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Jacksonville, Florida, whispers tales of the supernatural through its sprawling cityscape, where history’s echoes seem to linger in the humid air. Bold explorers and curious locals alike are drawn to the city’s shadowy corners and haunted hotspots, each with its own eerie past and spectral residents. From historic theaters to ancient cemeteries, Jacksonville harbors secrets waiting to be uncovered by those brave enough to encounter its ghostly inhabitants.
If you are doing any kind of paranormal investigation here, you might want to take a look at our ghost hunting equipment list. Locations like this get a reputation because they are high activity and you don’t need much to see for yourself.
The Florida Theatre in Jacksonville, Florida, carries a storied past that whispers through its halls, resonating with tales of the supernatural. Dating back to 1927, this historic venue has become a hotbed for ghostly encounters, particularly in its upper balcony. Seats Balcony E1 and E2 have long been the focus of ghost-hunters, who believe these spots harbor the theatre’s resident specters.
Before the theater rose like a Phoenix from the grounds of a downtown police station, the site had lived multiple lives—once as the St. Marks Hotel, the Hotel Togni, and even a billiard hall, with roots stretching back to 1870. These layers of history have stitched a rich tapestry of urban legends and eerie occurrences.
The theater’s phantoms have not just been the subject of rumors and hushed conversations; they have also caught the eye of the media. In 2010, “Local Haunts,” a television show with a nose for the paranormal, set its sights on the Florida Theatre. The show’s investigation yielded chilling footage of inexplicable movements in the very balcony where the notorious seats reside. The ghostly presence is speculated to be that of Joseph Hilton, a forlorn organist from the theater’s early days, who later took his own life.
In a twist of fate, the COVID-19 pandemic cleared the stage for the theater’s $10 million restoration project, which included replacing all the seats—except for the infamous E1 and E2. These two seats are stepping out of the spotlight temporarily and heading to Michigan to be refurbished, ensuring that the theater’s ghostly guest won’t be left in the dust. Numa Saisselin, the president of the theater, quipped that they wouldn’t want their ghost to be left out in the cold without its seat.
As part of the renovation, the old seats were sold off like hotcakes, with about 500 finding new homes as souvenirs. The proceeds are fueling the theater’s share of the renovation costs, with the city matching the contributions. The theater also ushers in a new chapter with its Adopt-a-Seat program, which allows patrons to leave their mark with a brass plaque on the new seats.
The Florida Theatre’s ghosts, much like its architecture, are treasured pieces of local folklore, enshrined in the hearts of patrons and ghost enthusiasts alike. While its physical form undergoes transformation, the spirit of the theater remains untouched, continuing to be a beacon of mystery and history in the heart of Jacksonville.
I heard that the Florida Theatre in Jacksonville is super haunted, especially seats E1 and E2 in the balcony where folks say they’ve seen some spooky stuff like shadows moving around on their own. Some say it’s the ghost of an old organist who’s still hanging out after all these years.
Tacolu Baja Mexicana
TacoLu Baja Mexicana, a popular eatery in Jacksonville, Florida, is as famous for its haunted history as it is for its delectable dishes. The restaurant occupies an 81-year-old log cabin, which was once a boarding house run by Alpha Paynter, whose spirit is said to linger in the establishment.
Employees and patrons alike whisper tales of encounters with the ghost of Alpha Paynter. This spectral resident is most often spotted near the restaurant’s cavernous limestone fireplace, a central feature in the main dining room. Such frequent sightings have earned the building a spot in The National Directory of Haunted Places.
Alpha Paynter’s eternal presence is not just a story to tell around the campfire; it’s a well-known piece of TacoLu’s fabric. The next time you’re at TacoLu and your chips seem to vanish into thin air, think twice before pointing fingers at your fellow diners; it could very well be the work of Paynter’s playful poltergeist.
TacoLu Baja Mexicana stands as a testament to Jacksonville’s haunted heritage, its walls echoing with the echoes of the past. So, if you’re brave enough to dine with the dead, pull up a chair at TacoLu—just save a seat for Alpha, as she might just decide to join you.
I heard that the old TacoLu place is haunted by the lady who used to run it, and folks say they’ve seen her ghost hanging around the big old fireplace. It’s kinda spooky, but it sure adds some extra spice to taco night!
Ginger’s Place, a bar nestled at the corner of Third Street South and Third Avenue South in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, has long been a local watering hole with a reputation that transcends the ordinary. Founded by Ginger Payson, a former vaudeville burlesque performer and mermaid show traveler, the bar became a beloved community staple known for its laid-back atmosphere and quirky charm. After Ginger’s passing in 2003, many patrons and employees started whispering about otherworldly occurrences that suggested Ginger’s spirit might still be lingering in her favorite spot.
