The history of the original St. Augustine Lighthouse begins in the 1600s, when Spanish settlers first constructed it. It wasn’t until 1824 that the site became an official lighthouse in the United States , situated in St. Augustine, one of the oldest cities in the country. In this article, you will learn why the lighthouse is of interest to paranormal enthusiasts.
A trip to St. Augustine, Florida brings you to the haunted history of the St. Augustine Lighthouse. The structure that you see today was built in 1874, replacing the original light that was downed due to tidal erosion. It was there that the lighthouse keeper, Mr. Andreu, died after falling from the tower that he was painting.
The government purchased several parcels of land from the locals so that they could build the lighthouse currently standing. One of the owners named Ballard argued over the land deal. It is his ghost that tour guides claim to have seen at the lighthouse. Some believe that the ghost is not Ballard, but could possibly belong to Andreu.
Other ghostly sightings associated with the St. Augustine Lighthouse include young girls. The daughters of Hezekia Pittee and one of their friends all drowned after the handcart they were playing with went off the tramway. The cart was previously used to carry supplies from ships to the lighthouse. Ever since, there were reports of ghostly girls being sighted at the St. Augustine Lighthouse, but no one was quite sure if the sightings were the Pittee girls or their friend. Sometimes, it is one ghost being seen, while other times, it was two. There was never a third ghost reported to have haunted the premises. Out of all the most credible reports pertaining to the sightings, the stories have all involved one ghostly girl.
Odd happenings reported to occur at the lighthouse involves unexplainable footsteps and the scent of cigar smoke. Many visitors have come in contact with the smell of cigars even though no one has been smoking. It is said that it is a former lighthouse keeper making his rounds and not willing to let go of his post.
The Keeper’s House of the lighthouse was also a place that rented out apartments. Tenants would sometimes report seeing a young girl wearing old-fashioned clothing, and that she would vanish and then reappear. Other witnesses who would have no reason to tell a tall tale have claimed to see a girl in and around the house. The ghost seems to often appear close to a window located upstairs.
It is also said that the last lighthouse keeper who looked after the premises during the 1950s did not want to live in a house and instead chose to live on the onsite barracks of a Coast Guardsman. The Guardsman made his home in the lighthouse dwelling. According to a letter written by the sister of the Guardsman, the two used to laugh about the fear of the lighthouse keeper, who believed he encountered ghostly footsteps that happened upstairs.
The basement of the Keeper’s House was also a site of ghostly sightings. Some claim that a figure was spotted here. The ghost was given the nickname of “The Man in Blue.” There was a time when the gift shop was located in the house. Some of the employees thought that a ghost that they had given the name of ‘Andrew’ was behind some of the poltergeist-like activity that had occurred in the room.
The lighthouse tower is also a place considered haunted, where witnesses have reported hearing voices and footsteps.