The city of Tampa located in Florida is just the place to be, what with the beautiful fauna and flora. Not to mention the skyline of downtown Tampa that is just simply breathtaking. The whole area is filled with many many businesses, restaurants, and landmarks that will always have a place in history. Touring the variety of things that Tampa has to offer will create opportunities for entertainment that goes unmatched.
Incorporated as a town in 1855, Tampa has never stopped developing and growing and consequently became the wonderful, sprawling city that it is today. Over those years, more and more people enter the melting pot leading the city to have a diverse and accepting population. Thanks to that, cultural influence and evolving architectural styles have created unique and beautiful streets that are truly a marvel to all.
And for those who are interested, it also offers unique paranormal experiences ranging from the classic graveyard to haunted theatres. The main focus of today, however, will be on the haunted Myrtle Hill Cemetery, established in 1917, The cemetery can be found on East Lake Avenue, in well, you guessed it, Tampa.
The Myrtle Hill Cemetery
Also known as Myrtle Hill Memorial Park, the cemetery began providing burial services to the greater Tampa area in 1917. The founders of Myrtle Hill, Daniel S. Wells, T.O. Wilson and Clifton Benson established the cemetery on a 105-acre tract of land in northeastern Hillsborough County. A.C. Clewis and George B. Howell took ownership of the cemetery in 1932.
Never does the cemetery go unforgotten as today, the cemetery has a garden mausoleum with a chapel area constructed in the early 1960s. A dedicated Catholic garden opened in 1926 when the nearby Catholic Church closed its own cemetery in Tampa and transferred approximately 100 burials to Myrtle Hill.
The stunning palms stretch above the expanse of the grounds. From outside, the cemetery looks inviting and harmless. However, more than a few mysterious happenings have occurred within the sun-filled grounds.
Paranormal Investigator Kim
This section will cover the email sent by a paranormal investigator, Kim, to another investigator, Terry; it is long and goes into depth about the grounds and specifically one of the active ghosts, Stephanie. After this section, there will be a summary of this email; another thing to note is this occurred in 2012.
It goes as follows, “Thank you so much for contacting me. Yes, we do feel that Stephanie is a spirit at the mausoleum there. I have her last name on the tip of my tongue. In fact, I’m usually the one who CAN remember her last name, as often my colleagues tend to forget it. Ugh! How weird!! I do believe it begins with a “C.” If I remember, I will certainly email you.”
I can tell you this though, I have been in touch with her best friend. This girl recently emailed us in regards to Stephanie and how she met her untimely fate. Apparently, Stephanie was driving home one very rainy and stormy night when she lost control of her car. She hit a group of trees. When she was found, she was draped over the gear shift which had impaled her liver, causing her to bleed to death before help could be given.
Very sad, as I do believe she was only 16 at the time. Stephanie’s best friend also told us a bit of info on her family. From what I understand, her mother once worked at Myrtle Hill selling cemetery plots. Stephanie’s best friend does not deny that she is a restless soul. I know that I have felt her energy around me many times, and we have received high readings just around her crypt face.
Now, according to her friend, Stephanie always loved playing with Barbie Dolls. I know she was a teen when she died, but she still loved her dolls. Her friend has mentioned bringing her a Barbie Doll upon visiting next. Maybe an idea for you all if you have one, or wish to purchase an inexpensive one?
Stephanie’s final resting spot is located in the Garden of Peace Memorial Cemetery section of Myrtle Hill. When coming from the highway (not sure of how you will be arriving), you will see the cemetery where Stephanie is on your right.
There are three parts of the cemetery. The original Myrtle Hill section is on the left. It is very old and historic. I would advise NOT going to that one at night as it is heavily patrolled by police. It is also the section that receives the most vandalism, hence why police activity there is so heavy.
I was once told by an officer there that there are some “sketchy” individuals that roam the grounds at night and some like to even perform satanic-like rituals on top of the graves. So just be careful.
In the section where Stephanie is located, I have never seen police, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Sometimes the mausoleum is locked, so just be ready for that. I would say, 95% of the time it is not. You will see the mausoleum upon entrance; you can’t miss it. When you enter, Stephanie’s crypt face will be on your left. There is a picture of her.
There are also niches in the center of the cemetery, which I would encourage you to check out. Had some amazing experiences there. Finally, do not leave without going to the far end, just past the middle section of the cemetery.
There is a third section, the newest part, of Myrtle Hill. There, you will find a large, open-air style mausoleum. Some of my scariest moments have been there, and just outside of it. Once again though, there is some police activity in that portion…but, in addition to the “living” police officers you will sometimes find patrolling, there are also phantom police.
I have done some research on this and found there are some police officers buried there. Really bizarre stuff going on over there. Anyhow, I hope this helps you a bit. If you have any questions for me, please feel free to contact me again. Good luck on your investigation!” And that concludes Kim’s email, most of which is fascinating given that it is a first-hand account that can be found in no other place.
Other Eerie Happenings
Those that have been brave enough to wander the grounds of Myrtle Hill at night have also reported eerie sights and sounds. Many have said that they have the undeniable feeling of another presence in the otherwise empty cemetery. A chilling uneasiness has come over those when they enter the impressive white gates.
Signs of the cemetery’s rich past remain on the grounds. Visitors have caught whiffs of old perfume. Orbs have been spotted floating amongst the gravestones and captured in photographs. Faint, mysterious sounds have been heard coming through the damp night air.
The Paranormal of Myrtle Hill
As a recap, Myrtle Hill Cemetery, also known as Myrtle Hill Memorial Park is a cemetery established in 1917 that today features three distinct sections with mausoleums. As far as hauntings go at cemeteries, Myrtle Hill is pretty tame compared to other haunted cemeteries such as the Bonaventure Cemetery of Savannah, Georgia. However, a visit can prove memorable if you catch a glimpse of a supernatural happening.
The main ghost of this cemetery is a teenager that goes by Stephanie Ann Culbertson, a young woman who died in a car crash at the age of 16. Her grave lies within a mausoleum in the Garden of Peace, which is sad and ironic given that her soul is not at peace. Aside from Stephanie, you also have the chance to spot police officers, both alive and dead. Regardless, Myrtle Hill is a must if you are a paranormal enthusiast.