According to reliable sources, Key West ranks up there in the top ten most haunted places in America. The island was originally named Cayo Hueso by the Spanish, meaning bone key, and has became known as the Isle of Bones. Why? Simple: it had once been literally littered with human remains!
The Isle of Bones has seen its share of tragedies over its long, turmoultuous history. From hurricanes, yellow fever epidemics, pirate scourges, and hundreds of shipwrecks, many came to meet their fate in horrible fashion here, setting the stage for an eerie, eternal populus ~ restless, lost souls, longing to find peace. Their story must be told!
The island is rich with legend, lore, and paranormal activity, most of which is edified in voracity and credability through government documents, and letters and journals of those who were there. The TV show Ghost Hunters verified a very strong pressence of paranormal activities at the East Martello Fort, which now houses Richard, the haunted doll. The doll is currently ranked as the most posessed child's toy in America. I get goose bumps typing this! It's even worse looking at him "in person!"
If you've been following my blog, you know that I am in Key West on a first stop to a cross-country novel writing road trip in a 1970 VW love bus. Key West is "key" to an important part of my novel, and its paranormal realities are critical to my storyline. So, it only seemed natural to begin here, and to gather up from a treasure trove filled with facts and details.
I recently spotted an ad in the job classified's for a part time story teller for Histroric Tours of Americas Graves and Gravestones Frightseeing trolly tour. Well, I got hired! I began work this week training as a cast member Ghost Host. The work requires learning a 40 page script to act out on a 90 minute tour, sharing the spooky side of the island to countless numbers of tourists. What better way to get the facts, than by becoming immersed in them!
For my ghost character, I have chosen a passenger who had died horribly in a shipwreck on the reef six miles off Key West. Many over history have died in shipwrecks on that reef, and salvaging, or "wrecking," quickly became a mainstay industry here for the locals.
Here is a ghost colleague of mine manning the ticket booth on the corner of Duval and Front Streets.
Four tours are conducted nightly on The Trolley of the Doomed...
The Ghost Host shares his story of the supernatural and the macabre to his captive audience, perched upon an old chair mounted in the front of the trolley.
If you are coming to Key West sometime soon, or know of someone who is, I highly recommend this tour! If you don't believe in ghosts before taking the Trolley of the Doomed, afterward...you will!