The Key West Ghost Hunt

The Ghost Hunt takes you on an interactive nighttime walk among the many paranormal hotspots in Old Town Key West, one of America’s most haunted locations.

Highlights

  • Take the tour created by David L. Sloan, original Key West ghost hunter.
  • Experience a 90-minute walk through Old Town to multiple haunted locations.
  • Visit sites featured on The Discovery Channel, History Channel, and Travel Channel.
  • Enjoy dynamic guides, small groups, and high-tech ghost hunting equipment.
  • Join the fun any night, with departure from downtown Key West

Overview

Key West boasts a long and intense history packed into a small area. For millennia, the machinations, magic, and misery of human adventure, triumph, and tragedy have swirled and clung in the confined space of this tiny island, making eerie events and strange characters simply part and parcel of the Key West experience. Weird things happen here – just search “Robert the Doll” on YouTube to see one of the more prominent examples. If the creepy tale of local painter Robert Eugene Otto and the cursed doll that was his lifetime companion raises the hairs on the back of your neck, you may have what it takes to hunt up a personal encounter with one of the island’s many renowned apparitions.

The original explorer of Key West’s paranormal dimension, David L. Sloan, calls Key West a “ghost mine”. Said to be one of the most haunted places in America, Key West features 4 ghostly citizens for every living person. Theories about the cause of high levels of other-worldly activity on the island include the action of ghost-trapping effects caused by the limestone bedrock of the island or some property of the waters surrounding it. While these are both highly speculative ideas, there are some factual aspects of Key West history that can readily explain the thickly-haunted nature of the place.

For one thing, Key West really is built on an ancient Native American burial ground. The original name given to the island by early Spanish explorers was Cayo Hueso, literally “Bone Island” or “Bone Cay”. Whether cemetery or battlefield, the island was reported to be strewn with human bones, possibly from the Calusa people whose ancestors had lived in what is now Southeast Florida for thousands of years. Later, as the European presence in the Keys grew, the waters around Key West began to claim lives as hurricanes and the many shallow reefs and sandbars exacted their toll on shipping. The ongoing stream of shallow-water shipwrecks attracted salvagers and scavengers, and profits from wrecking, an industry founded in human tragedy, were a major component of Key West’s economy until the end of the 19th century.

Piracy bloodied the local waters with mayhem and murder for a good portion of Key West’s history, but the slavers of the British Triangle Trade were even more efficient ghost-generators than the pirates. The local segments of that global slave trade route saw countless victims of the cruel voyage tossed over the rail dead or sent to the bottom in chains, trapped in slave ships sunk by the difficult weather of the Florida Straits. In the final years of the slave trade, many kidnapped Africans were rescued from ships and brought to Key West, and almost 300 are still here, buried in the African Cemetery at Higgs Beach. The effects of slavery in the Caribbean shaped Key West’s human past, and 400 years of Afro-Caribbean magic and mysticism, Santeria and voodoo, also left marks on the places and people of the island. Throughout more recent history, hurricanes, epidemics, and a general atmosphere of risk-taking and rowdiness have kept the island’s dark side well-populated with restless spirits.

In short, Key West and its environs have been gathering ghosts for a long time. Don’t miss your chance to encounter some of this ghostly history in person on a walking tour of locations like the Key West Firehouse Museum, where the shade of a young Bahamian girl plays in the engine room at night and follows visitors on their tours among the artifacts. Stroll along Eaton Street, the most haunted street in Key West. Look for the restless sea captain often sighted in the graveyard behind St. Paul’s Church, visit Club Chameleon, a former church and theater haunted by playful children’s spirits, stop at The Old Town Manor, where a doctor’s ghost keeps his otherworldly practice, and see The Artist House, where Robert Otto lived with Robert The Doll.

Many visitors experience strange phenomena while visiting the haunted side of the city, but even hardened sceptics will enjoy the little-known history of the island that is presented on the tour. Each ghost hunt tour is limited to 20 guests, and all ghost-hunting equipment is included. Your tour also includes a free Ghost Hunt Society membership and exclusive access to a collection of haunted artifacts. Come along and experience the real nightlife of Old Town – book your Key West Ghost Hunt now.

Schedule

  • Departure time: 9:30PM
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Check-in time: Please check-in 15 minutes before the activity start time.
  • Departure point: Detailed check-in instructions - including address, Google map, and parking information - will be included in your final confirmation email.

Includes

  • Key West ghost hunt
  • high-tech ghost hunting equipment

Excludes

  • Gratuities (optional)

What To Bring

  • Confirmation Voucher
  • Please bring a camera. There are great photo opportunities.

Notes

  • Advance Purchase Recommended
  • Upon booking you will receive an instant receipt with Voucher Confirmation to follow
  • Capacity: 20 person maximum

Booking Info

Voucher Confirmation Info

This tour accepts both printed and electronic vouchers (e-vouchers). You can either print the voucher and present a paper copy on the day of travel. Or, if you travel with a mobile device, simply show your Photo ID and present your voucher on your Smartphone or tablet on the day of travel.

Local Operator Information

Complete operator information, including local telephone number, will be included on your Confirmation Voucher.

