Only Tampa Terrors will show you the best of the worst of Tampa! Only our in-depth historical research and authentic accounts of haunts and ghost sightings expose the true scope of how infested with the supernatural Tampa really is. Your ticket to the Tampa Terrors opens up a whole new world of historically accurate insight into the ghastly ghosts that seethe in so many places around Tampa. See for yourself just how well the haunted history of Cigar City comes to life when you take in the eight spooky locations of the Standard Tampa Terrors tour.
For example, the Tampa Theatre is a downtown landmark and was restored beautifully. It still has its cooling ‘man-made’ air that was such a novelty when it opened in the 1930s. The renovation, however, did not displace the resident ghosts. No matter how much they fumigate, the faint whiff of smoke from Foster ‘Fink’ Finley persists. He was the theatre’s projectionist, so in love with movies and his signature cigarettes. He stuck with the theatre through their downtimes in the 70s and 80s and died on the job in tragic circumstances. He is the ‘Man in the Fedora’ the staff might reference if you visit. Hear the best way to see his ghost and exactly how he died on Tampa Terrors.
Join the Tampa Terrors Extended tour to see four more locations with some of the finest ghost stories south of the Mason-Dixon line. From the historic Tampa River Walk to the atmospheric Ybor City, there is always something spooky happening in Tampa’s many neighborhoods.
Tampa Terrors knowledgeable local guides will use their fantastic storytelling skills to bring the history of this spectacular jewel of the Gulf Coast to life, through death.
To understand Tampa’s many ghosts, we need to go back to the very early history of Tampa, which belongs to the Tocobaga Tribe of Native Americans. They are the ones who built the giant shell mounds that honored their dead chiefs. Some were two city blocks long.
Today the foundations of a parking garage sit atop the few remaining shells of the largest mound. Archeologists found many skeletons of Fort Brook soldiers, as well as Tocobaga elders, during the building of the structure. The Tocobaga lived in harmony with the bay, eating only what they needed. The peaceful Tribe also clubbed to death an early missionary almost as soon as he disembarked from his boat. So they were not all peace-loving and friendly.
Tampa Bay would have appeared uninhabited when the first European settlers arrived in the early 1800s. Diseases brought by the Spanish explorers and raids by northern native American groups had decimated the local Tocobaga populations. Later on, Florida’s native tribes were lumped into one group, labeled the Seminole, or ‘wild ones.’ They were systematically provoked, betrayed, and hunted. The three Seminole wars between 1816 and 1853 were mean guerilla affairs, not pitched battles. The last remaining Native residents of Florida were chased deep into a swamp in 1858 onto land that the white man did not want. That’s a lot of anger, death, and betrayal to rest a city on. Yet here stands Tampa.
Tampa would not be anything like what it is today without the rivalry between two railroad tycoons called Henry. The legacy of the rivalry is most visible on the west side of Hillsborough bay on one corner of the vast, sprawling University of Tampa campus. The regal Henry B. Plant museum of European and Asian Art greets you as you cross the river on the West Kennedy Boulevard Bridge. The Museum was formerly a luxury hotel, and it too has its ghosts. Henry Plant built it in the early 1890s as the palace for his West Floridian Coast empire. The hotel single-handedly put Tampa on the map as a destination. The railroad he also completed in 1884, and the regular steamship service to Key West and Cuba opened up Tampa to bloom into today’s bustling city.
Henry Plant had a friendly rival, also named Henry. Henry Flagler developed rail lines along the East Coast of Florida along the Atlantic, while Plant developed the Gulf Coast on the West. The whole of Florida was the real winner, gaining industry, transport, and magnificent buildings like the Henry B. Plant Museum.
The Plant Museum also has one of the few remaining cannons from Fort Brooke. It points ominously back towards Downtown Tampa, across the Hillsborough River, which has a rich history of battles, blockades, and bloodshed as well as piracy and sunken ships which bring their own ghosts.
The spectacular Tampa Riverwalk winds alongside the tranquil Hillsborough River and passes some of Tampa’s most haunted and historical places. Like the shipyards that dotted the river. Shipbuilders built Pirate ships and blockade runners here during the Civil War. The Confederate merchants who broke the Union blockade traded cattle and wool with Spanish run Cuba in return for arms, supplies and ammunition, and brought back some of the first Spanish gold doubloons ever seen in the United States.
The Riverwalk runs from The Waterworks park up the Hillsborough as far south as the former site of the legendary Fort Brooke, which had a part in the Civil War and the Seminole Wars. The fort is long gone today, superseded by the vast MacDill Air Force Base, home of United States Central Command on the far side of the bay. The old Fort Brooke site still has its ghosts, though. Today they haunt the parking ramp built on part of the old fort.
Perhaps the spirit of the Tocobaga tribe of native Americans still permeates the air, the whole city is on their land, and Fort Brooke was built on the site of a shell mound burial site. Add to this the drama of War of Independence and The Civil War, and the natural conflicts that happen when many people live in what can be a hot and sticky city, and it becomes clear why Tampa is so haunted.
Tampa Terrors will take you to see the sites of hauntings by the ghosts of Tampa up close and personal. Your passionate local guides love to share these stories from the history books and relate the authentic accounts of encounters with the unexplained from throughout Tampa’s history.
Ghosts spook easily, turn your back, and they can disappear. The best chance of seeing one is keeping your calm, taking a breath, and remembering they can’t hurt you.
Ghosts can’t hurt you unless we meet a poltergeist; they can be pretty mean. If we meet one on the Tampa Terrors tour, back away slowly, remember to be nice and polite.
Ghosts of Tampa probably don’t have sports team allegiances, but don’t spoil their uneasy rest by telling them how bad the Tampa Buccaneers have become.
There is lots to distract a person in Tampa but stay with us, so you get all the stories, not just half of them! Buddy up and say safe!
Tampa is flat as a pancake, but slippery when wet. Stay away from the water, lest the Crocodiles or Alligators get you – yes, Tampa has both!