St. Augustine Lighthouse


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The St. Augustine Lighthouse stands on the north end of Anastasia Island, Florida, within the vicinity of St Augustine to be precise.

The construction of the current lighthouse ended in 1874 and is currently the property of the St Augustine Lighthouse and Museum, Inc. The building and nearby land are open to the public. All admissions costs go towards the upkeep of the building as well as fund programs. They include maritime archaeology and education projects, mainly. The lighthouse also has a museum with lots of historical archives.

The History

The Official Records of the area show that the St. Augustine Lighthouse was the very first “proper” lighthouse erected in Florida in 1824. It appears that it was built on an ancient site of a much earlier surveillance building, which would have been called a “watch house”.

The formal date of the construction of the first site is not known but the area is thought to have been used and built upon since the late 16th century.

In 1737, the Spanish presence in Florida influenced the architecture of the area and a stronger tower was built made up of Coquina (sedimentary rock). The current tower is made up of brick on Coquina. The current height of the tower is 165 feet, 113 feet taller then the original 1737 building. The Spanish took control of the building again in 1783.

Records show that the St. Augustine Lighthouse has always been coveted as a strategic location, and the earlier building probably a fighting ground.

Architectural specificities

The current lighthouse was put into service in 1874. The lenses used came from the “Fesnel” factory and were in fact the very first order they received. To be more specific, the lighthouse was fitted with Fresnel lenses with a range of 19 miles. Its flashing lamp had a range of 24 miles. St Augustine’s was first lit in October 1874 by William Russel, the first keeper of the new building. He had worked on the previous tower.

St Augustine lighthouse was officially automated in 1955

The Haunted History & Paranormal Activity

Is St Augustine still inhabited? Apparently so! The tower is said to be a very haunted place due to the long and probably bloody history of the site itself.

Shadowy figures appearing from nowhere have been reported many times. Screaming voices coming from the top of the tower down to the bottom have been heard along with unexplained and unearthly sounds. Despite its height, the lighthouse is not what we call a big place where paranormal activity usually takes place but at St Augustine Lighthouse, former inhabitants seem quite reluctant to leave the place for good.

Are you going to be greeted by the mysterious little girls?

Two girls have been seen standing on the lighthouse catwalk on many occasions. Apparently, they were the daughters of Hezekiah Pitee, himself the Superintendent of the Lighthouse construction.

Unfortunately they met there death on the site. They are said to be revisiting the very spot where they died by drowning during the construction of the lighthouse.

Another female presence can been seen inside and outside the tall building. Indeed, a woman has been frequently sighted in the stairs. She was also spotted numerous times walking in the yard but never identified.

More paranormal activity…

Yes, there is more! The ghost of a man is said to be haunting the basement of the lighthouse. It has been suggested that he could be a Civil War hero or possibly the former lighthouse keeper himself, William Harn.

The paranormal activities have attracted numerous people and interest groups. The Atlantic Paranormal Society visited the place for an episode of Ghost Hunters. They claim to have seen and captured several strange phenomena. According to them, a woman crying “help me” has been captured on tape. The shadow of an unidentified individual floating around the stairs right above the crew was also recorded.

Finally, a shadowy figure leaning and looking over the railing of the lighthouse catwalk was also reported by them.

The Atlantic Paranormal Society investigated the area a second time and recorded similar incidents making St Augustine Lighthouse probably one of the most haunted buildings in America.

Fancy a “Dark of the Moon” tour?

Guided tours are organized at night. You can test your nerves and visit the lighthouse after the sun has set, walk up and down the stairs, and maybe meet the lady. Or maybe spend some time in the basement?

There is no doubt that you’ll be spoiled with for choice with choices of the haunted places you can investigate after dark.

Contact St. Augustine Lighthouse

81 Lighthouse Ave
St. Augustine, FL 32080
Phone: 1 (904) 829-0745
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