Experience the Dark Side of Downtown Pensacola in October

Posted: Nov 20, 2017 06:48 pm Updated: Oct 17, 2023 10:43 am

Dive into the haunted history of America’s first settlement and you’ll find more than 450 years of ghost stories, murder mysteries, hauntings and mayhem. To get the inside scoop on spirits that still like to hang around downtown Pensacola, check out one of the goose bump-inducing ghost tours happening each October. Travel back in time with GoRetro, whose October tours include titles like Ghosts and Graveyards and  Witch of East Hill. Or take a night-time Ghost, Murders and Mayhem Segway Tour and visit the sites of hangings and murders and hear about the Ghost Boy of Government Street. Join Historic Pensacola’s costumed guides for an Annual Haunted House Walking and Trolley Tour or hop aboard a trolley for the kid-friendly Trolley of the Doomed tour that winds through the historic North Hill district.

Restless Spirits and Strange Mysteries

Did you know the streets of downtown Pensacola are lined with haunted houses, bars and shops? We dare you to pick a rose at The Dorr House, where the polite, rose-loving Clara Barkley Dorr lived…or should we say lives? Many visitors report the sight of a female figure in the large foyer mirror and the unexplained scent of freshly-cut roses. Just across the street is The Gray House, where you might catch a glimpse of sea captain Thomas Moristo peering out the window. You’ve surely heard of Seville Quarter, but have you met Westley? The friendly bartender worked at Rosie’s Bar until passing away in a tragic accident, and he’s still being seen around the bar today. If you want to fully immerse yourself in the “spirit” of Halloween, book a stay at Pensacola Victorian Bed & Breakfast, where an apparition of a woman in a long-flowing gown might enter your room without being invited.

5 Fearsome Things to Do in October

If your blood isn’t curdling enough yet, there are plenty of other creepy-crawly things to do in downtown Pensacola in October. We think it's the perfect time to be locked in a room haunted by a female ghost at the Haunted Room at Escape on Palafox. Just be sure to bring your best ghostbusters, because if you don’t get out in under 60 minutes, you’ll be cursed forever! Learn how to make the perfect witch’s broom — or just a regular one to sweep the leaves off your porch — during one of Historic Pensacola’s Broom Making Demonstrations. And if you want the hairs on the back of your neck to stand up, visit the mummified cat at the T.T. Wentworth Museum (which has obviously used up all nine of its lives). 


Halloween Treats, Please

If you’re the type who's more into Halloween treats than tricks, there’s rarely a moment in October when you won’t be able to enjoy spine-tingling-good food, drink and shopping downtown. Check in at World of Beer for a brew that’s perfectly suited to the season—maybe an ice-cold Dixie Blackened Voodoo, a Delirium Nocturnum or a Lucifer Belzebuth. Beer-loving President Andrew Jackson resided on the very site of World of Beer when he was Florida’s military governor in 1821. Let us know if you see him lingering around, sipping a cold one.

Just down Palafox you’ll find some of the best boutique shopping anywhere. October is the perfect month to visit Susan Campbell Jewelry for a tiny gold skull charm from the designer’s personal line, the SAM Collection. Afterward, head to Indigeaux for a pair of black distressed denim jeans and black top. Just add your favorite witch hat and—Poof!—the perfectly chic Halloween costume! When you’re ready to do your Halloween decorating, stop by Rusted Arrow Mercantile for themed candles, 7-foot skeletons, spiders, rats and just about anything else you’ll need to create your own scary space.