If you ain't afraid of no ghost, October is filled with opportunities to mingle with the spirits of South Florida's past.
As the days toward Halloween dwindle, brave souls can avail themselves of ghost and cemetery tours at some of Miami and Fort Lauderdale's oldest haunts. Some tours even welcome ghost-hunting equipment for those who happen to have a pendulum, dowsing rod, and EMF meter lying around the house.
Below is a randomly ordered list of South Florida's best ghost and cemetery tours. Happy spirit stalking!
The former Versace Mansion has seen some shit. The Miami Haunts tour claims the place now known as the Villa Casa Casuarina was haunted even before Gianni Versace's murder on the front steps in 1997, and you can learn all about it on this walking tour. Other stops include Lummus Park, where the tour kicks off, and Española Way for some Al Capone history. 8 p.m. nightly at Lummus Park, 1130 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; miamihaunts.com. Tickets cost $20.
Photo by Ryan Holloway/Miami Dade County
Deering Estate Historic Ghost Tour
When you hear the words "Native American burial ground" in a TV show or movie, you know things are about to get weird. But what really goes on at such a locale? Find out during this ghost tour through Charles Deering's 1920s-era estate, which was built partly on sacred tribal burial grounds. Learn about the estate's previous inhabitants and the paranormal activity visitors and staff members claim they've seen on the property. Ghost-hunting equipment is welcome. 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday through Thursday, October 28, at Deering Estate, 16701 SW 72nd Ave., Miami; 305-235-1668; deeringestate.org. Tickets are sold out.
Ghost Hunt at Shipwreckers
Why would ghosts haunt a strip mall kava bar, of all places? That’s a question for G.E. Ghostly Experiences, who will lead a ghost tour through Shipwreckers. They’ll teach you how to use ghost hunting gear and then let you get your hands on the equipment to try it for yourself. 9 p.m. to midnight Wednesday, October 13, at Shipwreckers, 4405 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale; 954-909-5375; shipwreckersbar.com. Tickets cost $30 via eventbrite.com and include a free drink.
Photo courtesy of South Florida Fairgrounds
History & Haunts in Yesteryear Village
This ghost tour led by War Party Paranormal takes visitors through the infamous Riddle House, as seen on Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures.
According to the show, this former funeral parlor was home to a cemetery worker who was murdered in town and also where an employee hanged themselves. You probably won't see ghosts break windows and hurl around objects as some reportedly have claimed — but who knows? Maybe you'll get lucky. 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday, October 16, at Yesteryear Village in South Florida Fair, 9067 Southern Blvd., West Palm Beach; 561-793-0333; southfloridafair.com. Tickets cost $35.
Paranormal Investigation at the Old Davie School
This is War Party Paranormal’s busy season. Besides leading a tour through Riddle House, the paranormal investigators will host this tour through the Old Davie School, which opened in 1918. People claim to have heard mysterious voices and seen handprint impressions, among other eerie happenings. Could it be the ghosts of the previous owners? That's what some would have you believe. 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, October 22, at the Old Davie School Historical Museum, 6650 Griffin Rd., Davie; 954-797-1044; olddavieschool.org. Tickets cost $25 to $30.
HistoryMiami's Ghosts of Miami City Cemetery tour with Dr. Paul George.
Photo by Ali Goebel
HistoryMiami's Miami City Cemetery Walking Tour
You likely haven't visited a cemetery late at night. And if you have, you were probably there on a drunken dare or conducting some sort of ritual — no judgment. But you may want to visit as part of an organized tour setting instead. On HistoryMiami's Ghosts of Miami City Cemetery Tour, led by the museum's resident historian Paul George and museum educator Ingrid E. Argueta, guests get to learn about the cemetery's famous and mysterious inhabitants without worrying about pesky trespassing charges. 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, October 29, at Miami City Cemetery, 1800 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305-375-1492; historymiami.org; Tickets are sold out.
Spirits of Stranahan House Halloween Tour
Frank Stranahan dies in 1929, but sometimes it feels like the Fort Lauderdale pioneer never left — perhaps because some say he never did. Stranahan has supposedly haunted his former home since taking his life in the New River in front of the property. And it's rumored that he's got company. Some say Frank's wife, Ivy, also roams Fort Lauderdale's oldest home and that you can occasionally smell her perfume. Hear all about these ghost sightings and maybe experience some yourself — guides carry dowsing rods to detect whether spirits are near — during this annual Stranahan House tour. 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. Friday, October 22; Sunday, October 24; and Friday, October 29, through Sunday, October 31, at the Historic Stranahan House Museum, 335 SE Sixth Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954-524-4736; stranahanhouse.org. Tickets cost $20 to $25.