plant hall

TAMPA FLORIDA

By Margeaux DeMott

Have you ever wondered if the places around you are haunted? Most of the posts you see are usually the most haunted in the world or in a certain state. How frustrating! Not everyone can travel that much, and have the extra time in the day to research what’s haunted around them. Well, that’s okay because I am here to do some research for you. My goal is to bring you at least five haunted places, one city at a time. The first in this series will be of the town I live in: Tampa Florida.

Tampa Theater

Tampa 8
The Tampa Theater was built in 1926 and was designed the architect John Eberson. His inspiration for the theater came from the gardens of Italy, and France with Persian shrines and Spanish patios mixed in. It is a breath taking theater complete with a ceiling that mimics the sky.  It is absolutely gorgeous. I fully recommend going, and going early so you can take in the design without distracting you from the movie/play/concert.
Reports
If you ask anyone who works for the Tampa Theater they will tell you it is haunted. There has been reports of cold spots, ghostly figures, the sounds of doors opening and closing, hearing footsteps, and the sounds of doors opening and closing. One of the ghostly figures that has been seen is of a woman. It is believed that she died before the theater was built and that she is waiting for her fiance. There are also reports of seeing Foster Fink Finley in the projection room when no one else is around. Foster Fink Finley was the projectionist for the Tampa Theater from 1930 to 1965. His final day on the job was also his final day alive. He collapsed in the projection room and died that day of a heart attack. During an investigation paranormal researcher reported seeing someone in an old Tampa Theater uniform. It is believed that it might be Robert Lanier, Sr. Robert Lanier, Sr was a ticket taker employed at the Tampa Theater and had the only known death on the property. On May 29th, 1959 he was found near the box office on the marble tile. His skull was crushed and it is still unknown if he was murdered or if he fell down the stairs.

 

University of Tampa Plant Hall

Hall
Originally Plant Hall was the Tampa Bay Hotel. Henry Plant opened the hotel in 1891 and it boasted 500 rooms within 5 stories. The hotel was built to be the best and most lavish hotel of the time. If you ask me, they nailed it. It is a beautiful ornate Victorian style building with Moorish minarets. It is eye catching to say the least. The hotel closed in 1930, but in late 1933 Tampa Bay Junior College moved in and later became the University of Tampa.
Reports
Plant Hall has a variety of haunted experiences. People have reported seeing a man in a three piece brown suit with red eyes. In one event when the witness turned a fled from him he reappeared in the next room drinking tea. There have been reports of seeing Victorian era servants still carrying out their duties. On professor reported seeing a mist that had a figure like shape to it that moved through the wall as soon as he began to pay attention to it. Many have heard whispers, chatter, and dice rolling. Students have reported having the lights shut off on them while studying alone. Even if people don’t see or hear anything a lot of people have reported the feeling of being watched.

 

Britton Cinema 8

Britton 8
Britton Cinema 8 is situated in a shopping plaza that was built in 1956. It has changed hands a number of times through out the years.
Reports
Employees of Britton Cinema 8 have heard their names being called and voices inside of empty theaters. One guest reported the chairs next to her creaking as if someone was pushing the seat down to sit next to her. Another guest said that as he was enjoying a movie inside of an empty theater he started to notice people appearing in the seats in front of him. The women’s restroom has it’s own resident ghost. People have heard stall doors close and lock on their own as well as toilets flush. However, I couldn’t find reports of the water being run. Gross ghosts; wash your hands.

 

Crown Colony House [Busch Gardens]

Crown Colony House
Located inside of Busch Gardens the Crown Colony House was originally called The Old Swiss House. The Old Swiss House was built in 1964 and was a replica of a Swiss restaurant. In 1982 it was shut down and used by the entertainment department for rehearsals and auditions. It was later renovated and opened back up in 1990 as the Crown Colony House.
Reports
Employees of the Crown Colony House have encountered a mist in the dining room that they believe to be an eight year old girl named Wendy. She’s also said to stop the elevator between floors. During closing employees have reported hearing voices, laughing, and children playing inside of building. Guests and employees have said to have seen an elderly bartender and some have also caught a glimpse of a pianist sitting at the piano before he vanishes. A full apparition of a woman wearing a white night gown has also been seen by employees. Many have experienced flickering lights and unexplained cold spots.

