If you're a fan of haunted houses and ghostly tours, there are plenty of places in Florida for a day trip or weekend getaway full of fright. The Sunshine State offers visitors a collection of tours and excursions that are not only frightening but also informative about the paranormal history of the area.
No matter which region of Florida you're visiting, chances are you're close to a haunted tour—the state is home to some of the oldest towns in America, and many of the local legends are centered on the long history of multi-cultural rule of the area.
From Orlando to Daytona, walking tours and driving tours, you will find the fright you're looking for here in Florida.
The next time you're in Orlando, take a break from Disney World and head over to American Ghost Adventures. This paranormal investigative tour offers a side of Orlando you probably never knew existed. The two-hour walking tour of the city's most haunted buildings, is a fun and spooky experience, all the while equipped with ghost hunting gear! Tours are nightly at 8 pm and tickets are $30 for adults and $20 for children over 6 years old. Reservations are required.
Cassadaga Spiritualist Community
Drive north from Orlando for about 45 minutes and you'll hit Cassadaga, home to the oldest active religious community in the region, the Southern Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp. Encompassing about 57 acres of land, Cassadaga is a quite town occupied and owned by like-minded people who all believe in God, Jesus, and their ability to commune with the dead. The Cassadaga community hosts an Encounter Spirits Night Tour most weekends where guests can, "capture images of energy orbs and other spirit manifestation." Tours are $25 for adults and $15 from children 12 and under.
Reservations are recommended and close-toe shoes are required.
Lake Wales' Haunts
East of Tampa and south of Orlando, Lake Wales is a small, old town that's home to Spook Hill, which makes for a great pitstop on your haunted tour of central Florida. This optical illusion turned tourist attraction makes it appear as if vehicle is coasting up Spook Hill. The anti-gravity hill is officially recognized by the town and there is a sign on sight explaining what to do. While you're in Lake Wales, stop by the Bok Tower and Gardens for a beautiful view and peaceful stroll.
Daytona Beach Haunts
Fortunately, there are a number of great haunts waiting for you in Daytona Beach. Lillian Place, a beachside Victorian mansion built in 1884 is home to Lucille, the famous ghost who haunts the home. Guided and self-guided tours of Lillian Place are available daily. You can also try the Plaza Resort Tour in downtown Daytona Beach. The century-old hotel has been known to host a few spooky guests from time to time.
Norther Florida Haunts
Also in central Florida, Saint Petersburg is home to the Don Cesar Beach Resort: Haunted Hotel, where a ghost of a young woman who died of sadness haunts the halls each night. St. Petersburg also features a candlelit walking tour of the most haunted locations on its Ghost Tour.
A little further east and you'll be in Saint Augustine, the oldest city in America, which offers a great haunted tour called A Ghostly Encounter. Guests hear tales of the first citizens of what would become the United States while on a walking tour down the city's dark and narrow streets and historical cemeteries.
Located in the Northeastern most tip of the state, Amelia Island is cut off from the mainland by the Amelia River and serves as one of the barrier islands on Florida's eastern coast. Amelia Island is rich with history, having been subject at one point or another to Spanish, French, British, and American rule. If you're in the mood for a haunted history of the island, check out the Amelia Island Museum of History's walking Ghost Tour, which guides guests along the historic streets of Downtown Fernandina Beach.Tickets may be purchased at the museum.
Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children.
Southern and Coastal Florida Haunts
If you're in the southern portion of the state, especially in one of the many coastal communities with rich, haunted histories, there are a number of great haunted tours and attractions you won't want to miss on your trip. Right outside of Miami, you'll find Coconut Grove where nightly ghost tours called Ghost Grove let visitors explore the haunted history and witness first-hand accounts of spirit manifestations in this tropical seaside village. Pine Island, right outside of Fort Myers in the lower portion of southwest Florida, offers visitors a half day haunted kayaking tour through haunted waters of Estero Bay.
For more information check out the Mound Key Adventure tour.
As the name would suggest, Key West is the westernmost of Florida's southern Key Islands, all connected by Highway 1, but the city also offers a Ghost and Mysteries Tour that takes guests on a walking tour of Old Town's haunted Victorian mansions while the tour guide tells old stories about characters like Robert the Doll, Count Von Cosel and Elyna, and The Watcher.