Posted on February 17, 2020
St. Augustine Ghost Top 10
Right smack in the upper right-hand corner of the Sunshine State, an hour’s drive from Mickey’s empire, lies the oldest continuous settlement in this Nation’s proud history, St.Augustine. The town a piece of frontier memorabilia preserved in a snow globe. St. Augustine maintained and polished by a diligent Tourist Board.
St. Augustine is nothing short than a star-gate into this nation’s harried past. The township is a sanitized playground where tourists can visit and partly re-live the State’s bloodied yesteryears. Visitors springing into a past without the pesky problem of roaming Indians, savage pirates, viscous desperados and the scores of barbarians employed by the many crowns that held the land back then. St. Augustine is a ferocious hamlet seeped in vile, guts, pestilence and death. A place with mass graves, with wailing poltergeists, washed up sea monsters, serial killers and, more importantly, great WiFi connection.
But why does this historic district seem like a lost colony from Westeros, a spot where even the bravest players of Game Of Thrones go: “not even with a ten-mile stick… steer clear, people! I’ll take my chances with the white walkers”?
Location, location, location!
St. Augustine has prime coastal real-estate and back in those gritty days when the world seemed locked in a vodka drenched game of Risk, such a commodity determined who was the top dog in the land. Add to that fact that St. Augustine had opened virgin landscape, fertile soil, excellent vantage points and easy access to the Gulf Stream and international trading routes, and you had every two-bit fiefdom from across the pond going gonzo for it.
Wars happened regularly and strife and turmoil were a very normal way of life. From the sea, you had continued attacks by pirates and invading armies. Inland the natives reaped the reward of such chaos and went on scalping parties. The town itself devolved into a camping ground for war-scarred soldiers and mercenaries looking for their next score. When the pioneers had a moment to catch their breath, they then had to deal with a rampant and toothy wildlife and the occasional wrath of God in the form of an Atlantic hurricane.
For years, the settlers were in need of a spreadsheet widget so they could keep track of which flag to pledge allegiance in that period of their lives. The land danced for over 300 years to the wacky tune of Fate, and Fate, it seemed, was in dire need of antipsychotics. As civilization refused to be civilized, the soil sucked up the blood, the mangled corpses, the tragic tales and vomited out every type of nasty supernatural critter imaginable. St. Augustine is the place where nightmares come alive and walk the night.
So, here are the top 10 places in St. Augustine infested with all manner of ectoplasmic creepy crawlers.
Each entry is accompanied by a link that will take you to an in-depth article on that entry.
10. Casa De La Paz.
At the turn of the century, this historic hotspot was a well-frequented bed and breakfast. The traveler-friendly joint seems to be a wellspring for the macabre; producing ghouls and goblins as if it were trying to beat the previous year’s quota for efficiency in that trait. Miss Mabel is one of the most well-known specters that haunt this defunct inn. Grief-stricken and hanging unto sanity by sheer will, Miss Mabel barricaded herself in the Queen Isabelle room, the girl mourning her recently deceased husband. The days turned into weeks, and the weeks into months and the only noise escaping her alcove were her frantic cries and mournful bellows; a soundtrack that seemed to permeate the place in desolation. Then, on the anniversary of their marriage, the weeping lamentations came to an abrupt end. The staff, puzzled by the sepulcher silence, broke open her door and discovered the emaciated corpse of Miss Mabel. Miss Mabel had been dead for weeks.
Since that day, guests have experienced the tell-tell signs of a spiritual infestation: objects moving of their own occur, a shadow pushing suitcases out the room’s door, a famine whisper asking:
“When are you leaving?”
Miss Mabel’s specter is one of many phantoms that call Casa Del Paz its home.
9. The Old Jail.
Opened in 1891, the Old Jail went against every precept the Geneva Convention was built upon. The place was a cesspool meant to house the worst of the worse. The Old Jail was a dwelling that made prisoners pray for the comforts of hell.
People died from either execution, illness or “accidental” treatments by the sadistic guards. The turnover rates for beds were astounding and for a time it even housed its own crematorium. The Old Jail in St.Augustine is one of the most haunted places not only in the district but the whole of the United States. It is a brick building that seems to amass vengeful spirits, each and everyone damming the living and yearning to take out their anger and frustration on mortal flesh.
Moans, unearthly wails, doors slamming on their own, cold spots bruising by unsuspecting tourists, puddles of crimson blossoming on the floorboards and then disappearing, a normal Tuesday for this hospital. Built-in the late 18th Century, the place’s history reads like a drawn-out Stephen King novel. The sort of novel with a plot that makes even the most level headed atheist question the protagonist’s common sense.
The Spanish Military Hospital housed hundreds of soldiers and countrymen during a time when medical practices were iffy at best. The doctors performed all manner of surgeries and experimental procedures on patients. Patients dropping like house flies during the most turbulent periods of St. Augustine’s history; widows drenching the spot with their anguish; guilt-ridden doctors jump-starting a gun with their lips… and that’s just one half of this place’s eldritch history.
You see, and here’s the kicker, the hospital was built over an ancient Indian burial ground belonging to St. Augustine’s native tribe, the Timucuan.
People have reported all manner of supernatural activity, even the presence of an evil all-consuming force that seems to shroud the historic building in a funeral veil.
7. St. Augustine Lighthouse
Constructed in 1873, St. Augustine’s’ Lighthouse has suffered dozens of natural disasters, which is Florida code for: “It got its keister repeatedly kicked by hurricanes.”
The lighthouse and its surrounding mangrove forest have seen its fair share of tragedy. One of the most pervasive urban legends that envelope this building is the story of three young girls that drowned mysteriously and under suspicious circumstances a couple of yards from the Lighthouse’s main entrance. People have witnessed the ghost of these ladies horse playing around the building. The girls swinging on swings, laughing maniacally and playing hide and seek among the trees.
