Visit Fort Lauderdale – and go ghost hunting!
When you’re thinking about visiting Fort Lauderdale, ghost hunting is probably one of the last activities you’d think about. But the local area is rich in history and yes, ghosts abound.
Of course, you’ll also enjoy all the many and varied activities that Fort Lauderdale offers – the beach, the ocean, fine dining, shopping, watersports, museums, theatres and much more – but if you’re interested in the paranormal there’s so much to occupy you here.
The first permanent resident settled here in 1893. Until that time, South Florida was mainly the home to Seminole tribes and, because of its remoteness and dangerous swamps, desperadoes who were hiding from the authorities. But even when Fort Lauderdale entered civilisation it became a place whose history is crammed with mysterious deaths, untimely ends, murders — even a massacre and an execution.
Did you know that the street on which your vacation rental is located is named after the doctor who officiated at Fort Lauderdale’s only execution? And the execution took place just a mile away, right on Fort Lauderdale beach. Even your apartment has a history. Built a couple of years after the Second World War it retains it’s Mid-Century Modern features. But is it haunted? You decide.
You can see from the map below just a few of the place of interest if you’re ghost-hunting.
- The Stranahan House is the oldest surviving home in Fort Lauderdale. You can visit the house and see exactly what it was like in the pioneer days. You’ll also see the exact spot where first resident, Frank Stranahan, jumped into the river when he took his own life in 1929. There were other untimely deaths there too, especially that of Pink Moss. Now there’s a story….
- The Henry E. Kinney tunnel, right by the Stranahan House, is said to have two ghostly presences. Seminole Indians have been spied running through the tunnel and there’s also a mysterious apparition – a man wearing and old-style suit and hat – who is seen wandering around in the underwater tunnel.
- The King-Cromartie House is said to be haunted by young children. It is now occupied by the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society and they can give you a lot of great information about local history — and ghosts. Be sure to watch the upstairs window on the north side. Sometimes a ghostly woman, can be seen there – even when the building is unoccupied.
- Colee Hammock Park is a wonderful place to sit by the New River and watch the water traffic go by. It’s very peaceful and a great place for a picnic. But it wasn’t always so. In 1835, William Cooley’s family were massacred there. Do their spirits still linger?
- The Historic Fire Station and Museum is a fascinating place to visit in its own right but it’s said to be haunted by a mischievous ghost. In 1940, a young man was accidentally electrocuted there and his spirit, which is something of a prankster, is said to still be there…..
- The Riverside Hotel is a local historic landmark, plus a great hotel with restaurants and bars. Having been built in the 1930s, many of the area’s pioneers have entered its doors. This includes many who had met mysterious or untimely ends
- Evergreen Cemetary is a very spooky place and full of history. Most of our pioneers are buried here and it’s a fsacinating place to visit. Do their spirits lurk here?
- Fort Lauderdale Airport has thousands of people who travel through it every day. But did you know that just after the Second World War, Flight Nineteen took off from there on a training flight and they were never seen again? The rescue plane sent up to find them also disappeared in mysterious circumstances. Even your arrival in Fort Lauderdale hosts a ghostly mystery….
There are too many places to mention here. For example, on Las Olas Boulevard, close to the rental apartment, is the Merle Fogg Park. This is located in the place where Mr Fogg set up the first aviation business in Fort Lauderdale in the early years.
In 1928 he was killed in an air accident when he was still a young man. Does he still visit the site of his innovative business?
It’s impossible in one short article to mention the rich and famous (and infamous) people who have walked along Las Olas Boulevard. And who knows which other ghosts lurk in our neighborhood?
Important! Be sure to include at least one weekend when you book your trip. At weekends there are guided ghost walks and on Sunday evenings a ghost river tour.
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