The tales of the supernatural at Ginger’s Place are as colorful as the bar’s history. Staff members and visitors alike have reported inexplicable taps on the leg, a signature move Ginger used to employ to capture attention. Others have seen a “short shadow” that walks through doors and a blue Miller Light sign that takes flight, defying gravity and reason. These eerie events have sparked enough curiosity to summon paranormal investigators from Daytona Beach, hoping to catch a glimpse of the elusive spirit.
The granddaughter of Ginger, Samantha Robenolt, took the lead in unraveling the bar’s ghostly mysteries. She even delved into the building’s past with the help of the Beaches Museum and History Center, uncovering a rich tapestry of former inhabitants and businesses that might also lay claim to the spectral happenings. From Ossi’s Grocery Store in the 1950s to tragic tales of lost shrimpers whose bodies were recovered on the nearby beach, the location’s history is as storied as it is spooky.
The ghost of Ginger’s Place could be any number of souls, but the prevailing sentiment among the staff is that it’s Ginger herself, ensuring her legacy endures and her bar remains the heart of the community. While the ghost hunters set their sights on capturing evidence of the afterlife, those at Ginger’s Place hold onto the belief that if anyone can steal the show from beyond the grave, it’s Ginger, the ultimate performer.
Maggie FitzRoy, reporting for the Florida Times-Union, captures the essence of this haunted hotspot with a narrative that is as engaging as it is chilling. As Ginger’s Place prepares for its spectral close-up, the anticipation hangs heavy in the air like the thick Florida humidity, with everyone hoping for a sign that Ginger’s indomitable spirit continues to be the life and soul of the bar.
I was chilling at Ginger’s Place one night when outta nowhere, I felt a tap on my leg just like folks say Ginger used to do, and that blue Miller Light sign started floating like it had a mind of its own. Man, it was spooky, like Ginger herself was there hanging out with us!
Nestled on the banks of the St. Johns River, EverBank Field, home turf to the Jacksonville Jaguars, harbors more than just the roars of avid football fans. The stadium, a crown jewel of Jacksonville, is said to be a playground not just for the living, but for specters of the past, making it a site where sports history and eerie tales tackle each other on the field of the supernatural.
The whispers around town suggest that EverBank Field, now known as TIAA Bank Field, may be hosting more than the usual touchdowns and field goals. Some say the spirits of ancient Timucua Native Americans, original stewards of the land, still hover around the stadium, their presence a testament to the city’s rich and storied past. While the stadium stands tall and proud, the echoes of these indigenous peoples’ presence serve as an ever-present reminder of the history that predates even the pigskin’s first throw.
Construction crews and visitors alike have reported chilling encounters that make their blood run cold, from inexplicable shadows darting across the end zone to eerie whispers in the stands when the crowds have long gone home. It’s as if the stadium, a coliseum of modern gladiators, has its own legion of ghostly fans, forever cheering from the sidelines, their ethereal forms clinging to the rafters like cobwebs of the past.
Some locals spin yarns of a time when the land was undisturbed marsh, suggesting that the stadium’s foundations disturbed ancient resting places, stirring spirits from their eternal slumber. These tales are told in hushed tones, as if speaking too loudly might invite an unwanted, spectral guest to appear right at the 50-yard line.
As the Jaguars charge the field, ready to claw their way to victory, they remain blissfully unaware of the spectral audience that might be joining the huddle. Whether these stories are just the wind’s whispers or something more, the haunted history of EverBank Field remains an integral stitch in the fabric of Jacksonville folklore, making even the bravest fans watch over their shoulder as they cheer on their beloved team.
I heard folks say that old spirits from way back, like the Timucua natives, still hang around TIAA Bank Field, lurking and whispering on game nights when the crowd’s gone quiet. Some say the place is haunted ’cause it’s built on their ancient land, and it gives me the creeps just thinking about shadows moving in the empty stands.
Evergreen Cemetery in Jacksonville, Florida, stands as a testament to the city’s past, cradling the remains of notable figures such as 14 Jacksonville mayors, five Florida governors, four U.S. senators, and the city’s founder, Isaiah D. Hart. With its roots stretching back to 1880, it’s no surprise that the cemetery has become a hotbed for ghost stories and supernatural encounters.
The tales of hauntings at Evergreen Cemetery have grown legs over the years, often finding their way into the spotlight during the spine-tingling season of October. These ghostly accounts consistently feature three main specters that have etched themselves into the local lore. First among them is the Lady in Violet, a spectral figure often seen near the cemetery’s entrance, her Victorian mourning attire a stark reminder of the bygone era from which she hails.
Then there’s the enigmatic presence of a man in outdated garments, spotted near an unmarked mausoleum. This elusive figure has piqued the curiosity of many, with his old-fashioned attire suggesting a tale untold, his silent vigil by the tombstone standing as a sentinel of the past.
