A few weeks back, we participated in an Ybor City ghost tour. We know what you’re thinking- December seems like a weird time to go ghost hunting in Ybor right? Well, when we looked into it during October, tours were all booked up (checking into it on September 29th probably wasn’t the best idea). None the less, we decided we could always search for the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future; but mostly just past.
After talking to a friend about a ghost tour she had done in downtown Tampa, I was super amped on finding one to do in Ybor given all the amazing history of the area. I reached out to Lonnie of The Official Ybor City Ghost Tour and he let me know tours were open for December, so we promptly scheduled our tour for mid December. Nicholas, Ryan, two friends and I headed over to King Corona where we met Greg, our amazing tour guide! After the boys grabbed some Cuban coffee, we were ready to get started. We began with a stroll down 7th Ave to Centro Ybor where we stopped to learn all about Roland Manteiga. Next, we headed to the old Trelles Clinic (now the Ybor Resort and Spa) on 8th Ave. where we spent some time talking about Jorge Trelles and the Goddess/Whore of Ybor, Conchita (what a hot mess that situation was).
Finally, we headed to The Don Vincente Inn where we got to really get into it and use “The Ghost Meter”. Some of us had been to the basement before, but that was before I knew about all the stuff that had gone down in there. Don’t get me wrong, the Don Vincente is a gorgeous inn but dang, that was some scary stuff. Here we didn’t have much activity on the meter but it was all about to change when we headed to the Cuban Club.
As you may know, we’ve frequented the Cuban Club on occasion for The Rum Fest and Guavaween. Luckily we were drinking and clearly not thinking about how haunted the place was. Yet, when we went into the pitch black, totally silent club the other night, my stomach immediately went into knots and I was totally rethinking my great idea to do a ghost tour. Eventually I got over my fears and we were off with our meters once again. Here, there was tons of activity and I could see why given all the stories that came out of that place.
After about 3 hours, we decided to say adios to the tour. I have to say, despite me being a total wuss when we got to the Cuban Club, I am so glad we did it. Just learning about the history of Ybor was enough to have piqued my interest, the ghost hunting was an added bonus. The tour is great to do any time of year, but if you do decide to go during October, make sure to book early. This year they did two tours on Halloween, each with about 45 people! Be sure to tell them Never Have I Ever Tampa Bay sent you!