 

Sunshine Skyway Bridge

Sunshine skyway bridge
The original Sunshine Skyway Bridge was built in 1954. It had a vertical clearance of 150 feet and sported only two lanes. In 1971 they added a southbound span. However, tragedy struck twice in 1980. On January 28th, 1980 USCGC Blackthorn [a buoy tender] collided with Capricorn [a tanker] while trying to pass underneath the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Twenty-three servicemen died in the collision. On May 9th, 1980 MV Summit Venture [a freighter] was passing under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge when it hit one of the support columns. The bridge collapsed taking 8 vehicles with it. One of the vehicles was a greyhound bus that was taking a group of college kids to Miami. Thirty-five people died in that incident; there were only two survivors. One man swam to shore and the other was able to stop his car 14 inches before the collapsed area of the bridge. A new bridge was built and opened in 1987. Sunshine Skyway Bridge has 4 lanes of traffic and a vertical clearance of 197 feet. There have been upwards of 200 suicides from the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. In an attempt to counteract the high rate of jumpers the state has put in six crisis hotline phones along the center span in 1999 and began 24-hour patrols.
Reports
In the 60’s and 70’s people started reporting to police of potential jumpers on the original Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Sometimes when the officers went out to help they could find no evidence of someone being their search for a body would turn up nothing. These reports are ongoing. Some drivers have stopped to pick up a you woman hitch hiking on the bridge, but the closer they get to the summit the more upset she gets. When the person turns to console her she is gone. There has also been reports of her making it all the way to the end of the bridge only to have disappeared leaving a wet spot on the seat. Parts of the original Sunshine Skyway Bridge are now used a piers and are a popular fishing spot. On the tenth anniversary of the bridge collapse people reported seeing an old style grey hound bus filled with young people that were just staring ahead. People also report hearing screams and squealing breaks early in the morning on the pier. A paranormal dive team went to investigate under the bridge and found a strange unexplained light phenomenon. Some have seen a pioneer woman wearing a grey dress and hovering over the water underneath the bridge. Witnesses say she has a sullen look to her and she never interacts or notices them. No one is sure where she came from or what happened to her in her life.

 

Do you have a city that you would like to see featured? Let us know in the comments.

LOCAL HAUNTS

LOCAL HAUNTS

TAMPA FLORIDA

By Margeaux DeMott

 

Have you ever wondered if the places around you are haunted? Most of the posts you see are usually the most haunted in the world or in a certain state. How frustrating! Not everyone can travel that much, and have the extra time in the day to research what's haunted around them. Well, that's okay because I am here to do some research for you. My goal is to bring you at least five haunted places, one city at a time. The first in this series will be of the town I live in: Tampa Florida.

Tampa Theater

Tampa 8
The Tampa Theater was built in 1926 and was designed the architect John Eberson. His inspiration for the theater came from the gardens of Italy, and France with Persian shrines and Spanish patios mixed in. It is a breath taking theater complete with a ceiling that mimics the sky.  It is absolutely gorgeous. I fully recommend going, and going early so you can take in the design without distracting you from the movie/play/concert.
Reports
If you ask anyone who works for the Tampa Theater they will tell you it is haunted. There has been reports of cold spots, ghostly figures, the sounds of doors opening and closing, hearing footsteps, and the sounds of doors opening and closing. One of the ghostly figures that has been seen is of a woman. It is believed that she died before the theater was built and that she is waiting for her fiance. There are also reports of seeing Foster Fink Finley in the projection room when no one else is around. Foster Fink Finley was the projectionist for the Tampa Theater from 1930 to 1965. His final day on the job was also his final day alive. He collapsed in the projection room and died that day of a heart attack. During an investigation paranormal researcher reported seeing someone in an old Tampa Theater uniform. It is believed that it might be Robert Lanier, Sr. Robert Lanier, Sr was a ticket taker employed at the Tampa Theater and had the only known death on the property. On May 29th, 1959 he was found near the box office on the marble tile. His skull was crushed and it is still unknown if he was murdered or if he fell down the stairs.

