- GROUPS & MEETINGS
Learn some local history and maybe commune with the paranormal a little on a Safety Harbor Ghost Tour the next time you call Sirata Beach Resort your home away from home on the Pinellas County, FL waterfront!
Safety Harbor is one of the most historically rich corners of Tampa Bay, and taking one of these 90-minute walking tours is an enthralling way to delve into the past and the realm of the spirits.
Locally run by resident, storyteller, and paranormal enthusiast Laura Dent, Safety Harbor Ghost Tours cover a leisurely but information-packed mile through the lovely streets of the community’s downtown, once the site of a Tocobago Indian village considered a “Temple Community” for its ceremonial infrastructure. (One of the few remaining Tocobago mounds in the vicinity lies here in Philippe Park.)
You’ll learn a bit about that indigenous heritage and some fascinating Tocobago mythology as well as other chapters of Safety Harbor’s backstory, from Spanish conquistadors, pirates, and settlers of the Tampa Bay Frontier to mobsters and celebrities. Much of the area’s 6,000-plus-year-old human history revolves around the network of mineral springs—the Espiritu Santo Springs, the “Springs of the Holy Spirit”—linked among many other Florida sites with the legend of the Fountain of Youth that so captivated Ponce de Leon and Hernando de Soto, who called Old Tampa Bay the “Bay of the Holy Spirit” (Bahia Espiritu Santo).
Along with the hard (and engrossing) facts of history, you’ll also get acquainted with Safety Harbor’s deep well of mysteries and legends. That includes haunted hotels and other paranormal sites as well as reputed sightings of UFOs and Florida’s very own version of Bigfoot, the swamp ape. The tour operators encourage you to bring along your camera, just on the off chance you’re among the lucky shutterbugs who happens to catch an orb or apparition during the outing, as has occurred in the past.
This family-friendly experience isn’t about lurid, sensationalized ghost stories. “We conduct our tours with great respect for the ‘out of body people,’” the Safety Harbor Tours website states, and indeed your guide has had her own supernatural encounters and takes that paranormal sphere seriously.
From its historic architecture and remarkable Tocobago legacy to the possible spirits still hanging about, Safety Harbor makes an illuminating destination for a Tampa Bay day trip during your gulfside stay at Sirata Beach Resort. Muster up some courage and take a ghostly walking tour on your next visit with us!