Is it folklore or history? The St. Petersburg Museum of History offered unique stories that have become the staple of ghost storytellers.

From the tragic destiny of motorists driving across the Skyway Bridge, to the beautiful, romantic love story of a wealthy businessman and hotel entrepreneur, stories exist in St. Petersburg, unlike any other place.

The museum has an area dedicated to traveling and customized exhibits. And so the “Haunted Tales of St. Petersburg” rested its sometimes scary and colorful area folklore stories in the halls of an old hotel.
Approaching the exhibit, eyes from pictures hanging in the hotel lobby, followed visitors as they ventured into the area and as people walked past, the images aged from youthful portraits to those of aged and skeletal images. When they walked down the “hotel” hall, they were treated to stories from the Spanish-American War soldiers at Fort De Soto, the luxurious Don CeSar Hotel, built during the Depression, the unfortunate Skyway Bridge collapse, the sparkling St. Petersburg Coliseum, the prestigious and well-known Vinoy hotel and an Egmont Key story from a local volunteer.
Walking down the hall, picture frames housed DVD programs, interactive programs, Pepper’s Ghost simulations and 3-D dimensional spooks.

Located along the walls were framed imaged and text that provided the historical background relevant to each of the folklore interpretations. Some of the stories were re-enacted at various locations include Fort De Soto with its barracks and cannons, the beautiful pink Don CeSar Hotel on St. Petersburg Beach, rich in history and sometimes graced by the elegant figure of its deceased builder.

Period furniture graced the “hotel” lobby giving it the authenticity and general appearance of an old Florida hotel.
Interactive windows allowed visitors to discover just what made the St. Petersburg Coliseum a stand-out and place to be back in the 20s, 30s and 40s. As a Saturday night “hot spot,” well-known bands played until the wee hours of the morning. And it is said that the general manager is still hanging around, making certain the Coliseum is in good working order.
This interactive book allowed visitors to follow along as a storyteller read the unique and interesting story form a local volunteer who experienced a hair raising, yet rewarding, interaction with ghosts of children raised on this island.
So if you’re ever in the St. Petersburg area, an area rich in history, watch out because you never know who is waiting just around the corner!

You might even find a ghost or two.

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