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Overlooking the Matanzas Bay, this beautiful Mediterranean Revival style inn was originally called the Matanzas Hotel and the Bayfront Boarding House. Throughout its century of existence, it has hosted many travelers, served as a home to boarders and been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
During its early days as a boarding house, the Casablanca was home to children and families and a refuge for traveling salesmen. The owner provided a warm and welcoming place for people to live and stay and the establishment earned a reputation for its cleanliness, great food and friendly service.
While the Casablanca was very popular, in the 1920s the owner found herself suffering financially and struggling to keep the place open.
Although she had always been a law abiding citizen, the business woman was entranced by the opportunity to make more money working for bootleggers. It would end up being the one thing that saved her business and helped her keep her building. So, although prohibition was at its height, she agreed to aid rum-runners who were smuggling alcohol into the city by way of the sea. The arrangement meant that she would signal the bootleggers when it was all clear to bring in the illegal cargo by waving a lantern in the window. She also allowed some of the smugglers to stay at her hotel and sell their liquor to her guests; because even though alcohol was illegal, many people still wanted it. She continued to be a part of this illegal alcohol ring for many years and was never caught; although she was questioned more than once.
Through the years, many visiting the now prestigious inn have reported sighting the lady who owned the building so long ago. Others have said they’ve seen a lantern waving in the window; and staff as well as guests have heard the sound of footsteps in the hall when no one was there.
A female guest reported that she took a photo of herself in the mirror, but when the pictures came back, there was another woman standing next to her. Others say they can smell the scent of oranges, but only for a fleeting moment and then it is gone.
Many have witnessed a misty fog that floats through the air in several different spots around the inn, including the halls, guest rooms and the property outside.
Many visitors have also said they’ve seen and heard children playing in different rooms inside the inn; although no children were anywhere in sight. And others felt like someone was touching their shoulder, even though they were alone in a room.
Is the ghost of the long-time owner and operator of the Casablanca Inn lingering among the living? Many believe the apparitions to be her. If you believe in the paranormal or are even just a bit curious, make it a point to visit this historic inn to discover the truth for yourself.