[FL] Real Haunted Places in Florida

Florida has an interesting history, and the ghost stories to go with it.  Here are just a few haunts I’ve explored in sunny (and sometimes not-so-sunny) Florida.

Cassadaga: Cassadaga Spiritualist Settlement

I’d heard good reports of Cassadaga for ghost hunting. It has a long history of Spiritualism… and spirits. However, during my first visit, the Cassadaga did not seem profoundly haunted.

I’ll give the community a second chance, and visit Cassadaga for another investigation. Sometimes an area offers more on a second visit.

2016 update: I did return to Cassadaga, and had an opportunity to investigate a couple of buildings. Both seemed to have their own, unique spirits.

The Cassadaga visitors’ center has some good material, including free literature in their conference room (just before you reach the rest room entrances). And, it is a lovely setting if you’re in the mood for a leisurely walk, browsing New Age shops and consulting psychics.

I took many pictures at Cassadaga on a rainy day, and what’s notable is what we didn’t get on film: Orbs.

With that kind of moisture in the air, I should have had dozens — if not hundreds — of orbs. Is that an anomaly? I don’t know. It reminds me of the damp evening at The Myrtles, when Margaret Byl and I photographed no orbs at all.

Odd.

If you walk to the edge of Spirit Lake towards the middle of town, you’ll see a wooded area with trails to your left. If any part of Cassadaga remains haunted, it’s probably those woods.

While you’re visiting Cassadaga, there is a cemetery just outside the town line, due west, possibly on Kicklighter Road. I had just a few minutes to visit it, and plan to return to collect more information, but — on our first visit — this cemetery seemed far more haunted than nearby Cassadaga.

Cassadaga Spiritualist Settlement is about 30 miles north of Orlando, just off Hwy 4. settlement websitespirit tours

Orlando area: Rouse Road Cemetery

Legend claims that the small, rural cemetery on Rouse Road and nearby woods are haunted by a ghost from the 1840s, Benjamin Miles, whose nightly presence is signalled by an owl screeching. Mr. Miles, often in tan-colored work clothes, was buried in an unmarked grave, and is an angry ghost.

I visited this cemetery during the day, and while my photos didn’t capture anything significant, I can confirm that there is a strong, unsettling presence there.

In my photos:

  • In the top photo, even the cheerful flowers couldn’t seem to lift the heavy energy in this cemetery.
  • In the middle photo, there is a huge tree in this cemetery, and it seems to hold some strange energy. The area around it feels angry and perhaps even malicious.
  • The lower photo shows some of the toppled headstones, now sunken into the ground.

Individuals who scare easily, or new ghost hunters, should probably avoid this location. It feels profoundly hostile.

Rouse Road Cemetery is in a rural setting, between 3400 & 3621 Rouse Road, Orlando, Florida, on the MapQuest.com maps. It is a gated cemetery, and I recommend only daytime visits. Check local laws and cemetery hours before planning a night visit.

 

Orlando theme parks

Almost every theme or amusement park has urban legends, including attractions that supposedly have ghosts. I cannot verify these tales, but include them as anecdotes:

Universal Studios theme park, Orlando: Reports of a small, hooded ghost with glowing red eyes, at one attraction.  It’s such a cliche, I don’t take that seriously.  For all I know, it was a child in an Ewok costume or something.

Disney’s Magic Kingdom: At least two different reports of ghosts at — of course — Disney’s Haunted Mansion. Also, some people report a ghost in slightly-dated clothing, strolling in front of the castle at the end of Main Street.  Pirates of the Caribbean used to have a ghost or two in the early 2000s, but I’ve heard no reports of hauntings there, more recently.

Disney/MGM Studios: At least one ghost reported at Disney’s Tower of Terror, in the lobby. Watch for fluttering movements in areas not affected by the fans.  I’ve seen that phenomenon myself, but I’m not sure it indicates anything paranormal.

If you can add more to these legends, let us know. I’m looking for first-person sightings only. (In other words, I want to know what you have seen or witnessed, not a story that you heard from someone. Thanks.)

Orlando: I-4 “Dead Zone”

There’s an overpass on I-4 that’s supposed to be very haunted and have more than an average number of accidents. It’s just north of Orlando, at the St. John’s River in Seminole County. According to legend, the highway was built over the graves of Yellow Fever victims, who lived (and died) at St. Joseph’s Colony, established on this site in 1887.

In the daytime, the intersection has some strange energy, but how much of that is due to it being a shabby neighborhood? (Or, is it a faltering neighborhood because it’s too haunted for businesses to thrive there? It should be prime real estate.)

If anyone has more first-person information, let us know. I do not recommend investigating this area on your own, and particularly not at night.

