Monday, June 16, 2008
Florida's Haunted Lighthouse
I have always been something of a lighthouse buff, so I have visited quite a few. It seems that almost all have a ghost story or two, but this tower at St. Augustine, Florida may well have more than any other lighthouse in the world.
Built between 1870 and 1874, the St. Augustine Lighthouse replaced earlier watchposts and towers dating back to the late 1500s. St. Augustine, of course, is the nation's oldest city, having been founded in 1565.
Now restored and open to the public, the lighthouse is the focus of a number of fascinating ghost stories. One of the most intriguing revolves around the tragic deaths of three young girls while the tower was being constructed in 1873.
The girls and their friends liked to ride a cable cart that workers used to bring construction materials up to the tower site from the beach. Something went wrong on July 10, 1873 and five children riding the cart were flung into the water. Although a boy and girl were rescued, three other young girls died.
According to local tradition, their ghosts haunt the lighthouse tower and grounds to this day. Eyewitnesses claim to hear the voices of children in the tower and others have claimed to see unusual lights and shadows.
The SciFi Channel television program Ghost Hunters investigated the St. Augustine Lighthouse and recorded a variety of unusual activities there, including strange sounds, lights and a mysterious shadowy figure that appeared to be moving around high up in the tower.
To learn more about the St. Augustine Lighthouse, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/staugustinelighthouse.