Best Places to Live

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Population: 173,570
Photo courtesy of Timothy Wildey

Stranahan House

Downtown Fort Lauderdale, FL's Stranahan House is always full, thanks to the family of ghosts who call it home. Now a museum, the house was built in 1901 and owned by Frank and Ivy Stranahan, an affluent couple that fell on hard times when Florida's real estate bubble burst in 1926. Depressed and in poor health, Frank committed suicide in the New River, and legend has it that his spirit returned to the house and continues to haunt it today. Employees and visitors have reported seeing Frank's apparition in the house and jumping into the river, and he's been rumored to chase unwelcome guests off the property.

Ivy died in the house in 1971, and her spirit – typically described as friendly – is accompanied by the scent of her favorite perfume. Employees say they have felt a cold hand on their backs – believed to be Ivy's as she often worried about people falling down the steps – while climbing up and down the stairs leading to the attic. Staff members say Ivy haunts her old bedroom, too, making and remaking the beds and leaving impressions in the fabric.

Ivy's father also passed away in the house, as well as her brother and sister, and a young Seminole girl. Each one is believed to have a ghostly presence in the home. As a result, the Stranahan House is part of the Fort Lauderdale Ghost Tours' Ghost Walk, which also includes other haunted attractions in the downtown area.

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*Photo courtesy of Timothy Wildey.