Ghost Story – Miami, Florida

“My uncle in Miami used to manage one of the restaurants at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.  He told me once that Al Capone lived the ladder portion of his life in the penthouse, which was the thirteenth room on the thirteenth floor.  No one disturbed him and no one spoke to him.  Many people claimed to have seen him jump off his balcony, maybe it was an illusion but it really kind of foreshadowed his upcoming death.  That room was the last place Al Capone ever lived in.  It was a deluxe, luxurious room, but after his death, no one ever went in that room.  Decades later, the room is believed to be haunted.  When guests come into the room uninvited, supposedly the spirit of Al Capone starts to haunt them.  He turns the lights on and off, turns on the faucet and shower.  There is a spooky aura that surrounds this luxurious hotel.  Any slight event, like doors opening unexpectedly, makes people think it’s Al Capone’s ghost.  And so one summer, we were at the hotel for dinner one night and I went to use the bathroom.  All of a sudden, the doors blew open.  I know now that it was because of the wind, but at the time I was ten so I believed it was the spirit of Al Capone.”

Farbod, my brother, learned this ghost story from my uncle in Miami.  There have been many cases where guests at the hotel believe they have seen ghosts and spirits or just unusual happenings in the elevators and hotel rooms.

After doing some research I found that Al Capone, the Italian American gangster, actually died in 1947 of a cardiac arrest lead on by pneumonia. Since Al Capone lived in the time during the Prohibition, they set up a speakeasy on the thirteenth floor, which he did frequent numerous times throughout his life.  However, the actual story is that Capone’s friend, Fats Walsh, was murdered there.

The ghost story my brother was told clearly shows how a piece changes over time.  However, this ghost story is still widely believed in Miami and Coral Gables.  My uncle and cousins have stayed at Capone’s room, officially known as the “Al Capone Suite,” and they have all attested to strange occurrences, such as the shower turning on and off and strange noises at night.  It is hard to say what accounts for these strange actions, but for now, the ghost story of Al Capone is enough to explain them.