The Ghosts of Hemingway's House

read about the ghosts of Hemingway's House, in Key West

Address: 907 Whitehead Street

Now populated by six-toed cats, this Key West villa is an oasis for the otherworldly. Does Ernest Hemingway haunt his former home?

Did You Know

  • Built by Asa Tift in 1851.
  • Ernest Hemingway lived here during the 1920s and 30s.
  • Now a historic house museum and National Historic Landmark.
  • Home to 50 six-toed cats.
  • Haunted by Hemingway and his second wife, Pauline.

Is the Hemingway Home Haunted?

Those sensitive to spiritual energies claim to hear the tip-tap, click-clack of the typewriter. Is this the poltergeist that waves from the second-story veranda? Others have spotted a six-toed specter, a phantom, furry feline. Some sight a third poltergeist on the property, smoking cigarettes as she stands against the garden gate.

These friendly apparitions are sociably spooky, cordial but creepy. What's haunting the Hemingway House?

The Haunted House of Ernest Hemingway

Allegedly, Hemingway told his friends that he intended to spend his afterlife in the home. Did he keep to his word?

One couple saw Hemingway wave to them from his veranda window in 1961. The couple, unaware of his suicide, waved back. It was only after the news of his death that they realized they'd spotted a Pulitzer-winning poltergeist.

The Ghost Of Ernest Hemingway

Visitors now claim to spot Hemingway working at his writing desk, clacking around on his typewriter. His specter wanders throughout the grounds, walking to and from his studio. Others have sighted his poltergeist on the second-floor veranda, where he politely waves to passersby.

Hemingway, who resented "intruders" during life, doesn't seem to mind them during death.

Why Does Hemingway Haunt the House?

Hemingway loved his Key West mansion, making sense that he'd choose to return. It allows him to relax, recollect his memories, and reimagine his writings. Do the sights and sounds of the island soothe his restless specter? He's a laid-back poltergeist, so maybe this is his choice of retirement.

Pauline’s Phantom Sightings

Some have spotted the ghost of Hemingway's second wife, Pauline, in the garden. Butts of her favorite brand litter the pavement, leading some paranormal enthusiasts to claim that she smokes above the sidewalk.

Her specter has been sighted at the garden gate, standing as she arranges her cigarettes. Others have seen Mrs. Hemingway atop the central staircase, where she'd once watch Hemingway write away in his loft.

Hemingway abandoned both the house and Pauline in 1940. Nevertheless, Pauline lived in the house until death. Is that why she stays there today?

The Specters of Six-Toed Cats

Hemingway once adopted a six-toed cat from a sea captain, choosing to breed the feline for six-toed kittens. Descendents of the six-toed cat still populate the property, but some claim that Hemingway's original remains.

Is this the six-toed specter that guards the garden, prowling the property's pet cemetery?

The History of the Ernest Hemingway Home

Built in 1851 by Asa Tift, this two-story Spanish Colonial villa later fell into disrepair. Hemingway purchased the property with Pauline by the 1920s, restoring the run-down estate. He and Pauline lived there with their two sons until 1940, reconstructing and repairing their simmering oasis. Pauline even installed the first swimming pool in Key West.

Here, Hemingway wrote short stories, "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" and "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber," along with the novel To Have And Have Not. He also composed the non-fiction Green Hills of Africa at the property.

In 1940, Hemingway divorced Pauline to move to Cuba with his third wife. Although he returned to Key West throughout his life, he never again called the villa his home. Pauline remained in the house until death, too affectionate towards the property to leave.

The Ernest Hemingway Home Today

After Pauline's death, the mansion was transformed into a historic house museum. Preserved as it was found, it's now a National Historic Landmark. The interiors are furnished with Hemingway furniture, furnishings, memorabilia, and exhibits, allowing visitors a glimpse into Hemingway's life.

Hemingway's trophies are also on display, providing guests an insight into his big game hunting – one of his favorite pastimes.

Guests can peruse the former address of this esteemed American writer, the "macho face of twentieth-century prose." With iron porch railings and Italian marble interiors, it'll impress literary and architectural aficionados alike.

Visit the Ernest Hemingway Home

You'll find the Ernest Hemingway Home at 907 Whitehead Street. It's located in Old Town Key West, so be sure to drop by. Tours are available from nine to five, seven days a week. Let us know if you encounter any paranormal activity!

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