 

University of Tampa Plant Hall

Hall
Originally Plant Hall was the Tampa Bay Hotel. Henry Plant opened the hotel in 1891 and it boasted 500 rooms within 5 stories. The hotel was built to be the best and most lavish hotel of the time. If you ask me, they nailed it. It is a beautiful ornate Victorian style building with Moorish minarets. It is eye catching to say the least. The hotel closed in 1930, but in late 1933 Tampa Bay Junior College moved in and later became the University of Tampa.
Reports
Plant Hall has a variety of haunted experiences. People have reported seeing a man in a three piece brown suit with red eyes. In one event when the witness turned a fled from him he reappeared in the next room drinking tea. There have been reports of seeing Victorian era servants still carrying out their duties. On professor reported seeing a mist that had a figure like shape to it that moved through the wall as soon as he began to pay attention to it. Many have heard whispers, chatter, and dice rolling. Students have reported having the lights shut off on them while studying alone. Even if people don't see or hear anything a lot of people have reported the feeling of being watched.

 

Britton Cinema 8

Britton 8
Britton Cinema 8 is situated in a shopping plaza that was built in 1956. It has changed hands a number of times through out the years.
Reports
Employees of Britton Cinema 8 have heard their names being called and voices inside of empty theaters. One guest reported the chairs next to her creaking as if someone was pushing the seat down to sit next to her. Another guest said that as he was enjoying a movie inside of an empty theater he started to notice people appearing in the seats in front of him. The women's restroom has it's own resident ghost. People have heard stall doors close and lock on their own as well as toilets flush. However, I couldn't find reports of the water being run. Gross ghosts; wash your hands.

 

Crown Colony House [Busch Gardens]

Crown Colony House
Located inside of Busch Gardens the Crown Colony House was originally called The Old Swiss House. The Old Swiss House was built in 1964 and was a replica of a Swiss restaurant. In 1982 it was shut down and used by the entertainment department for rehearsals and auditions. It was later renovated and opened back up in 1990 as the Crown Colony House.
Reports
Employees of the Crown Colony House have encountered a mist in the dining room that they believe to be an eight year old girl named Wendy. She's also said to stop the elevator between floors. During closing employees have reported hearing voices, laughing, and children playing inside of building. Guests and employees have said to have seen an elderly bartender and some have also caught a glimpse of a pianist sitting at the piano before he vanishes. A full apparition of a woman wearing a white night gown has also been seen by employees. Many have experienced flickering lights and unexplained cold spots.

 

Sunshine Skyway Bridge

Sunshine skyway bridge
The original Sunshine Skyway Bridge was built in 1954. It had a vertical clearance of 150 feet and sported only two lanes. In 1971 they added a southbound span. However, tragedy struck twice in 1980. On January 28th, 1980 USCGC Blackthorn [a buoy tender] collided with Capricorn [a tanker] while trying to pass underneath the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Twenty-three servicemen died in the collision. On May 9th, 1980 MV Summit Venture [a freighter] was passing under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge when it hit one of the support columns. The bridge collapsed taking 8 vehicles with it. One of the vehicles was a greyhound bus that was taking a group of college kids to Miami. Thirty-five people died in that incident; there were only two survivors. One man swam to shore and the other was able to stop his car 14 inches before the collapsed area of the bridge. A new bridge was built and opened in 1987. Sunshine Skyway Bridge has 4 lanes of traffic and a vertical clearance of 197 feet. There have been upwards of 200 suicides from the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. In an attempt to counteract the high rate of jumpers the state has put in six crisis hotline phones along the center span in 1999 and began 24-hour patrols.
Reports
In the 60's and 70's people started reporting to police of potential jumpers on the original Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Sometimes when the officers went out to help they could find no evidence of someone being their search for a body would turn up nothing. These reports are ongoing. Some drivers have stopped to pick up a you woman hitch hiking on the bridge, but the closer they get to the summit the more upset she gets. When the person turns to console her she is gone. There has also been reports of her making it all the way to the end of the bridge only to have disappeared leaving a wet spot on the seat. Parts of the original Sunshine Skyway Bridge are now used a piers and are a popular fishing spot. On the tenth anniversary of the bridge collapse people reported seeing an old style grey hound bus filled with young people that were just staring ahead. People also report hearing screams and squealing breaks early in the morning on the pier. A paranormal dive team went to investigate under the bridge and found a strange unexplained light phenomenon. Some have seen a pioneer woman wearing a grey dress and hovering over the water underneath the bridge. Witnesses say she has a sullen look to her and she never interacts or notices them. No one is sure where she came from or what happened to her in her life.

 

Do you have a city that you would like to see featured? Let us know in the comments.

Posted by Alan Smithee in ATTRACTIONS AND DESTINATIONS, PARANORMAL, 0 comments