Last night I went on the Key West Ghosts & Gravestones tour with my friend, Kurt. The tour began at 501 Front Street, on the corner of Front and Duval Streets where we boarded the trolley, fittingly decorated to fit the “ghoulish” theme. There were dead vines on the ceiling, creepy flickering candles (fake, of course for safety sake!), and other fun decorations to add to the spooky experience. The tour guide, you guessed it, is DEAD! It took Kurt twenty minutes to figure this out even though our guide, Elsa, wore dated attire from the 1800’s and was extremely pale with dark, sunken eyes. By the way, Elsa had fallen down the steps of the Key West Lighthouse to her death.
During the course of the tour, your guide will share various ghost stories and tales from different historic landmarks here in Key West. Some of these sites include Captain Tony’s Saloon and St. Paul’s Church, to name just a couple.
My favorite part was stopping at the Fort East Martello, where the infamous Robert the Doll resides. We were met by Benjamin Jonah, our dead “hooker” from the 1800’s. Benjamin told us he collected corpses from the ocean when yellow fever struck Key West. He gave us a brief tour of the fort, then told us Robert’s rules. When entering Robert’s room, you must do the following: acknowledge him by saying hello, ask his permission to take a photo, and remember to say good bye. Supposedly, there have been numerous reports of strange and not-so-good things happening to individuals that do not follow these rules! Oh! And you also get a ghost radar to carry around with you as well! I followed all of the rules and had my photo taken with Robert while my radar went off the charts! It was terrifying but a lot of fun, nonetheless.
After the fort, we boarded the trolley again and continued the tour, driving by several more landmarks while listening to more stories. We finally ended up at the Shipwreck Museum at Mallory Square. We had access into the museum and were told of the most recent haunting there. It was very dim and reminded me of the haunted houses I had visited around Halloween while growing up.
Our guide was sarcastic, witty, enthusiastic, and very knowledgable. I loved the interactive aspect of the tour too; if someone yells, “you’re doomed!” as you drive by, you must yell back “YES! We are the doomed!”
My friend, Kurt, has resided in Key West for a number of years now; he had never done the trolley before. He was far more terrified than I was during the tour, but we both thoroughly enjoyed it. The entire experience was an hour and a half long. It was entertaining, informative, and downright fun! I highly recommend it to not only visitors but locals as well. My recommendation would be to go at night; the darkness adds to the tour! Maybe not the tour for the truly faint of heart though! Call 305-29-GHOST for more information and to make your reservations, which are required!
For more information about Key West, check out our Key West information site. Also, make sure to visit the restaurant review section of this blog to help you decide where to eat during your stay on our island!