For me, it was always different. I always want to experience blood-curdling thrills like cemeteries, lighthouses, closed schools, theaters, and many more.
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Empty buildings, quiet neighborhoods, empty hotels, resorts, ruins, artifacts, and spooky spots always filled my mind with imagination, followed by research of “Why”.
My favorite was not to visit Daytona Beach and get tan, but rather go to one of the spooky abandoned houses in Florida to experience the chilling surreal frozen time.
With that in mind, I have decided to take you around the abandoned places in Florida where you not only get goosebumps but taste the history.
Abandoned Places in Florida
Florida’s beach towns are occupied by beach lovers whereas creaky old buildings and churches are covered with creepy crawlies stories and spirits.
Romantic Florida Beaches like Honeymoon Island, Siesta Key, South Beach, and Palm Beach can be fun, but a visit to The Neff House or Glades Correctional Institute is super fun!
So, let me take you to the most abandoned places in Florida.
1. Hopewell, Hillsborough County
Location: Hillsborough County
Back in the 1800s Hopewell was an area for “Tuner Plantation” though its history in the involvement in pre-Civil War plantation is less known but was home to slaves.
The community was originally known as Callsville in the 1870s but later J.R. McDonald changed the name to Hopewell. He was originally from Alabama.
In 1903, the plantation was divided into small homesteads. He was hauling merchandise from Tampa and pioneer citrus growers with groves.
He built one of the finest vernacular houses in 1903 and donated land for Church and Cemetery construction. Now, it’s an infamous abandoned ghost town in Florida.
However, the town has a few more abandoned buildings and some treasures which offer an exhilarating feeling – You’ll love the history, my friend!
The Hull House ranking among the oldest has now been overtaken by vines and trees but enough to give an eerie feeling to prying eyes.
2. The Miami Marine Stadium, Miami
Location: On Virginia Key, Miami
The Miami Marine was one of the first stadiums in the United States built for powerboat racing, water sports, and concerts in 1963 on Virginia Key.
The Miami Marine Stadium was designed by 27 years old Cuban-born architect Hilario Candela and is considered one of his finest masterworks of civic architecture.
In the pages of history no one ever designed a 326 foot-plate roof with a 6,566 seat stadium. However, now it is one of the spookiest places in Florida.
It has been shut since 1992, deemed as unsafe due to environmental damage, extensive graffiti, political pressure, new restrictions, and growing competition.
Now, the place is nothing but a memory where ESPN All-American Challenge Series, Bill Muncey Invitational, Performance Craft and more events were held.
Hurricane Andrew caused a crack in the foundation which resulted in a complete shutdown. Now it holds its position on the Most Endangered Historic Place list.
3. Cape Romano Domes House, Marco Island
Location: On the Gulf Coast of the United States, south of Naples in Collier County
Have you seen igloos in the water which is 300 feet away from the shore? Cape Romano Domes is one of the ultra-modern architecture accessible only via water. Also, these dome homes were constructed in 1981.
This beach home is timeless for its history, self-sustaining designs, solar-powered and forward thinking of Bob Lee.
However, it failed to make it through Hurricane Lan and these bubble homes are destroyed and uninhabited today.
The six-connected home of 2,400 square feet, Cape Romano Domes is one of the abandoned places in Florida to explore and experience sci-fi movies in real life.
Now, exploring abandoned places and looking at the underwater domes’ rims – reminds you that every home has a story that is always left unheard.
Sadly, there is no plan by higher authorities to furnish or innovate the homes, but it is fun to come here and click on the beautiful Stonehenge in South Florida.
4. The Devil’s Chair, Cassadaga
Location: At the borders of Cassadaga and Lake Helen
Come to see or sit on a big brick barbeque pit next to Lake Helen – Cassadaga Cemetery to communicate or hear Devil’s voice. And, yes, get a beer for the beast.
There are tales passed down through the generations, keeping alive the “urban legend” which is something unusual and scary.
If you sit on the “Devil’s chair” at midnight, the Devil himself will communicate with you or if you leave a can of beer, it will be empty the next morning.
It is said that many tourists have heard voices in their heads but once they got up from the chair the voice was deemed away. Now how is that possible?
Additionally, Cassadaga is the place of many spiritualists, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and considered “The Psychic Center of the World”.
Moreover, hearing the spooky tales sitting around a campfire about Cassadaga, one of the haunted places in Florida, is spine-chilling. Do you dare to sit on the chair?
