Recounting Tampa Bay's most haunted places
You can barely turn around in Tampa Bay without bumping into a ghost.
- From a shadowy figure stalking the halls at the Bali Hai hotel on Anna Maria Island to a little boy in a baseball uniform running around Clearwater's Eisenhower Elementary, spooky sightings abound.
Ghosts or ghost-type activity have been reported in places as diverse as the Melting Pot in St. Pete, the Brooksville Nursing Manor and the old Ritz-Carlton on Longboat Key.
Zoom in: Traveling Major League Baseball teams that stay at the Vinoy in St. Pete report lots of paranormal activity at the hotel — like water faucets turning on at random and lights flickering off and on.
The big picture: The 25-year-old paranormal website The Shadowlands has collected a slew of local ghost stories, and our team used the data to determine hauntings per capita by state.
- The good news: Florida is the least haunted state, with just 1.5 reported hauntings per 100,000 residents. Wyoming is most haunted, per the data.
Yes, but: The list is missing at least one notable location: the Gulfport home where a 36-year-old woman's cries went unanswered while she was murdered by her neighbor in 1984, a tragedy documented by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Thomas French of the St. Petersburg Times.
- The story has it that the home's new owners report reappearing blood stains on the carpet, and one window that occasionally shatters.
Our pick: We like the whispers that the ghost of Jack Kerouac can sometimes be seen sipping a Falstaff at the Flamingo Bar in St. Pete.
Go deeper: WFLA says these are the eight most haunted places in Tampa.
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