If you’re a fan of the sun, surf, and especially fashion, you’ve probably always wanted to travel to Miami, Florida. And you’ve got the right idea.
Miami has some of the most iconic beaches in the world. Combine that with the fact that the Versace clan, including the kingpin to end all fashion kingpins, Gianni Versace, called Miami his home, and you’ve got the ideal vacation destination for the luxury inclined.
But what many who travel to Miami may not know is the dark, secret, and very bloody history hiding just under the surface of the hot sand. Versace himself led a dramatic life full of betrayal and even murder.
The house where he lived, called Casa Casuarina, is a monument to the haunted life of one of the most fascinating figures in the world of fashion.
And when you take a tour with US Ghost Adventures, you’ll be exposed to every insidious entity.
Lap of Luxury
Gianni Versace lived in La Casa Casuarina, an iconic mansion named after the last surviving tree of the great Miami Hurricane of the 1920s. His tenure lasted throughout the ’90s until his gruesome murder in 1997.
But this palace of pain was built long, long ago. It was an heir to the Standard Oil Fortune who started the whole bloody affair in the 1930s when Al Capone’s mobs still ruled the streets.
At the time, Casa Casuarina was the city’s largest, most expensive, and ornate mansion. It consisted of 10 bedrooms, paintings on each ceiling, imported shrubbery, 11 bathrooms, and a fabulous swimming pool lined with mosaics and 24-carat gold.
But some say this house was doomed from the start to bear witness to the most sickening crimes of greed and passion.
Death and Decadence
The horror starts with the very design of the house.
The house has an elaborate series of trapdoors, false-backed bookcases, and secret passageways largely boarded up—or are they? Caretakers of the home have reported shuffling within the walls late into the night. Sinister relics such as a medusa mosaic hang on the walls alongside engravings of history’s bloodiest dictators, from Stalin to Caesar to Mussolini.
Joel Freeman, one of the first inheritors of the home, was nearly driven to insanity by a paranoid sense of being watched in the house. He became so fed up with the feeling of eyes crawling all over him every waking hour that he sold the property for less than $1,000.
Locals whisper that mafia executions regularly occurred in the house, which is part of the reason Versace was so interested.
By the time he took over in the ’90s, the haunting was in full swing. Versace never knew if it was a vagrant who had wandered onto the premises, or he was seeing the story of an ill-fated pair of lovers play out, over half a century since they first fell for each other.
After his murder by Andrew Cunanan, legends say that Versace’s ghost wandered the halls, crying for his mother to save him.
You can stay at the house for the small sum of $1,000 a night, even in the very same bed where Gianni slept his last night.
Haunted Miami, FL
Miami is a beautiful place to escape the humdrum routine of daily life. If you’re a ghost hunter, it’s an even better place to track down the tragedies and mysteries of Florida’s bloody past. Take a haunted Miami tour with US Ghost Adventures to experience it all and more.
About US Ghost Adventures
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.
This video gives you a small taste of what you might experience on your ghost tour — subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more.
US Ghost Adventures also offers virtual tours, a self-guided mobile app, and an Alexa voice app.