TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Paranormal buffs and history buffs can take a guided walking tour of Tampa’s iconic Ybor City, but it’s unclear what can be seen inside of some buildings.
The official Ybor City Ghost Tour takes guests on foot to six stops in Tampa’s “most haunted” neighborhood.
“We take you to all the social clubs in Ybor that were designed by immigrants from Italy, Spain, Germany, Romania and, of course, Cuba,” said Max Herman, tour guide and director of Official Ybor City Ghost Tour.
The tour will also stop at places like Rock Brothers Brewing and Cerealholic to tell some of the “hundreds” of ghost stories around Ybor City.
The tour is the only Ybor City tour that has access inside the Cuban Club, named by Travel Channel as one of its 10 most haunted places.
One of Herman’s favorite stories is in the building constructed in 1917. He said it was hard to pick just one because those stories in history are “all his babies” and he takes pride in bringing people into the building and speaking to groups about the spirits that occupy them.
“I have one dear to my heart who is in the theatre,” he said of the Cuban Club. “I don’t want to go into too much detail, but I always save the theater for last because it’s the most haunted room in this whole building.”
There’s nothing “hokey” or “cheesy” about this tour, nothing jumps out at guests like a haunted house at a theme park, so different groups will have different experiences with “the other side” .
“People [ask] me all the time, ‘am I going to see a ghost?’ I cannot guarantee it, because there is no machine, [nothing] I can do to get him out or whatever. They’re not in cages like the Ghostbusters,” Herman said.
He said what he did was simply bring his tour groups to these historic buildings and tell factual stories about what happened there, as well as personal experiences he himself had had. .
“Then after that, well, I pretty much let the spirits in the buildings do the rest of the talking,” he said.
Besides being the only tour with access inside the Cuban Club, Herman said the tour guides’ passion for what they do sets them apart from other tours in Ybor City and even across the country.
“Our guides are very proud of what we do here. You know, from Steve to Tom to myself, we know the whole history of Ybor, Tampa, Florida pretty well. Bringing people into these haunted buildings, well that’s a dream come true for us. So every time we have a tour it’s the best job we’ve ever had,” he said.
Tours are available seven nights a week and capacity is limited to approximately 25 people. The walking tour lasts approximately 90 minutes. If the scheduled visiting hours refuel, another tour around 10:30 p.m. will open.
A 10:30 p.m. tour is available every weekend in October.
“So if you’d like to come a little later when things get a little crazier around Ybor City, then I would suggest booking this tour,” Herman said.
Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for children ages 8-12.