Oldest City is Perfect for Halloween Fun!
When it comes to selecting the perfect place for ghostly fun, you won’t find a more haunted getaway destination than the Nation’s oldest city, St. Augustine, Florida. With over 450 years of history, ancient narrow streets, two historic cemeteries with graves dating back hundreds of years, a brooding Spanish fortress and endless stories of roaming spirits, it’s the place to be for all things other-worldly. And while Halloween is known as the night that stirs up the supernatural, St. Augustine features ghost tours and spooky encounters all year long.
Here are some St. Augustine’s spooky adventures awaiting intrepid souls and fun-seeking spirits.
Ongoing year-round tours:
ST. AUGUSTINE GHOSTLY EXPERIENCE TOUR
As seen on the Travel Channel, History Channel, and Discover Channel, the Ghostly Experience tour follows a guide under the glimmer of lantern light as you explore enchanted back alleys and learn about ghostly spirits that still linger at many of St. Augustine's famous historic sites as well as exploring the theories of different types of haunts and unexplained occurrences. $15 for adults, children under 6 free. For more information, call 904.825.0087 or visit www.staugcitywalks.com.
HAUNTED CREEPY CRAWL PUB CRAWL
St. Augustine City Walks Tours have experiences for every age and interest. There’s the Haunted Creepy Crawl Pub Crawl for those 21 and older. Your City Walks ghost-hunting guide will lead you on a spine-tingling crawl to not only enjoy drinks and local lore, but also explore the bizarre tales of various haunts along the way. Search for the ghosts & legends of Saint Augustine while learning about methods used by professional ‘ghost hunters’ and even do an investigation of your own! $19 per person (must be over 21). For more information, call 904.825.0087 or visit www.staugcitywalks.com.
HISTORY, MYSTERY, MAYHEM AND MURDER
The St. Augustine History, Mystery, Mayhem & Murder tour takes you on a journey through the city's darkest history to explore the true stories behind bizarre legends. Bloody pirate raids and plunders, brutal massacres, deadly plagues, notorious criminals, unsolved murders, grotesque colonial surgery procedures... it's all happened right here in St. Augustine. $15 for adults, children under 6 free. For more information, call 904.825.0087 or visit www.staugcitywalks.com.
GHOSTS AND GRAVESTONES FRIGHTSEEING ADVENTURES
Explore the darker side of the Nation’s Oldest City on this nightly trolley tour named by Southern Living magazine as one of the five best in the South. Relive the historic haunted tales and legends found at every turn. In addition, the tour includes a visit to Lighthouse Park, where the ghosts of three little girls are said to still haunt the place of their tragic drowning. Plus, take part in a ghost-hunting excursion at the Old Jail, famous for the paranormal activity found there. Ghosts & Gravestones tours leave nightly from the Old Town Trolley Welcome Center at 27 San Marco Avenue. $27.93 for adults and $15.51 for children ages 3-12. Please call 904.829.3800 to check availability and reserve your seats or visit www.ghostsandgravestones.com
ST. AUGUSTINE LIGHTHOUSE DARK OF THE MOON TOURS
Go on the only tour that takes participants to the top of the tower of the St. Augustine Lighthouse and into the eerie Keeper’s House. Find out why the Syfy Network’s Ghost Hunters program called the Lighthouse the “Mona Lisa of paranormal sites.” Tours begin at 7:30 p.m. on select dates and tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for children ages 7-11. Reservations are required. (Private 90-minute, 3-hour and 5-hour tours are also available.) Call 904.829.0745.
RIPLEY’S GHOST TRAIN ADVENTURE
Hop aboard the Ghost Train for a trip to the paranormal side of haunted St. Augustine. This 80-minute ghostly tour travels through some of the oldest city’s most haunted areas. Then the tour makes a final stop at Castle Warden for a backstage visit where participants can investigate one of the city’s most notorious murder mysteries. Tours depart nightly from Ripley’s Castle Warden, 19 San Marco Avenue. Tickets are $24 for adults and $13 for children. 904.824.1606 www.ghosttrainadventure.com
GHOSTAUGUSTINE DEAD WALK TOUR
If you dare, take this unique walking tour through the narrowest and darkest streets on the south end of the St. Augustine historic area. The tour has several new haunted stories that have not been heard by the public until now! Tours depart at nightly from Beerhammer’s located in Heritage Walk Mall, 162 St. George Street in St. Augustine. Tickets are $16 for adults and $10 for children under 12. Reservations are recommended. For more information, call 888.653.1565, or visit www.ghostaugustine.com.
Special events in October:
October 8 – 30
Sykes and Cooper Farms Corn Maze
This award-winning nine-acre maze is sure to get your family pumped up for fall -- there's even a Spookley the Square Pumpkin maze for the kids. Located on SR 207 in Elkton, Sykes-Cooper Farm features a nine-acre corn maze, hayrides, a playground, and farm animals to see and meet. Hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. General admission is $10, seniors and active military $7, children 2 and younger admitted free. 5995 Brough Rd., Elkton. http://sycofarms.com
Tolomato Cemetery Guided Tour- Tour the oldest extant planned cemetery in Florida with burials starting during the First Spanish Period (1565-1763). Admission is free, but donations are encouraged. Tours are from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. 16 Cordova St., St. Augustine. www.tolomatocemetery.com
October 28, 29 & 30
Creatures of the Night at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm
Trick-or-treating and fun await young ghosts and goblins at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park. Hours are 5:30-7:30 p.m. Special Alligator Feeding at 7:20 p.m. Admission is $9 adults, $7 children ($8 and $6 for Annual Pass holders). 999 Anastasia Blvd., St. Augustine. 904.824.3337 www.alligatorfarm.com
City Walks Halloween - The Origins of Halloween, Celtic Sahmain History & Mystery Tour
During Halloween when the veil between the living and the dead is said to be the thinnest, this History Mystery Murder & Mayhem tour becomes enchanted with stories of the origins of Halloween; the true ‘Sahmain’ Celtic New Year! Along with haunts and legends of St. Augustine’s sinister past, the tour explores how our modern day Halloween traditions began. Tickets are $13 per person (children 6 and under are Free). Space is limited and advance reservations are required. Tours depart at 8:30 p.m. from the Tour St. Augustine office, 4 Granada St., St. Augustine. 904.540.3476 www.staugcitywalks.com.