Time Limits on Refunds

You understand that our credit card processor does not permit refunds for bookings made more than 120 days ago. You agree that in the case you book an activity more than 120 days in advance, any refund will be provided as a store credit of equal monetary value as the original purchase. No exceptions.


What style of bike do you offer for the tour?

Single speed beach cruiser, with foot brakes, fat tires and wide comfortable seats. Our bikes have baskets for your belongings.

Can I bring a child under 14?

Yes. The tour is not frightening, but we do actively engage the spirits. Children and infants are more prone to attract hitchhikers (see above) and less likely to know how to deal with it, so to play it safe, we suggest expectant mothers or anyone with kids go with one of the other ghost tours in town.  The decision is ultimately up to the parent. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Do you guarantee a good time?

Yes. We pride ourselves on provding a damn good experience and we know the dead better than anyone. When it comes to the living, there are a lot of variables at play,  so if by any chance you don't have a good time, come to us first and give us a chance to make it better. We don't want your money if you don't have a good time. E-mail [email protected]

How long is the tour?

90 MINUTE TOUR, plus optional visit to a haunted bar to review hunt photos and a collection of haunted objects.

Is it strenuous?

NO! Key West's highest point of elevation is 18ft above sea level.  Walking is very easy and relaxing.

Do we need to bring anything?

You should bring along a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and wear loose comfortable clothing and preferably sneakers.

What if it rains?

TOURS depart nightly, rain or shine.

Can our children come along?

Because we actively engage the spirits, we cannot accommodate expectant mothers or anyone under 16 years old.

Does the tour go inside the haunted houses?

Yes and no. We start inside a haunted location and encourage you to arrive early and explore. We usually finish up inside the old parsonage of one of the most haunted buildings in Key West. This buidling is not accessible to the general public and is exclusive to our tour, but is occasionally not accessible due to constuction related safety issues. Many of the ghosts are outside. We stand on the spot of an early murder, take you to the site of a spirit portal and access a private garden. There are other locations where we try to lure the ghosts outside with trigger objects.

Is your tour the best?

Key West has more than half a dozen ghost tours. Each is different, and competition is friendly between the companies. Our tour was started by the guy who introduced ghost tours to Key West, wrote Haunted Key West & Ghosts of Key West and consults with the big televison productions and media when they come to town on a ghost mission. The same guy runs it today. We're the only tour to provide the ghost hunting equipment you see on TV to all of our guests. Lastly, we're the only tour that gives you access to a haunted location you can't get into on your own. There are many ghost tours, but only one Ghost Hunt.

Do we have to walk?

No. You can take the trolley ghost tour, but it costs about $35 and is more of a theatrical tour. If you want the real deal, stick with us. We walk less than 4 blocks, but they are 4 of the most haunted blocks in Key West.

What kind of ghost hunting equipment do you use?

Everybody on the tour gets either a K-II EMF Detector, an IR Laser Temperature Gun or a spirit dowsing rod to use during the tour. The guide also brings along trigger objects, EM Pumps, SB-7 Spirit Box, Pendulum Board, and other equipment we test from time to time. We encourage guests to download Ghost Radar or the M2 Ghost Hunter app on their phone to track spirits during the tour.

Do I have to believe in ghosts?

We welcome skeptics and believers. Our tours mix in enough history with the hauntings to keep anyone entertained.

Is the tour wheelchair accessible?

To a degree. 90% of the tour is accessible by wheelchair, however the final stop is on a second floor accessible only by staircase. Our guides will do everything possible to accomodate guests in wheelchairs.

Will we see a ghost?

No one can guarantee a ghost sighting, but we do actively engage the spirits and sightings are common. Individuals report something almost every night. We have group sightings several times a month.

What kind of things do people experience?

We've had people get bloody noses, break down crying for no apparent reason and get kicked, scratched or grabbed - but those are very rare occurences. More often we feel cold chills, get very low readings on our gauges, smell a strong perfume pass through the group, capture photos of strange objects or see a figure pass somewhere we know is vacant. Our ghost are pretty touchy too - playing with hair or poking legs. Draining of electronics is common, and we've had spirits take over cell phones briefly to show photos or speak through siri. No one has ever been injured by a ghost on our tour.

What's the deal with hitchhikers?

One possibility when we actively engage the spirits is one of them will latch on to you and try to follow you home. We call them hitchhikers. We have a cleansing process at the end of the tour to make sure this doesn't happen, so be sure to tell your guide if you need to leave early so they can give you instructions.

Where can I park?

We don't suggest bringing a car into Old Town. If you do, there is metered parking along Whitehead Street and private parking lots at The Post Office (Whitehead & Eaton) and on Caroline Street (between Duval & Whitehead).

Who is Sloan?

David Sloan started the first ghost tours in Key West back in 1996. He also authored Haunted Key West, Ghosts of Key West & Robert The Doll. He curates the largest collection of haunted items in South Florida & every ghost tour in Key West today is based on Sloan's research. Sloan co-authored Quit Your Job & Move to Key West. He is also known as The Godfather of Key Lime Pie and holds a world record for the world's largest Key lime pie, but ghosts are his main passion.

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Per Person (16+)
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Please note: After your purchase is confirmed you will receive a complete tour itinerary with check-in time, location and what to bring.

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