Key West is a city known for being very active during the day, and even busier during the evening hours… But did you know that some people believe that Key West really *comes alive* in those little hours in death ? of the night…? The residents of this town are quite familiar with the stories of haunted houses, hotels, restaurants and even local churches, which has led more than one thrill seeker to come to our little island paradise more interested in discovering the dead than to befriend the living.
One surprising haunted spot is the Hard Rock Cafe, which used to be the Curry House, a house built by Key West’s first millionaire for his son. The son committed suicide at home after losing the family fortune. It is said that he is still seen throughout the remodeled building, disappearing before the eyes of astonished patrons.
Another popular tourist site for more reasons than ghost sightings is the Hemingway house. The house is open to the public and has remained in its original state since Hemingway’s death in 1961. Visitors often claim that the sound of a typewriter has been heard during tours of his house. Hemingway is also rumored to have been seen on several occasions throughout the property, even waving from its windows when the house is unoccupied.
Key West is also home to a real-life “Chucky” doll. The doll was given to the artist Robert Otto in 1904 by a servant who practiced voodoo. Robert named the doll after himself and blamed the doll for all the bad events. To most people, Robert the doll gave off a very bad vibe, but not to Otto, in fact, he loved the doll so much that it became a conflict between him and his wife, who insisted that the doll be kept in the attic. Instead, the doll was given its own room where strange events occurred. The local children were terrified to walk past the house because they were convinced that the doll would look at them and taunt them in the street below. A home plumber once swore that he heard the doll laugh and noticed that every time he passed the room, the doll was in different areas.
Robert the possessed doll is now on display at the East Marello Museum, where he continues to scare his visitors. The doll is inside a display case, and yet the doll‘s toy lion moves mysteriously from one knee to the other. Banging is heard behind the glass where he sits. It is also said that the cameras stop working only when they are close to Robert; some believe that the doll itself prevents photographs from being taken.
For those who want to visit various haunted locations and hear the ghost stories that have made them famous, there are many ghost tours offered in Key West. These tours can be exciting for believers and entertaining for skeptics, who may actually change their minds. Some tours even offer proof of their ghostly finds through images and even voice recordings from beyond the grave. These tours often last over an hour and provide more in-depth information about this historic (and haunted) city.
Hard Rock Cafe
313 Duval Street, Key West, FL 33040
Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum
907 Whitehead St. Key West, FL 33040
East Martello Tower and Museum
3501 South Roosevelt Boulevard, Key West, FL 33040
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KEY WEST GHOST TOUR