Sunday, October 4, 2009

Whispers From Above

Magnet # 54:  St. Augustine Lighthouse

Material:  Resin

Purchased By:  Me

Well, I did get in a trip to St. Augustine last weekend.  I'd had two trips cancelled because of rain (one time it never even produced a drop) and I was finally going so stir crazy that I hit the road on my own.  It was great - there was hardly any traffic on I-95 and the city itself wasn't all that crowded.  I saw a bit of rain, but nothing much.  And the funniest part?  It poured most of the day here.  Guess I made the right choice.

One reason I was chomping at the bit to get down there is because St. Augustine's Lighthouse is supposed to be haunted.  I had to get a magnet to post this month!  And I did, at the Fountain of Youth gift shop.  I did at least drive out to the island to see the lighthouse, but I'd done enough walking by then and didn't really want to climb that, too.  So I didn't get a chance to test it for creepy vibes myself.  That's okay - I'll take others' words for it.

Over the years, seven people are known to have died on the lighthouse grounds.  Not all of them were due to natural causes.  Joseph Andreu, a Lightkeeper of the original lighthouse fell to his death while painting it.  Another died because of tuberculosis.  Most shockingly, three girls were killed in an accident.  During the construction of the second lighthouse, Hezekia Pittee, the superintendent, brought his family with him from Maine.  His children would sometimes play in a wheeled cart that was used to carry materials from ships to the construction site.  One day, the cart fell into the water with the children inside.  Workers rushed over and were able to save two of the children.  But two of Pity's daughters and one young black girl, either the child of a worker or servant, all drowned that day.  Now the laughter of two of the girls can be heard in the lighthouse.  People have also claimed to see the apparition of the eldest daughter, Mary, still wearing the blue velvet dress and matching bow she in which drowned.   They're not the only spirits that are said to haunt the Lighthouse.  Cigar smoke that is believed to be connected with Peter Rasmussen, another former Lightkeeper and frequent smoker, wafts through the air about several times a week.  And there is also a dark figure that appears at the top of the stairs.  People can hear his footsteps and they claim it is the ghost of Joseph Andreu.  So, yes, there is quite a bit of supernatural activity going on here.  And it's gotten the Lighthouse some attention. 

I don't think I've ever seen a full episode of the Ghost Hunters, but I've read about how they've twice visited the St. Augustine Lighthouse.  On the first trip, they gathered quite a bit of compelling evidence.  Most importantly, they caught a glimpse of what looked like a shadowy figure flying up the stairs, then looking back at them from the landing.  They also sawmovement cross a window and got some ghostly whispers on tape.  This was some of the best proof they'd ever gotten on tape, so they decided to visit the lighthouse a second time.  Once again, they caught whispers on tape, along with a child's laugh.  And in the basement, they managed to capture what appeared to be a shadowy head and torso.  Try as they might, they couldn't manage to recreate it.

So is the St. Augustine Lighthouse haunted?  The Ghost Hunters seem to think so - one even said he became a believer after his first trip there.  If that's enough for you, try a trip to the site yourself.  The Lighthouse even offers nighttime events, if you've got the courage to spend the night.  Perhaps then you'll believe, too!

2 comments:

  1. St. Augustine is one of my favorite historical cities! I love the Castillo de San Marcos, the lighthouse, Flagler College and especially its reputation for being one of the most haunted places in the US. I've yet to form any definite opinions about the existence of ghosts, but I can say that my most convincing encounter was in St. Augustine at the notoriously haunted St. Francis Inn.

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  2. Thanks for the info - I hadn't heard of the St. Francis Inn before. I might have to check it out if I go back to St. Augustine.

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