Happy Friday, y’all! For the final post about haunted Florida locations, we have two to check out. One is a glamourous hotel that has an interesting history and the other is a quiet restaurant with a not so quiet ghost.
CORAL GABLES BILTMORE HOTEL
The Coral Gables Biltmore Hotel is located in Miami, Florida. Built in 1926 by George Merrick to be a part of the Biltmore chain of hotels. It’s luxuriousness attracted the likes of Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, the Vanderbilts, as well as other celebrities and wealthy folks. Franklin D. Roosevelt would vacation here while serving as President. Fashion shows, galas, and golf tournaments were often hosted at this hotel.
But it wasn’t just the glamourous that visited the hotel. Mobsters like Al Capone were know to vacation at the hotel. Another mobster known to party at the Coral Gables Biltmore was Thomas “Fatty” Walsh. He was known to rent out the 13th floor for his loud parties. During Prohibition, there was a speakeasy on the 13th floor. Unfortunately in March, 1929, a fellow gangster didn’t see eye to eye with him about a gambling dispute and shot Fatty several times.
During World War II, the world changed and so did the hotel. The Army took over control of the hotel and turned it into a military hospital. After the war it continued to be a hospital for veterans for a few years. In 1952, the hotel changed hands again, this time becoming a part of University of Miami. This only lasted about a decade and half before the university abandoned the hotel in 1968. The hotel was purchased by Coral Gables and reopened in 1987.
Shortly after reopening the reports of paranormal activity happening in the hotel began popping up. In the ballroom, a couple can be seen dancing together before vanishing. A woman in white has been seen in various locations around the hotel. She has been seen standing on a balcony, walking down hallways, standing in guests’ rooms, or even sitting on their bed. Supposedly she had passed away when she fell off the balcony she is seen on while trying to save her three year old son, who had climbed the balcony railing. Windows and doors will open or close by themselves. Guests have reported to seeing men in hospital gowns wondering around their rooms before vanishing. In one of the elevators, a female voice is heard saying “hello” cheerfully to the occupants. Waitresses working in the restuarnt report that when their hands are full, the doors to the kitchen will open for them to pass through easily.
The 13th floor though has a lot of activity and most of it is blamed on Fatty Walsh. On that floor, people report hearing loud talking, smelling cigar smoke, and feeling like there is a presence standing close to them. Fatty has been seen on the 13th floor often and occasionally either in the restaurant and bathroom mirror. People have reported hearing him laugh or breathe heavily on them. He is most often experienced by women. He is also known to mess with people on the elevator. People report that sometimes when they ride the elevator as a couple, they are taken to a different floor than the one they requested. When the doors open and one of the passegers steps out of the elevator, the elevator doors will quickly shut and take the other passenger down to the 13th floor before taking them to the desired floor. The passenger who got off the elevator first has to call a second elevator to take them to correct floor.
The hauntings that happen at this hotel aren’t the creepy kind. The spirits here seem to be kinder and some what mischievous. Come visit this gorgeous hotel for the luxurious environment and stay to experience the variety of ghosts wandering the hotel grounds.
ASHLEY’S RESTAURANT & BAR
Ashley’s Restaurant & Bar is a Tudor style building located in Rockledge, Florida. Originally opened in 1933 as Jack’s Tavern. It became Ashley’s Restaurant in 1985. The history of the restaurant is fairly quiet. All the paranormal activity that happens here is said to happen due a murder that happened a year after the tavern opened.
Ethel Allen was a 19 year old local girl that frequented the tavern. Her mutilated body was found on the nearby shores of Indian River but most people think that she was actually killed in the tavern. Ever since then, Ethel has been very active in the restaurant. A bartender who ran to the ladies’ restroom one evening, noticed someone wearing a pair of shoes from the 1930’s in the stall beside her. Upon exiting her stall, the bartender said that no one left the other stall and the feet were no longer visible under the stall walls. A woman has been seen standing behind patrons in the bathroom mirror. Lights have a tendency of turning on and off by themselcves. The security alarm goes off often by itself for no reason. Glasses and dishes will move and break of their own accord. Other objects have been known to move by themselves. People have reported feeling tapping on their arm or shoulder, as if someone was trying to get their attention, but upon turning around there is no one there. Visitors and staff have reported feeling pushed on the stairs but say it isn’t a violent push. They said that it felt more like someone trying to get past them but no one was actually there.
This family restaurant is a quaint, fun place to visit. If you do stop by, tell Ethel I say hi! Also let me know if you experience anything while you’re there.
Come back Sunday to see what state is next week’s theme. This time we are headed back up north to check out some haunted houses and hospitals. Where do you think we are headed? Let me know in the comments below!