Most Haunted Places in Key West: #1: Eaton Street
In Key West, there are plenty of places that are haunted. We chose Eaton Street as the number one haunted place in Key West because of everything that has happened here. Even in the city, locals and visitors call it the most haunted street in Key West. The spirits that walk this street can be playful, angry, and really spooky. When you walk on Eaton Street, you better keep your wits about you because you just may see one of them.
History of Eaton Street
Key West has always been a friendly, port city and welcoming to those from the Bahamas. Most of the first citizens were from the Bahamas and they helped to build this beautiful city. The Spanish settled Key West and it quickly became a popular fishing town. The first men to establish Key West were John Simonton, John Whitehead, John W.C. Fleming, and Pardon C. Greene. The local buildings and streets are named after these founding fathers. In the 1830’s, there were many Bahamians who came to Key West for work. They found jobs in the fishing industry very quickly. In the 1860’s, Key West became known as one of the richest cities in the country. The industries here began to flourish and soon, locals saw another type of industry getting bigger and bigger.
In the 1880’s, Key West found itself as part of the pirate world. This is also when salvaging became an industry that was extremely important to the city. Salvaging became a popular industry because of all of the shipwrecks and stolen ships that were coming into Key West. Practically anyone could get hired to help out with salvaging jobs. If they were lucky, they would find big ticket items and get a share of the profits when the items were sold. This became a good way to make a living back then and it worked for quite awhile until piracy was outlawed and the city cleaned itself up.
The Civil War played a big role in the making of the city as well. Fort Zachary Taylor was built in Key West and is still standing today. It can be seen by locals and visitors. During the war, gun running became a new profession. Those who would run guns would earn a lot of money. This kept a lot of locals busy with work during the war when times were pretty tough. Another big source of income for the city was cigar making. This became one of the best sources for income for the city and helped to make Key West what it is today. Key West is known for more than its industries though, there were some talented people who lived here as well.
Ernest Hemingway became a popular winter resident in Key West. He spent most of his life living in his Key West home and the city was the inspiration for many of his famous works. Hemingway was known for his writing, but also for his seven-toed cat named Snowball. His home still stands in Key West and can be toured throughout the year. His ghost is one of many that is said to haunt the city of Key West. There are many ghosts that continue to walk up and down the streets at night and Eaton Street is one of the most popular places to see them.
The Ghost of St. Paul’s Church Graveyard
We all know that many people are scared of going in and near graveyards and cemeteries. If you’re not, you may get a chance to see a ghost in Key West. Along Eaton Street, you will find St. Paul’s cemetery. The cemetery is said to have some spirits in it that may not be so friendly. When walking down Eaton Street, something may try to pull you in from the sidewalk. You will walk by the cemetery and have a sense of wanting to get just a little bit closer. That’s how it always draws people in. If you look closely, the spirits will get you to walk into the graveyard. Once you are in, you will begin to see just what they have in store for you. Keep your eyes peeled because you don’t want to miss a thing!
The ghosts of St. Paul’s Church graveyard are some of the most famous in Key West. The land was given to the city in 1832 by the widow of John William Charles Fleming. He was one of the first large landowners in Key West. When Ms. Fleming gave the land to the city, John William was buried on it. Ms. Fleming said that no matter what happens, she doesn’t want him removed from the land. To this day, his remains are still there, but no one knows exactly where they are. Many of the locals think that the strange occurrences that happen in the graveyard and along Eaton Street are due to the fact that Mr. Fleming is still there. Some people think that his soul is restless and that is why things continue to happen here. It could be the other spirits there too, but no one knows for sure in this area. People have seen a shadow man walking around the graveyard and he is thought to be Mr. Fleming. There are other ghosts that have been seen here too.
Another spirit that is reported to be seen at the graveyard is a sea captain that frightens visitors. He appears in the small garden outside the graveyard. Many visitors do like to sit in the garden and he will literally come out of nowhere and scare them away. There are also several ghosts of children that come out into the graveyard and along the Eaton Street side. Some say that the children will gather closely to the tombstones that have angels on them. Most of the spirits here seem to be harmless, but there are plenty more that walk along Eaton Street.
Another spot along Eaton Street that is said to be haunted is Club Chameleon. This is an old nightclub that used to be a church, then it was a theatre. It was built in the late 1800’s and it has quite the checkered past. The minister of the church caught his wife in the act of having an affair in the church! He went into a complete fit of rage when he found them. It is said that he boarded up all the doors and windows and set the church on fire. His anger took the best of him. His wife and the deacon were both caught inside the church when it burned. There were also 14 children that ended up dying in the fire that the minister started. Many visitors to the now closed club said that they could smell smoke constantly, while some say that it was the smell of flesh. There are also stories of people walking by the church and knocking on the windows. Once they wait a minute or so, they claim to hear the screams of the children inside the church. Some even say the children will tap on the windows too.
The Ghosts of Eaton Street
Not everyone sees ghosts on Eaton Street, but some people feel an energy around them as they are strolling through. Some visitors have claimed to feel hands on their shoulders as if someone was pushing them along. Others have seen smoke rings being blown, but no one around is smoking. There have been bumps in the night heard by the neighbors and some have even heard laughing in the night when no one was around. These ghosts don’t seem to be here to worry or hurt anyone, they just like their presence to be known. The next time you are strolling down Eaton Street, it is important that you keep your wits about you and keep your eyes peeled!
There are some pretty intense stories about the ghosts in this area. Not everyone will see a ghost when they come to visit, but if you’re lucky, you may be able to catch a glimpse of an old pirate or a dancer. You may walk by Ernest Hemingway or feel the power of Robert the Doll. If you are walking along Eaton Street, you may also run into some ghosts of pirates or ladies of the night. Eaton Street has quite the history and the more you explore it, the more you may catch ghosts trying to get to the other side.