Ten Most Haunted Places in Broward County
It's Halloween time again! And that means it's time to visit some haunted houses with friends and get the crap scared out of you.
But instead of hitting up a so-called "haunted house" where you pay $7 to walk into a place covered in fake spider webs where some sweaty guy wearing a latex mask jumps out of a closet and yells at you, why not go to an actual, for-real haunted place?
Broward is known for having a good number of places, old and new, that are rumored to actually be haunted with ghosts, spirits, and apparitions -- some good, some ornery.
Here now are the ten most haunted places in Broward County.
Take a look and maybe even pay a visit to some of them.
If... you... dare...
10. King Cromartie House Originally the home of contractor Edwin T. King, this historic house was built in 1907 with Dade County pine using joists made of salvaged ship's timbers. In 1970, the Junior League of Fort Lauderdale raised money and bought the home to save it from being torn down. The home was then moved to its current location by barge, where it was converted into a historical home museum.
There are multiple accounts of visitors seeing visions of manifestations throughout the house, particularly the ghostly image of a woman many believe is the spirit of Edwin's wife, Louise King-Cromartie.
Some have reported seeing the curtains of the upstairs bedroom move when there was no one in the house, while others say they even saw Louise peering down at them from the window. There have also been reports of the porch swing suddenly deliberately moving as if someone were on it.
There's also a porcelain doll sitting inside the upstairs bedroom that is creepy as hell.
You can visit the King Cromartie House at Historic Village on 229 SW Second Ave., Fort Lauderdale.
9. New River Inn Just down the street from the King Cromartie House sits the New River Inn. Built by Edward T. King (owner of the King Cromartie House) for a farmer in 1905, the hotel served as a place to stay for railroad men and other businessmen coming through town.
According to some ghost hunters, manifestations are quite active at the New River Inn, particularly between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m.
Some have reported seeing the entity of a man clad in a leather coat or duster outfit. He's likely the ghost of a railroad man who once stayed at the hotel. He is said to pace the grounds impatiently, and some have even seen the man look back at them angrily before vanishing.
Others have seen the manifestation of a little girl and other restless spirits.
The New River Inn is now a museum, and you can visit it at 229 SW Second Ave., Fort Lauderdale.
8. Coyote Ugly Saloon While the Fort Lauderdale location on 214 SW Second St. closed in 2011, tales of the place being haunted still linger.
Some say the ghost of a woman dressed in Victorian dress frequents the building, floating about the hallways. There's also the story of a Coyote Ugly bouncer falling asleep on the job and being violently nudged awake with a disembodied voice admonishing him to wake up.
The ghostly activity in the building might be even more active now that the bar is closed.
7. Fort Lauderdale Fire and Safety Museum The fire station, located on 1022 W. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, was erected after the hurricane of 1926 destroyed the previous firehouse. It was named Fire Station 3 and was completed just a year later.
The station was up and running for decades, until it was slated to be demolished in 2001. But the station was preserved and turned into a museum.
Since then, there have been many stories of the building being haunted by the ghosts of firefighters who once served from Fire Station 3. The building has been popular with paranormal investigative teams and ghost hunters.
6. Coral Springs Medical Center Apparently, a nurse who once worked at Coral Springs Medical Center haunts the building.
The story goes that the nurse became ill, or was in an accident, and was admitted to the medical center, where she once worked. She soon died from whatever was ailing her, and now stories have swirled that her spirit refuses to leave the hospital.
Her apparition has been seen floating throughout the hospital halls just in front of the main elevators. Some say she oftentimes will open the elevator for visitors before they can push the call button.
The doors will open on their own, with no one inside the elevator.
5. The Blue Anchor British Pub Located on 804 E Atlantic Ave. in Delray Beach, the Blue Anchor is a great place to ensconce yourself in English fare with fish, chips, and big-ass pints of beer. The pub itself was built in London in the 1800s and moved to Florida stone by stone in 1864.
But the pub is also known for its haunted history (and is quite proud of it).
According to legend, a woman named Bertha Starkey was hacked to death inside the pub by her jealous husband more than 100 years ago, when the man returned from sea and found her in the arms of another. And it is said that Bertha's ghost now roams the pub freely.
Patrons have reported hearing Bertha walking across the creaky ceiling at night. And, during a coronation of the anniversary of her murder, a half-inch glass shelf shattered and collapsed on its own.
There have also been reports of a loud, pitched wail coming out of nowhere and pots and pans in the kitchen crashing to the floor on their own.
4. The Davie Waffle House This particular Waffle House, located on 4650 Volunteer Road in Southwest Ranches, was the home of a particularly heinous murder in 2002 that still reportedly haunts the restaurant.
On the morning of March 11, 2002, two men walked into the restaurant and ordered the employees inside into a meat locker at gunpoint. They then used bolt cutters to break into cash safes.
The robbers then ordered the employees on their knees and shot them, execution style.
The men were eventually caught and arrested, but employees at the Waffle House have been reporting paranormal activities since 2002.
Some have reported feeling a creepy presence among them in the restaurant, while others have reported seeing fresh blood stains on the floor appear where the shootings took place.
3. The River House Like Coyote Ugly, River House was closed in 2008. But the empty building still sits on 301 SW Third Ave. today, a ghostly shell of its former self.
The structure was originally built in the early 1900s by brothers Thomas and Reed Bryan, who occupied the home until the 1970s. The Inn was eventually converted into a catering facility until it closed.
Even when the building was in operation, there were reports of servers refusing to go into certain rooms alone. One room, which originally belonged to Reed's second wife, who reportedly died in the house, would often be found with chairs and furniture rearranged after servers would leave.
There were also reports of a ghost child wandering the premises, often turning the lights on and off. Some say this was actually the ghost of Tom's son, who died in his 40s but returned to haunt the premises as a child. He apparently lived in the home when electricity was first introduced to the area, which would explain his fascination with playing with light switches.
Much like the Coyote Ugly bar, the River House might be more active with spirits now that it's abandoned.
2. Hollywood Beach Resort The Hollywood Beach Resort Hotel -- which is now a Crowne Plaza -- was once known as the stomping grounds for Al Capone when the hotel opened in 1926.
The hotel is particularly known for paranormal and unexplained activities on the seventh floor. Reports of apparitions and ghostly orbs haunting that floor have run rampant for decades.
There have been reports of disembodied voices calling out to guests, weird lights glowing from out of nowhere, and ghostly manifestations appearing.
1. Stranahan House Built in 1901, the Stranahan House is the oldest standing building in Broward. Built by Frank Stranahan, who was Fort Lauderdale's first postmaster, the home has long been known for its creepy, haunted vibe. It's now run as a museum.
Depressed and destitute after the Florida land boom bust of 1926 left him and his investors broke, Stranahan committed suicide when he jumped into the river that flows in front of the home and drowned himself.
His widow, Ivy Stranahan, lived in the house until she died there in 1971, at age 90.
Reports of Frank's ghost haunting the home surfaced mere days after his death. One report says a clock that had not been working began ticking and chiming on its own a week after Stranahan took his own life.
Other reports say Ivy's ghost also wanders the home. Some have said the smell of a woman's perfume will suddenly surround one of the rooms.
Most eerily, there are rumors that should you visit the home museum and call upon the spirits of Frank and Ivy Stranahan, their manifestations will appear in a photograph you take.
Maybe pay a visit to the home, located on 335 SE Sixth Ave. in Fort Lauderdale and give it a try. If you dare.
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.