Miami is in the top ten for the most haunted cities in America. Our city has many historic places and a long history of ambitious building projects. When combined with the various cultural influences we have, and some interesting history we’ve experienced, many of our favorite places have left more than a few visitors questioning their senses after an unsettling visit.
The Six Most Haunted Places in Miami
If there is one thing I’ve learned from watching horror movies, it’s that you’re not supposed to build things on Native American burial grounds. The builders of the great Deering Estate didn’t have the benefit of such wisdom, and now hundreds of people flock to the mansion looking for ghosts. It’s a frequent stop for paranormal investigators and ghost tours, and has been featured in countless TV shows and magazines.
Back in 1926, Cuban consulate Domingo Milord built this neoclassical mansion as his Miami residence. Not too long after moving in, his wife Paula died in one of the bedrooms due to a complication with a leg amputation.
The property has changed hands a few times and fell into disrepair. It was during the restoration of the residence that strange things began to happen. Rumors of a black-haired woman floating down the hallway circulated, and she only had one leg.
Workers would smell brewed coffee and roses when there weren’t any in sight, piano music is often heard coming from nowhere, and dishes spontaneously fall to the floor. If that’s strange to you, consider that three cats have been killed on the property by a back gate slamming shut on its own.
Casa Casuarina, AKA the Versace Mansion
This old estate was purchased by Gianni Versace, who then spent tens of millions of dollars renovating it. He didn’t get to enjoy his dream palace for very long, as he was murdered right on his front steps after getting his morning newspaper.
There is no better place than the Biltmore for ghost stories, and its own history provides plenty of fodder. During its early days, the first well-known death on the property came from the death of gangster Tommy “Fatty” Walsh, who was shot and killed on the 13th floor. They say he still hangs out up there smoking cigars to this very day.
The hotel was then converted into a military hospital during WWII, and for decades it was THE place for kids to break into who were looking for some frightening fun. There are many reports of ghosts in military uniforms, severed limbs, and just people seen waving from the windows of the hotel — who then disappear.
Miami City Cemetery
Our oldest cemetery is the final resting place for many Miami notables; including its founder, Julia Tuttle. Aside from some of the strange plots and the general spooky atmosphere most cemeteries have, other activities on-site raise some questions. Dead animals, including a headless goat, have been found there alongside signs of animal sacrifice.
Miami River Inn
Have you ever been to a hotel that was so comfortable and luxurious that you never wanted to leave? The Miami River Inn has been in business for over 100 years, and some of their past guests may have made it their permanent home. Every night at 11pm, patrons can hear the front door opening and closing, someone wiping their shoes on the doormat, and then their footsteps as they come inside.
Is Miami really haunted?
Whether or not you believe in ghosts, it can be hard to spend any length of time in some of these places without them feeling a little spooked. Miami’s historic places often seem alien, containing the stories of the people that were once there.
It’s easy to see how the mind might play tricks on you, especially as you dwell on events that occurred in a (reportedly) haunted place. I might be a little skeptical myself, but that doesn’t keep me from walking just a little bit faster under the right circumstances.
Have a safe, and spooky, Halloween in Miami, everyone!