Ghost Tours are among the most popular Tours of St Augustine Florida, and the Old City is filled with ancient stories of despair, sudden death, and tragic loneliness making these types of tours some of the most fascinating as well.
St Augustine was founded on September 8, 1565 when Pedro Menedendez de Aviles first landed on the mainland of Florida. This began a period of Spanish colonization in Florida that lasted nearly 200 years until the 1763 Treaty of Paris that essentially gave the settlement of St Augustine Fla to the British. The British ruled the settlement for twenty years until the Second Treaty of Paris made St Augustine again a Spanish settlement. Spain ruled over the colony through its infamous wars with Napoleon until in 1821, the colonies in Florida were ceded to the United States which had won its own freedom from the British. During the settlement’s years as an early Spanish colony filled with settlers and those brave enough to venture out into the new world, it no doubt saw a great deal of strife and turmoil as the early inhabitants struggled to ward off disease and stay alive through hunger and famine. Later through the colony’s period as a prominent shipping port, the city saw countless attacks from not only the pirates that plagued cities up and down the Florida coastline, but also attacks from the British. It was for this very reason that St Augustine Forts like Fort Matanzas and the Castillo de San Marcos were erected. It was during these times in history that the city was vulnerable and under attack that we hear of downtrodden individuals and how their unique stories of despair have shaped the atmosphere of the Old City. Several areas, buildings, and markers throughout the city are believed to be haunted, and there are numerous different St Augustine tour companies in St Augustine that offer Ghost Tours. In addition to the Ghost Tours that visitors can enjoy via trolley and carriage, one of the great Attractions, the Lighthouse offers a special Dark of the Moon lighthouse ghost tour where visitors can explore the haunted Lighthouse at night.
Most all of the ghost Tours of St Augustine are walking tours and a few of the companies offer trolley and carriage tours. Ripley’s Believe it or Not operates a Ripley’s Ghost Train Adventure, however the name of the tour should not confuse patrons with the type of transportation offered. The Ghost Train Adventure is called such because it departs from the local Train Station and a train shaped motorized cart hauls visitors to and from haunted sites. Ripley’s also offers a Walking Tour as well where visitors walk to haunted locations throughout the city. On a normal night the St Augustine Ghost Tours will venture to haunted places in the Old City like The Spanish Military Hospital, the Old Jail, and the old apothecary Drug Store. While these might be common places to find ghosts, other spots including one of the Bed and Breakfasts in our organization, the St Francis Inn, are believed to be home to visitors from centuries past. Other sites around St Augustine, including the Castle Warden (home of the current site of the Ripley’s museum), Flagler College, Harry’s Seafood Restaurant, the Castillo de San Marcos, and the city gates themselves have all been reported to have occurrences of ghost sightings. Simply put, the Old City is believed to be one of the most haunted places in the country.
Partaking in one of the many Ghost Tours enables visitors to learn facts and interesting things about the Old City that they might not have ever or otherwise heard. Several locations throughout St Augustine have been featured on cable television programs about the paranormal, and the Lighthouse was even featured on the popular SciFi show Ghost Hunters. Ghost Tours are not the only type of Tours available, you can choose from other tours like Fishing Tours, Helicopter Tours, Eco Tours, and so much more. The Bed and Breakfast Inns that we work with are located right in the heart of one of the oldest parts of the city and nearby to all of the spots that are visited on the St Augustine Ghost Tours. Planning a Vacation? Start with one of the charming, historic Inns in St Augustine.