But that’s not all! The locals are also wary of the place on account of its other ghostly inhabitants. Neighbors swearing that at night you can hear a woman’s voice screeching like a banshee, that on a full moon you can see corpse-like faces staring out at the road from the museum’s front-facing window.
It was even a location for SyFi’s Ghost Hunter’s show.
6. Huguenot Cemetery
In the early 1820s, the bodies were beginning to pile, quite literally. The streets lined up with cadavers. The only burial ground in the town was the Catholic cemetery and it was only accepting wealthy practitioners of its faith. You had bar deadly brawls, cavalier soldiers playing fast and loose with their sidearms, jilted lovers and natural deaths almost daily. Then, the straw that broke the camel’s back, The Yellow Fever. Overnight, St.Augustine became flooded with death and the local constabulary had no other choice but to construct a public cemetery.
During those plagued soaked first years, the cemetery couldn’t keep up with the demand, it was overcrowded!
The Huguenot Cemetery is a flashmob event of spirit. The place holds the prize for having the most documented paranormal activity in the area. Huguenot Cemetery has all manner of apparitions, from exhumed Judges to murdered hookers.
5. Flagler College.
Toss a rock in Florida and you’re likely to hit a historical landmark named Flagler. Henry Flagler is the man responsible for opening up Florida like the proverbial oyster and then serving the meaty goo to wealthy snowbirds in New York. The railroad tycoon was the driving force that pioneered the way for Disney and Hilton. Flagler brought Florida into the 21st century and it was his spirit that plucked it from a roughneck frontier town into the tourist-friendly jamboree it is today.
And, St. Augustine was Flagler’s playground, the place he ran his operations from. Flagler College was once called The Ponce De Leon Hotel and that swinging tabernacle was akin to Gatsby’s mansion in the early 20s. The hotel served as Flagler’s go-to place for getting his freak on; floors devoted to boozing and partying. The third floor a moving walkway of his many mistresses.
When Flagler bit the big one in 1913, way down in West Palm Beach, it’s no wonder that his spirit decided to decide to set up shop in his favorite abode, his cherished Ponce De Leon Hotel.
Most of the paranormal activity the college revolves around the Casanova’s private room and his mistress’ quarters. The ghost seems to still have some ectoplasm in his pen.
The college is among the 10 most haunted Universities in America.
4. St. Francis Inn.
A tragic tale of star-crossed lovers calls St. Francis Inn its backdrop. The story goes that a young man, in the middle of the 19th century, fell in love with a beautiful slave from Barbados. The pair would sneak into rooms and carry out their hot and steamy affair.
One day, the boy’s uncle, Major William Hardee, walked in on the lovers and had a fit. He dismissed his nephew and decided to take out his anger on the small servant girl that they had started to call Lilly. Lilly passed away from injuries 3 days later and the young man, guilt-ridden, jumped out a third-story window severing his neck as he crashed through the glass.
Both spirits haunt the small Inn. A dark story that the hotel simply adores and never tries to hide, making the tragic tale and hauntings even part of their advertising material.
3. Castillo De San Marco
There’s an old Spanish saying:
“El Diablo sabe más por viejo que por diablo.”
Roughly translated it goes:
“The Devil knows more ‘because he’s old than because he’s the Devil.”
Castillo San Marcos or “The Old Fort” stays true to this phrase. It is one of the oldest spots in the region. In 1672, the Fort came into being. Hundreds sought to defend it and hundreds more to overtake it. Bodies lined the catwalk during these skirmishes; the walls baked with blood as the waves slapped the “coquina” coastal walls with guts.
It is one of the most haunted places in St.Augustine. The wraiths in the fort call the watchtower, and dungeons their home.
2. Warehouse 31.
An innocuous warehouse located on the West Davis Industrial Drive has become the beacon of some of St. Augustine’s ghastlier stories. The Warehouse has been the storefront for dozens of companies, Wal-Mart, Skul/Bonz Studio, Mayflower Inc and more. Each company packing their bags rather hastily once the weird stuff hit the fan.
No one knows why but Warehouse 31 has a way of driving out the tenants and scaring off any business that wants to set up shop within its walls. The place has an otherworldly atmosphere and a slew of supernatural reports to back up its bad reputation.
Some say that it’s all due to man called Al Whist, who might have used the house as grounds for his church, The Church of the Light Bearer also known as the Church of The Luciferian Cult.
Now, once a year, come Halloween, the warehouse dresses up like a haunted house and does its level best to scare the living daylights out of a populace that grew up having nightmares about its reputation.
1. The Casablanca Inn.
The Casablanca Inn was a flophouse that evolved into a “Bayfront Boarding House”. The place is known for its Mediterranean style architecture, its stunning vistas of Matanza Bay and the fact that some of its occupants have turned tail and left in a fright in the middle of the night.
The Inn has a rather violent history, one brimming with bootleggers, mobsters, domineering landowners, murdered party girls, and vanishing wayward children. A history that serves as cannon fodder for evil. The Inn is by far one of St. Augustine’s nastiest hauntings.
An Inn brimming with ghosts and goblins.
What’s Stopping You?
An ancient city rife with all manner of loathsome devils, a place polluted by a sickening past made real by humanity’s worst ambitions and desires, a region brimming with history and strife. St. Augustine’s biography is so sketchy that the Spaniards who first settled there named the river that crosses it, Rio Matanza, Slaughter River. That portmanteau is still apt considering savagery of the place. St. Augustine is one of the nation’s most haunted regions, a frontier town with a magnetic pull for the macabre.