Haunted St Augustine

St Augustine, FL

Whether mildly curious about the things that go bump in the night or someone who loves all things paranormal, dark history and true crime aficionados, to family frights, the Odd Macabre has the perfect experience for everyone.

St. Augustine Lighthouse

On beautiful Anastasia Island, a favorite icon stands tall, looming above the tree tops and sweeping a beam of light across the downtown area and out to sea. Her beautiful black and white spiral daymark and crisp red lantern stands an impressive 165 feet tall. The St. Augustine Lighthouse tower was completed in 1874 and this grand dame rings in at 145 years old. The historical aspect of this area is astounding, the area has been home to Indigenous natives, early Spanish settlers, the site of two different early Spanish watchtowers, and two lighthouse structures. The tower, keeper's house, grounds, and surrounding park are all known for eerie encounters and frequent paranormal activity. Red Cox Park or often called Lighthouse Park is considered to be one of the most prevalent areas of ghostly activity and sightings in the state of Florida.

Castillo de San Marcos

The oldest masonry fortification in the continental U.S. is the Castillo de san Marcos. The structure is made of coquina, a native shellstone quarried on adjacent Anastasia Island. The first cornerstone was laid in 1672, and the Fort was completed in 1795. The Fort area has been the home to 9 other fortifications made of wood and thatch prior to the current structure. The Castillo has never been taken by force, although many have tried throughout the Oldest City's history. The fort area is known for many paranormal occurrences, including sightings of ghostly soldiers and natives, uneasy feelings, unexplainable lights, mists, and sounds. There are incidents of physical encounters from spirit there as well.

Huguenot Cemetery

The Huguenot Cemetery opened in 1821, originally known as the Publick Burying Ground, the Huguenot name is considered to be a misnomer, as there are no known French Protestants (Huguenots) buried within the grounds. The burial ground was the area utilized for protestant burials originally stemming from the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1821. There are possibly three other burial areas that reside outside of the enclosed walls of the Huguenot. One being a mass grave from 1821 comprised of the first victims of the dreadful Yellow Jack. Another area is believed to be a potter's field for those convicted of crimes buried alongside the poor (those not affluent enough to afford burial within the walled cemetery.) Through recent research we have uncovered the possibility of St. Augustine's first Jewish burial ground also residing within an area outside the walls of the Huguenot. As you might imagine with all of the different burial processes and the horrific epidemics and events leading to those deaths, the Huguenot is a hotspot of ghostly sightings from many different eras and walks of life. The area is steeped in legend and lore, and is a place that many have found that face to face ghostly encounter they have been looking for.

The Matanzas Waterway

The Matanzas waterway is an integral piece of St. Augustine's past and present. Currently it serves as the idyllic setting for the bayfront, the famous Bridge of Lions, and the outlet to the Atlantic Ocean. Historically this waterway has been the site of shipwrecks, the arrival and departure point of the pirates, the docks that first welcomed Yellow Fever to our shore, and the site where many French Huguenots were massacred by the Spanish in 1565. The French hedged on the claimed Spanish territory establishing their settlement Fort de Caroline (South of present day Jacksonville) in 1562 named the waterway Rivière de Dauphins (River of Dolphins) The Spanish changed the name to Matanzas in 1566 meaning "The Massacres or Slaughters" after massacring most of the French and disposing of their beheaded bodies into the waterway. The Matanzas is ever changing and not the easiest body of water to navigate. Many ghostly stories span from this 23 mile long estuary that washes upon the shores of the Castillo in the historic district, and is punctuated by Fort Matanzas on the Inlet side.  

Tolomato Cemetery

This cemetery was the former site of "Tolomato", a village of Guale Indians that had converted to Christianity and the Franciscan friars who ministered to them. The site where the village stood and Franciscan mission is noted on a 1737 map of St. Augustine. The cemetery continued to be used as a Catholic cemetery by the Menorcans' descendants as well as other Catholics throughout the various changes of country ownership in St. Augustine from Spanish, to British, and back to Spanish in 1783, to American control in 1821. This was a cemetery for many different inhabitants of St. Augustine, with a portion of this cemetery set aside for former American black slaves, who had converted to Catholicism after escaping bondage in the Carolinas. The cemetery was officially closed in 1884 along with the nearby Huguenot Cemetery, but received two more, unauthorized, burials: those of Catalina Usina Llambias, who died in 1886, and Robert Sabate, who died in 1892. In both cases, the family of the deceased were fined $25.00 for violating the law.

The Old Jail

St. Augustine’s Old Jail is one of the most haunted locations in the city. Listed on the Florida and National Register of Haunted Places, tourists and locals alike visit the Old Jail to experience the supernatural stories firsthand. Henry Flagler, a key figure in St. Augustine’s development, built the structure in 1891 and conditions for prisoners were notoriously inhumane. Some of the most dangerous criminals were housed in the jail’s maximum-security area, and eight men were hung from the gallows.

St. Augustine City Gates

St. Augustine’s City Gates are one of the most recognized icons of our historic city. The current gates were constructed in 1808, and almost met the wrecking ball in the late 1890's. Three women of St. Augustine's upper society, including Mrs. John Dismukes donned mourning gowns and veils, set up tables and served tea blocking the gate from destruction, refusing to go home until an agreement to keep the old gates was reached. Today the old gates are a reminder of our history and are certainly the home to the occasional ghostly passerby as well.