Friday, May 1, 2015

Haunted Places in Key West, Florida

Connected to the mainland by the Overseas Highway, paved over the damaged Overseas Railway, Key West is an interesting island with full history, and many supposedly haunted locations, including the only Haunted Hard Rock Cafe (being home to the spirit of Robert Curry who committed suicide in the second floor bathroom, and is said to appear to guests and workers alike). You can also get there by ship, or you can jet ski there from Cuba if you're really motivated (and have enough gas).
 
There are two well known haunted cemeteries, the Key West Cemetery and St. Paul's Episcopal Church Cemetery.

Amongst the humorous epitaphs at Key West Cemetery, (such as 'We finally know where he is sleeping', 'I'm just resting my eyes', 'If you are reading this you need a new hobby', and 'I told you I was sick') there is said to be a ghostly woman who sees herself as the cemeteries' guardian and will approach you angrily if she feels you're disrespecting the graves. Voices, orbs, and shadow figures have also been reported.
 
The St. Paul's Cemetery is said to be home to the angry spirit of a pirate hunter, as well as several children who were killed when the pastor set the church on fire to get back at his cheating wife, unaware the choir children were inside. It is said they will become upset if fire (cigarettes or lanterns) are brought into the cemetery. Orbs and strange sounds are also reported. This cemetery is considered so haunted some tours now refuse to take visitors into the cemetery.
 
In addition, there are several lesser known and lost burial plots including the empty (except for one headstone) lot a man bought to build his vacation home one, before learning over a hundred people had been buried there.

The Artist House B & B, is a popular stop, being the former residence of Robert the Doll (the inspiration for Chuckie), and while he's no longer there (he's currently splitting his time between the Post Office and East Martello Museum, both of which said to be haunted while he's in residence), some believe his presence can still be felt, as well as that of Eugene's (Robert's owner) Wife, who'd exiled the doll to the attic, an act with may have trapped her soul after death.

The Hemingway House is another popular haunted stop (seriously, just getting close to this place can pose a challenge). Ernest Hemingway himself is said to be seen waving from the studio window. Lights and typewriter sounds are often said to be heard after the museum is closed for the day. The house is also home to around fifty polydactyl cats, descended from Hemingway's own pet cat.

Also said to be haunted are; the Audubon House and Gardens (Captain Geiger's ghost still guards his gold, whilst his daughter's portrait emanates sadness and children can be heard throughout the house), Marrero's Guest Mansion (haunted by his second wife who was forced out by his divorced first wife after his death), Fort Zachary Taylor (haunted by Wendell who died of yellow fever), and the Ocean Key House Resort (poltergeist activity in third floor suite).

With only the vaguest rumors of being haunted (as in a quick reference to a ghost blob picture, which I couldn't even locate), the creepiest place I've ever visited in Key West was the overview of the generator onboard the USCGC Ingham.

Does this not look like something out of Silent Hill? I felt on edge walking in there, and I'm pretty sure I was the only member of our group willing to go more then one step inside. (This is the second place you can enter this room by the way, you have to cross through the generator room to eventually get to this door, but somehow it's only this portion that bothers people.) I thought I snapped a picture deeper inside, but I don't have one, so. . . I didn't?

The ship is now a museum and memorial, so it'd make sense if there were rumors of it being haunted, but it's like the one place in Key West I can't seem to find reference to being haunted. Aside from the unseen blob picture which was likely a reflection off one of the multitude of plexiglass enclosures, or light coming in one of the many portholes, like the one below.  

But there's still a lot of cool nautical stuff to see, including a Lyle Cannon (used to save lives, rather then take them), and a sound powered telephone!



Looks like the only ghosts here, are the ghosts of technology.


Further Reading and Resources:
(My apologies here, I accidentally deleted some of my sources.)

CGC Ingham Museum”
CGC Ingham Museum (Last Modified 2010)
http://uscgcingham.org/

Ernest Hemingway House”
Wikipedia (Last Modified 2015, 4, 10)

Key West Ghost Tours”
Ghosts and Gravestones (Last Modified 2015)

Robert the Doll”
Wikipedia (Last Modified 2015, 4, 29)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_(doll)

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