Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Springhill : Haunted Florida


The St. Augustine Lighthouse is definitely considered one of the most popular locations when it comes to the most haunted areas of the city. True ghost stories have been documented about this location in popular television shows like Ghost Hunters, and various other types of media all throughout history. Many lives have been lost in and around the area of the St. Augustine Lighthouse. These losses as well as a lot of unexplained phenomenon are the "fuel behind the fire" when it comes to paranormal activity in this location. The following represents some of the paranormal activity that is believed to occur at this location:
The St. Augustine Lighthouse
1. In the year of 1873, on the 10th day of July, there was a tragic accident that occurred while the lighthouse was being constructed. Five kids were riding along a type of cart that assisted in bringing in supplies. They fell in the water as a result of the cart breaking. A black girl that is believed to have been a servant, as well as two other girls drowned. Many stories circulate that these girls swing on the swing set on the grounds, can be heard playing and laughing, and can even be seen looking from the windows of the house on the grounds.

2. On Ghost Hunters, a shadow was documented on film moving on the top level of the stairs inside the lighthouse and even in front of the window in the lighthouse. It is believed that this is a spirit of a light keeper that tragically fell from the structure. In addition to this, a woman's voice was also recorded in digital audio recordings that the TAPS Team took. The TAPS Team has determined that this area is definitely haunted and has returned to document even more occurrences.

3. Many different sounds have been heard in the Museum on the property. None of these sounds seem to be threatening. The employees have different stories when it comes to what they hear, but they are so used to the sounds that they simply overlook them most of the time

The Old Jail is one of the most exciting places if you are a ghost hunter at heart. This structure was constructed by the ever-popular Henry Flagler, and opened in the year of 1891. It was carefully built to resemble that of one of the fine hotels that are located along the Atlantic Coast in Florida. For approximately sixty years, prisoners – both male and female – were held here. Today, the Old Jail is open to the public. Transformed into a museum, guests to this structure can observe where prisoners were kept, the spooky “gallows” where many prisoners were put to death, and more! If you want to visit one of the most haunted places in St. Augustine, the Old Jail is a wonderful choice among many! 

One of the first things that visitors should know when they visit the old jail is that several prisoners lost their lives at this location. The most common culprit behind the death of the prisoners was the ever-popular “noose” in which several were hung. Charles Joseph Perry served as the Sheriff from the time the jail was opened in 1891 until the year 1919. This individual took his job very seriously. He was a firm believer in the fact that if people were sent to his prison, they would serve their time in a punitive manner. There were not too many inmates that dared to differ with his way of thinking either. He was a startling large man, measuring in at six and a half feet, and weighed approximately three hundred pounds! In order to make extra certain that no one escaped a large amount of dogs was kept behind the Old Jail. 

The conditions at the structure were relatively harsh. One of the first issues was that the only water source in the jail was for drinking. This meant that individuals housed here were not allowed baths. Weather conditions on the external area of the structure were often much the same on the inside. If it was hot, it was even hotter indoors. The same occurred in the winter months, in which it was exceptionally hot. Most beds were composed of the Spanish moss that grows rather rapidly in the Florida area. This moss was used to fill mattresses, but red bugs and other pests that are native to the moss often infested the beds. To receive a blanket was practically unheard of in the days of the prison, and to receive a pillow for the beds was completely unheard of. Sickness and death were extremely common in the Old Jail, especially the disease of dysentery. 

There are two places that you will find the Old Jail listed. This includes the “National Directory of Haunted Places”, and the “National Registry of Historic Places”. The following indicates some of the spectacular hauntings that seem to occur at this haunted place in St. Augustine: 

1. There is a sweet smell that seems to consistently hang in the air of this haunted prison. It reflects that of molasses. Regardless of the cleaning efforts, this is a smell that seems to be related to the hauntings that occur in this structure. 

2. Many individuals that reside in the neighborhood of the jail, visit the museum, and even work in the structure have heard the barking of dogs on a regular basis. It is believed that these are the spiritual hounds of Sheriff Perry.

3. Certain tunes have been heard in the Old Jail – almost as if someone is slightly humming them. One of these songs distinctly reflects that of “Swing Low Sweet Chariot”. 

4. In many areas of the Old Jail, you can hear footsteps with a sound of distinct chains moving in motion with the steps. It is believed that these are the souls of the spirits that are still held captive, even after death. 

5. Many individuals have heard the sounds of shouts and wails only to discover that there was no physical person present to have made the sounds. 

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