Starting at Sail Pavilion along the riverwalk, runners will meet up along the water as the sun goes down and your guide starts telling you about the hauntings of Fort Brooke- the first settlement in Tampa from 1824. Stories of forgotten cemeteries (such as the bodies you’ll be running over) and pirate ghost ships are the perfect way to start your haunted evening in Tampa! From here, we will jog around the city, passing by buildings like Old City Hall, Le Meridien and The Floridan Hotels, the old Tampa Book Company and many more spooky locations that you can see in just around a 1.5-mile jaunt.
Continuing on through downtown, runners will arrive at the highlight of downtown and one of the most haunted buildings in the city – The Tampa Theatre. There’s no shortage of ghost stories at this one. This is why the theatre still operates its own in house ghost tours every Halloween season to showcase stories like that of Fink Finley, the former projector man and the usher who was bludgeoned to death right where we will be standing on our tour, along with many more tales of horror and fright.
As we make our way out of the heart of downtown, we’ll arrive at our first visible graveyard (remember, all of downtown is technically a graveyard), Oaklawn Cemetery. Here you will learn of the many ghosts who roam this cemetery every night. This cemetery is not only very haunted (Senor Ybor is even buried here along with gangster legend Charlie Wall), but they actually lost the cemetery plot map many years ago. So no one really knows how many bodies are in there or, more importantly, where exactly they are! With so many hauntings, you’re sure to feel some spirits in the air as you stand alongside this beautiful but creepy location in downtown Tampa! We’ll then make a run for it, literally, before the ghosts get us and will make our way to Perry Harvey Sr. Park and the Jackson House to tell stories of Central Avenue and the spirits who still hang out, maybe listening to some of the old time music that was once a staple in this neighborhood.
Last but certainly not least, your guide will take you into the true ‘cherry on top’ portion of the tour – Ybor City! The only challenge with a ghost tour in Ybor City is narrowing down the locations. Because to be honest- the whole area is haunted, and basically, every building reports otherworldly activity! Your guide will take you by the old Florida Brewing Co. It’s believed to be haunted by a ghost who was allegedly a man killed over a beer in a bar fight. From here, we will run to 7th Avenue and by quite a few locations for hauntings. You’ll see the Cuban Club, King Corona on 7th Avenue, Don Vincente de Ybor, the iHorror mural and the Licata house on this final and heavily haunted portion of the run! The Licata House is home to the Licata family mass murder of 1933, supposedly a catalyst for the movie “Reefer Madness”.
As your tour winds down, your guide will lead you to Tampa Bay Brewing Company where we also have our last haunted stop just behind it at what many locals know as ‘The Castle’. From here guests are welcome to hang out and grab food or whatever sounds fun at this point since you’ll be in the heart of Ybor City with lots of dining/drink options. And if you’re ready to head back, you can jump on the streetcar for free to take you back to the start of the tour (Tampa Convention Center).
Cherisse Rivera –
This is a great opportunity for group fun. Laura picked great stops and told great stories. I’ve lived in Tampa my whole life and she was spot on about the history and I also learned a few things I didn’t know. I had so much fun!
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Madeline Willey –
Loved every freakin’ second of this tour. It was obvious the amount of time and care that was put into planning the route, collecting the fun ghost stories and incorporating a ton of photo opps. Laura did a fantastic job leading the run, recounting the stories and all the while keeping everyone safe. No runner was ever left behind, even with all the varied paces.
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