Tag Archives: paranormal

Ghost Tour Experience: ‘Each floor held new secrets about the history of the Keepers’ House.’

The St. Augustine Lighthouse shown on October 31, 2018 during a Dark of the Moon Ghost Tour. Photo by Jayda Barnes

By Jayda Barnes, Flagler College student

The first thing I noticed about the Dark of the Moon Tour was that it was, indeed, very dark. The chill in the air may have been due to the setting sun or the spookiness of Halloween night. The Museum grounds, usually bright with sunlight, faded into the shadows of the trees which hovered around it. The only true source of light appeared in the beacon of its namesake: The Lighthouse.

After receiving my tickets, I rented an EMF meter to sense the electromagnetic fluctuations caused by any ghosts, mostly because I knew my best friend would glare at me all night if I didn’t.

The occasion of the evening only became more apparent as we stood outside of the Museum gift shop, waiting to be led on our spooky journey. Halloween shirts and costumes popped up sporadically in a few of the more festive guests. Promptly at 7:30 pm, our party was escorted to the base of the tower, where we learned the rules for the evening and split into groups. My group entered the Lighthouse first. We stood at the bottom of the tower and listened to the stories of ghosts seen in the past, especially the mysterious Shadow Figure who has been seen peering over the railing down at guests.

Perhaps the scariest moment of the evening came as we huffed our way up the 219 steps to the top of the Lighthouse. The exercise of it was frightening enough, but on top of that, the entire tower was shrouded in darkness, save for the few lanterns dangling along the way. Silhouetted figures painted on the walls of each landing invoked images of the Shadow Figure we’d just been told about.

Despite the fear and the height, everyone made it to the top and embraced the whipping chill of the wind. All of St. Augustine stretched below, hundreds of tiny lights peppering the ground. It was almost beautiful enough to make me forget the ghost story I was standing on.

Once the heat of the climb wore off and the wind became more chilling than relieving, the group made its way back down to the ground. Our guide led us around to the side of the Lighthouse, where she detailed the haunting tale of one Lightkeeper’s plummet from the original tower.

After catching our breath, we journeyed to the Keepers’ House. Stories of fatal accidents and irritable Lightkeepers filled the darkness. Each floor held new secrets about the history of the Keepers’ House. We ended in the basement, where we were released to explore on our own for the rest of the night.

The basement had the most activity of the evening. One man sat in one of the resident ghost’s favorite chairs. As the guest spoke to the room, EMF meters began lighting up red around his shoulders, indicating some paranormal activity. The more we spoke and scanned the room, the more lights lit up, travelling behind the chairs to the back of the room. Upstairs, we explored an area called the Shadow Room, where the energy of the room intensified as soon as we entered. My friend heard beeping in the corner as we searched the room for signs of ghostly activity.

The tour ended at 9:30 p.m., sending us back into the world to reflect on our supernatural experiences. Even with the Lighthouse looming behind us, we carried the eeriness with us into the festive evening. The tour might have been even spookier because of Halloween, but it was also even more fun because of it. As our guide told us, the Museum is “not a haunted house, just haunted.” And on Halloween, when the spiritual veil is said to be thinnest, it’s always possible the ghosts will make a special appearance, just for you.

Which St. Augustine Ghost Tour is the Best?

All this month (July 1st – July 22nd) you can hopefully let us know it’s the Dark of the Moon Tours as we ask our discerning public to vote for us during the annual St. Augustine Record “Best Of” contest!  Each year voters choose their favorites in all categories in town from hair salons to restaurants to entertainment options.

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Open to the public, Dark of the Moon Tours offer guests a chance to learn about the ghosts who haunt the Lighthouse grounds and after a guided tour, investigate on their own the grounds, the Lighthouse Tower and inside the Keepers’ House. As this has proved to be one of the most popular paranormal tours in St. Augustine, reservations are strongly encouraged to ensure your desired evening for adventure.  Plus, this is the tour for you if you’ve always wanted to climb the Tower at night.

For those who want an even more unique experience, we have started offering investigation-only tours! The investigation-only tours will be three full hours of exploring the darkened Lighthouse Tower and the Keepers’ House basement. The potential for a creepy encounter is heightened by the fact that these tours fall on important dates in the Lighthouse Tower’s history:  July’s tour is the anniversary of the tragic cart accident involving the Pittee girls; at midnight of October’s tour we will celebrate the first lighting of our current Lighthouse Tower (1874); and December’s tour will be in memory of Keeper Joseph Andreu who fell from the original tower while painting (1859).

If you haven’t already experienced the more mysterious side of the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum, now is definitely the time to do so.  We’re inviting you all here this summer to either try our signature paranormal Dark of the Moon Tours or if you’re already a fan, to try the NEW investigation-only tour.  Either way, we’re sure you’ll have a fun night out and then hopefully vote us, “Best Of” Ghost Tours in St. Augustine (http://www.staugustine.com/best-of-2017)!

Happy Haunting!

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