Many would say Florida is a paradise, but it definitely has its dark side.
On one hand, the Sunshine State is home to fantastically beautiful beaches, wild nightlife, and of course the magic of Disneyworld and other tourist haunts.
Who hasn’t dreamed of visiting Florida at one point in their life, whether it’s to see the Magic Kingdom, have the time of your life at a swanky nightclub, or explore the unspoiled nature that is still there to this day?
Updated 9/26/2019 – On the other hand, Florida has some secrets.
In the past, the state has been a capital for organized crime and the drug trade.
In the more distant past, there were fierce pirates (of the yar har har variety) and mistreated American Indian tribes.
Dark events like these are haunted attractions for the denizens of the supernatural, and in Florida more than many other places, the two worlds combine to make for some very unique ghost hunting.
It’s easy to have a great time in Florida.
It’s also easy to get scared out of your mind.
Florida offers some unique opportunities to do both at once, as these 10 haunted attractions show.
Bring your EVP recorder and an umbrella.
10 Scariest Haunted Attractions in Florida
Table of Contents
- 1 10 – Riverwalk Museum, Fort Lauderdale
- 2 9 – Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum, St. Augustine
- 3 8 – Stogies Jazz Club, St. Augustine
- 4 7 – Tower of Terror, Disney World, Orlando
- 5 6 – Launch Complex 34, Cape Canaveral
- 6 5 – Pirates of the Caribbean, Disney World, Orlando
- 7 4 – South Seas Island Resort, Captiva
- 8 3 – Spook Hill, Lake Wales
- 9 2 – Devil’s Millhopper, Gainesville
- 10 1 – Robert the Doll, Martello Museum, Key West
10 – Riverwalk Museum, Fort Lauderdale
The Riverwalk is one of the oldest buildings in Fort Lauderdale, having been built in the early 1900s.
It was originally a hotel, but has since been converted into a museum.
It’s one of Florida’s more haunted attractions, acting as home to a large number of ghosts.
Most commonly, a small girl can be seen peering out the second floor window.
Those who have seen her report feeling a chill as they lay eyes on her, which is only intensified when they find out the museum is closed and vacant that day.
Other ghosts have often been seen on the premises as well, and cold spots permeate throughout.
9 – Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum, St. Augustine
Located inside an actual, bona fide castle, the Ripley’s museum is full of ghosts, believe it or not.
The castle was built in the 1880s by oilman William G. Warden, and passed through several owners’ hands before Mr. Ripley himself purchased it.
The main haunted attractions here are the spirits of Ruth Hopkins Pickering and Betty Neville Richeson. They died in a 1944 fire at the building, though some suspect they were already dead by foul play before they burned.
The pair can sometimes be seen watching the street from the windows of the building, and are pointed out on the museum’s “Ghost Train Adventure” tour.
8 – Stogies Jazz Club, St. Augustine
This historic 1856 building holds a number of spirits and other haunted attractions.
Visitors to the club often report feeling as though they are being watched or even followed.
Odd noises are commonplace between concerts when the club is mostly vacant, and ghost hunters have had good results recording EVPs and thermal images.
Occasionally, a group of ghostly children run through the halls.
They are more often heard than seen, but they have been known to make a visible appearance as well.
It’s unknown who the children are, though the club has been in operation so long, it seems like they are the children of musicians or guests from yesteryear.
7 – Tower of Terror, Disney World, Orlando
Ironically, one of Disney World’s most haunted attractions really is haunted.
The ride is themed as a ghost-infested hotel, and cast members (park employees) often dress as old-time bellhops.
Years ago, one of these workers died on his shift, simply keeling over right at his post on Platform D.
He died of a medical condition, and there was no reason to stop the ride for long, so the next day it was back in operation.
Many cast members say he’s still there to this day.
He’s harmless, but he scares people however he can.
Cold spots, moving objects, lights turning on and off.
The park workers like to stick together when they’re inspecting Platform D at the end of the day.
One of NASA’s first and most historic launch platforms, Launch Complex 34 is today open to the public to enjoy its history and ghosts.
Yes, it’s full of ghosts.
NASA didn’t intend it, but it’s become one of the most haunted attractions around.
Launch Complex 34 was the site of the Apollo 1 disaster of 1967, in which three astronauts perished when the control cabin burst into flames.
Today, paranormal investigators believe the astronauts are still there, in spirit form.
Visitors have heard screams echoing in the distance while watching the launch pad.
A negative energy seems to hang over the places at times, with onlookers experiencing feelings of dread and fear.
The pad is open to the public so that respects may be paid, if you dare.
5 – Pirates of the Caribbean, Disney World, Orlando
Disney World, like its counterpart in California, is home to many, many haunted attractions.
The Florida installation of the ride was built in the early 1970s.
During construction, one of the workers died.
Today, he’s known simply as George the Welder.
Nobody is quite sure who he was in life or exactly how he died.
All they know is that he haunts the ride still.
Although seen only rarely, George makes his presence known in other ways.
Phantom footsteps are common during the nightly maintenance, as are bizarre phone calls from the (empty) control room.
George is basically harmless, but park workers often make a ritual of telling him good morning and good night.
It’s considered good luck, and a way to stop him from scaring the guests.
4 – South Seas Island Resort, Captiva
A gorgeous tourist resort with strong historical roots, Captiva was once home to George Washington Carver and his family.
The Chapel by the Sea, which is the island’s small cemetery, is well-known as one of the area’s most haunted attractions.
A number of spirits drift from the cemetery into the nearby restaurant, seemingly at will.
The resort employees are often more than happy to discuss their ghost problems, and fully embrace the paranormal happenings.
Floating orbs of light frequently appear all over the area, most commonly in photographs taken there, and visible apparitions include a manager and a baker from many years ago.
3 – Spook Hill, Lake Wales
The appropriately named Spook Hill is what is known as a gravity hill.
These haunted attractions seem to defy the laws of physics.
Drive partway up the hill, shift into neutral, and your car might roll uphill the rest of the way.
The origin of this particular gravity hill is debated.
Some say the spot was sacred to the local Indian tribes and used for rituals.
Others say it’s the work of a highly magnetic meteor, deep underground.
Regardless, Spook Hill has been confusing people for centuries.
Early pioneers in the area wrote about their horses becoming strangely tired going down the hill, but happily going up at a trot.
2 – Devil’s Millhopper, Gainesville
This bizarre natural phenomenon is thought by many to be a spirit portal to hell.
It’s an enormous hole in the ground, 500 feet across and 120 feet deep.
Nobody quite knows how it formed, but they do know that it’s damn scary.
Strange fossils and bones are sometimes seen strewn along the bottom of the crater, and feelings of fear and panic can engulf visitors who gaze upon them.
Local folklore dating back to the Indian tribes speak of a day when the hole opened.
Nearby trees, animals, and people alike were sucked down into the earth, never to be seen again.
1 – Robert the Doll, Martello Museum, Key West
Robert the Doll, an insanely creepy little guy in a sailor suit, is king of all Florida’s haunted attractions.
Robert lives in what is now the Martello Museum in Key West, and he has driven more than one child and adult mad with fear.
He’s the source of all those creepy doll stories we’ve heard over the years, and he was the inspiration for Chucky from the Child’s Play films.
The poor children who have owned Robert over the years have been blamed for destruction of property, vandalism, and even murder.
They always blame the doll.
Robert made them do it.
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