Haunting of Biltmore Hotel – Miami, Florida

  • By: Gareth Popovic
  • Date: 26 January 2024
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Introduction of Biltmore Hotel

The Biltmore Hotel stands out as a portal to the unknown as well as a beacon of sophistication in the center of Miami, Florida. An unsettling undercurrent runs through the history of this architectural marvel, and as dusk falls on it, the shadows created by its graceful façade unveil a darker story.

Biltmore Hotel Marker
Biltmore Hotel Marker – Credit hmdb

History of Biltmore Hotel

Constructed in 1926 during Florida’s land boom, the Biltmore Hotel in Miami resulted from a partnership between George E. Merrick and John McEntee Bowman. The hotel quickly became synonymous with luxury, hosting renowned figures like The Duke and the Duchess of Windsor. It marked a shift in Florida’s landscape, providing a center for sports, fashion, and opulent events.

The Biltmore’s history took a sad turn during World War II when it was converted into Pratt General Hospital. An unsettling element was given by tales of Thomas “Fatty” Walsh, a mobster slain in a gambling altercation in 1929. There are rumors that his ghost haunts the hotel, interfering with the elevators and producing unexplained happenings on the thirteenth floor. Ghostly figures, mysterious happenings, and supernatural encounters are common themes in post-war stories.

In addition to its historical magnificence, the Biltmore is a cultural monument that has been used for medical purposes, weddings, and golf events. Its significance is increased by its appearance in movies and television shows. Today, as a protected site, it welcomes history buffs and ghost seekers to discover its intriguing past.

Historic Biltmore Hotel – Credit flashbackmiami

Haunting Legends and Supernatural Phenomena

Ghostly Fatty – Haunted 13th Floor

A story embroiled in the history of the Gatsby Era is hidden beneath the sumptuous exterior of the Biltmore Hotel. Thomas “Fatty” Walsh, the infamous mobster from New York, was killed on March 4, 1929, in his room during a gambling argument. The hotel’s past is haunted by rumors of his extravagant parties, his interactions with notorious people like Dutch Schultz, and his larger-than-life demeanor.

After Fatty’s demise, reports emerged of his spectral presence haunting the Biltmore. Witnesses claim to have seen him gallivanting in his room, a spectral reminder of his once-lavish lifestyle. Particularly chilling are encounters in the elevator, where, as legend has it, the 13th floor becomes an unexpected and eerie destination. Lights flicker on and off in Fatty’s former domain, creating an atmosphere steeped in supernatural intrigue.

Even former President Bill Clinton, during his stay at the Biltmore, attested to Fatty’s spectral influence, recounting an eerie episode where he was denied the simple pleasure of watching football on his television. In the grand tapestry of the Biltmore’s history, Fatty’s ghostly escapades add a layer of mystery that continues to captivate and haunt those who dare to explore the corridors of this iconic hotel.

Floating Soldiers – Haunted Bar

Beyond the enigmatic aura of Fatty Walsh, the Biltmore Hotel harbors a spectral tapestry woven with tales from its closure after World War II. As the echoes of that era persist, the hotel’s official storyteller, Linda Spitzer, unravels the chilling narratives etched into the walls.

During the post-war closure, intrepid high school kids ventured into the vacant Biltmore, where the paranormal became palpable. Witnessing figures with floating feet and encountering spectral soldiers in army uniforms, the haunting transcended ordinary ghost stories. The spectral symphony included the heart-wrenching cries of phantom babies, mysterious party noises resonating through silent halls, and bewildering instances of guests materializing and vanishing before the eyes of the perplexed clerk.

Amidst the multitude of apparitions, a prominent phantom emerges in recent accounts – a red-dressed woman fixated on the bar’s piano player. Her gaze, lingering like a mile-long stare, dissipates into thin air the moment the musician concludes his eerie ivory fandango. The Biltmore’s legacy goes beyond a singular ghost, embracing an array of supernatural tales that continue to weave an unsettling narrative, inviting those curious enough to delve into the hotel’s spectral history.

