Written By Pattyhap1863~

The St. Augustine Lighthouse on Anastasia Island in St. Augustine, Florida is referred to nowadays as one of the most haunted (if not the most haunted) in America.

It was first established as the only lighthouse in Florida in 1824 at the site of an older watchtower first built by the Spanish. The old watchtower itself crashed into the sea in 1880 but the lighthouse still remained standing, and was being lit at the time. In 1980 a restoration project was started on the lighthouse which lasted for 30 years. Today the lighthouse buildings consist of the 165-foot 1874 tower, the 1876 Keepers’ House, two summer kitchens added in 1886, a 1941 U.S. Coast Guard barracks and a 1936 garage that was home to a jeep repair facility during World War II.

St. Augustine watchtower 1824 (Wikimedia commons)

There are many legends that surround the lighthouse and numerous deaths have been reported there over the years. One involves one of the keepers who was supposed to have fallen from the tower and crashed onto the rocks below. The facts here are that while two of the keepers did in fact die at the lighthouse, and one of them did fall from the tower, it was from the old watchtower and not the new one on site today. The stories surrounding the deaths of three children however are true. The superintendent of the construction of the tower, Hezekiah Pittee, moved to a house on the site with his wife and five children from Maine as the project was taking so long to complete. They used some kind of rail cart that they used to bring in supplies from the beach to the work site. The children loved to ride in it for fun. In July 1873, all his children were riding it when it suddenly derailed and plunged into the ocean. The fishermen around the area were only able to save two of his children, a boy and one of the girls. Two of his daughters, Mary (15) and Eliza (13) along with a young black servant girl could not be saved and were drowned. To this day the stories of visitors and workers are that the girls can be seen running up the lighthouse stairs playing or laughing; while a female figure is said to be seen gazing towards the ocean. The bereaved mother perhaps?

The stairs in the lighthouse (Wikimedia commons)

Other stories include the apparition of a dark male figure in the basement, said to be a former caretaker who hung himself there. The truth is that there is no record of a caretaker ever having hung himself, but there are rumors of a man who hung himself in the house in the 1930s. Visitors and workers have also heard footsteps and voices in the lighthouse tower.

Visitor entrance (Wikimedia Commons)

TAPS visited the lighthouse in 2007 and caught a female voice saying “Help me!” as well as video footage of a shadow on the staircase in the tower peering down at them. The fact that the shadowy figure did not set off the motion sensor light makes this one of the most compelling pieces of evidence to date. Click the link below to watch the reveal with the figure peering down at them.


For more on the ghosts of St. Augustine, please click on the links below: