Sunday, October 24, 2010

Captain Tony’s Saloon - Key West, Florida

The island of Key West was discovered in the early 1500's by Ponce de Leon.  Originally they named the island "Cayo Hueso" which means "Isle of Bones".  They named it such because the island was totally covered in bones.  The island was the site of a previous massacre or it was some sort of Indian burial ground.  It is unknown for certain where these bones came from.
Key West, Florida

As water trade increased so did the population and eventually Key West was settled.  The site of Key West's first bar was established on top of part of these burial grounds. And to top that off, before the building became the first bar, it was the first morgue on Key West. The mortician dearly attached to his daughter, made her burial place inside the building.  As the trade increased, so did the pirating.  The hanging tree where pirates where hanged was located just outside of the morgue. 

Captain Tony's Saloon

Eventually the building was expanded and the establishment today is known today as Captain Tony's Saloon.   Some of you may already know of this bar.  It was immortalized in Jimmy Buffett's song "Last Mango in Paris".  

Many skeletons where found while digging for the building's addition and all were left undisturbed.  The structure was actually built around the hanging tree which still exists in the middle of the saloon as well as the mortician's daughter's tombstone which is now the billiard room.  It is said to be one of the most haunted places on Key West being subject of many strange paranormal occurrences and sightings.  One tale of a particular haunt is a woman who killed her husband was hanged from the tree that stands inside Captain Tony's.  Her apparition has been seen wandering around the premises believed to be looking for a new husband!  She can be seen wearing the same gray nightgown that she was hanged in.  Sometimes she is referred to as "The Lady in Gray".
The tombstone located in the billiard room at Captain Tony's

There are also tales of one of the bathrooms being haunted, particularly the women's room.  People have found that doors become locked for no apparent reason.  Reports of strange and eerie sensations that overcome you when entering the bathroom have deterred many from using it!  Could this be related to the ghost of the "widow" looking for a husband?

The hanging tree growing in the middle of Captain Tony's
 Key West on Dwellable


  1. Just came back from Key West a couple weeks ago and spent about 5 hours and Tonys...trying to escape the heat. New a little history of the place but not all. Thanks for the info!

  2. The first time I visited Key West was in 2004. I awoke with my bed shaking slightly and a female screaming that I go to the hanging tree at Captain Tony's. As I stood beneath the tree, I told my friend that a female was hung from the tree.. along with all the men that perished the same way. The woman ghost was yelling that she was innocent. My friend took several photo's revealing many white orbs around my head.