Many believe those lost still like to come ashore to Key West with the rest of the vacationers and have a good time. The legends are so strong, as well as the superstitions, that many residence still paint porch ceilings Haint Blue (the color of the ocean since some believe that ghosts cannot cross water and it tricks them into not entering the house) to keep the spirits out. From famous shipwrecks with stories of gold coins hidden in the nearby depths, to legends of ghostly spirits, you can see why they feel it is one of the most haunted locations.
We took the Ghosts & Gravestones tour when we were in town and that pretty much took us to see most things haunted. Afterwards we made our way back to a few of the places that caught our interest to check them out on our own.
Some of the so-called haunted places are:
The Key West Hard Rock Café, located on Duval Street was the home of Robert Curry. He was the son of Florida's first millionaire, William Curry. Although he was sickly all his life with a malady of illnesses, he died when he took his own life in the second floor bathroom.
Captain Tony's Saloon, also located on Duval Street, is a fun little bar but is also Key Wests first bar, then called Sloppy Joe's. Before it became a bar, this location was used as a morgue. When you walk by the location, the first thing you notice is a huge tree that is coming out of the middle of the actual bar. This exact tree was the hanging tree where pirates and murderers were hung, conveniently right next to the morgue. It is said that they found 16 skeletal remains under the tree when they were putting in the new foundation. You can grab and drink, check out the haunted ladies room and sit right next to the tree.
The Hemingway Home & Museum is a place you can not only tour and see the many six-toed cats but also many still believe Hemingway roams the grounds.
I have to be honest, Robert the doll found in the Fort East Martello Museum and Gardens, by far, was one of the most creepy dolls I have ever met. He is dubbed the "Original Chucky" and he likes to play tricks on his visitors (yep, even me). Robert the Doll was given to artist Robert "Gene" Otto in 1904 by a poorly treated servant--it is believed she was probably of Bahamian or Haitian descent--when he was a young boy. He decided to rename himself and give the doll his own name of "Robert" instead. This doll is rumored to play lots of tricks on people and literally drove the original Robert insane. When I was on the tour, I asked permission as they ask you to do and took two pictures of Robert. One came out right side up and the other one upside down. Now, it is easy to say that I held the camera upside down, but I had the camera hung around my neck and would have had to twist the cord to take the picture upside down somehow, which I did not. Could have been a sideways shot, but definitely not upside down and no other pictures that night came out upside down. Maybe one of our photography experts can offer another possibility?
Here is my upside down picture of Robert next to the first one I took. Picture taken on a Minolta camera. I am completely sure there is an easy explanation right? But what is it?