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2 South Florida haunted attractions make top 10 most searched in the US

The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables has a haunted history. Photo: Biltmore Hotel on Instagram @biltmorehotel. (Courtesy of Biltmore Hotel on Instagram @biltmorehotel)

Many people would be surprised to know that some of their favorite tourist attractions in South Florida are actually... haunted. Yes, haunted (or so they say).

According to a study by holidu, which analyzed Google to find the most searched haunted attractions in the United States, a famous Coral Gables hotel and a popular Key West museum make up some of the most popular haunted tourist attractions in the country.

Coming in at No. 5 on their list of most searched haunted attractions is none other than Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, which has garnered over 60,000 Google searches in the past year alone.

Built in 1926 by developer George Merrick, the hotel was known for having famous guests, including Al Capone, Judy Garland, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. However, its past is said to be dark, as well.

According to the study, “The 13th floor is said to be the most haunted due to the famous mobster Fatty Welch who was fatally shot directly on this floor. He is known for being a trickster, especially towards women, and is said you can smell his smoke at random moments throughout the 13th floor. Could you face the ghost that allegedly wandered these halls?”

Plus, it doesn’t help that the hotel was transformed into a temporary hospital during World War II.

Up next on their list at No. 6 is “Robert the Doll,” a haunted doll located at the Fort East Martello Museum in Key West, which has also amassed over 60,000 searches in the past year.

Leave it to their description to speak for itself: “If haunted and dolls don’t sit well with you, this next one is sure to give you a fright,” says the study.

According to Atlas Obscura, the cursed doll was gifted to a boy in the early 1900s. However, the doll was a master of mischief. The legend has it that the doll would mutilate toys, and cause other mysterious happenings in the child’s home. That is when the boy would yell out, “Robert did it!”

Now, the doll is “locked” in a glass display at the museum for safekeeping “so it cannot wreak immense havoc on anyone else.” The doll is so popular, it even has an official website.

Needless to say, if you’re a ghost tour aficionado, you might want to add this museum to your list — if you dare.

For the complete study on “Top 10 Haunted Tourist Attractions for this Halloween,” click here.