Not everything is sunshine and beautiful beaches in the Magic City; some of its most inconspicuous buildings hide some dark, ghoulish secrets and we’re here to uncover them. From mysterious structures that hold tales of loss to historic buildings with a dark past, there’s so much to explore for anyone who loves a good ghost story.
So if you dare, check out the most haunted places in Miami to get in the mood for the spooky season:
1. Coral Castle, Homestead
Built in the early 1900s, Coral Castle is a stone-cold reminder of a love lost. It was built by Edward Leedskalnin after his fianceé abandoned him the day before their wedding. Leedskalnin was so distraught by their failed affair, he spent the next 28 years building this stone castle in the hopes his love would return to him and they would live happily ever after there. The spookiest part about Coral Castle is the fact that Leedskalnin managed to build it all by himself with no modern machinery, engineering knowledge or outside help! No ghosts here, but this mystery does keep us up at night….
Where: 28655 S Dixie Hwy, Homestead, FL 33033
2. Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables
Built in 1926, the Biltmore is speculated to house many otherworldly beings. So if you’re walking down the hall one day, don’t be surprised if you catch a whiff of cigarette smoke because it’s probably the ghost of Fatty. At a 1929 party, gangster Thomas “Fatty” Walsh was fatally shot on the 13th floor and many say his spirit has roamed the halls ever since.
The Biltmore would also go on to become a military hospital during World War II, and then a hospital for veterans in need of care after the war. And from 1968 to 1983, it was left abandoned. But don’t let any of these stories stop you from booking a stay at Miami’s most iconic and timeless hotel!
Where: 1200 Anastasia Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33134
3. Deering Estate, Palmetto Bay
It’s no secret that the Deering Estate is known for its paranormal activity, so much so that the 444-acre estate offers ghost tours. The Historic Ghost Tour tells stories of historic events, previous inhabitants and strange sightings by visitors and staff. Walk the same paths as the Native Americans that lived there along with Charles Deering, the estate’s owner, who died on site in 1925. Visitors are also encouraged to bring any equipment that will help them capture all their ghostly encounters!
Where: 16701 SW 72nd Ave, Miami, FL 33157
4. Charlotte Jane Memorial Park Cemetery, Coconut Grove
Formerly known as the Coconut Grove Bahamian Cemetery, this is a burial site for many members of the area’s African-American and Bahamian residents. In order to avoid flood damage, you’ll notice that all graves are above ground. Legend says this was the graveyard in which Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” hit was filmed and many Miamians claim to have seen his ghost moonwalking through the grounds. The video was most likely filmed in L.A., but who’s to say there isn’t a ghostly impersonator and fan of Jackson roaming the grounds?
Where: 3575 Douglas Rd, Miami, FL 3313
5. Miami City Cemetery, Downtown
This other spooky burial ground was founded in 1987 and is Miami-Dade County’s first and only municipal cemetery. The site is known to be the final resting place of Julia Tuttle, the “Mother of Miami;” the founder of the Burdines department store chain and Miami’s first and third mayors. The site is apparently a hotspot of paranormal activities, with many having reported eerie mists creeping up from nowhere, inexplicable cold spots and feeling the chilling sensation of being watched.
But perhaps the most creepy thing about the Miami City Cemetery is the unusual grave of Carrie Barrett Miller. After her death, her husband placed her body in the grave and poured concrete over her. The tombstone reads, “The body of Carrie Barrett Miller was molded in this solid block of concrete. December 4th, 1926. After the body has gone to dust, her sleeping form will remain.” Oh!
Where: 1800 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33132
6. Colony Theatre, Miami Beach
This 1935 picture house on Lincoln Road is home to a rather fur-endly spirit. Many guests at the Colony Theatre have reported seeing the spirit of a teeny-weeny white toy poodle running around the halls. But the ghostly pooch isn’t the only one haunting the theatre, actors and staff have also claimed they’ve heard mysterious footsteps in the area behind the main stage.
Where: 1040 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139
7. Villa Paula, Little Haiti
Villa Paula was Miami’s first Cuban consulate. Built in 1926 for Consul Domingo J. Milford, the gorgeous neoclassical villa was named after his wife, Paula, who died in the house at a young age after complications with a leg amputation. Many have reported seeing a one-legged apparition roaming the halls of the villa. Legend has it Paula liked to keep vases of fresh roses around the house and was an avid fan of Cuban coffee, so you might smell an aroma of roses and freshly-brewed coffee if she’s around!
Where: 5811 N Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33127
8. The Alfred I. DuPont Building, Downtown
Built on the foundations of the demolished Halcyon Hotel, this Art Deco skyscraper will satisfy your appetite for the supernatural. In 1963, Grant Stockdale, a businessman and friend of President John F. Kennedy’s, fell from the 13th to the 5th floor and died just 10 days after JFK’s assassination. Paranormal investigators who have visited the floor say a strange aura surrounds the area where he died.
But that’s not all, some of the floors at the DuPont are no longer in use, but many have reported hearing running faucets in empty bathrooms, and a group of workers even saw the face of a severely burnt man on the second floor. Let’s just say, the DuPont definitely makes for a totally interesting and thrilling wedding venue!
Where: 169 E Flagler St, Miami, FL 33131
9. Curtiss Mansion, Miami Springs
This Pueblo Revival Manor was built by aviation pioneer Glenn Hammond Curtiss back in the 1920s and is now one of the most popular places for special events. While nothing particularly scary ever happened at this mansion, it was abandoned for around 30 years giving rise to rumors of paranormal activity. Visitors often claim to hear doors shutting inexplicably and ghost hunters have noted that the Curtiss Mansion’s atmosphere is quite eerie overall.
Where: 500 Deer Run, Miami Springs, FL 33166
10. Coconut Grove Playhouse
Once a 1000-seat theatre where locals and visitors would watch several types of performances, the Coconut Grove Playhouse would go on to close in 2006. The historic theatre has remained at a standstill ever since and while this is no Phantom of the Opera, its abandonment has deemed it haunted, with legends of trespassers practicing dark magic within. There have also been reports of footsteps and screams heard from inside….
Where: 3514-3518 Main Hwy, Miami, FL 33133
Contributed by Mª del Rosario Castro Díaz