by Sean Hess, broker and manager, St. Augustine Team Realty
It’s Halloween and the kids (plus some adults) are all dressed up to go door to door for candy. Some of those homes will have unseen tenants observing from within!
There are more ghost stories in St. Augustine than you can shake a stick at, and I’ve included a few below. Just remember this Halloween to dress the kids in bright colors and watch who they’re talking to: there’s generally more to worry about from the living than the dead.
The St. Augustine Lighthouse
The lighthouse is probably St. Augustine’s most famous landmark, haunted or otherwise. While they were building the current light (there have been several lights at the same location going back to the first Spanish period), two daughters of the caretaker drowned while playing in a haul cart.
The cart ran down to the water for loading supplies and the girls were playing in it when it got loose. It rolled all the way down to the Salt Run, flipped over and pinned the girls in the water. Now the girls supposedly haunt the place with (possibly) the ghosts of their parents.
None less than SyFy’s Ghost Hunters have filmed the place and declared it haunted after the disembodied got caught on tape talking and running up the stairs.
If you’re a ghost you couldn’t have a nicer or prettier spot. The Lighthouse sits in a peaceful grove of gigantic live oaks just off an anchorage filled with sailboats. You get plenty of visitors for company, and when the big storms with the personal names come calling it’s a fortress in the wind.
The St. Francis Inn
Down on St. George Street south of King is the St. Francis Inn, and it’s supposedly haunted by the ghost of a Confederate soldier and a female slave.
The soldier and the slave fell in love, the story goes. But their relationship was soon discovered and the two were forbidden from seeing each other. The soldier killed himself in grief, and his lover now wanders the third floor, searching for him.
Many of St. Augustine’s Bed & Breakfasts have ghost stories associate with them. A fantastic way to see most of them (the B & B’s, not necessarily the ghosts) is the Historic Tour of Bed & Breakfasts on December 12 & 13th. You not only get to tour all of the homes over two days, but there’s great food at each stop included in the price, and all the proceeds go to charity. Find out more at St. Augustine Historic Inns.
The Ghost in Harry’s Upstairs Bathroom
This may be my favorite St. Augustine ghost story just because it’s so funky.
Harry’s Seafood Restaurant down in the Historic District is a great go-to place when you need to impress out-of-town visitors. The food is great, the location is on the bayfront, and the prices aren’t bad either.
The crazy thing is that there’s a ghost in the upstairs lady’s room. People have reported seeing a woman in a long white dress there, either out of the corner of their eye or in the mirror looking back. Sometimes there’s the strong smell of perfume when there’s no one else there. The ghost has even been reported to leave…directly through a closed door.
Okay, there was this house on Rhode Avenue that I used to sit open that I strongly suspect was not completely empty the few times I was there. I used to be a deer hunter in a former life and when you walk into a forest it get’s really quiet, but after you settle in it comes to life again with animals and birds and insects.
This house on Rhode always got really quiet when you came in, and it stayed quiet, like it was holding it’s breath. No hums, rattles or creaks. No ambient noise of any kind. That’s all I’m going to say.
If you want to hear some of St. Augustine’s ghost stories there are nearly as many tours as there are stories. Just wander down St. George street…you’ll have no trouble finding a tour.