Seems no historical destination is without its skeletons in the closet – figuratively and literally! Visitors to St. Augustine can enjoy a number of odd attractions in the Ripley Museum and the Fountain of Youth, but the especially adventurous may also wish to embark on a ghost hunt through Old City’s cobblestone alleyways.
Top St. Augustine Haunts
Where’s the best place to find a ghost? Purportedly there are a number of landmarks and buildings where people have claimed to see or hear something not of this realm. If you’re feeling lucky – and brave – you may want to add these sites to your vacation itinerary:
The Casablanca Inn: In the early part of the 20th century, the Casablanca was the place to go to imbibe in a time when buying alcohol was illegal. To alert bootleggers of law enforcement, the owner would wave a lantern from a window to signal their boats. It’s said you can still see those lights to this day.
The Old Jail: It’s said if you listen closely, you can hear the mournful wails of long-dead inmates, and heavy footsteps dragging ghostly chains around the building.
St. Augustine Lighthouse: There’s talk the former land owner on which the lighthouse sits haunts the property, or perhaps it is one of the house’s first light keepers, who fell to his death while painting the tower.
Safety in Numbers
If the idea of a solo hunt spooks you too much, there are a number of supervised ghost tours operating throughout town. Arrange a group of friends to come, or tag along with a crowd of other enthusiasts as you see St. Augustine in a different, ghostly light. Just a few operators to try include:
Ghost Tours of St. Augustine: This frightfully fun group offers three options for ghost seekers: you can ride, walk, or even sail the bay on the schooner “Freedom.” Each tour is led by a licensed guide ready to regale you of Old City’s otherworldly history. Prices vary according to the season, and check their website for discounts.
GhoSt Augustine: Tour favorite “haunts” of St. Aug locals – dead or alive – on the group’s hearse pub tour. You’ll ride in an actual hearse through town, stopping at different landmarks and open pubs for a unique look at the town’s paranormal history. It’s the only way to travel!
Ghosts and Gravestones: Hop aboard the trolley for a “frightseeing” tour of town, complete with costumed guides in need of your help to find the fabled Book of the Dead. Search for clues on each stop as you’re treated to tales of St. Augustine’s haunted past…and present.