Do you believe in ghosts? Many people do! If you’re into all things creepy and spooky, this spectacularly spectral tour could be right up your alley. You’ll be taken to a number of locations where spirits have been sighted.
Haunted Clearwater began on July 22, 2022 for residents and visitors alike to encounter Florida’s Ghost Coast after the sun goes down.
Passengers can choose from two excursions: Masie’s South Tour, which travels from Clearwater Beach to haunted locations such as the Clearwater Cemetery, the historic Biltmore Hotel and the Bilheimer Capitol Theatre.
Andrew’s North Tour winds through the Dunedin Cemetery where you may glimpse coyotes as well as spirits, the Fenway, the historic St. Andrew’s Chapel and more.
The Jolley Trolley partnered with the Clearwater Historical Society and the Dunedin History Center and Museum to resurrect stories from the area’s past and worked with local ghost hunters and enthusiasts to create the tours.
“This is an exciting new addition to Jolley Trolley’s offerings after serving the community for 40 years,” said Mike Helmstetter, CEO of Clearwater Jolley Trolley. “It is designed for family entertainment, so we packed it with history and mystical events.”
Each trolley seats 30 mortal souls and travels roughly 10 kilometers per one-hour trip.
These phantasmical experiences will take you on a ride to visit some of the most haunted local locations. Light-hearted fun combines with spine-tingling tales of the past, as written by Joshua Ginsberg, author of Secret Tampa Bay: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful and Obscure.
Both tours take you into a whole world of the beyond as you visit several sites and hear tales of the supernatural, narrated by a voice that sounds like the one from Disney’s Haunted Mansion.
I chose to ride Masie’s South Tour on a particularly cloudy night, which added to the unearthly ambience.
While parking is free at the Clearwater Historical Society, I recommend boarding the trolley at Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach because it fills up fast and you’ll get your choice of seats.
Visitors to Clearwater Beach can purchase tickets by scanning a QR on a signboard right at the trolley stop.
Passengers were given the option of utilizing a flashlight provided by the Jolley Trolley to enable reading a laminated guide in front of each seat while listening to the narration.
My exciting night-time journey began with a phenomenal view of the sparkling jewel-like beach lights from the Memorial Causeway Bridge. The trolley first stopped at the Clearwater Historical Society to pick up more riders, but not many seats remained. From there, the trip continued past stately mansions – including the sprawling waterfront Chateau that served as the filming location of the VH1 series Hogan Knows Best.
Even if you’re not into ghost stories, you’ll truly enjoy this tour. It includes visits to a haunted trail, wealthy estates, a theater, church, hospital, cemetery and hotel site where guests supposedly checked in, but not out. Eerie music played between the narratives to add a spooky ambiance.
My favorite ghost story involved Maisie Plant, who wandered the halls of the historic Belleview Biltmore Hotel searching for her pearls.
Odds are you won’t encounter an apparition, but nonetheless you’ll come away from either of the two tours that it was definitely worth the time and ticket price.
And stay tuned…the Clearwater Jolley Trolley will be introducing more educational tours in the near future.
For more information about the nightly tours and to book tickets, visit HauntedClearwater.com. You can also buy tickets at https://clearwaterjolleytrolley.com/tour-item/haunted-clearwater.
For more info:
Clearwater Jolley Trolley: www.hauntedclearwater.com
Clearwater Historical Society: www.clearwaterhistoricalsociety.org
Dunedin History Center and Museum: www.dunedinmuseum.org
Joshua Ginsberg: https://secrettampabay.com
The following is on the Clearwater Jolley Trolley website: Since our humble beginnings in 1982, both residents and visitors have used the Jolley Trolley to avoid parking and traffic problems. From the beautiful oak interiors to the gleaming brass trim, taking the Jolley Trolley is truly a unique ride. Our daily service operates along Clearwater Beach and our coastal route serves Clearwater Beach, Downtown Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, and Tarpon Springs. Our “Concierges on Wheels” and our unique vehicles both add to that special ambiance when taking a trolley ride. To further extend our services, we offer rental experiences that range from wedding transportation to Ghost and Sightseeing Tours. We are the attraction that takes you to your destination.