Key West isn’t all partying, surfing, and fun—behind the gilded facade lies a dark history.
Discover it on tour with US Ghost Adventures. Book today.
When you think Key West, you probably think about the endless azure waves, fresh seafood buffets, and late-night bonfires on the beach.
But if you find yourself on the north end of the Key West Historic District, you may come upon a darker side of this city.
In the depths of the district, you’ll find a beautiful old church called St. Paul’s Episcopal.
Whatever you do, if you value your life, don’t peek around the corner. Don’t stare directly at the forsaken graveyard, and don’t—EVER—go inside.
Nowhere is the veil between the living and the dead thinner than at the graveyard at St. Paul’s Peace Episcopal Church. And US Ghost Adventures is going to take you straight there.
In the early part of the 1800s, a widow named John Fleming donated the land to the church. Many may not know that Key West has such an old history, but the history of this deep south city stretches back before the Civil War.
Florida’s coasts have always been strategic ports for military operations. Key West is no different. Mixed in with its history of gun-running, racketeering, and mafioso activity, Key West bears the scars of many military wounds.
Some of the bodies of the dispossessed spirits you may see wandering around the graveyard, searching for their loved one, may be buried right there in the earth.
The first dreadful chapter in the St. Paul’s graveyard’s haunted history was the Great Fire of Key West in 1886. A hurricane had all but destroyed the graveyard in 1846, but misfortune came back to St. Paul’s just half a century later.
This fire started in a small coffee shop and soon raged out of control, burning for 12 continuous hours. It destroyed almost the entire commercial core of the city, killed seven people, and cost 1.5 million dollars in damages. That’s over 50 million dollars today.
It’s a terrible omen when dead bodies are disturbed or desecrated, and the Great Fire damaged the gravesites of many souls long laid to rest.
After these terrible tragedies, the ghosts of the graveyard began to become active.
The apparition most commonly spotted is that of a 19th-century gentleman. He appears when the fog rolls in off the marina, and himself looks like little more than a vapor. He has, on more than one occasion, directly confronted trespassers.
An even more aggressive ghost is a sea captain who was famous for fighting pirates. He mistakes tourists for his enemies today, so if you hear the sound of rattling sabers, don’t walk—run.
Haunted Key West, FL
Gale force hurricane winds aren’t nearly the scariest thing about Key West. When you take a tour with US Ghost Adventures, you sign up for a scary, spooktacular sojourn into the darker side of life. Be prepared to see things you might never understand, and you won’t soon forget.
Since 2013, US Ghost Adventures has offered entertaining, historic, and authentic ghost tours of America’s most haunted cities. We deliver fun yet honest accounts of hauntings across the nation for curious people of all ages. Our ghost stories are based on historical research, but that doesn’t mean they won’t send a chill down your spine.
US Ghost Adventures also offers virtual tours, a self-guided mobile app, and an Alexa voice app.