If you grew up in Miami, you've heard countless stories of local hauntings or just downright creepy places where spirits, demons, tortured ghosts, and Snooki from Jersey Shore hang out. Well, this Halloween, prepare yourself for the scariest thing ever -- the truth. We investigated some of the 305's most legendary haunted places to determine which of them are haunted and which of them are just urban legends. And we're not even touching the paranormal activity recorded over at the Deering Estate. That shit is too real.
Read on for a video tour of a local asylum and testimony from historians and paranormal investigators.
1. The Biltmore Hotel
There have been rumors of everything from a mental patient killing everyone on his floor and then jumping off the tower, to a mother whose child drowned in the golf course pond, who now roams the course crying for her child.
We couldn't find any evidence of the above events actually taking place, but there's another ghost story that may have some merit. There have been reports about the smell of cigars and the elevator getting stuck on the 13th floor when a pretty blond is inside it. We spoke with Linda Spitzer, former official Biltmore storyteller, who told us that back in the day, a famous mobster named Fatty Walsh was shot to death in front of other hotel guests. The murder took place on the 13th floor, which was an underground casino during Fatty's time. Fatty smoked cigars and loved blondes -- ergo, the Biltmore is totally haunted.
2. Plymouth Congregational Church
There's no denying that this church, made completely out of coral rock, is beautiful, but it is also damn creepy -- especially at night. The main story told by Miami teens and ghost aficionados alike is of Satanic rituals being performed on the property and that the church is in fact, a Satanic church. We have attended services in the church, and though the congregation is creepily friendly, we could find no evidence of a Rosemary's Baby/The Devil's Advocate/Jersey Shore conspiracy going on.
3. Coral Castle
As the story goes, Ed Leedskalnin built this place as a sort of Taj Mahal dedication to the girl he adored. But in the end, he was cruelly rejected. The spooky factor here is that he had some uncanny Chris Angel deal going on. He built the castle by hand--meaning he moved, shaped, and sculpted tons of coral rock without any power tools. It's like our own little Stonehenge. Did we mention that he was also about 5 feet tall and weighed only 100 pounds? Yeah...weird to say the least. Today, psychics and paranormal investigators report strange vibrations and ghostly sightings on the property.
4. The Abandoned Asylum on Krome
People say that this was a mental asylum decades ago that was burned to the ground by one of the patients, eventually killing all staff and inmates. We spoke with Marlene Pardo of the Paranormal Investigators Group Miami Ghost Chronicles who told us, "I participated in a show that was filmed there looking for haunted locations. Towards the end of the filming we had the hostess run out of the place and her camera crew right after her. What's going on there is not in the building itself, but in the woods surrounding it. I would call it the Watcher in the Woods." We'll keep that in mind.
The truth is that the "asylum" is nothing more than a former missile silo that was shut down and has become a major graffiti tenet. We could find no record of deaths, murders, accidents, or suicides. It is hella spooky to walk around the property at night -- we can attest to that. If you're into urban exploration, we highly recommend it, but if you're into ghost hunting? Don't even bother: The scariest thing that goes on at this property are the drunk morons who throw bonfire parties every weekend. Fire=bad.
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Here's a walkthrough of the "asylum:"
5. Hialeah Miami Lakes Senior High School
There's a story that a female student who fell through a skylight to her death still roams the grounds. After speaking to a source in the Hialeah Police Department's records division, we confirmed that this death did actually occur. The student was with her class when the teacher took them up on the roof for some sort of lesson. The skylight was faulty, and a student fell through and died. But does she roam the halls posthumously? Visit yourself to find out.
Know of any other haunted spots in the 305? Leave us a comment and tell your terrifying tale.