Whether it’s well-known local horrors, freaky asylum tours or adrenaline-pumping attractions, South Florida is no stranger to the spooky season. With Halloween around the corner, it’s time to look at some of the real horrors that haunt our community to this day. And for those in search of some interactive chills and thrills, South Florida has much to offer in that department as well.
The Waffle House Chills
The Davie Waffle House saw one of the closest-to-home and most lingering tragedies of the local community in 2002 when an armed robbery was undertaken by Jimmy Mickel and Gerhard Hojan around 4 a.m. Hojan ordered waitresses Christina Delarosa and Barbara Nunn, as well as the chef Willy Absolu, into the freezer. Within a matter of minutes, the three Waffle House employees would be shot and only Nunn would leave the freezer alive, if barely. Since that day, regulars claim they have been subject to flashes of cold chills and strange light flickerings. Most chalk that up to standard Waffle House fare, but some employees even claim that bloodstains have mysteriously appeared and disappeared when shifting around boxes in the back freezer, and they sometimes feel invisible presences watching them.
Hollybrook Apartments Street Spectre
All those passing through Hollybrook Condominiums once the sun has set should obey the 15 miles per hour speed limit if they want to dodge an encounter with an unnamed street spectre. The ghost, donning a translucent pink night gown, is said to appear on the left of speeding drivers ominously motioning them to slow down. Drivers have claimed to take a glance back only to see her ghostly form fade away in the night air.
Broward College’s Bloody Building 5
2002 was a violent year for South Florida. On top of the Waffle House murders, it was also host to a murder-suicide on the Broward College Central Campus. In the early hours before 11 a.m, Mike Holness shot his ex-girlfriend Moriah Ann Pierce in the back of the head before proceeding to kill himself outside Building 5. Some Broward College students claim to smell a strong metallic scent and spot a pair of ghostly phantoms outside Building 5 late at night, and the myth persists to this day.
House of Horror Haunted Carnival (Ends November 4)
Those seeking a decent selection of rides as well as a decent haunted house and are willing to take a ride out to the International Mall will find the House of Horror Haunted Carnival, open until November 4. The haunted house consists mainly of a walkthrough with some jump-scares and cheesy props, but only a smattering of actors throughout. Overall, it’s an okay way to spend a Friday night, but doesn’t particularly warrant a lengthy trip unless the unlimited carnival rides outweigh the thirst for a scare. If it ever moves closer, it may warrant a try. For more information on the House of Horror Haunted Carnival and to order tickets, visit https://www.houseofhorrorcarnival.com/.
South Florida Fright Nights (Ends October 28)
This year’s Fright Nights at the South Florida Fairgrounds is as popular as ever. At Fright Nights, $30 nets visitors park admission and 30 Fright Tickets. Each haunt costs seven tickets and each ride costs anywhere from one to three tickets, with additional Fright Tickets on sale in the park for $1 a ticket. Though it’s a hefty price to pay, admission covers one go at each of the four main haunts this year, including Occultus, a haunt based on the Salem Witch Trials, Metamorphosis, a darker take on the story of Dr. Frankenstein, Shutter, a maze to escape a serial killer and The Cuckoo’s Nest, an asylum haunt, as well as up to two rides. With only two days remaining, those interested should reserve tickets as soon as possible. For more information on Fright Nights 2017 and to order tickets, visit http://www.myfrightnights.com/.
Though it may take some planning and driving, those seeking scares can get much out of a South Floridian Halloween.
Featured photo by Ryan Sullivan