Have you heard of the "Ghost of the Gator Club"? No? Me either. Of course, this is probably because I'm still new to Florida, but even with my research, it's the first time to pop up amongst the repeated haunted lighthouses and hotels.
Why is the Gator Club considered to be so haunted?
The Gator Club, or "Worth's Block" originally started as a grocery store or "shop-house" way back in 1913 and is the first brick building in Sarasota and is on the National Registry of Historic Places. The Gator Club was even in the movie "Palmetto". But what's even more interesting is after the Club's stint as a grocery was their involvement in more illicit activities. Bootleg Whiskey out the front door and a brothel upstairs.
Today, the Gator Club is thriving and has an event each night on their calendar, ranging from Karaoke to P***o Bingo. Private events can even be booked, and the gorgeous club is fully modernized.
But a remodel didn't stop the ghosts from staying behind, who also loved Worth's Block. According to Sarafina Murphy-Gibson of Discover Sarasota Tours, the Gator Club is their most hopping' location for ghostly activity. She also mentions that Downtown Sarasota is a "hub for paranormal activity".
Apparently, there are several ghosts haunting the Gator Club, the first being Mrs. Worth, who lived about the grocery store. She is said to move things, and one bartender says they saw her "over 50 times" including on the staircase and even passed through him. Scary.
The owner of the Gator Club, Larry Siegel, experienced his first ghost encounter after he purchased the club in 2005 when the upstairs lights he turned off turned back on. Years later a cash register began to ring up drinks. While counting a drawer on the second floor where the brothel was, he felt "cold air, like a fan". Additionally, a boy in 1920s clothes is seen in photographs from the dance floors and a drunk shadow man also appears in the pool hall.
Can you take a ghost tour of the Gator Club?
I've already hinted to the answer, but we'll cover it in more detail. Yes! There are quite a few companies covering the Gator Club as their stop on ghost tours. However, the company I see most recommended is the one already mentioned, Discover Sarasota Tours, and until I can review companies myself, I'm going with recommendations.
Discover Sarasota Tours offers a wide variety of non-spooky and spooky trolly tours (which is great so you don't have to walk). There isn't a tour each night as you can see from the calendar, so keep your eye on when one is happening. Or you could simply go to the Gator Club yourself and see if you run into anything spooky. Either way, I cannot wait to go. My only question is: Who's coming with me?