Black's Haunted House

by Cricket
(Orlando, Florida)

As a family we always went on yearly vacations all over Florida. So in my 50 years I have seen and worked at a lot of attractions. But Blacks Haunted House (I believe in Ocala) stands out more then most.

I was maybe 10 and we saw a billboard and I said "hey that looks like fun"!..silly me. The 4 of us walked though one of the best haunted houses ever. Now I could handle it..but then it scared the pants off me.

It was in an old house and the first room you walked into had a witch mixing her brew in a cauldron, then she sat up suddenly and cackled.

Great BOO factor!

We all jumped then laughed and walked to the next room which had the Frankenstein monster lying on a table.

Egor was in the corner, very eerie and then the table started to turn very slowly....but out of the corner of my eye I swear it looked like Egor was standing a little closer. I know it was an optical illusion from the angle of the table moving..but it really looks like...and just then Egor comes running at us like a mad man and chases us out of the room.

At that moment we knew that every room would have someone alive in it. You have to understand, this is long before Halloween Horror Nites. It was the scariest thing I have ever done in my life...And I truly believe it was before it's time.

That day I thought I was gonna die.. now you can't keep me out of haunted houses. We told everyone about Blacks when we got back from vacation and it was the hit of the trip..even though we didn't realize it when we were going through it. I wish it were open today..I would most certainly make the trip back.

Think about it, 40 years later and I remember it like yesterday, it affected me and my family greatly.

I wonder if Mr. Black knew?

Reply from Florida Backroads Travel.

Cricket, thanks a lot for sharing your memories of Black's Haunted House. I had not heard of it before, and couldn't find anything on the internet.

In any event, it sounds like a tremendous attraction and it's great you still remember it so fondly.

Comments for Black's Haunted House

Click here to add your own comments

Aug 01, 2018
by: Anonymous

My then husband...took me to the Blacks Haunted House...or as they called it then...Blacks House of Phantoms...this was in the 70's...even tho it was really "cool & scary" scared the you know what out of me!!!

For me it was the claustrophobic narrow hallways... stairs & passage well as the inhabited coffin...I believe it was "the last"...haunted house I've been in...nevermore...

K. Denmark

Jun 19, 2018
Comments Before October 30, 2017
by: Mike Miller

Oct 30, 2017
Black's Haunted House Ocala
by: Brenda

I will never forget that haunted house and meeting the owners. It was in 1970 when we drove from St. Petersburg, Florida, to go to the haunted house in Ocala that we had heard so many things about.

I was pregnant and remember going through the house and getting to the Frankenstein room when the table started moving. My husband got scared, pushed me towards Frankenstein and ran. I started to scream and that's when Mr. Black came in to calm me down, seeing I was so pregnant, and said he was sorry for scaring me.

When my husband came back, Mr. Black and his wife told us all about the house and how they got all the props. He had worked in Hollywood making props, and retired to Florida to live his dream of having a haunted house and making all the props. I will never forget that experience.

Feb 20, 2017
Scared to death
by: Bill MacDougall

Great job by the owners and crew.
In the Frankenstein room we had a similar experience as others as our attention was drawn to the monster, not noticing Igor, until he broke his chains and came at us. (I was on my honeymoon and visiting the area with my new wife.)

As Igor approached, I warned him to stop, but he did not. I pushed my wife back and to the floor as I quickly prepared for a conflict. I warned him again and he came within striking distance before he removed his disguise. I was 6'2" and 180 lbs. If I had hit him it would not have been pretty. I complimented him on the show prior to picking up my wife and making our way, quickly, out of the house.

Best haunted house ever, and never to be forgotten.

Dec 08, 2016
Childhood Experience
by: Cate

OMG!! YES!! I remember my whole family falling on the floor, crawling trying to get out the room that *something* scared the $hit out of us. We were little kids on our way to Disneyworld, when we made the stop and checked out the Haunted House. Holy Cow... the SCARIEST place I've ever been. To this day, I think about that home. VERY WELL Done theatrics. Very Scary, and now, as an adult, I look back fondly. If it's gone... you certainly missed something very cool, and very scary.

Oct 27, 2016
Loved the place, loved the Daughter
by: Bryan Foster

Went to elementary and middle school with Cherie Black. She was a good friend who I also had a big crush on. It broke my heart when we had to move to Tallahassee in my 8th year. Hope the years were as good to you as they were to me Cherie, lord that upturned nose!

Jan 15, 2016
I'm the "daughter"
by: Cheryl "Cherie" Black Frost

Yes, it was a real place and it was great fun for me as a kid. Black's House of Phantoms was open for 5 years. We actually lived in part of the house and even though it was obviously creepy, I never felt scared. I was reading the comments below and it's true I did do gymnastics as a little kid. I would practice the balance beam on the partitions that divided the guests from the "spooks" when the place was closed. My dad made all the spooks mostly from paper mache. I still have a brochure and could possibly put some pictures up. I'm so glad people still remember it and have nice memories of it.

