offering room for dancing, pool tables, drinks and cocktails to their eclectic clientele, Ginger’s is situated among many other haunted locations along the beaches.
Ginger is the main ghost, who owned the bar along with her husband Ziggy, who died in 1988. Ginger herself passed away in 2003 and many have seen her apparition. Other experiences include the Miller’s Light sign flying over the tip jar, shadows, people being tapped on the leg, impressions in chairs and creepy, disappearing mannequins.
9) Evergreen Cemetery
The Evergreen Cemetery conducted its first burial in 1881 and is the longest fully operating cemetery in Jacksonville, with approx 80,000 burials recorded and boasting 167 acres. Currently also hosting events such as the Pumpkin Run and the Tales of the City Tour, the cemetery is used for a variety of community and seasonal events.
Visitors have reported seeing a Lady in Violet and apparitions near an unmarked mausoleum and a tombstone known as the Ugly Angel. People have also reported a freaky spirit who rises up from the ground in order to possess whoever is walking close by, making it one of the most haunted places to visit in Jacksonville.
8) Kingsley Plantation – St. George Island
Even though the Timucuan Indians lived on the site 1000 years ago, the buildings standing today are from the plantation. Located on a narrow stretch of road, you can still see the slave quarters and the main house. The original owner was Zephaniah Kingsley who was known for treating his slaves well and even married one of them.
Visitors have reported seeing Old Red Eyes near the ruins of the slave quarters. He is reported to be the spirit of a slave who apparently raped and killed some of the female slaves and was then caught and hung from a large oak tree on the plantation.
Apparently you can see his red eyes in the rear view mirror when you’re driving away. Don’t forget to keep checking the back seat!
A boarding house was operating at the site over 80 years ago and since 2008, it has been a taco stand and currently boasts an impressive Tequila selection. The boarding house was owned by Mrs Alpha Paynter back in the day and she is buried behind the building, which is listed in The National Directory of Haunted Places.
Employees have reported seeing Mrs Paynter’s ghost throughout the establishment, including sightings of her standing near the limestone fireplace in the main dining room. Hopefully she’ll behave herself if you do the same.
6) Riverside House
Originally a resort hotel known as the Rochester House in Brooklyn in the 1860’s and flanked by beautiful oak and magnolia trees, the Riverside Hotel is now the headquarters of the Junior League of Jacksonville. Open to the public since 1980, the hotel offers an auditorium, reception hall, boardroom and the kitchen for a reasonable price.
Some say that Mary Todd Lincoln visited the hotel in 1874, where she grieved the death of her husband and sons. It is believed that her mental instability started while staying at the Riverside House and some believe that it is haunted by the bride of a confederate soldier, who dresses in black. Her footsteps can be heard on the third floor.
5) Annie Lytle School – Riverside
Also known as The Devil’s School, it is considered the most haunted place in Jacksonville and is situated in the Brooklyn area of Riverside. Since 1917 it has been used as a school and an administrative building, but is hard to get to by car. Still considered an historical building, it stands vacant in a dilapidated state and is fenced in.
Ghost hunters and thrill seekers have reported a variety of crazy stories such as devil worshiping being conducted in the buildings and a history of cannibalism. Apparitions include those of ghost children with black eyes, dark shadows and strange noises. If you dare to visit, try not to think of Hannibal Lecter.
4) Florida Theater
Since 1927, the Florida Theater has hosted events including Vaudeville acts, the ballet, opera and other musical acts like Elvis Presley. The theater still hosts many events during the year as well as awards ceremonies, lectures, community functions and so on, with 250,000 visitors annually.
There are a variety of paranormal reports such as weird humming sounds, an apparition waving – specifically from seat E2, section 500. There’s also the strange and creepy story about a transparent, human head – without a body – floating around this theater, which is considered one of the most haunted places to visit in Jacksonville.
3) Dames Point Bridge – St. Johns River
Constructed in 1988, it’s real name is considered to be the Napoleon Bonaparte Broward Bridge. A cable-stayed bridge, it spans the St. Johns River and is 175 feet high. Contrary to rumors, no one died during its construction.
There are however, some reports of the ghost of an African American woman seen walking back and forth along the bridge. She is believed to have either died after she was thrown over by someone or to have committed suicide by jumping off the bridge. Other documented deaths include a white woman committing suicide by jumping.
2) Old St. Luke’s Hospital
Now the site for the Arthritis Foundation, it was once the Old St. Luke’s Hospital and in the late 1800’s it was used for tuberculosis patients. It’s history includes being the site for a coffin manufacturing company and a school for nurses. It also endured the great fire of 1901, so it’s history is rich with tragedy.
Naturally, there are a lot of deaths associated with this site, including apparitions of nurses walking along the corridors as well as the ghosts of patients who are still in a loop of sickness and death. Do you dare to visit or do you prefer to keep out of this deathly loop of tragedy?
1) Little Theater
On the Southside of Jacksonville, this art deco building was known as the Little Theater since 1938. Now used as a voluntary community theater, it celebrates diversity and proudly develops training programs and plays for the locals.
Reports of a mysterious man haunting the stairwell in the lobby are rife. He is usually seen as a shadow wearing a bowler hat. Whether or not his motivations are sinister, it might be considered bad luck for more reasons than the obvious fear of a bad performance!
Jacksonville has many more creepy and frightening locations – just waiting for you to discover them.
Have you been to any of the places on this list? What was your experience? Tell us in the comments below.