Seven haunted places in Jacksonville

Hayley Simonson, Managing Editor

Sometimes, buildings carry superstition with them as much as they carry history. If you’re someone who is interested in mysterious tales surrounding areas rumored to be haunted, this list is for you. 

Many locations in Jacksonville have reported strange paranormal activity or unexplained, creepy occurrences. 

Here are some of these places below: 

TacoLu Baja Mexicana  

The TacoLu building is 81 years old. Believe it or not, employees of this popular Jacksonville taco joint have claimed that the place is haunted by the ghost of Alpha Paynter.

Alpha Paynter once operated a boarding house in the cabin that is now TacoLu. She is actually buried behind the building. It is said her ghost has appeared near the limestone fireplace in the center of the main dining room and in other parts of the restaurant. Paynter has been reportedly   seen so much that the building is now listed in The National Directory of Haunted Places.

The Jacksonville Beach lifeguard station 

The Jacksonville Beach lifeguard station is considered to be one of the most haunted places in Northeast Florida. It’s been featured on the television show, “Local Haunts.”. The host of the show reported unexplained shadows were caught on camera.

Thirty Three Star

Thirty Three Star was a clothing boutique in Jacksonville Beach that is now permanently closed. Many said it was haunted and it was featured on “Local Haunts” . The store was built in the 1950s right next to Ginger’s Place, a bar that has also been rumored to be haunted. When Thirty Three Star was being renovated in 2011, the owner and crew said they’d clean an area, turn around and then find a dime where they’d just cleaned. Customers also reported finding dimes out of nowhere in the past.

Evergreen Cemetery 

This is the oldest fully operating cemetery in Jacksonville, with burial sites from as early as 1881. The cemetery hosts over 70,000 burials. When the cemetery first opened, remains were transported there from the Old City Cemetery and another downtown area near State Street. At one point in time, Evergreen Cemetery had a train depot for visitors from the city. There were also holding vaults to store transported bodies for burial. Evergreen is said to be haunted by several spirits, specifically the “Lady in Violet,” a man in old-fashioned attire near an unmarked mausoleum, and the ghost of a woman near the “Ugly Angel” tombstone.

Carriage House Apartments 

This place is also listed on the National Directory of Haunted Places. This Arlington apartment complex is said to host extreme poltergeist activity. A man named Billie Boyd managed the complex for more than two decades before dying in 1987. It is said he haunts the front office of the complex. According to a rumored legend, so many strange events happened in apartment 40 that management decided to stop renting it out and converted it into a storage room. Apartment 40 is believed to be home to sinister paranormal activity. Witnesses that have stayed in that room describe odd events like being thrown, blood-dripping walls, and the smell of rotting flesh. Although you can no longer rent the unit,  tenants say they sometimes hear whispering or strange sounds coming from the space when nearby. The apartment is home to a cat that people say, when seen, disappears into thin air. Apartment 40 was the scene of a murder in 2000. The murder took place Feb 1, 2000. A 27-year-old named Tracy Moss held a plastic bag over his wife’s head until she suffocated to death. That same morning, he suffocated his girlfriend in a nearby apartment. His girlfriend was raising his son, who was 2 years old at the time. Later that afternoon, Tracy called his boss over to his parked car, shook his hand, and shot him in the side. An off-duty detective spotted Tracy driving his car over the Dames Point Bridge on the Northside, five police cars surrounded his car. Moss ended up shooting himself in the face with his shotgun. No one could ever figure out  a motive for the murders.  

The Florida Theatre

The Florida Theatre in downtown Jacksonville has been around since 1927. Visitors of the theatre  have reported some strange occurrences. It was featured on “Local Haunts”  and the host said cameras caught movement in the balcony and caught the sound of chairs creaking . Others report that a former organist, who previously worked  in the theatre but later killed himself, haunts it.

Ginger’s Place 

Ginger’s Place, next to the former Thirty Three star in Jacksonville Beach, was built sometime around 1950. The former owner was a burlesque dancer named Darlene Edith Payson, also known as Ginger. The bar was also featured on “Local Haunts” . In the show, the producer said he caught a mysterious voice on a recording at Ginger’s Place. He said the voice said, “We can’t talk to you.” 

Some people believe Ginger herself is haunting the place. 


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