South Florida by the numbers: Halloween 2013 edition

Curtiss Mansion in Miami Springs
Curtiss Mansion in Miami Springs

“South Florida by the numbers” is a feature that catalogues the most notable, quirky and surprising real estate statistics. The connections between Halloween and real estate are … well … scary. Isn’t trick or treating just another form of negotiating and selling? (Of course, all those unknown visitors knocking on your door can feel a bit like hosting an open house.) Plenty of folks like to dress up their homes for Halloween, and the simple act of putting on a costume is a bit like redecorating! And once you get all that candy home, it’s imperative that you sort, prioritize and protect your assets from sneaky siblings (and parents.) Still not convinced? What do you wait in line to visit on Halloween — haunted cars? Haunted coffee shops? Haunted nail salons? Nope — those would be haunted houses. So, light up that jack-o’-lantern and enjoy another edition of South Florida by the numbers!

Age of Agnes Scuffs when she backed out of her wedding (the day before) to Edward Leedskalnin, who went on to build the legendary Coral Castle as a tribute to her. The Castle is shrouded in mystery, from the unanswered questions about how Leedskalnin managed to build the castle with no outside assistance or large machinery, to rumors that he cured his own tuberculosis through the use of magnets. [Coral Castle]

Year in which South Florida’s League of Paranormal Investigators conducted an extensive investigation of the renowned Deering Estate at Cutler, located in Palmetto Bay. The Estate has six historic houses, three archeological sites, 450 acres of protected natural areas, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Their investigation revealed “high levels of paranormal activity”, including apparitions, inexplicable light anomalies, “aura energy”, and recordings of whispers and voices from unknown sources. [League of Paranormal Investigators]

11 p.m.
Time of each day when, at the Miami River Inn, visitors have consistently (and allegedly) reported hearing “a series of sounds and witness(ing) some events”, including doors opening and closing loudly, sounds of feet wiping on floors and running toward doors; door knobs shaking, and various crashing noises. [Haunted Houses]

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Age of the Curtiss Mansion in Miami Springs; former and historic home of aviation mogul Glenn Curtiss. The home was reopened in 2012 after decades of disrepair, and is “long rumored to be a bastion of ghostly activity.” (What kind of mansion has its own operating room?) [Miami New Times]

The floor of The Biltmore Hotel which used to house a casino and speakeasy during Prohibition, and where gangster Thomas “Fatty” Walsh was murdered during a party. According to legend, Walsh’s ghost still inhabits the hotel, and its elevators have been rumored to stop on the 13th floor for no apparent reason. During World War II, the hotel served as a military hospital where many injured solider lost their lives, and spirits in army uniforms are said to roam the halls. [USA Today]

Year in which Villa Paula — a beautiful, neo-classical mansion in what is now Little Haiti — was built for the Cuban consulate general. It was named for his wife, Paula, who later died after complications resulting from a leg amputation. Paula’s ghost is rumored to visit from time to time, and an inordinate number of cats have reportedly been killed by the home’s swinging front iron gate, according to neighbors and former owners. [Haunted Houses]

This column is produced by the Master Brokers Forum, a network of South Florida real estate professionals, where membership is by invitation only and based on outstanding production, as well as ethical and professional behavior.