And, do not slow down, drive irregularly, or park on the road (or roadside) and contribute even more to the high number of accidents at this intersection.

15 thoughts on “[FL] Real Haunted Places in Florida”

  1. Wow, You didn’t include Tamoca state park, aka ‘the loop” in daytona beach. This place has scared the hell out of me since I was a little girl. And I don’t scare easy, at all. I love casadaga even though its very cheesy. I’m a skeptic , I don’t buy into shows like ” Ghosthunters” but something isn’t right in the Loop. My entire life ,I have heard all shades of urban legends from this place from wendingos, to escaped mental patients ,a witch/child murderess cannibal, ancient indian spirits , ghost riders on motorcycles (the tamoca light) … the list goes on and on definatly worth checking into. I love it. wild winding roads with just a few feet between you and the water, no guard rails. no lights. just fog. You must check it out

    1. Patrick,

      That kind of comment is just plain silly, or your education has been sadly lacking.

      Orbs exist. Merriam-Webster defines orb as “a spherical body.” I can draw one. I can create one using glass or any of hundreds of other materials.

      And, many of my photos (and others’) include orbs.

      So, orbs exist.

      The question is what they are, when we can’t explain them in normal, physical terms. That’s when an orb becomes paranormal.

      Spend a little time reading the articles at this website. You’ll see that my discussion of orbs (sometimes called “ghost orbs” so we all know the context of the conversation) are about the phenomena.

      That’s different from a strict or dogmatic interpretation of what orbs represent.

      Orbs do exist. If you want to dispute that, you picked the wrong person to argue with.

      Sincerely,
      Fiona Broome

      1. In pictures, dust or bugs or lens flare are often mistaken for orbs. However, an orb seen with ones own eyes is entirely different. Pictures with orbs in them are almost always 100% bogus because there are too many other things it could be, and claiming that orbs in pictures prove paranormal activity is laughable. Textbook definition of a slippery slope fallacy.

        1. Logan,

          I challenge you to take photos of dust, bugs, or lens flares that would fool a professional into thinking they’re anomalies.

          Also, we’re not claiming that orbs in pictures prove paranormal activity… they are paranormal activity.

          There is no scientific proof of anything, ever. It doesn’t exist.

          Sincerely,
          Fiona Broome

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  3. Alright so I don’t normally comment on these things. Till I read some of the comments. I find it ridiculous to say “we’re not claiming that orbs in pictures prove paranormal activity… they are paranormal activity.” Your arguments seem very one sided. Personally I don’t believe in orbs, I agree with allot of what Logan says. Most of the time in PHOTOS orbs are dust, bugs and lens flares. I’ve barely seen any convincing photos of orbs that I can’t dismiss as bugs, dust and lens flares right away.

    Now let’s take a look at the word Paranormal.
    Paranormal in a general term, is something that lies outside “the range of normal experience or scientific explanation.

    If I can disprove and recreate an orb over and over again, well I guess that’s me dismissing anything paranormal about it. Because there isn’t an exact science definition to what an orb is. Doesn’t mean someone can just coin it paranormal. Especially to people stating their opinion about it. I’ve spent allot of time on investigations and for awhile I looked at orbs as a paranormal phenomenon. But to allot of people who deal with paranormal things, not as a job but more of a hobby and even a passion. Orbs are kinda a joke.

    My main point is, I want to connect what you said about Orbs being Paranormal and to what paranormal actually means. From what I’m understanding, is you think because you can’t scientifically prove or disprove orbs make them paranormal. Well then [edited] I guess the bibles paranormal as well. I can, and have done many “Debunkings” on orbs to make me a non-believer of them. I’ve been able to disprove any orb that I have encountered. But hell i’m not a one sided person so if you show me some orbs that “professionals” in this topic, have coined legit. I’ll tell you how disappointed I am in the paranormal society. But!! I know where to draw the line and admit to where i’m wrong.

    So Fiona, I challenge you. Show me something that I haven’t seen before. Show me something that’ll make me a believer in your orbs.

    1. Hogarth,

      Almost any orb photo — or any photo, full stop — can be faked.

      There is no photo I can show you that will “make [you] a believer.” Maybe someone else will rise to that challenge; not me.

      Any orb that can be disproved and recreated, over and over again, is — by definition — not paranormal. That’s a given.

      And, I’ve repeatedly said that orbs cannot be stand-alone evidence of a haunting. Even paranormal orbs — those with no reasonable explanation — are just orbs. They aren’t necessarily connected with ghosts. (And, in case I haven’t said it often enough, we can’t prove that ghosts exist, either.)

