Ghosts of St. Augustine - St. Augustine, Florida
Visitor using an EMF Detector
Some of the ghost tours
provide visitors with EMF
detectors that supposedly
register spiritual activity.
Warden Castle
The home of the original
Ripley's Believe It or Not!
Museum
, the castle is said to
be haunted.
Ghosts of St. Augustine - St. Augustine, Florida
Ghosts of St. Augustine, Florida
"Orbs" Photographed in St. Augustine
This photograph taken in Warden Castle during a
Ghost Train Tour reveals several orbs in a corner of
a room were ghosts are allegedly seen.
Ghost Stories of the Oldest City
The oldest city in the continental United
States,
St. Augustine, Florida is also
reputedly one of the most haunted.

Ghost stories abound in the four century old
city and, in fact, are big business. A variety of
businesses provide "ghost tours" of the old
city. There are ghost train tours, walking
ghost tours, a haunted pub tour, trolley tours
haunted
lighthouse tours and even a
haunted harbor tour aboard a sailing vessel.

Thousands of people take these tours and
nearly all come back with photographs of
what researchers call "orbs." An example can
be seen in the photo here.

Although some believe they are caused by
spiritual energy, most orbs are simply light
effects caused by dust, insects, dirty camera
lenses, etc. The more cameras flashing at
once, the more likely you are to see orbs in
your photographs.

Even so, the tours are fun ways to learn a
little of the folklore of St. Augustine, even if the
information is sometimes a bit fanciful.

Ghost stories, however, are an important part
of Southern culture and linger on from the
days before television and video games
when families amused themselves by telling
stories by firelight. Whether you believe in
ghosts or not, they are an important part of
our heritage.

St. Augustine, a city that is nearly 450 years
old, has many stories, some of them quite
intriguing. The best known involve the historic
St. Augustine Lighthouse across Matanzas
Bay from the old city.

Now restored and open to the public, the
lighthouse has been the scene of a number
of tragic deaths over the years. Some of
these resulted from illness, while others
were caused by sad accidents. Locals claim
that the ghosts of some of these unfortunate
people linger on, haunting the lighthouse
tower and adjacent keeper's cottage.

For many years people have reported
hearing strange sounds and seeing unusual
shadows in and around the lighthouse. So
well known have the stories become that the
tower has been featured in a number of
books and television programs.

The SciFi Channel program
Ghost Hunters
carried out a major investigation in the
lighthouse. Unusual sounds, voices and a
strange moving shadow were recorded high
in the tower.
A Haunted Lighthouse?
Local legend holds that the
St. Augustine Lighthouse is
haunted by several restless
ghosts. The tower has been
the focus of several tv shows.
There are literally dozens of other stories in
St. Augustine.
Warden Castle, the home of
Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum, is said to
be haunted by a number of ghosts, as are
the grounds of the
Fountain of Youth Park,
the old cemeteries, the
Old City Gate and a
variety of other structures and places around
town.

Curiously, many of the stories revolve around
memories of the great yellow fever or "yellow
jack" epidemics of the 19th century when
scores of people died in the city.

Yellow fever was greatly feared in the South
and caused many horrible deaths. Victims
can be found buried in cemeteries across
the region and the sickness depopulated
entire cities. In St. Augustine, the memories
of these outbreaks are preserved in some of
the city's ghost stories.

The Old City Gate, for example, is said to be
haunted by a woman named Elizabeth who
died from yellow fever. She supposedly
signals from the gate late at night that it is
either safe or still too dangerous to enter the
city.

There is much history in these old tales,
many of which revolve around actual events
from the early days of St. Augustine.
Burial Ground After Dark
Several of the St. Augustine
ghost tours take visitors past
the city's ancient cemeteries.
Copyright 2011 & 2013 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.

Last Update: November 13, 2013
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