Jan 15, 2016
Thank You
by: Jennelle Black

Herbert Black was my grandfather and died when I was very young. I didn't know much about him so reading all of these kind words about him and the house of Phantoms makes me feel even a little closer.
My parents have one of the witches he was working on, (affectionately named Henry by my parents), in their attic. I was always so afraid to go up there. She spent many years scaring postmen on the porch during Halloween.

Feb 06, 2015
More on Blacks House of Phantoms
by: Jim Alexander Rochester NY

You take a great big wooden, two-story frame house at the corner of Citrus Drive and Silver Springs Boulevard (NE 36th Avenue and State Road 40) and throw a mix of ghouls in for good measure, and what do you get? Black’s House of Phantoms.

This old rambling house of creatures, complete with its backdrop of mossy trees, created a year-round, open daily, house of horrors. That’s right, Halloween year-round.

Advertised as Ocala’s newest family attraction, Black’s House of Phantoms opened on May 30, 1969. Admission was $1 for adults, 75 cents for ages 7-12 and free for those under 7. Husband and wife team, Herbert and Irma Jean Black, owned the business.

In the early 1970s, my boyfriend Mark, (later my husband) being a good sport, took my sister Joy and I to see what Black’s haunt was all about. He declined to go inside with us. Joy and I were sincerely frightened by all of the unknowns and boos. Complete with a witch, Frankenstein, Igor and lots of blood, creatures appeared out of nowhere in the dark.

Mark did eventually go inside with me. Fists swinging, he almost knocked over props and did jump over a railing. Thankfully he didn’t land on the first floor. All of which he thanked me for, since I talked him into going inside.

Black’s House of Phantoms didn’t last long. Scared stiff once, there wasn’t a need to return.

The house was gutted by fire in August 1975, and at the time held an office for Star Realty Co.

Across the street from SunTrust and Publix’s 40 East Shopping Center, a BP Service Station and retention pond are currently in the location.

Preceded in death by her husband Herbert, Irma Jean Black, 81, died on Sept. 21, 2009.

As always, I welcome your memories or comments. If you would like to reach me by email please do so at

Nov 01, 2014
by: Anonymous

Yes, it did exsist. When I went to elementary school with the daughter who was an awesome gymnast. She taught me most of what I know and could do in gymnastics. Loved her!

Dec 30, 2013
by: Raleigh Walters

Seems like it was around 1965-66 and we were headed to Silver Springs. I can't remember the highway number or street number we turned on as we headed east towards Silver Springs.

As we drove by we noticed this place on the side of the road and thought that it looked interesting. So we stopped and took the tour. As we were going into the inner part of the house,as that is what it was, there were these paintings hanging on the walls, nice paintings he had done but with nothing scary.

So we went through several rooms that were noteworthy, then we entered a really dark room. All of a sudden this table started raising up with a body on it and tubes started blinking and shining like laboratory electronics.

At that time 3 kids were hanging onto my legs crying. Suddenly a creature came out of the dark dragging one leg. Slowly he came towards us as the kids were panicking and screaming and the creature kept coming and the kids did more screaming and crying.

Finally I could not take it any more. I said to the creature "If you take another step I'm gonna sock you" he stopped and I got the kids and left that room, We went the rest of the way through the house but it wasn't too scary.

I'll remember that place the rest of my life and I am now 82.

Nov 04, 2013
Article on Black's House of Phantoms
by: ED Tucker

If anyone knows how to get in touch with the Black's daughter, please ask her to contact me at I would love to write an article on the Black's and their haunted house. Thanks!

Nov 04, 2013
I remember it well.............
by: Anonymous

I have lots of memories of Black's House of Phantoms. The Blacks' daughter and my sister were good friends in middle and high school. I have great Halloween memories of my buddies and I being hilariously terrified by the live and not-so-live spirits and ghouls there. I also remember the sad day when it closed, and seeing all the tombstones and life-sized ghouls sold off (it was hard not to buy that hunchbacked Igor!). The Blacks' daughter is no longer in Ocala, but still not far away. Good old memories..........

Oct 25, 2013
by: Brian King

I grew up in Ocala, it was Black's House of Phantom's, and it was way ahead of it's time. I had forgotten all about it until my ex-wife sent me this article. Thanks for posting it. You brought back so GREAT memories!

Sep 14, 2013
OMG...It really did exist!!!
by: Diana

My boyfriend and I were in a Halloween shop last weekend and while we were having fun playing with all of the electronic ghouls...mind you we are in our 50's...I preceeded to tell him about a place down south we went to on one of our many family vacations to Floida.

I thought the name was "Black's House of Horrors"...Anyway I was so frightened back then that I had to be escorted out and compose myself to go back in again. I seem to recall Mr. Black telling my father he was an electrician and that they did this for fun.

The impact this had on my sisters and I was incredible. We made our own house of horrors in our basement with the help of our father to scare the neighborhood kids. My sister, who keeps everything, may still have a bumper sticker or brochure from them.

I remember my mother bought a cassette of a creaking door from Mrs. Black and played it every Halloween when she opened the door for the trick or treaters...What memories!!!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Lost Florida Tourist Attraction.

Privacy Policy