Tourists flock to Florida to bask in the sunshine, enjoy the beautiful beaches, and explore its many attractions. However, beyond its picturesque facade lies a darker past filled with violence, disasters, and tragedies. Legend has it that these events have left behind spirits that still haunt the state to this day.
Several haunted hotels in Florida have reportedly been visited by restless apparitions, as claimed by some guests. In this article, we will explore the eerie stories associated with these haunted lodgings.
The Don CeSar Hotel, St. Pete Beach
The “Pink Palace,” also known as the Don CeSar Hotel, is a stunning landmark that graces St. Pete Beach. Its construction dates back to 1928 when Thomas Rowe, a wealthy businessman, built it with a romantic inspiration. Rowe’s infatuation with a Spanish opera singer named Lucinda was the driving force behind the hotel’s creation. Sadly, their love was deemed unacceptable by Lucinda’s parents, which only added to the hotel’s intriguing backstory.
After being sent back to Spain and being coerced into a marriage she did not desire, Rowe’s beloved’s story inspired him to construct a magnificent hotel, which he named after the protagonist of the opera where they originally encountered each other.
According to local folklore, Thomas Rowe, the founder of the hotel, still haunts its halls in search of his beloved. Numerous guests and staff members have claimed to have spotted a man dressed in a white suit and Panama hat wandering the corridors or relaxing in the lobby. Despite passing away in 1940, Rowe’s spirit is said to continue to roam the property to this day.
People often report sightings of a dark-haired woman, thought to be Lucinda, accompanying him. The apparitions are commonly seen around the garden fountain where Thomas proposed to Lucinda, or in the penthouse suite they had planned to occupy.
The Casa Marina Hotel, Jacksonville Beach
Opened in 1925 as a luxurious resort, the Casa Marina Hotel has a rich history as a famous landmark that drew in celebrities, politicians, and socialites who relished in its glamorous ambiance. However, the hotel has also witnessed unfortunate events such as fires, hurricanes, and suicides, which are believed to have resulted in lingering paranormal activities.
Room 4-12 is known as one of the most haunted locations in the hotel. The room is associated with the tragic story of Jessica, who took her own life by jumping from the balcony upon discovering her husband’s infidelity. According to legend, her spirit is still present in the room and is known to play tricks on guests, suggesting that she is still restless and vengeful.
Visitors have reported experiencing eerie encounters with a powerful entity that can manipulate lights, faucets, and even the TV. This entity has been known to shift objects, slam doors, and even push or scratch visitors. Some visitors have even claimed to hear the entity crying or screaming within the room or on the balcony.
The Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables
In 1926, the Biltmore Hotel welcomed its guests as a luxurious resort. Over the years, it played host to several renowned personalities, such as Al Capone, Judy Garland, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Despite its grandeur, the hotel earned a reputation for its connections to illicit activities like gambling, bootlegging, and violent crimes. It was a popular spot for gangsters and mobsters during the Prohibition era, which often resulted in conflicts among them and with the authorities.
In Room 1216 of the hotel, a notorious murder occurred where the New York gangster, Thomas “Fatty” Walsh, was shot dead during a gambling disagreement with another mobster. People claim that his ghost still lingers in Room 1216 and the 13th floor, which is ironically the 14th floor.
Guests and staff have reported experiencing pranks from Walsh’s apparition, including flickering lights, knocking on doors, mysterious phone calls, flushing toilets, and even sightings of a shadowy figure or orb of light.
Experience spine-tingling narratives at Florida’s haunted hotels. These lodgings each have their own stories to tell, promising an unforgettable and potentially eerie stay. Whether or not you believe in the supernatural, a visit to these hotels guarantees a tale to share for years to come.
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