Many people enjoyed hearing ghost stories around the campfire, especially during their childhood. What if there was a place where these were more than just stories, but pieces of history spread out over four centuries? Such a place does exist.
Located about fifty miles from the Georgia border and founded in 1565 under Pedro Menendez Aviles, St. Augustine FL is the eldest European walled city in the US. The town’s initial settlement was to serve as a port for the Spanish Treasure fleet. Many believe the town’s haunted folklore relates to the electromagnetic fields atop which the town is said to rest.
Sandy Craig, a native resident, has provided ghost tours since 1994. Her heritage can be traced back to the first Spanish settlers ever to imprint their souls upon the ancient land. Craig can be quoted as saying, “when I pass away, I want to stay here like everyone else and have people tell fascinating stories about why I can’t leave this wonderful city.”
Currently the owner of St. Augustine, Inc. Sandy established “Ghostly Experience,” rated the #1 guided Ghost Tour by avid readers of Florida Living magazine. It started as an exciting and educational activity for school children staying in St. Augustine for an overnight visit. With the help of Karen Harvey, a local writer and historian, the tour has since attracted members of all ages. Craig and Harvey are no longer the only tour guides available to turn an evening of crickets and burning twigs into a night of phantom chills as well as windows and doors opening independently. Ghost Tours employs over twenty different storytellers, each of whom has their own stories to contribute.
If you happen to be a skeptic and it’s very possible you’re not the only one, bear in mind every tale has been thoroughly researched through historical libraries, church documents, personal diaries and interviews. People claimed to have captured orbs on either their cell phone or digital cameras. Orbs, commonly referred to as ghost or spirit orbs, are balls of light, of energy consisting of several shapes and sizes and can be photographed without the help of a camera flash. They are glimpsed by the naked eye and don’t always stand still. Sometimes they maneuver swiftly around people and objects. Orbs can appear anywhere, usually in places they have no earthly business appearing: indoors and outdoors, in schools and businesses, lurking in churches, racing through parks and cemeteries. There could be one hovering somewhere near you as you read this.
Assuming a ghost-
If you’re going to be staying at the St. Francis Inn, the Casablanca Inn www.casablancainn.com or the Bayfront Wescott Bed & Breakfast www.bayfrontmarinhouse.com you may want to sleep with a night light on.
Brian D. Roth