With Halloween just around the corner, many people are on the hunt for spooky things to do in Tampa this weekend. But instead of going to a cheesy scary movie, or an overly-priced and predictable haunted house, why not visit places that are actually haunted?
These restaurants, parks and attractions have all developed a reputation for being home to something paranormal.
If your goal is to encounter an actual ghost this October, now is your chance…
10 Things to Do In Tampa This Weekend if You Love The Paranormal
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10) Lettuce Lake Park
If you’re looking for a place to escape from the noise of the city, be sure to check out this beautiful park. Lettuce Lake has numerous trails for walking and exploring, as well as numerous playscapes for children. Be sure to check out the boardwalk, where you can see turtles swimming around, and alligators basking in the sun.
Lettuce Lake is an ideal location for nature and animal enthusiasts alike…as well as for ghost hunters. According to locals, strange hooded figures have been seen watching passerby from behind the trees.
When they are approached they disappear out of thin air…but like to appear in the backseat of your car as you drive out of the park.
9) AJ’s Press
This restaurant may be small, but it has a reputation that keeps on growing. If you’re hungry and in the mood for gourmet sandwiches and smoked meats, look no further than AJ’s. Be sure to try their legendary brisket, and snack on some jalapeno hush puppies while you wait.
Recently, it’s been reported that a malevolent spirit has taken up residence in the women’s bathroom. A couple of females have said that they heard a female voice whispering even when they were alone in the bathroom. One unfortunate young woman claims she saw a ghost appear behind her when she looked at her reflection in the mirror.
The woman had eyes that were completely black.
8) Lowry Park Zoo
If you’re spending the day with the kids, you can’t go wrong by taking them to this wonderful zoo. Not only are there a wide variety of animals with well-maintained habitats, but the zoo offers many different species of plants and trees to see as well. Every Halloween, Lowry puts on an event called Creatures of the Night, where families can show up at the zoo and enjoy a spooky time in their costumes.
Just be sure to keep the kids out of the café area after dark...a former zoo employee has stated that an unseen entity likes to move objects around on the tables, and shake people’s chairs until they become so scared they run from the cafeteria.
7) Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
This eight-acre park is your go-to destination for special events within Tampa. It hosts numerous concerts and festivals throughout the year. If you and your kids need some exercise, be sure to check out the children’s playground.
The city incorporated video games into the design, and is a fantastic and fun way to get moving. It also boosts several trails for running and biking, and a dog run for the family pooch. While the park feels quite safe, it's recommended that people avoid the trails after sunset.
A ghostly apparition is known to appear on the trail ahead of joggers. Seen in exercise clothes, the ghostly man will stand there and slowly turn his head all the way around, until it is sits backwards on his body.
6) Easidance Ballroom
Feel like getting your groove on? Why not take a ballroom or rumba dance course at Easidance? Owned by world champion dancers, this ballroom offers up dance lessons not only for adults, but for kids as well.
They also host parties on the weekends where students can show off their newly developed skills. Interested in dancing AND the paranormal? Be on the lookout for a misty figure that sometimes appears hovering by the ceiling over the dance floor.
Those who have seen the strange mass have claimed that they have had chronic nightmares about it ever since.
5) The Florida Aquarium
You may have plenty of things to do in Tampa this weekend all lined up, but be sure to include the aquarium on the list! Not only are there numerous animals and exhibits here, but you can even touch the sharks and sting rays. If the kids are complaining about the hot weather, be sure to take them to the newly constructed splash pad at the back of the aquarium.
The numerous sprinklers and jets are a sure fire way for them to cool down and have fun while doing it. Just make sure you go with them at all times. A few months ago a woman reported a strange looking person following her children around the aquarium.
When she asked her kids who he was they said it was a man who died at the facility many years ago.
4) Loli’s Mexican Cravings
This place is small and unassuming on the outside because they let their tacos speak for themselves! Enjoy spicy chorizo meat, wrapped in homemade shells, or try their noteworthy sopas, drizzled with red and green sauces.
After a day of wandering around Tampa, this is the ideal place to go for an inexpensive and delicious meal that is bound to have you contemplating seconds. Just last year, a former staff member came forward and said that an evil spirit enjoyed causing trouble in the kitchen in the evenings. Known for moving ingredients and pans around, everyone believed it was just a playful poltergeist…
Until it appeared in front of the former employee, with black pointed teeth, and two horns coming out of its bald head.
3) Museum of Science and Industry
The exhibits at this museum or so diverse, it’s sure to entertain your whole family. Take a peek into the inner workings of the human body on the third floor, or see how objects are made via 3D printing.
Kids are bound to enjoy the planetarium, whereas the outdoor gardens are the perfect place to sit and relax under the sun. Rumor has it that visitors of the natural disaster exhibit have witnessed a strange orb that seems to move around on its own.
One woman said it was just a reflection of light and went to touch the orb, only to snatch her hand away in fear. Within seconds, long scratches appeared on her arm, and she said that she heard a deep growl in her head when she came into contact with the light.
2) Big Cat Rescue
If you are an animal lover with a big heart, then Big Cat Rescue is an ideal place for you in Tampa. Many of these beautiful felines have endured horrible mistreatment in the past, but now have a wonderful place to call home. The cats are all housed in huge habitats with numerous places to lounge, and play.
The cats even have access to a 2.5-acre playground so they can properly stretch their legs. Everything about this facility, from the friendly staff to the clean facilities, is wonderful…. except for the ghost in the gift shop.
Numerous visitors have reported seeing the ghost of a little boy hiding behind the displays. When a concerned mother approached the boy, she was shocked to see him walk up the wall to loom over her.
1) The Tampa Riverwalk
Of all the things to do in Tampa this weekend, you won’t want to miss spending a morning on the Riverwalk. Health conscious folk use the Riverwalk as a means for walking, jogging, biking and skating. There are also Segway tours available for those who want to explore the area on the move.
On the opposite end of the Riverwalk is a convention center, art museum and children’s museum, all within easy reach. If you enjoy a good ghost hunt, be sure to investigate near the snack stand. Rumor has it that a black shadowed entity can be seen looming behind the cashier within the stand.
If you see it, you’ll want to avoid looking into its eyes, as it has been known to follow visitors home and appear in their closets at night.
Have you visited any of these places? What did you experience? Tell us in the comments below.