HAUNTED FORT LAUDERDALE
The Stranahan House, Fort Lauderdale.
Stranahan House, Built in 1906, for Pioneer
Floridian Frank Stranahan, This is one
of Haunted Fort Lauderdale's most haunted
houses. Built in 1906, for Pioneer Floridian
Stranahan House has served as a trading
post, post office, bank and town hall.
Restored to its 1913, it's a "must
see" in Haunted South Florida.
Stranahan was born in Vienna, Ohio August
21, 1864. In 1890, he relocated to South
Florida for health reasons, settling
first in Melbourne. Moving again in
1893, Stranahan relocated to Fort Lauderdale
to assume management of the overland
mail route from Lantana to Coconut Grove.
Stranahan established the first post
office in Fort Lauderdale, and the
location also became a popular trading
post and ferry service. By 1895, Stranahan’s
Trading Post was a well-known South
Florida landmark. Stranahan also established
the first banking institution in Fort
Lauderdale and financed the construction
of the first road from the New River
to Miami. He became one of the largest
land owners in the area but gave away
large portions of his land for public
welfare, including sites for the memorial
Hospital and Stranahan Park.
Frank Stranahan married the lovely
Ivy Cromartie and used his newly acquired
wealth to build her a home whose charm
and beauty would endure into the 21st
century. Today Stranahan’s labor
of love serves as a unique –
and haunted – museum.
Stranahan died in the
city on June 23, 1929 but his life story
had a sad end. Legend tells that he
committed suicide after having sunk
into financial ruin in 1927 when he
lost most of his wealth and holdings
in the aftermath of a devastating hurricane
and then being further victimized by
the arrival of the Great Depression.
Stranahan lost a battle with depression,
compounded by the fact that it was not
only his own money and assets that were
lost, but also those of his family and
friends who had entrusted their life
savings to his financial management.
Stranahan's demise was his own doing
and remains an oddly unique departure:
He methodically strapped a large iron
gate to his ankle and threw himself
into the nearby Intercoastal Waterway.
The weight of the gate assured that
he would not be able to alter his
course of action even if he had wanted
to. But many say that Stranahan may
have found his way back to the home
he knew in life, returning as a ghost
from the watery depths that claimed
Locals say that Frank Stranahan is
still in residence at the home he
built with such loving care. Reports
of strange apparitions and ghostly
noises have come from rattle staff
members. Because Stranahan is considered
one of the founding fathers of Fort
Lauderdale, ghostly happenings at
his former residence still make the
news. Reports about the Haunted Stranahan
House have been featured on local
radio stations and in the local newspaper,
the Sun-Sentinel News.
But its not just Frank Stranahan
who remains an unseen resident at
this historic haunted home. As many
as six family members have died in
the house. The ghost of Ivy Cromartie
Stranahan, who died in an upstairs
bedroom in 1971, is reported to appear
accompanied by the strong scent of
an antique fragrance. The uneasy ghost
of her father, Augustus Cromartie,
who died in that same bedroom years
before, is reported to make his presence
known on occasion; other ghostly residents
include Ivy’s brother and sister
and the apparition of an Indian servant
girl seen outside the rear of the
Reports of unearthly activities are
made by employees, guests and visitors
from time to time. Even vagrants who
used to habitually sleep on the expansive
exterior porch area (now fenced off)
reportedly didn’t have to wait
for employees or security guards to
drive them away. Accounts from the
squatters tell of encounters with
an angry spirit who shows his displeasure
by banging on the walls of the building
preventing the vagrants from getting
any rest. One homeless man reported
being chased away from the home by
an unseen but angry spirit that only
broke off the pursuit once the vagrant
had reached the property line.
The third floor attic space is the
site of much activity. Employees who
sometimes have to go to the attic
have reported the presence of a spirit
in the area and sometimes the cold
touch of a hand upon their back. Reports
seem to support the contention that
this is the ghost of Ivy Cromartie
Stranahan attempting to assure that
the employee does not fall from the
attic. Apparently, the possibility
of an employee being injured was one
of Ivy’s great fears in this
area. In the bedroom where Ivy died,
the beds are made and re-made. Every
time the bed is straightened the housekeeping
staff will inevitably return the next
day to find an imprint as if someone
had sat down and steadied themselves
with a heavy hand on the bed. This
occurs even though the bedroom is
off limits most of the day, and the
last staff members to be in the room
work the evening shift.
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Lauderdale Ghost Tour
In one tour, local paranormal enthusiast John
Carr leads his 60-90-minute walking tours
that can spook even the most jaded non-believers.
He tells the story of visitors spotting an
adorable eight-year-old girl with blond, curly
hair and vintage white dress strolling alone
through the historic section of Fort Lauderdale.
A second glance, however, and the little girl
vanishes without a trace.
tour also visits the New Rivers Sailboat Bend,
site of the infamous Cooley Hammock Massacre
of the 1830s. The legend begins with the murder
of a local Native American chief by white
settlers. In revenge, a Native American raiding
party descended upon the home of William Cooley,
the Justice of the Peace. The band killed
Cooley, his wife, their three children and
the children's tutor. To this day, the family's
screams echo through Sailboat Bend each January.
year-round, the Fort Lauderdale Ghost Tour
departs from Southeast Sixth Avenue and Las
Olas Boulevard twice each Friday and Saturday
evening and three times each Sundays. Prices
are $15 for adults and $10 for children. For
reservations call 954-290-9328
riverside museum. Intriguing insight into
early Haunted Fort Lauderdale life. Originally
a trading post for Seminole Indians from the
Stranahan Married Ivy Cromartie and with his
wealth and love begin building her a home
so charming and enduring it serves today as
a unique haunted South Florida museum.
tours of the Haunted Stranahan House are available!
For more information on the Stranahan House
or other Haunted Fort Lauderdale destinations,
visit the link below!