Friday, October 23, 2015

Scary October: St. Augustine Lighthouse

In celebration of my favorite month, October, I'm featuring a different scary story every Friday. This week I'm spotlighting a location that would be interesting even if it wasn't haunted. St. Augustine is the oldest continuously-occupied city in America and this lighthouse is the oldest surviving brick structure in the town.



Peter Rasmussen was the original lighthouse keeper. He was known to be a strict manager who regularly smoked cigars while on duty. To this day, visitors report smelling cigar smoke while in the lighthouse.



But visitors are far more enthralled by the ghosts of two little girls, Eliza and Mary Pity. Eliza, 13, and Mary, 15, drowned on the property in 1873.

The Pity girls
Today, people report a variety of activities inside the lighthouse. A young girl has been seen in period dress at the top of the lighthouse. A door that is closed and locked every evening is frequently found unlocked and open by the morning staff member--somehow without having tripped the alarm.



To this day, Ghost Hunters' episode about the St. Augustine lighthouse is considered one of its best. Sounds were captured on camera throughout the night, but perhaps the spookiest moment was one where you could actually see a black blob peek over the railing, then disappear.




Come back next week for the final stop on my ghost tour:


58 comments:

  1. You know you've arrived when the Ghost Hunters show up.
    I must've missed the lighthouse when I traveled through that part of Florida. On my list now.

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    1. Yes, because the bicep guy (Ghost Adventures) will go anywhere. And he'll believe anything he hears is a ghost--he won't even try to debunk it. SO annoying. Ghost Hunters has gotten that way, too, sadly. I miss the earlier days when they'd actually investigate and say, "It isn't a ghost. It's bad plumbing." I guess SyFy told them they needed to make the show more about ghosts than plumbing...but that was what made you believe it when they DID see something because Jason was such a skeptic.

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  2. Creepy! I wonder what the local police think?

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    1. I think local police find high-profile haunted places a huge nuisance. People trespassing, TV crews hanging out there all time time... Although some police departments will listen to psychic thoughts on cases, just to get a new perspective. I find that interesting, since they seem to like to say they don't believe in any of that stuff!

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  3. I find it really sad when I hear about the ghosts of children. How terrible that the girls drowned in a building which is there to keep people safe.

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    1. I agree--but for some reason ghost stories about children are especially spooky. The girls were playing on something they weren't supposed to be playing on when they fell in...a device that takes things down to the water? Can't remember what it was.

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    2. It probably happened in the original lighthouse and not the one that's there now. The one there now isn't really close enough to the water to fall into it, but the original was.

      Seems your source got the two structures confused.

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    3. It was the original lighthouse--I didn't want to get into the fact that there was an old structure, it burned down, and now there's a new structure. I try to keep these blogs short and confined to just ghost stuff. People really should read the full history, though, if they're interested. It's fascinating. :-)

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    4. There were several, but the first "real" lighthouse didn't burn down. It got pulled into the sea. They built the new one because they knew that was going to happen as the water crept closer and closer.

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  4. I enjoyed visiting St. Augustine, but I didn't know about the lighthouse. That would have been interesting to visit. I'll have to be sure to remember it, if I go back.

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    1. I think they do tours. They may do ghost tours this time of year, although that would be a little boring... Tours of small places like that are a little limited.

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    2. St. Augustine does ghost tours all year. I did the walking tour and it was really dull and didn't include the lighthouse, which is really far and across a bridge (on the beach side of town) from the main historic area of the town. The riding tour might go to the lighthouse, but I'm not sure.

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  5. I've been to St Augustine but didn't see this. Maybe on my next trip there...or maybe not. Might be too scary for me. :)

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    1. I think they do regular tours that just tell the history of the lighthouse. Sounds like it would be a great tour to take.

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    2. Nah. I climbed it in June. Not even a little scary. And there are so many people around, you won't even think about it. But if you go, go as close to opening time as you can before it gets so busy you can't move inside!

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  6. I've not seen this lighthouse, but it has the same type of black and white swirl pattern as the Cape Hatteras lighthouse, however the top is red (Cape Hatteras is red).

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    1. It's funny how many of these lighthouses look alike, isn't it?!

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  7. I like reading about ghost stories although, I have no desire to visit haunted places.
    Maybe ghosts exist...
    When my dad was young married, there was lots of talk about ghosts and haunted houses. He had just moved into his new house that was still under construction and in the dead of the night he heard footsteps coming downstairs. Nobody was upstairs so he got up to investigate and lit his lighter to look in the staircase and a big startled rat jumped at him. They both scared each other. lol...
    So this spooky noise was explained.
    Maybe ghosts exist as they talk about ghosts in the Bible for example when Peter and his Apostles saw Jesus walking on the water, they thought they saw a ghost...

    Have a nice day.
    Hugs,
    JB

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    1. There was a ghost in the house I lived in when I was little. At first it seemed like the person was just my imaginary friend, but then some unexplainable things started to happen. I always say I've never seen a ghost, but apparently I have--I was just too young to remember! Maybe that's why I'm so fascinated with them. What happens before the age of five shapes your personality throughout life.

