Take a Spine-Tingling Tour Of Florida’s Most Haunted Home

May-Stringer House, Brooksville, Florida
May-Stringer House, Brooksville, Florida | Photo Credit: Wikimedia - Ebyabe

Known for its eerie title of being “Florida’s Most Haunted Home”, the May-Stringer House is a beautiful 14-room, elegant Painted Lady mansion. Standing four stories tall, the home is rumored to be the home of numerous ghostly inhabitants that have intrigued dozens of paranormal investigators. Visitors to the home can learn not only the history of the stunning home, but also of local history and view period furnishings. 

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Before Florida even became a state, the United States government passed the Armed Occupation Act. This act granted land to any settler who would move to Florida Territory, establish a dwelling, and maintain the residence for at least five years. If this was accomplished, the settler would be granted 160 acres of land. The land that the May-Stringer House stands upon was first claimed through this act by Richard Wiggins.

Mr. Wiggins later sold the land in 1855 to John L. May who came to the area with his wife Marena and their two daughters, Matilda and Annie. The May’s built a four-room house on the property that was to be used as a plantation in which slaves conducted work around the farm and home.

When John died of tuberculosis in 1858, Marena decided to stay in the home and continue operating the land as her husband would have. Her perseverance continued on throughout the duration of the Civil War. After the war, Marena met Confederate veteran Frank Saxon. The two were married shortly after. Marena and Frank had a son who died in infancy before the birth of their daughter Jessie Mae in 1869. Marena passed away in childbirth with Jessie Mae. The death of his wife left Frank devasted and yet tragedy struck again in 1872, when Jessie Mae died of unknown causes at the age of 31.

By the time that Frank remarried to Tallulah Hope, the home had seen its share of war, death and tragedy. Tallulah only lived in the four-room house for a short period of time before saying there was an uncomfortable feeling in the home. She claimed there was “too much sadness” within the walls on the house. Frank and Tallulah sold the home to Dr. Sheldon Stringer.

After Dr. Stringer and his family took up residence in the home, he determined it needed to be much larger to suit the needs of his family and medical practice. He had the home added onto which extended the home with 10 more rooms, leading to the 14-room total. It also was Dr. Stringer who ensured the home be brought into elegant existence with the addition of Victorian architecture and wood trim.

The home was used as both a private residence for Dr. Stringer and a medical office where he could see his patients. The rooms were divided off with pocket doors to give both his patients and family privacy. The Stringer family lived in the home until 1945. Between the late 1940s and 1980s, the house passed through various owners being converted to apartments, left abandoned or utilized by the local homeless. The Hernando County Historical Society obtained the home in the 1980s and spent 17 years raising funding and restoring the home to its former glory. Today, the society offers tours of the home and grounds with over 10,000 artifacts on display!  

Things to See

Visitors to the May-Stringer House can view the intricate details that went into creating the home. What once began as a four-room dwelling, was added onto to become the present day masterpiece. With 7 gables and carefully carved gingerbread trim, the home stands out as a Brooksville icon.

The rooms within the house have been restored to showcase the former uses and styles of the mansion. This is meant to give a glimpse into the history of the location. The rooms within the home have period themes dating back to the early years and to the days of being used as medical practice. Tours take visitors into the dining room, bedrooms and even a replica 1880s doctor office. There is also a 1900s communication room and a room dedicated to military history and objects.

Haunted Occurances

Whether you believe in ghosts or not, the May-Stringer House is notoriously spooky and hundreds of visitors have all said the same thing “it is haunted’! As the house rose to eerie fame, over 80 paranormal investigators have conducted studies in the home. Their work has revealed that an estimated 11 different ghosts remain within the home and grounds. It is also rumored that some of the May family and their slaves are buried on the grounds.

Both museum guides and visitors have claimed to witness various paranormal energy and observances. Some of these include hearing footsteps in empty rooms, feeling cold bursts of air, catching glimpses of eerie shadows and the sound of crying children with no one around. In addition to an occasional photo filled with glowing orbs, there have also been witnesses to objects moving about in midair or disappearing and being found in a different room.

Plan Your Visit

The May-Stringer House is located at 601 Museum Court in Brooksville, Florida.

The home is operated for visitors by the Hernando County Historical Museum. Tours of the May-Stringer House are offered from Tuesday-Saturday between the hours of 11 am and 3pm, with the last tour departing at 2pm. The home offers standard guided tours of the home and on occasion offers ghost tours.

If you enjoyed reading this post or have visited the May-Stringer House before, leave a comment below or share this post on your favorite social media!

  1. Wikipedia – May Stringer House ↩︎


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