The Tolomato Cemetery is the oldest planned cemetery in the state of Florida, with burials dating back to the First Spanish Period. Before it was a graveyard, the site was home to Indians, and then a Franciscan Mission. Rich with history, the land has more than its share of ghosts. Visitors of the Tolomato are often greeted with misty shapes moving through the yard and orbs of light floating in the trees.
One of the more popular stories of the Tolomato is the “Ghost Bride”, a sad woman dressed in a wedding dress often seen walking amongst the stones. Those who have seen her describe an overwhelming sadness that washed over them, making them want to leave.
Many others have seen a small child standing at the gate, asking other children to come play with him. Some have witnessed the spirit of a young Indian boy who died while climbing in the tree that still stands at the front gate.
Not all of Tolomato’s spirits are so pleasant. A much darker spirit has been reported to chase visitors away from the cemetery. Those that have encountered him describe him as a tall shadowy man who is threatening and emits a feeling of intense anger!
The cemetery is open to the public on the 3rd Saturday of each month. Docent-led and self-guided tours are available. Visits are free of charge, but donations are encouraged. All money collected goes to preservation and restoration of the cemetery.