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  8. St. Augustine is one of my favorite places! I climbed to the top of that lighthouse in June. Didn't see or hear anything odd, though. Gorgeous view.

    Also, the lighthouse is most definitely NOT the oldest surviving structure in the town (not even close) and the one there now is not the original. The original was closer to the water and was washed away years ago.

    There is an Spanish fort (also featured on Ghost Hunters) that's been standing since the 1600s and I'm not even certain that's the oldest structure in the town. The lighthouse museum's website says it's the oldest surviving BRICK structure. Most of the buildings are made of coquina.

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    1. It is. I'll make the correction. Thanks for catching that.

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  9. I am loving these Friday haunted posts!

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  10. I have not heard about this haunted place but a lighthouse is perfect for hauntings. The little girls even look creepy in the old photo and brings to minds The Shining. The black blob is also freaky. I could never climb all those stairs in the lighthouse because I am too scared of heights. It would be cool to visit though

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    1. I visited a lighthouse when we were in South Carolina and it felt creepy. It probably isn't even haunted...but there's just something spooky about being in there. I can imagine at night your mind would start playing tricks on you!

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  11. I remember that episode of Ghost Hunters! That was so neat. Lighthouses are fascinating. :) Have a great weekend!

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    1. It's one of my favorite episodes...back when the show was good. You wouldn't think an episode about a building where you just run up and down stairs would be that compelling but they'd see/hear something at the top when they were at the bottom. They'd chase the sound and when they'd get to the top, they'd hear/see something down below!

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  12. Oh, like Alex, I missed this when I visited there last year. Very intriguing, Stephanie. I love this series you're doing.

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    1. Thank you! They're always fun, but October is always too short. I already have ideas for ones I want to do next year.

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  13. I Love these ghost tales!!!! Thanks for sharing, Stephanie!!!!

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  14. Ooo cool. I totally believe in ghosts.

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    1. I believe...but mostly I'm just fascinated with the stories!

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  15. The lighthouse being haunted is the very reason I would visit! Like many of us, I think Ghost Hunters seems to have fizzled, but I still check it out on the chance they run across just these kinds of places :-)
    Almost forgot about the fearless "bicep guy" - ha!

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    1. I'm glad it's not just me (re: Ghost Hunters). I was watching the first couple of seasons on YouTube and thinking, "This show was REALLY good back then." They showed what they went through to set up everything and how they captured the evidence. Now they just go to the scene, tell the story, then walk around saying, "Did you hear that?" for 45 minutes. They even have crazy EVPs like the Ghost Adventures guy. "Blurbgurgleblurb" means "Get out!" That sort of thing. I think Jason sold out to SyFy and just does whatever they told him. I don't know about Grant...I know he says he left to spend time with his family but there was that "faked evidence" incident that he was part of on that Halloween episode that makes me wonder if they weren't pressuring them to come up with stuff. And Zak Baggans...UGH! I know people love Ghost Adventures but that whole show seems bogus to me.

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  16. Ghost stories are creepy but exciting. As a young girl I love ghost stories but I will be too scared to anywhere alone at night!

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    1. Sadly, it's the living people you have to worry about more than the dead when you're out alone at night...lots of crazies out there!

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  17. Love your blog! And your books look so appealing! I intended to write about ghost stories and paranormal stuff on my blog, but haven't really gotten around to it. You have great pictures and a nice, readable font.

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  18. Creepy...!
    Ghost stories are interesting :)

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  19. So awesome!!
    I've got to get around to my ghost post.

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  20. I've never heard of it before, does look interesting

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  21. Stephanie, you find and showcase the most spooky and interesting places... ones I plan to stay away from xox

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  22. Interesting. Particularly interesting to hear that the children haunt a building they were never in...

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  23. I think those long stairs scare me even more than ghosts!

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  24. Light houses are spooky as hell. I've been to the one in St. Marks, very spooky at the top, almost hyper ventilated, but that's probably because I'd climbed all those steps!!!

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  25. For awhile I thought my house was haunted, then I realized it was just my neighbour upstairs snoring. He was seriously so loud it was freaking me out.

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  26. I'd not heard of this haunting, but its old enough so it stands to reason. One of these days I'll get to St. Augustine.

    Love your Friday weekly series, Stephanie!

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  27. Sad this in loves kids, but it's another great ghost story.

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  28. I've never been sure why some people consider lighthouses scary, but something like this? Yeah, that could give them reason. And catching something on film is always interesting.

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  29. I loooove hearing stories like these with the history included. Well done and looking forward to next Friday! Hugs...

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  30. My cousin recently wed and moved to St. Augustine. I'll have to tell her we need to visit this light house. :)

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  31. I have loved your ghost tour! I guess I just want to believe!

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  32. Ooh, is that the Amityville House next? Excited!

    The lighthouse sounds creepy. Love these kinds of stories!

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  33. I've wanted to go to St. Augustine since that Ghost Hunters episode. One of these days!

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