The Nation’s Oldest City is likely loaded with the most spirits, poltergeists and spectres than any other city on the North American continent. The Halloween season is a huge embrace of the hauntings on Florida’s Historic Coast. Sure, there are theme parks in Central Florida that feature haunted house rides and exhibits. But St. Augustine has the real thing only a short drive away from those theme parks and there’s plenty of connection between our ghosts and the “Old World.” Below, discover how to enjoy a St. Augustine Halloween.
St. Augustine has nearly 500 years of history that pack endless stories of supernatural encounters reportedly experienced in our historic cemeteries, forts, brick streets, centuries-old structures and ghoulish outposts. Believed to be one of if not the most haunted cities in America, St. Augustine embraces otherworldly encounters and provides a multitude of options to get in touch with spooky experiences. All of these do involve fees and tickets, so call in advance to reserve slots because many of these sell out early.
This is one of St. Augustine’s favorite traditions any time of year. But the 76-foot tall ship with masts right out the Royal Navy ship designs of Britain, this charter cruise excels during the spirit season. Freedom always has sunset cruises, but beginning Oct. 24 and running through Nov. 2, the charter features Haunted Waters Ghost Sails that begin at 8:15 p.m. Freedom’s crew will sail past some of the most haunted areas such as the site of Menendez’s Massacre and will recount the spiritual ghost stories of the area.
St. Augustine Lighthouse Dark of the Moon Tours
Routinely labeled as a structure with the most paranormal activity in America, the St. Augustine Lighthouse has night tours which begin at 7:30 p.m. The tours present the perfect setting for getting in touch with ghosts. See why St. Augustine’s iconic beacon also attracts spirits as well as visitors who can’t get enough of the spooky lore which surrounds this setting.
Ghost Tours of St. Augustine
The dim flicker of a historic lantern is the backdrop for one of the most well-heeled spiritual guides on Florida’s Historic Coast. No matter what time you book a tour there are many outfits that offer insights into the apparitions of the past. You’re guaranteed to have experienced experts who know the paranormal history of St. Augustine. The tours traverse down the narrow streets cobbled with brick, a sure connection to the European genesis of the city’s design. Any of the countless experts detail the backstories of the backbone to St. Augustine. From settlers struggling to find a foothold in the New World to the plunder of pirates, ghost tours of the city take a hallowed approach to the Halloween season. Is there a better way to experience a St. Augustine Halloween?
Offered by the original City Walks Tours, Creepy Crawly Haunted Pub Tour could actually be one of the most sobering tours as participants go deep into the dives, taverns and inns that helped shape St. Augustine’s ghostly character. Licensed tour guides and “paranormal professionals” guide tourist through the winding streets of the ancient city. Given the nature of this tour, it’s for adults 21 years old and above. So, too, is the Pub Hearse Ride, which offers a similar tour but in style – in an actual hearse. Between these two options, hear the stories, search for spirts with some spirits and discover how the founders of St. Augustine etched out the Nation’s Oldest City against seemingly impossible odds.
Covering ground can be more efficient sometimes through trolley tours that focus on the ghostly history of St. Augustine. They include Ghosts & Gravestones and Ripley’s Ghost Train for starters. The advantage to trolley tours is they’re easy on the feet and cover a lot of ground. There are centuries of history in St. Augustine, the trolleys get you in touch with the multitudes of ghosts at multiple locations.
For the latest information on Halloween events, visit www.floridashistoriccoast.com/events and see what will make a St. Augustine Halloween the best!