      I encourage people to take their own photos, and lots of them. In my opinion, the one and only way to become a firm believer in orbs is to first see how difficult it is to create convincing fake orbs.

      Then, with an understanding of what leads to false orbs and what they look like in photos from your camera, take lots of photos in “haunted” locations. See the results. That’s the make-or-break point for orb evaluation.

        Caveat: Just like some people (including me) don’t seem to attract much EVP, I believe that some people don’t attract orbs in photos. I have no idea why.

      I don’t have anything to prove. I have no interest in “making” anyone into a believer.

      My ghost hunting articles were first posted online in the mid-1990s as a way to connect with others who already believe that something odd is going on at “haunted” places. It was my attempt to share what I’ve learned about ghost research, as I’ve learned it. It was a “let’s not reinvent the wheel” effort.

      So, my articles and understanding have changed over the past 15+ years. Most of my old articles have some merit, so I leave them online. (The Florida article and photos are from more than 10 years ago, before “Ghost Hunters” made ghost hunting popular.)

      And, it’s been my hope to encourage others to pursue similar research, so we may better understand what ghosts and related phenomena really are.

      I’ve long suspected that orbs are an indication of activity that we don’t understand, yet. An orb might be that window that appeared in Quantum Leap, right before Al showed up. The window (like an orb) is neither here nor there, in terms of importance; it’s just a visual indication that something else is — or is about to — happen. And, for now, orbs seem to be indications that something ghost-related is going on.

      I’m interested in discussions with people who’ve already been through the process of finding out how difficult it is to fake convincing orbs, and now have orb photos they can’t explain.

      Maybe all of your experimental photos of dust, bugs, and lens flares explain all of your orb photos. That’s fine.

      My six years’ (nearly seven) experiments with orb-related photos produced different conclusions. I’m not interested in spending six years trying to make you a believer in my photos, or anyone else’s.

      It’s like any other scientific study. There are people who firmly believe that perpetual motion is possible. They dedicate years to discovering clues that might take energy research more firmly in that direction. I thoroughly enjoy discussions with those researchers, though I don’t personally pursue that study.

      However, when someone tries to join the discussion and promptly announces that he (or she) doesn’t believe in perpetual motion and it’s the job of others to make a believer of him (or her)… there’s not a whole lot that anyone can say. That kind of challenge seems to assume that we accept perpetual motion as a given, and believe we have scientific proof (an oxymoron in itself) of it. To the skeptical critic, perpetual motion might be “kinda a joke.” They don’t have a clue what the discussion is really about.

      I believe that my photos and others’ include orbs that cannot be explained as dust, bugs, lens flares, moisture, reflections, and so on. Those photos seem to occur more often in “haunted” settings.

      That’s the extent of my thesis at this point, though that term is a little lofty for the collection of “what if..?” questions we’re working with in this field. My studies are serious, and I do not take them as “a joke.”

      I’m sure others will rise to your challenge, but I won’t.

      Sincerely,
      Fiona Broome

      1. I went on a ghost walk in St Augustine. There were 8 people.All were taken pics in cemetery & around old St. Augustine. I captured multiple orbs in my photos. Others in my party didn’t have any. I found that extremely strange. I cleaned my lens but continued to get orbs.

  4. I didn’t believe there were such things as orbs..But they’re real..
    Today Feb 2,2013 I went to Rouse Road Cemetery..Got there about 4pm ,and stayed till 8:30pm..We didn’t get any uneasy feelings,,But when it got dark..We caught A couple of orbs,,Then nothing..
    Now if you want A scary Cemetery,,Espanola Cemetery..We caught orbs and A white mist (don’t know what it is) ,heard noises ..This Cemetery gives the word Dark,,A new meaning..It’s off by itself..It’s not for The Beginner Ghost Hunter..
    If you do go..Respect The Place..They’re nice enough to let you go in at night..
    There’s also one on Old Kings Road South of hwy 100 on the left side..About 3 or 4 blocks on the left after the school..

  5. Espanola Cemetery does give A new meaning to dark. We have been out there. It’s taken us some time, to catch stuff. Guess they have to get use to you. We caught White Mist, Red Mist, Voices on Tapes and A Pic of A Women’s shoulder in A white dress. Yes, Respect the place. They are nice enough to let you go in at night. Cops do check.
    There’s also A cemetery 1 mile north on Old Kings Rd ” Masonic” it’s on the east side of the road ( between to palm tress) You will miss the entrance, if you’re not looking for it..Pull in park, walk to the north

  6. I have a picture of a hooded ghost at Universal when we visited a couple months ago. It was on the Dr Suess attraction. The ghost appears to be a teen or young woman. I did not see it until after we looked at pictures later.

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