The historic home is said to host friendly ghosts.
Key West, Florida
Credit: Getty Images/Stanley Chen Xi, landscape and architecture photographer

This island jewel in Key West, Florida, was built in 1839, its mansard roof, gables, and many beautiful architectural details added a few decades later. Today, it houses apartments, offices, and a bar, but it was once home to Florida’s first public health officer, Dr. Joseph Yates Porter. His father bought the house in 1845. Porter—who was born and died in the same bedroom—lived there for 80 years. He was renowned for his role in discovering how yellow fever spread and for his contributions to its eradication in Florida.

Given that he led a full and respectable life here with his family, it’s no surprise that the resident ghosts are, for the most part, pleasant: One leaves change on a third-floor dresser; another plays chamber music a little too loudly; and a third appreciates a glass of wine from the bar.

Key West is full of haunted homes, inns, bars, and cemeteries, which local tour guides will be happy to show you—places like The Artist House, the Chelsea House Hotel (Room 018), Captain Tony's Saloon, the Hard Rock Cafe (or rather the 1888 mansion that houses it), and St. Paul's Church Cemetery. Some of the island's paranormal residents are of a friendly nature. Others, like Robert the Doll . . . not so much. But the most haunting—and beautiful—aspects of Key West are completely natural: tropical winds in the palm trees, a full moon over turquoise waters, and a sense that you've arrived at a place like no other.