Haunted St. Augustine

Why there’s more to our historic landmarks than meets the eye.

April 27, 2021

With a history spanning over four centuries, it’s natural that the ancient city would have its share of supernatural stories. A visit to some of our iconic landmarks leaves many guests believing the Nation’s Oldest City is also the most haunted.

Let’s start at the top. The St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum is famous for its breathtaking view from the top of its 219-step climb. But there are many guests who’ve been enthralled with other sightings, such as the Pittee sisters, daughters of Hezekiah Pittee, who oversaw the construction of the St. Augustine Lighthouse. Riding a construction cart down to the water was a favorite pastime of the Pittee children. Unfortunately, one summer day in 1873, the cart carrying the girls flipped into the water, trapping two of the daughters and a friend underneath.

Since the accident, strange occurrences have been repeatedly attributed to the spirits of the girls including footsteps heard by a relief Lighthouse Keeper. There have always been sightings of a small girl standing by the bed of the Keeper’s house renter. And time and time again, there are apparitions of the girls playing hide and seek during tours and on the grounds. The stories go on and on. This is all the more reason to see for yourself during a Dark of the Moon Tour at the St. Augustine Lighthouse. You’ve been warned.

St. Augustine’s Old Jail Museum is scary enough during the day. But after dark, it’s quite the chilling place. During a 45-minute experience, visitors can participate in an actual paranormal investigation of what is generally considered the city’s most haunted building. After all, it housed prisoners from 1891 to 1953 in deplorable conditions and was the site of several documented hangings and mysterious or unnatural deaths. All of this makes the Old Jail an epicenter for paranormal activity. And whether you’re a ghost hunter or just curious, you’ll be prepared to encounter strange and peculiar phenomena with experienced guides, state-of-the-art equipment and investigative techniques in your quest for evidence of the supernatural kind.

As the oldest inn in St. Augustine, built in 1791, the St. Francis Inn has had its share of ghost sightings and stories. One particular story goes back to the fate of two star-crossed lovers, a slave girl beaten savagely for her affair, and her lover, the nephew of the then manager who committed suicide upon learning of her death. Since that time, many guests have reported unnatural phenomena that include male and female apparitions, guests waking up under the bed, ghostly hands-on bedposts, and pictures and personal property being moved about the room.

Casa de Suenos may be the spookiest bed and breakfast in St. Augustine. Quite possibly the reason is before it was converted into a bed and breakfast, it catered to a different clientele: the dead, as it was a successful funeral home. Guests have reported seeing apparitions, and some have had objects moved about in their rooms. Of course, if this kind of nighttime activity interests you, be our guest!

Even restaurants and pubs have their share of supernatural sightings in St. Augustine. Apparitions have been sighted at Stogies Cigar Bar and in the restroom at Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grille, to name a few. At the very least, you’ll never be alone in your search for a thrilling, if not chilling, experience in haunted St. Augustine.

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