Greater Fort Lauderdale is known for miles of sandy beaches, watersports, epic culinary gems, shopping, and a host of other delights. Yet, what many may not realize is the treasure trove of historical sites that lie waiting to be discovered. Beyond our lively streets and shimmering waterways, you'll find intriguing local stories that offer insights into the area's rich heritage. Here are four captivating historical gems to explore during your stay, perfect for embracing the spirit of Halloween and beyond.


Historic Stranahan House Museum
Stranahan House

Set along Fort Lauderdale’s New River, the Historic Stranahan House Museum is a testament to the area's rich heritage. Built in 1901 by Frank Stranahan—considered Fort Lauderdale's founding father—and his wife Ivy Cromartie Stranahan, the house served as a trading post, post office, and gathering place for early pioneers. Today, it’s recognized as the oldest surviving structure in the city, meticulously preserved to offer visitors a glimpse into the past and a deeper understanding of Fort Lauderdale's history. 

The Stranahan House Museum is said to be haunted by at least six ghosts who roam the property. One of which is Frank. Visitors have reported seeing his apparition in the river. 


Fort Lauderdale Fire and Safety Museum

Fort Lauderdale Fire and Safety Museum

This once-active Las Olas Boulevard firehouse has since transformed into the non-profit educational Fort Lauderdale Fire and Safety Museum. The museum educates the public about the fire department's history, tradition, and service of its heroes.

Although it serves as a place of education today, the museum still harbors the lingering presence of souls who tragically lost their lives in fires or on the job. Most notable is the spirit of Robert Leland Knight, the first firefighter in Fort Lauderdale to die in the line of duty. He is said to pull ghostly-humored pranks on visitors, while some have reported feeling tingling sensations running up their legs while on site.  


The Old Davie School Historical Museum
Old Davie School

The Old Davie School Historical Museum was constructed in 1918 and served as the first permanent school building in the area. It played a vital role in educating children in Davie and the surrounding Everglades until it closed down following changes in the educational system and the construction of larger schools in town. It has since been preserved and converted into a historical museum, offering visitors a window into the school's early years and the community's vibrant history through its exhibits and collections.

Visitors say they hear voices inside the classrooms and get “weird feelings” when walking the grounds. Investigators from paranormal groups have all picked up EVPs (electronic voice phenomena) of young students who once roamed the halls. Check out their website for tickets to their ghost tours.  

Old Davie School

History Fort Lauderdale 

Philemon Nathaniel Bryan built the New River Inn in 1905 to accommodate visitors and travelers who arrived in the area by steamship. He lived in the hotel during his final decade—until he passed away. The New River Inn operated as a hotel until 1955, when it fell into disrepair. It now houses the History Fort Lauderdale.

Like many historic buildings in town, the New River Inn became the subject of local legends and stories regarding paranormal activity. These stories often involve sightings of apparitions, footsteps when no one is around, and the feeling of being watched. One of the most well-known ghostly figures associated with the New River Inn is that of a young girl—said to be LuLu Marshall, a child in Ivy Stranahan’s first class of elementary students in 1899. Visitors have reported seeing her in vintage clothing, playing in the hallways, or peering out of windows.