Image source | Longxiang Qian
Looking for a scare? Get your blood pumping and explore some spots throughout St. Petersburg, Florida known for paranormal activity. From hotels to bridges, our city is home to some of the most notoriously haunted places in the state!
1. Haslam's Book Store
Haslam's Book Store | Facebook
If it's literary ghosts you're after, then you'll definitely want to add Haslam's Book Store to your must-see list. Located in a building built in the 1920s, the new and used book store is considered the largest in Florida. More commonly, however, it's known for giving anyone who enters some spooky vibes. Shoppers and employees have claimed to feel cold spots around the store, see books fly off the shelves, and even see apparitions.
Paranormal investigators who've visited the shop have caught orbs on camera, but no other evidence has been caught on film. The ghost is rumored to be St. Pete local and American novelist, Jack Kerouac. Reason being that when the books fly off the shelves, one of Kerouac's novels usually winds up being the lone book on the shelf.
According to the store owner, the late writer's books are often moved from lower shelves and placed at eye-level during closing time. Why does the spirit keep moving the books? Well, we all know every author hopes their books will be visible either in a special display or on the shelves at eye-level!
2. The Don CeSar Hotel
The Don CeSar Hotel | Facebook
Known for its massive size and bright color, the Don CeSar Hotel is more commonly referred to as The Pink Palace. Over the years, guests and hotel employees have reported seeing strange occurrences including odd noises, doors opening on their own, and even apparitions.
The most commonly seen ghost is that of the hotel's first owner, Thomas Rowe, who designed the Don CeSar as a tribute to his long-lost-love. After his passing, people continued to see Rowe walking the hotel grounds wearing an old-fashioned hat and white suit. Occasionally, he'd be spotted walking arm-in-arm with a dark-haired woman who is believed to be his beloved, reunited in the afterlife.
Other ghosts who are rumored to haunt the Don Cesar include former guests F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, as well as patients who once roamed the halls when the hotel was transformed into a VA hospital during the 1940s. Despite its haunted history, the luxury amenities available at The Pink Palace continue to attract tourists to this day.
3. The Sunshine Skyway Bridge
The Sunshine Skyway Bridge | Facebook
Constructed in 1954, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge has seen its fair share of deaths over the years. From tragic car accidents to suicides, too many have endured their final moments while crossing the bridge. Connecting St. Petersburg with Manatee County, many have reported seeing apparitions while driving over the lower waters of Tampa Bay.
One of the most common apparitions people see is a woman either jogging or standing alone on the bridge. When drivers stop, she asks them for help and a ride. However, she always disappears from the car before making it to the other side of the bridge. Those who have picked her up claim they turned around and she was gone.
Another ghostly sighting started to occur after a tragic bus accident left 35 people dead. The accident caused several cars as well as the bus to plunge into the ocean waters. To this day, those visiting the fishing pier claim to see a ghostly bus drive by, giving off a cold breeze and the stench of gasoline.
4. The Palladium Theatre
The Palladium Theatre | Facebook
The Palladium Theatre is a performing arts center established in 1998. Despite the theatre's short history, it has already managed to gain a reputation for being haunted by not one, but two ghosts.
An apparition of a woman has been reported by several people. Her mermaid-style gown has given her the nickname "The Lady in Red." She has been spotted in the stairwell and walking into the green room, however, no one knows who she is or why her spirit haunts the place.
The second ghost has been reported causing disorder in the men's bathroom. Thought to be the ghost of a man who committed suicide outside of the Palladium Theatre, the spirit will make its presence known by banging on walls and tapping his foot. Many men have reported an overwhelming feeling of a ghostly presence while using the restroom.
5. The Comfort Station
The Comfort Station | Facebook
Located on Second Avenue and Bayshore Drive, The Comfort Station was the first public restroom in St. Petersburg. Completed in 1927, the construction was such a major event at the time that it actually made the national headlines. The woman's bathroom is said to be haunted, as those who've used the facilities have reported seeing strange figures in the mirror's reflection.
One woman even claimed to have a conversation with the spirit. As she was using the restroom, she noticed feet in the next stall. The tourist claimed her neighbor's shoes were oddly outdated, but she decided to strike up a conversation with her anyway.
During their discussion, it was discovered that the spirit's name was "Myrtle" and she'd been living in the area "a long time." After the tourist finished her business and washed her hands, she turned towards the stall to say goodbye to her new friend only to see that it was empty.
6. Beach Drive Inn Bed & Breakfast
Beach Drive Inn Bed & Breakfast | Tripadvisor
Those who've stayed at the Beach Drive Inn Bed & Breakfast have reported leaving spooked, to say the least. Guests have reported rocking chairs moving on their own as well as the image of a floating torso being reflected in mirrors.
The Inn gained enough notoriety to capture the attention of ghost hunters, and it was featured on an episode of the A&E show Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal. All involved in the show reported a spirit's presence, most notable in the Inn’s Montego Room. It's said that a housekeeper passed away in the room, and may be the spirit responsible for all of the commotion.
7. Market at Left Bank
Market at Left Bank | Facebook
Market at Left Bank, formerly Patty & Friends Antique Village Mall, offers a variety of antiques dating all the way back to the 1800s. Customers have claimed the store is full of paranormal activity, including flickering lights, moving objects, and even apparitions.
According to the owner, many of the items being sold in the store have spirits linked to them, which may explain all the strange occurrences. Despite the store's recent rebranding, they are still in the same location selling antiques, so ghost enthusiasts should still consider this shop a must-see!