5. Fort Pickens, Gulf National Seashore
Location: Santa Rosa Island in the Pensacola Florida
In the 1800s, Fort Pickens, a military fort, was designed by French engineer Simon Bernard to protect Pensacola from enemy attack.
The fort has a five-bastion complex fronting the water with the canoes lined up defending the eastern landward side and counterparts.
Apache chief Geronimo and his braves were imprisoned here in the 1830s and it is believed that their spirit still haunts the place.
Fort Pickens is a creepy place that is not for the faint of heart but for thrill-seekers, the vibe is scary and creepy to the core.
Many Visitors reported spotting mysterious lights, hearing footsteps, viewing the ghosts of soldiers and many more.
For history buffs, Fort Pickens is the best place to explore and rewind time which can be tracked only in pages of history.
The fort has 21.5 million bricks, can you imagine? Also, along the fort, you’ll find 1,000 mile-long-Florida National Scenic Trail attracting adventure enthusiasts.
6. The Colony Plaza Hotel, Orlando
Location: In Ocoee, West Orlando
Note: Hotel was demolished on 9th May 2009 but for some spooky photography you’re most welcome.
In 1968 Colony Plaza Hotel was born, featuring a swimming pool, lounge, tennis court, and beautifully decorated rooms for the accommodation of Disney staff.
It was not only the headquarters for Disney officials but also the first hotel in Orlando that received a license to serve liquor on Sundays.
The hotel was that popular before the opening of Walt Disney World. During this period, the hotel was featured in the press and papers.
Sadly, fifteen years before, when the fire sprinkler system was declared unstable by the State, the building started losing its attraction and fame. The hotel shut down!
Plant creeps, jungle-like plants covered the ground, the clean pool turned into floating algae, swamp areas, and birds made it home.
The poolside bar faded to skeletal rust, and broken chairs, and creepy graffiti art on the walls, make The Colony Plaza one of the most abandoned places in Florida.
7. Greenwood Cemetery, Orlando
Location: 1603 Greenwood Street, Orlando, Florida 32801
Note: 4 miles moonlight walking tour through Greenwood Cemetery is available free of cost.
86 acres of land, Greenwood Cemetery is one of central Florida’s abandoned places that combine beautiful scenery, rich history and spooky vibes.
Also, Greenwood Cemetery was founded in the 1880s, with a lot of dead bodies buried, so no surprise this place reported strange occurrences of haunting stories.
Some people report seeing children playing, running around the tombstone, and laughing who disappear within a few minutes.
It is said, not all souls are buried!
The huge oak trees, Cypress trees with hanging Spanish moss, and Greenwood Urban Wetlands, make the Cemetery one of the most haunted spots in Florida.
Often locals alleged hearing disembodied melodies, strange smells, floating apparitions, and views of Fred Week’s mausoleum.
A visit to Greenwood cemetery is a unique way to enjoy peace, witness crypts taking over the land, knowing the colorful past with your own eyes.
8. Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys, Marianna
Florida State Reform School was first established in 1897 but later in 1957, it was renamed Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys.
However, in 1903 inspection revealed that the school took harsh treatment to control students and young men.
Iron rods were used to restrain boys, students were beaten, sexually assaulted, tortured, and murdered in past. Six deaths happened which took people’s attention.
Since then Governors tried to reform Arthur G. Dozier School’s functioning and working style but went into the vein. In 2013, 55 bodies were excavated from the school.
Locals say they have heard someone crying out the name of “Jesus” or “mama” for help. They have seen blood on the wall, and a strong smell of urine, and whiskey.
Later, Hurricane Michael devastated the area. Currently, Arthur G. Dozier School is an abandoned building in Florida.
9. Howey Mansion, North Citrus Avenue
Location: 1001 Citrus Ave. Howey in the Hills, Florida
Note: Howey Mansion has been named “The Florida Alps”, or Howey-in-the-Hills, or the Floridian Hotel. Moreover, it has been renovated.
Seeing Howey Mansion, Ernest Hemingway quotes – “The rich are different”. Currently, the site is one of the abandoned mansions in Florida.
Howey Mansion may not be one of the famous places but holds a fascinating story that gives you a chance to see history with your own eyes.
William John Howey wanted to build a mansion of 7,200 sq, ft and called Katharine Cotheal Budd, a New York architect to design it.
However, he died in 1938 but his wife resided till 1981. In 1983, Howey Mansion registered itself as the National Register of Historic Places.
