St. Augustine during the day offers a phenomenal experience…it’s like stepping back in time. Fort Castillo de San Marcos casts a shadow over the bay, the old red-brick streets lining the many stores and of course, the variety of sailboats coming into the city is an experience unlike that of any other city.
But when you hang around at night, an entirely new experience will emerge. To get the full experience Jonathan, Dillon & I took a St. Augustine ghost walk tour with Ancient City Tours in St. Augustine.
It was quite an experience just listening to the old stories of the dead (yet eerily alive spirits) in the area. From pirates raiding the streets, an old Monk exploding amongst its disciples to a lonely child haunting the city gates the tour turned out to be quite a ‘ghostly experience’.
St. Augustine Ghost Tour Review
The tour started off fair enough. We walked up to the back side of the old school building next to the Love Tree where we met Sean Mamcely, our guide. Fashioned in his black slacks, black button up dress shirt and black fedora, he seemed to welcome the coming night and only stood out from it with his gray sweater vest and small, handheld lantern.
The haunted house where the St. Augustine ghost tour begins.
Taking us around to the front of the building, up the creaky wooden stairs of the front porch and inside the house, you immediately felt the cool, chilled air from inside the house hit you in the face.
As we sat down on the benches just inside the front door, Sean began telling us a little history of the house and how it had become known as haunted. Just the knowledge of paranormal activity being documented here left your skin with a chill while the hairs on the back of your neck stood on end…it was a ghastly feeling.
Our guide Sean talking about the first haunted cemetery.
After he had finished the intro to the house, we strolled over to the first of two haunted cemeteries where Sean continued to tell us a few more spooky but true stories about the place. Apparently, people back then had been accidentally buried alive.
Haunted Cemetery with Ghosts.
Once they had gone into a coma, they would be presumed dead and buried. Years later when officials opened some of the caskets, they would find claw marks inside where the poor souls tried to claw their way out of the concrete box…insane stuff.
The old entrance to the town.
Perpendicular to the old cemetery stood the ancient city gates. When pirates ran ramped in the area, the officials closed the gates to keep enemies out. Well, one day a father, not wanting to pay the burial fees, left his dead daughter just outside the city gate. It is said that people can still see her ghostly figure hopping around the city walls late at night.
Fort Castillo de San Marcos.
Once we left the cemetery behind and passed through the city gates, we made our way across the street where Sean continued to tell us about the numerous haunting occurrences. I would have to say that my favorite story was that of when the two “lovebirds” were shackled to the wall and enclosed into a hidden room alive…crazy stuff.
After leaving the Fort and passing by the old water mill, we began strolling down this spooky, red brick-lined road. It was this spot where English pirate Robert Searles had raided the streets and homes of St. Augustine where he slaughtering 60 people and stole much of the city’s treasury.
The Second haunted cemetery.
Passing through the dimming street lamps and random spots of cool air, we arrived just down the street where the second of the two haunted cemeteries stood. There had been many sightings of various apparitions in the area.
A boy ghost sits in this tree on a haunted night.
The most famous sighting being that of a young boy sitting in between the limbs of an oak tree inside the cemetery. People going by the area have called the police warning them of a boy playing in the area for years yet there have never been signs of anyone breaking in and no one has ever caught it on camera.
The Eternal Love Tree.
Finishing up the entire trip, we made our way back to the haunted house where we walked up to the Love Tree. Curious as to how it derived its name, Sean told us that a palm grew up with the oak tree encompassing it. At the base of the tree the roots have, over the years, combined into one large living organisms so, if separated, both would die.
Watching a young couple being guided by Sean to stand underneath the Love Tree, we witnessed them kiss which, according to legend, tied their souls together for eternity.
All in all, I found Ancient City Ghost Tour very informative and entertaining. Our guide had a great sense of humor and did really well when confronted by his audience about many of the questions, myths, and stories throughout our trip.
Have you ever experience a St. Augustine walking ghost tour? How was your haunted experience?