The third most haunted city in the United States (Charleston holds 1st place honors with New Orleans coming in a close second), St. Augustine offers a myriad of tours to enlighten visitors of their encroaching spirits. My sister and I decided to test the fates and signed up for The Original Ghost Tours of St. Augustine (their outlet is in the hot pepper shop at the top of St. George’s Street by the city gates).
Dressed as a pirate wench, our guide, Stormy Gail, led us through the back streets of the old city, a candle lit lantern in hand. She informed us that their guides are only allowed to tell the tales of officially documented ghosts (yes, really) Makes me wonder how many unofficial ghosts are wandering about! But as yellow fever took every second person to an early grave, there are many tales to be told. My sister had taken this tour once before with a different guide, but told me that she had gone down different streets, so not every tour is the same. You can catch her blog and her actual photo of a ghost- yes! on her website www.candidflorida.com . Gail encouraged everyone to take photos and kept saying the camera is quicker than the eye, and others in our group captured odd images of spirits during our walking tour that night.
I must confess, that I did feel a rather cold gust of wind around my ankle near one of the graveyards as Gail told some of her tales, but I put it off on the weather, but the tour took us near another graveyard where a young boy haunted, and it laid to rest a mystery of seven years past. My husband and I stayed at a bed and breakfast by that graveyard 7 years ago. We had sat on the top floor balcony and watched the groups of walking ghost tours come and go-but couldn’t hear their tales from our spot. Our 3 month old son was with us and we shared a giant bed in the front bedroom (closest to the graveyard). It was about three or four when I heard a child laughing- happily- as a new mom I woke up immediately. My son was sound asleep, as was my husband, but I remember saying to my husband the next morning “I didn’t think there were any other children staying here.” (There weren’t!) The proprietor told us that people heard all sorts of things here- but never once mentioned ghosts- seven years later I learned my happy laughing child was the young ghost of James, who is often heard playing around the graveyard, one of the Official Ghosts of St. Augustine!
Rub elbows with the spirits on your next visit to St. Augustine. Find out more at: www.ghosttoursofstaugustine.com Don’t forget to bring a camera!