Tampa, FL

Tampa's Cuban Club is "One of the Most Haunted Places in the Country". Would you go?

Evie M.

I don't know about you, but I am one of those ghost fans that is both skeptical and also dying for something paranormal to happen. After one harrowing experience at my home on the Minot Air Force Base, I am 100% a believer, but even believers will go through every rational explanation until there is none. My mission since I moved to Florida has been to discover a place where I can without a doubt say: "Oh my goodness, that was a freaking ghost."

And it seems Tampa's Cuban Club might just be the perfect place.

An event at the Cuban Club in Tampa, FloridaMeline Gharibyan Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

What makes the Cuban Club in Tampa "One of the Most Haunted Places in the Country"?

I'm certain many Florida natives have heard of the Cuban Club, which currently holds events and weddings for guests. (They bill themselves not as an actual club, but as a: "historical multi-purpose rental facility.")

But in 1902 when the Cuban Club formed, it was called " El Circulo Cubano" (The Cuban Circle). Cuban citizens in need could head to the club and expect help and a warm welcome. The club featured a ballroom, Cantina, an impressive two-story theater, grand ballroom, a library, and even a pharmacy (what?!). With stunning stained glass windows and lavish decorations, the Cuban Club was the place to be.

Sadly, in 1916, the original Cuban Club burned to the ground, but it didn't take long for a new one to take its place. Today, many popular events and weddings are held at the Cuban Club, and it even earned its place on the National Register of Historic Places.

But it seems the real claim to fame for the Cuban Club has to do with the paranormal. Even the Travel Channel named the Cuban Club one of its "Ten Most Haunted Places in the Nation". The NATION!

The Cuban Club is home to many alleged spirits, including the ghost of an actor supposedly named "Vincent" who committed suicide on stage back in the 1920s. Legend says he killed himself after forgetting his lines.

And while there are many other unnamed spirits that have shown themselves to ghost hunters braving the Cuban Club, one of the most popular would have to be "Little Jimmy". Little Jimmy, who is either 8 or 9 depending on the story you hear, is said to be a friendly spirit who tragically drowned in the pool while swimming alone.

Jimmy is said to be a friendly ghost and will make your flashlight blink on and off as his way of greeting you.

Can you take a ghost tour of the Cuban Club?

You are in luck because the answer to this question is a fat "yes!". The official Ybor Ghost Tour will take you to all of the hot spots around Ybor and even inside the Cuban Club. Something unique I noticed about the Ybor Ghost Tour when compared with other tours in areas around Florida I've written about is the number of times they've been mentioned in the media. They even are included on USA Today's "10 Best" list. (Runner-Up for most impressive achievement would be City Traveler's #1 spot as the #1 Haunted Tour in the country.)

I know where I will be booking a tour when I decide to check out the terrifying Cuban Club. My only question is: Who's coming with me?

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"Reader beware, you're in for a scare!--R.L. Stine"

Orlando, FL

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