Anna Maria Island is known for its sunshine and happy beaches, but it also has a bit of a dark side.
From the stories of first settlers many years ago, to shipwrecks, to haunted beach homes, there are many who believe the island’s past is very much alive. It comes as no surprise that there have been reports of paranormal activity on Anna Maria, from black phantoms to ghost sightings.
Tales and tours of AMI’s eerie history and encounters with ghosts are some of the favorite Halloween things to do on Anna Maria – if you dare. If you’re looking to get spooked this fall, tag along on one of the Bradenton Beach paranormal tours or cozy up to your special someone while you listen to haunting Anna Maria Island ghost stories from both the past and modern day.
Bradenton Beach Ghost Tours
The Paranormal Society of Bradenton is hosting family-friendly walking tours which are held Tuesday through Saturday at 8p.m.
Follow the island’s interesting and eerie history, as your guide tells you chilling Anna Maria Island ghost stories. Visit by night the Pier, Drift Inn, and Island time Bar & Grill, among others. You’ll also take a visit to Bradenton Beach in search of the mysterious woman seen walking along the water. This is a great way to learn about the island’s rich history, including a number of shipwrecks that plagues its shores.
Remember: this isn’t theater, but rather based on fact. All stories are rooted in extensive research, eyewitness accounts, and historical books written about the area.
Bradenton Beach paranormal tours begin next to Island Time Inn, and last about an hour and a half. Buy tickets – $15 for adults and $10 for children over 5 – online in advance via PayPal on the Paranormal Society of Bradenton’s website.
The Black Phantom of Anna Maria Island
As far as Anna Maria Island ghost stories go, this one takes the cake. It is said that the century-old home built by Henry Curry in the early 1900s along Bradenton Beach always smells like orange blossom perfume – inside and out. The thinking goes that it’s from one of the many spirits that inhabit the home, each with its own connection to the property.
One is a woman said to have drowned in a shipwreck off the coast. Another is young boy accompanied by a dog that appears to be a Dalmatian. The third is a man dressed in a sailor’s uniform smoking a pipe. The house was eventually replaced with condominiums, but they say the phantoms still linger on the beach today.
Other Spooky Sights in the Area
There are many other reports of paranormal activity in around the island. If you’re looking for Halloween things to do on Anna Maria and in Sarasota County, take a self-guided tour of some of these sites.
Look for ghosts from the past at the Gamble Plantation in Ellenton – watch out for rocking chairs moving on their own and flickering lights. Keep your eyes peeled for a woman with long blonde hair crossing the Sunshine Skyway Bridge just north of Anna Maria Island – she is said to be one of the 35 dead in a 1980 crash. The Sarasota Opera house and the Ringling Museum of Art are two Sarasota institutions that seem to be haunted by former inhabitants and employees.
With October 31 just around the corner, this is the perfect time hear a few spine-chilling Anna Maria Island ghost stories. Take one of the Bradenton Beach paranormal tours that run five days per week on the island. Or, take a walk down the beach on your own to where the Curry house used to sit. Planning a day trip to the mainland? Take the family on a driving tour of other paranormal sightings in Sarasota-Manatee County. Who needs costumes when you have the real thing?