The following year Marvel Zona purchased the mansion but due to ill-advised by her financier, she failed to repay the mortgage money and had to vacate the place.
It was left abandoned till 2015 and then a Dallas based mortgage company took ownership of the property.
The mansion has 20 rooms with arched doorways surmounted by fanlight of the screen and ornamental works.
Moreover, multi-colored stained glass, peacock plumage design, and stained glass outlining the doors are so gorgeous that once in your life you should visit here.
10. Old Bahia Honda Rail Bridge, Florida Keys
Location: Big Pine Key, FL 33043, USA
A walk through Old Bahia Honda Rail Bridge is enough to make you feel fresh and witness marvelous views of the ocean and atmosphere.
The single-track bridge was originally built in 1905 by Henry Flagler and later carried out by Joseph C. Meredith and William J. Krome.
Bahia Honda Bridge was constructed with a steel truss to support 24 feet of the Big Spanish Channel. It was the primary mode of transportation to the Lower Keys.
If you are looking for abandoned places in Florida, Old Bahia bridge trail is a great option where you can enjoy hammock swings under the canopy of large sea grapes or enjoy gentle air.
However, Hurricane Irma destroyed the construction and now only the remains are left. In the 1980s, a new four –Lane Bridge was constructed.
The original railroad bridge is now in a stage of despair, you can come here to enjoy a scenic overview of the place.
11. Aerojet- Dade Rocket Fabrication and Development Facility, Homestead
In 1963, the U.S. Air Force offered a $3 million contract to Aerojet General to get the first position in spaceflight by sending astronauts to the moon.
Aerojet is a missile propulsion manufacturer that aims to build a rocket, and for that, they acquired land at the entrance of Everglades National Park.
In 1967, they did the final test firing which resulted in the production of 6 million pounds of thrust, naming it the largest solid-fuel rocket ever fired.
However, later, NASA forwarded the deal with Aerojet’s competitor resulting in workers with no job and finally abandoning the place.
If you are looking for abandoned places in south Florida, this is the place where you can see how the archaeology of space has traveled making the place vacant.
12. Upper Sugarloaf Key
Location: Below Cudjoe Key and above Saddlebunch Keys in the Lower Keys.
In the wilderness, among trees and bogs sits Upper Sugarloaf, the most abandoned house in the Florida Keys. Here, you can see remnants of Caloosa, an ancient civilization.
By the side, you can see 2-4 feet tall rocky piles that are built by the tribes as ceremonial. The kitchen style, and also artifacts of shells are very new.
Sadly, this place is closed now to the public but you can hike to the rocky dirt beds or ridges to witness this abandoned place.
13. Annie Lytle Elementary School, Jacksonville
Location: Jacksonville, FL 32204, United States
The school has lived under various names in various eras but is now one of the most abandoned places in the Sunshine State.
It was closed in 1960 after the fire broke out in 1995. The whole building, especially the classroom, and the cafeteria was destroyed by fire.
Annie Lytle Elementary School is surrounded by some spooky horror stories due to its graffiti garbage cover halls, and no auditorium ceiling.
Remember, never try to trespass or else you will be taken to jail.
You might think these abandoned places in Florida are not flair for romance, but I want to burst the bubble. It’s time to taste some spooktacular in Florida!
There is something eerie, attracting, and striking about the old mansions, and buildings in Florida. You could probably find many!
You can never imagine how beautiful, mysterious yet unique these meet-ups can be. Feel the eerie emotion before it fades away.
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FAQ – Abandoned Places in Florida
1. What state has the most ghost towns?
A: As per Geotab, GPS Hardware Company, Texas has more than 511 ghost towns. Each town has unique stories that resulted in its demise. Moreover, all the stories dated back to the 1880s and still pass from generation to generation.
2. Can I purchase an abandoned property?
A: Yes, you can purchase an abandoned property in Florida claiming it as your own via adverse possession. Moreover, you should meet all the requirements and possess all the papers of the property to purchase it.
3. How many ghost towns are in Florida?
A: Florida is home to 250 ghost towns which currently are places where you can go for fishing and exploring. Some of the ghost towns in Florida are – Romeo in Marion County, Bean City in Palm Beach County, Sisco in Putnam County, and Ellavile in Suwannee County.
4. How do I find abandoned property near me?
A: The Government has records of every piece of data. Therefore, you need to connect the clerk of the particular place to get all the information about the abandoned properties. Also, there is information with banks; however, they do not offer much information.