Popular Culture and Media Coverage of Biltmore Hotel

The Biltmore Hotel, renowned for its luxurious past and enigmatic charm, has been a main topic in a number of films and television shows that touch on the paranormal. Notably, it was featured prominently in the captivating program “Eternal Enigmas: Unveiling Eerie Secrets,” in which detectives explored the hotel’s spooky legends and horrific experiences.

In literature, the Biltmore Hotel has left an indelible mark, with books like “The Biltmore Hotel: An Enduring Legacy” by Jr. Samuel D. Laroue and “Haunted America: Florida” by Kara Michaels. These literary works unravel the supernatural stories surrounding the hotel, presenting captivating narratives of its spectral past.

For people who are interested in history and the paranormal, the Hotel is still a must-see location today. Its mysterious appearance in media and popular culture continues to enthrall visitors and fans alike. This historic site welcomes everyone looking for an immersive experience in its enthralling and enigmatic atmosphere. It radiates mystery and the strange.

How can I visit Biltmore Hotel?

Take a unique guided tour that explores Miami’s enigmatic and paranormal past, with a specific emphasis on the famous Biltmore Hotel. You will be greeted by your knowledgeable guide at the old Lummus Park, where the eerie ambiance sets the mood for the evening. Wander into the shadows and you’ll come across the ghosts of psychics, soldiers, mobsters, and even a murderer from the 1990s, all of whom are woven into the sinister tale of the city.

The journey unfolds across six iconic, haunted sites, with a spotlight on the chilling events that transpired at the Biltmore Hotel. Step back to July 15, 1997, and witness the haunting legacy of Gianni Versace’s tragic demise on the steps of his Miami mansion. Dive into the secrets hidden within the Tides Hotel, entangled with CIA mysteries, and confront the echoes of Capone’s influence in the heart of Espanola Way. Opt for the extended tour to explore five additional locations, with the Biltmore Hotel remaining at the forefront of the eerie narrative. Feel the spirits beckoning you to uncover the real Miami – a city shrouded in mystery and darkness, with the Biltmore Hotel standing as a focal point of spectral intrigue.


When the Biltmore Hotel is bathed in an ethereal glow by moonlight, the end of your stay signifies the finish of a mysterious trip. The hotel’s nocturnal lullaby is the echo of bygone eras echoing through its hallowed hallways and the faint murmur of unspoken stories. As one leaves this opulent sanctuary, they can’t help but sense a connection to the mysterious souls that slumber there. With its enigmatic charm, The Biltmore goes beyond the ordinary hotel experience, presenting visitors with a lasting impression that, behind the glitz, there’s a world where the ostentatious and the macabre collide, making a lasting impression on those who have ventured through its frightening hallways.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Where is Biltmore Hotel located?

A: The Biltmore Hotel is located in Miami, Florida.

Q: Are the Biltmore Hotel legends based on real accounts?

A: Absolutely. The legends surrounding the Biltmore Hotel are rooted in real experiences, witnessed by visitors, staff, and even documented by official storytellers like Linda Spitzer.

Q: Can guests encounter Fatty Walsh’s ghost during their stay?

A: While encounters with Fatty Walsh have been reported, the hotel boasts a multitude of specters. Ghostly soldiers, crying babies, and vanishing guests contribute to the supernatural ambiance.

Q: Is the 13th floor truly haunted, as stories suggest?

A: Yes, stories of the 13th floor being haunted persist. Elevators stopping unexpectedly, doors refusing to close, and lights blinking on and off create an eerie atmosphere tied to Fatty Walsh’s legend.

Q: What role did the Biltmore Hotel play during World War II?

A: During World War II, the Biltmore transformed into Pratt General Hospital, hosting 1200 beds, operating theaters, and even a morgue. Its wartime history adds to the hotel’s mystique.

Q: Are there any ghostly manifestations associated with the red-dressed woman?

A: Yes, recent reports highlight a red-dressed woman at the bar, fixating on the piano player. Her spectral appearances and sudden vanishings contribute to the ongoing paranormal allure.

Q: Is there a guided tour of Biltmore Hotel and other haunted sites in Miami available?

A: Absolutely! Immerse yourself in the supernatural tales of Miami with our guided tour. Book your tour now for an unforgettable experience filled with eerie narratives and spectral encounters.

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