Oct. 20, 2020
Exploring Haunted Daytona Beach
Daytona Beach, Florida usually brings to mind sunny days on sandy white beaches, turquoise waters and palm trees. It’s known for its racetrack, where the famous Daytona 500 is held each year and, of course, for being the go-to spring break destination for college students from across the country every spring. But rarely does it conjure scenes of ghostly apparitions.
As unlikely a place for hauntings as it may seem, Daytona Beach actually has quite a few haunted locations to explore. We did a little research and found some locations that fans of the supernatural can enjoy exploring. Are they really haunted? Some say they’re just stories while others swear they are true. We say…why not do a little investigating of your own?
Built by one of Daytona Beach’s first settlers, Laurence Thompson in 1884, this stunning, Italianate High Victorian house is the oldest house on Daytona’s Beachside. There’s nothing that sets the mood for hauntings more than a good Victorian, right? This house has what was called a “Widow’s Walk,” a feature typical in New England design that was meant for the wives of whalers to watch for their husbands returning from the sea.
A mysterious spirit is believed to haunt Lilian place Heritage Center – a ghost known as Lucille. Legend has it that she has been haunting the place for over 100 years now, with visitors over the years having reported sightings and sounds of a woman dressed in white, children laughing and a male apparition believed to be Stephen Crane. Stephen Crane was a famous author whose boat sank off the shore of Daytona Beach in the late 1800’s while he was aboard. Crane was brought to shore, to the Lilian Place Heritage Center to recuperate.
At the center of town you’ll find the famous Daytona Playhouse. While many go to see the plays and theatrical performances, this venue also attracts lovers of the supernatural. A local paranormal research group conducted a study of this location. During this study, unexplained sounds were recorded on audio tape, unidentified figures were seen in a director’s booth that was supposed to be empty and strange orbs appeared in photos of the theater. Observers also reported sudden temperature changes and chilling sensations.
FYI: This location is temporarily closed. Keep checking back with them to stay updated!
One of Daytona Beach’s most famous haunted places is the Ponce de Leon Lighthouse. It attracts ghost hunters and curious visitors all year round. This lighthouse is, as urban legend has it, haunted from spirits from the 20th century. The story is that the lighthouse keeper, Joseph Davis suffered a heart attack and died as he was making his way up the lighthouse stairs. The story goes that he was carrying a jug of kerosene at the time and to this day, the lighthouse still has a distinct smell of kerosene…visitors have also reported hearing mysterious footsteps there. Is it Joseph Davis, still carrying out his lighthouse keeper duties even in the afterlife? Find out for yourself.
Known as the oldest cemetery in Daytona Beach, Pinewood Cemetery is rumored to be haunted by the spirit of a mysterious woman and a headless ghost who many believe is Adler Rawlings, one of the many buried there.
Non-Haunted, Family-Friendly Halloween Fun
For a family friendly, not so spooky Halloween celebration, we invite you to register for our Tomoka Halloween Family Fest on Saturday, October 24th at Tomoka Town Center! This is a FREE Halloween event in Daytona Beach. There will be games, Halloween decorations, music, candy and chances to win prizes, all while observing safe social distancing measures.
Click here for more information and to register: https://www.shoptomokatowncenter.com/event/tomoka-halloween-family-fest/
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