Hipmunk Hotels: Florida Hauntings from Jacksonville to Sanibel

Florida Haunted Places - The Florida Theatre
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Image via Flickr by Caitlinator

Full disclosure: This post was written as part of the Hipmunk Winter Hotels project. I am being paid to write this post, but the opinions in it are my own.

Judging by the number of retirees in Florida, it isn’t a bad place to spend the rest of your life. But what about the rest of your afterlife? Here are five cities in Florida where the living and the not-so-living reside.

The Florida Theatre in Jacksonville

The historic Florida Theatre has had its share of famous performers including a young Elvis Presley. The theater’s shows are so good that one man apparently never left.

The ghostly apparition seen in balcony seat E2 might be the one flicking the lights and opening and closing the theatre’s doors. The ghost has spoken to a psychic and his presence has been confirmed by the ghost hunters of Local Haunts.

Want to try your luck at ghost hunting in Florida? Check Hipmunk for cheap hotels near historic downtown Jacksonville, and make your way to the Florida Theatre for a show.

The Sweetwater Branch Inn in Gainesville

Seems the historic McKenzie House at the Sweetwater Branch Inn attracts patrons from this world as well as the next.

Guests staying in the attic room have reported an unexplained “heavy feeling” when sleeping and a bureau whose drawer opens and closes on its own. There have also been multiple sightings of an apparition in the third floor window.

Care to spend a spooky night in Victorian elegance? Book a room at the Sweetwater Branch Inn. Or maybe you’d be more comfortable in a different hotel nearby.

Bay Haven Hotel in Sarasota

Now a residence for students attending the Ringling School of Art and Design, the former Bay Haven Hotel has a guest who’s oblivious to the change of her surroundings.

The ghost’s name is Mary, and supposedly she’s a prostitute who from the 1920s who died under mysterious circumstances before she checked out. Lucky students staying in room 12 might wake up face to face with the ghost. The best thing to do? Say “Go back to bed Mary” and go back to sleep.

Get yourself some sleep without having to share your room with a ghost – check Hipmunk for cheap hotels in Sarasota.

Esperanza Pullman Train in Fort Myers

A luxury Pullman rail car called “Esperanza” housed in the Southwest Florida Museum of History could have ghosts living aboard.

One of the last private Pullman cars built in the U.S., this luxury rail car ended up in the museum where it was named Esperanza. The Peace River Ghost Trackers investigated her, and experienced possible paranormal activity including electronics malfunctions, falling tables, and (most convincing) the unexplained sound of jingling keys.

Clearly this rail car requires more investigation to confirm (or deny) the presence of a ghostly resident. Confirm your stay at a hotel in Fort Myers using Hipmunk to get the best price.

The Island Inn in Sanibel

The oldest hotel on the island of Sanibel, the Island Inn opened in 1895 and after many renovations it’s been updated to a posh, modern seaside resort. Ghosts? OK, there aren’t any ghostly happenings here yet, but considering it’s been in business for over a century there’s got to be a few ethereal guests who decided to overstay. Just think – the first to report a ghost sighting at the Island Inn could be you!

If ghosts aren’t your thing, try Hipmunk for cheap hotels in Sanibel with guests of the living variety.

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