The third and perhaps most intriguing figure is the ghost associated with the “Ugly Angel” tombstone. This peculiarly named monument, which marks the grave of Belle Hightower, has spawned stories of a womanly apparition that seems to offer comfort to those in mourning. While not particularly hideous, the angel’s distinct appearance has nonetheless captured the imagination of Jacksonville’s residents, its uneasy reputation casting a long shadow over the somber landscape.
The source of these evergreen tales of Evergreen Cemetery can be traced back to a single paranormal newsletter article penned by ghost researcher Lee Holloway in 1999. Her detailed accounts and interviews with purported witnesses have served as a blueprint for the ghost stories that continue to thrive in the city’s collective memory.
As these tales are retold with each passing year, they weave themselves into the fabric of Jacksonville’s cultural tapestry, becoming ghostly threads that bind the community to its eerie heritage. Whether or not the spirits of the Ugly Angel, the Lady in Violet, or the mysterious man by the mausoleum truly wander the grounds of Evergreen Cemetery, they have undoubtedly achieved a form of immortality, forever haunting the annals of Jacksonville’s history.
I heard that over at Evergreen Cemetery, there’s this ghost they call the Lady in Violet who hangs around the entrance, and folks say she’s from way back in the old days. Then there’s this creepy angel statue over Belle Hightower’s grave that’s supposed to have a spirit that shows up to comfort people when they’re feeling sad.
El Modelo Block
El Modelo Block in downtown Jacksonville, Florida, stands as a testament to the city’s rich history and its spectral legacies. Originally home to the El Modelo Cigar Manufacturing Company, founded by Gabriel Hidalgo Gato, the building at 501 West Bay Street managed to survive the sweeping devastation of the Great Fire of 1901. Following Gato’s death, the building transformed over the years, becoming the Plaza Hotel and housing a number of bars in what was considered a rough part of town.
The building’s haunted reputation hinges on a chilling incident from 1907. A Spanish-American War veteran, whose last walk on earth led him through the front door of the building’s bar, met his untimely demise when he was shot in the chest with a sawed-off shotgun. This violent end allegedly anchored his restless spirit to the location.
Today, the ghost of the slain veteran is said to haunt the El Modelo Block, a specter trapped in a perpetual loop of his final moments. Employees and visitors have reported eerie occurrences and a sense of an unseen presence, suggesting that the past clings to the building like ivy to old bricks.
Access to the building’s exterior is available around the clock, allowing the curious to catch a glimpse of the place where history and the supernatural intertwine. However, the interior, now a hub for commercial offices, opens its doors only to those with legitimate business, keeping the ghost’s domain just out of arm’s reach for thrill-seekers.
Despite the passage of time, the El Modelo Block remains a cornerstone of Jacksonville’s ghostly folklore, its walls echoing with the whispers of yesteryear and the silent footsteps of an apparition forever etched in the annals of the paranormal.
I heard the old El Modelo Block in Jacksonville’s got a ghost from way back, a soldier who got shot in a bar and now he’s stuck there, spooking folks who work there with all sorts of strange noises and chills. They say you can feel him hanging around, especially if you’re there alone.
San Marco Theatre
In the heart of Jacksonville, Florida, the San Marco Theatre stands as a beacon of the past, its walls whispering tales of bygone eras. Designed in the roaring twenties to mirror the Art Deco trends of the time, the theatre emerged as a movie palace, a grand escape into the world of cinema. Its architecture has weathered the years with grace, owners choosing to restore its glory rather than reinvent it, keeping the theatre’s spirit alive.
Yet, the San Marco Theatre holds more than just memories of silent films and black-and-white classics. It is said that the ghost of a former manager, who met his untimely end within the office confines, still lingers. Employees of the past have spoken of eerie encounters after the sun dips below the horizon, when the hustle of the day fades into the shadows of the night. The manager’s spectral presence, a silent sentinel, occasionally reveals itself, sending shivers down the spines of those who dare to tread the deserted corridors after hours.
The theatre’s legacy intertwines with the sweet success of Peterbrooke Chocolatier’s chocolate-covered popcorn—a recipe rumored to have been born within its walls. This local legend adds an indulgent layer to the theatre’s mystical lore.
Amid the whispers of the past, the San Marco Theatre continues to pull in the crowds, its allure as strong as ever. While some may come in search of the paranormal, many more are drawn by the magnetic pull of the silver screen. Regardless of one’s reasons for visiting, the San Marco Theatre holds the key to a treasure trove of stories, where the echoes of history blend seamlessly with the flicker of film. The show, as they say, must go on, and at the San Marco Theatre, it does—perhaps with an otherworldly audience in attendance.
I heard from folks who work there that the old manager’s ghost still hangs around the San Marco Theatre, especially late at night when it’s all quiet and kinda spooky. Some say they’ve felt a chill or seen something move out of the corner of their eye when they’re alone in the office where he used to work.