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 region.
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.
For the purposes of this guide, we'll start with a driving tour from Orlando's "American Ghost Adventures" tour to the Daytona Beach "Haunts of the World's Most Famous Beach Tour," then suggest a few southern and coastal destinations as well.
Orlando to Daytona: A Haunted Driving Tour
Starting off in Orlando, you can drive across the state up to Daytona Beach and experience a number of great haunts. " American Ghost Adventures" is a paranormal investigative tour that offers a side of Orlando you never knew existed on a two-hour walking tour of the city's most haunted buildings, all the while equipped with ghost hunting gear!
Driving between Orlando and Daytona Beach in central Florida, you might miss the spiritualist community of Cassadaga, the home to the oldest active religious community in the region, the Southern Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp. Encompassing 55 residences on 34 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, and the Cassadaga community hosts an "Encounter Spirits Night Tour" most weekends where guests can "capture images of energy orbs and other Spirit manifestation," so you can also experience what the 23 in-town mediums see every day.
East of Tampa and south of Orlando, Lake Wells is a small, old town that's home to Spook Hill, which could make for a great pitstop on your haunted tour of central Florida. This optical illusion turned tourist attraction makes it appear as if vehicles are coasting up Spook Hill, and while you're in Lake Wells, you should definitely stop by Bok Tower and Gardens for a beautiful view.
When you finally arrive in Daytona Beach there are, fortunately, a number of great haunts waiting for you, but we recommend you check out the "Haunts of the World's Most Famous Beach Tour," a fright-seeing adventure down the moonlit streets of Daytona Beach that combines history and scientific data with haunting tales.
Southern and Coastal 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, and Pine Island, right outside of Fort Myers in the lower portion of southwest Florida, offers visitors a nightly boat tour through haunted waters at Calusa Ghost Tours.
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.
Other Great Haunts in Florida
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; Saint 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" where guests can 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 Northeast 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's 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.