St. Petersburg is an amazing city to explore. One of the many beautiful cities in the Tampa Bay area, it’s got something to offer everyone. From restaurants and shopping to recreational activities, St. Petersburg is bursting with things to do. It’s also full of culture, history, and even mystery.
Since being founded in 1888, St. Petersburg has collected a long list of stories and seen its fair share of tragedies. It’s also had many buildings with stunning architecture pop up within its borders. One of the most interesting of these buildings is The Comfort Station Number One. If you want to take a ghost story tour around Tampa, go here.
An Interesting History
A comfort station is a unique concept. It’s a building created for the specific purpose of housing a public restroom. In the early part of the last century, these buildings were popping up in busy areas to serve the growing number of people concentrated in cities.
In 1927, St. Petersburg was quickly becoming one of those busy cities. Busy shops and bustling restaurants were popping up along the streets. The area was also being filled with stunning architecture and grand homes.
These new busy streets created a need for a public restroom. However, the city leaders didn’t want to take away from the beautiful buildings and homes emerging in the area. They set forth on a plan to build a comfort station that would fit into the stunning architecture and design aesthetic.
Henry S. Taylor had done a miraculous job designing The Vinoy Hotel so he was entrusted with the task of creating the comfort station. Taylor came up with an innovative, octagon-shaped design for the structure. With a Romanesque Revival style, the building fit right into the diverse architecture of the area.
The building was dubbed Comfort Station One and it soon gained national attention. It was featured in the press for its beauty as well as function. The unique design and high-end materials made it one of the most impressive restrooms ever created.
Today, Comfort Station One still sits on the corner of Bayshore Drive and Second Avenue. Its brick facade is nestled amongst the lush foliage. The arched windows and stunning tile roof make it one of the most beautiful buildings in the city. It’s definitely not an unattractive place to take a break and use the restroom.
Many Comfort Station visitors have received more than they bargained for. The unassuming bathroom building seems to hold secrets of the past. Mysterious sightings have happened more than a few times inside the eight brick walls.
The Ladies Room
The ladies room has been reported to be particularly active. One tourist unexpectedly encountered a mysterious woman from the past while traveling with her sister. She entered the empty bathroom and experienced an unexplainable event.
After closing her stall door, she clearly heard a voice in the stall next to her. Knowing that the bathroom was empty when she entered, she called out for her sister, hoping she had decided to come inside. However, the voice that responded was not the familiar voice of her sibling.
A woman with an old crackly voice responded and told her that her name was Agnes. She went on to explain that she had been there for a long time. The tourist grew more suspicious and looked down hoping to see the shoes of her sister, thinking she was playing a joke on her.
However, when she glanced down, all she could see were old, brown shoes that looked like they were from hundreds of years ago. She rushed out of the stall only to find that the stall next to her was completely empty. Hurriedly, the tourist ran out of the bathroom to tell her sister what had happened. Her sister was shocked as she had been waiting the whole time and hadn’t seen anyone enter or exit the bathroom.
Many Comfort Station visitors have encountered mysterious figures when washing their hands. The experience leaves them startled and confused. A lot of people exit the bathroom shocked by what has occurred.
One visitor reported that when she looked in the mirror while washing her hands, a blurry figure was staring back at her. It appeared less than friendly and growled aggressively at her. The woman ran from the comfort station, promising herself never to use it again.
Others have seen the same odd figures behind them when they glance in the mirror. Some of the apparitions appear innocent and harmless. Just as quickly as they appear, they fade away right before their eyes.
A bathroom visitor, also on the ladies side, says she saw a head in the toilet bowl. Shocked, she quickly backed away. Even though the head disappeared, she was unable to force herself to use the restroom at The Comfort Station that day.
Many Comfort Station visitors have reported undeniable feelings that they just can’t shake. They enter the bathroom and immediately feel an eerie presence. Some even say the temperature has suddenly changed when they were using the restroom.
The mirrors inside Comfort Station are said to mysteriously fog up. A sign of breath will appear like magic on the shiny glass surfaces. Then, without reason, the mirror will be completely clear again.
The weather in St. Petersburg is often hot and humid. However, that’s not always true inside The Comfort Station. Sometimes, a cold draft will sweep through the space, leaving visitors confused and alarmed. Cold spots have been felt by some when walking in and out of the restroom.
The stall doors seem to have a life of their own at times. People have entered the empty restroom to witness the doors opening and closing. Then, suddenly, the space becomes completely still.
St. Mary’s Church
Many people refer to the Comfort Station as little St. Mary’s. After Henry Taylor designed the restroom building, he set to work on the church. With the great response he received about the Comfort Station, he modeled St. Mary’s after it. Some believe that the restroom was a way for him to work out his design plans.
The church has the same unique octagonal shape and arched windows. The Romanesque Revival details like the dome and tile roof are also the same. Even though they are used for vastly different purposes, the two buildings are nearly replicas aside from their size difference.
Taylor’s Other Haunt
Henry Taylor has a knack for designing buildings that spirits love. One of his other architectural achievements was The Vinoy Park Hotel. Taylor created the hotel’s unique design in 1925 and it has been famous ever since.
The hotel is a popular spot for those in town for baseball games. Many baseball players and team staff members have reportedly spotted strange figures. Eerie noises have been heard that sound like water splashing and floor boards creaking. Despite these odd occurrences, The Vinoy remains a favorite for it’s baseball playing guests.
Checking Out The Comfort Station
The Comfort Station Number One can be found at the entrance to the pier near the Natural History Museum. It’s open to the public so it’s super easy to pop in for a visit.
Make sure to stay alert while in The Comfort Station. Pay attention to experience even the slight presence or eerie feeling. Be ready when washing your hands and checking out the mirror. You might even get to have a surprise conversation with Agnes.
Haunted St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg is known for its sunny days and beautiful waters. It’s balmy weather makes it a great choice for spending the day in the sun. However, when night falls, mystery awakens the streets of the city.
From haunted hotels to spirit filled schools, the area has tons of opportunity for those seeking the supernatural. Eerie experiences can be had even on the nearby bridges. St. Petersburg definitely has plenty of mysterious happenings under its swaying palms.