As we creep toward Halloween, hauntings become a hot topic. Are ghosts real? And do they exist in our city? In Ybor City, history is often haunted and turning many into ghost believers.
"We are on a historical walking tour with a paranormal investigation," said our tour guide, Greg.
On the streets of Ybor City, atmosphere, architecture and antiquity collide to create the framework for the perfect ghost story. Stories that Greg loves to share. "Crime, corruption, vagrancy, theft, you name it, it happened right here."
But Greg insists it's a city built with love, founded in 1885 by cigar maker Vincente Martinez Ybor. "He brought Cubans, Sicilians, other Italians, Germans and Spaniards, all brought their cigar industries to this city."
Most of the people on the tour, like Joanne Durann, were open to the idea of ghosts. "It starts with the history, which adds to the legend and then the ghosts follow suit."
The two-hour tour is highlighted by stops at the city's first surgical center in the 1920s, the first cigar factory and offices across the street, the Don Vincente Hotel and finally the Cuban Club. Greg says the Cuban Club is the 4th most haunted building in the country.
One of the things people are encouraged to do on the tour is take a ton of pictures because you never know what might show up. Several people were seeing orbs. "The first picture I took, I got an orb. Watch.. wow!"
"I'm scientific so I was one of the non believers, but you can see the lights, you can see it."
We were also given electromagnetic meters to measure energy fluctuations indicating there could be ghost activity.
10-year-old Arthur Jirau knows what he's going to tell his friends about the tour. "I'll probably tell them that I just dyed my underpants a shade of brown.. like.. this is really scary."
Greg is confident everyone will have fun. "I promise you, you will have some kind of experience tonight either through your camera or through your meter... even if you just love history, you still had an experience."
Click here to make a reservation for the Official Ybor City Ghost tour.