The Chelsea House Pool and Gardens, formerly the Red Rooster Inn and originally the Delgado Mansion, is located at 709 Truman Avenue in Key West and is where the murder occurred of a trusting husband killed by a devious wife as he relaxed unsuspectingly with his cigar. The ghost of the poor man still roams the halls. Those who have seen him claim that although he never makes a sound he stares straight into their eyes, and when his image fades away the smell of his sweet, rich cigar still lingers.
It was in the late 1800's that the cigar business began booming in Key West and the Delgados were one of the largest manufacturers. The home which was constructed in 1870 served as the cigar baron's family home for a number of years. The Delgados seemed happy enough until Mr. Delgado vanished one chilly October. His wife told curious friends and family he had gone back to Cuba, never to return. Many people in town assumed him to be dead while others assumed he ran off with a mistress, but no one suspected foul play and most felt sorry for Mrs. Delgado.
Around the early 1900s Mrs. Delgado became deathly ill. Upon her deathbed she made a most startling confession that she had murdered her husband and buried the body underneath the front porch of the house. Though the property was searched and the wooden porch was pulled out, no body was ever recovered. As time progressed the old porch was replaced with a new set of carved stone stairs and landing. The property evolved into a bed and breakfast and became the Red Rooster Inn.
It was in the 1950's, years after the dying woman's announcement, that the ghost stories started circulating. Guests staying at the Red Rooster Inn reported seeing the image of a man who manifested in their room. Dressed in antiquated clothing he appeared to be confused and did not acknowledge the couple whom he startled so badly. As mysteriously as he appeared, his image faded away and vanished into the night.
Overall, room 18 appears to be the location for most of the paranormal activity. Located to the side of the establishment and near the pool, unusual EMF (electromagnetic field) energy has been known to emanate from the area of the dresser, TV, and bathroom. There were no other appliances, outside the TV which was turned off, located in that area. At various times the EMF field would fluctuate, though the meter was placed in an unmoving non-electronic location just outside the field's recorded range. Secondary scans showed the EMF remained steady in that area of the room, however, no electric box was found anywhere near.
One woman reported having two dreams about the hotel room. In one, she dreamt that it was the next morning and she was awake. The dream continued with typical vacation activities as she and her mother sat in their room, organizing their day. It took a surreal turn when items began to levitate and move about, particularly in the area of the bathroom and dresser, eventually hurling themselves out of the bathroom. She awakened briefly notating the time to be 5 am, then fell back asleep. The second dream was related to the first. In it a blouse which had been hung in the bathroom began to move. Impressions created by unseen hands moved about the blouse as it was examined. Yet upon awakening she discovered neither the blouse nor any unusual activity in the bathroom.
The TV screen also acted up in her presence. While she watched it the screen would warm, flicker, and flip. Yet while she was out, her mother was able to watch without any interruptions. Her digital photographs revealed nothing, while her processed film showed two possible orbs. Did some form of spectral being come to check out the temporary inhabitants of room 18?
The majority of the sightings seem to take place around October. Some feel it has to do with Halloween, however this coincides with the month of Mr. Delgado's disappearance. Some people claim he is returning to reveal the location of his body, while others claim he does not realize he is dead yet. Whichever the case, many Conchs in town refer to the now currently standing set of stone stairs and landing as the largest grave in Key West.