Friday, February 24, 2012

Spirited St. Augustine--A Photo Tour

I've been quite distracted lately writing an article for a publication and with life in general. So, I've not had as much time to publish here. I've been reading alot about Florida recently and just received a great little book on St. Augustine, David W. Whitehead's CryptoQuest Field Guide to Haunted St. Augustine. It's a handy little book describing the city's hauntings street by street. Here is a handful of highlights.

Old City Gates
North End of St. George Street

City Gates around the time of the Civil War. These gates still stand, though
now in a traffic island. They remain from a reconstruction of the city
walls in 1808. A legend tells of a young girl, the daughter of a guard who waved at those
entering the city. After her death from Yellow Fever in 1821, her spirit has been spotted
and is still seen to this day. Photograph by Samuel Cooley, courtesy of the Library of
Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

Huguenot Cemetery
San Marco Avenue

The Huguenot Cemetery is considered one of the more paranormally
active locations in the city. Situated just across the street from the Old
Gates, the Huguenot Cemetery served as the city's Protestant cemetery
for the bulk of the nineteenth century. Whitehead reports that numerous
apparitions and orbs have been observed throughout the grounds. Photo,
2011, by Ebyabe, courtesy of Wikipedia. 

Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse
14 St. George Street

Built in the early 18th century, the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse is the oldest in
the city, but not the nation. This ancient building plays host to soldiers from the
Spanish era who once had a barracks on the property. Whitehead states that some
feel nausea on the second floor. Photo, 2007, by Shreeg88. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Oldest Drugstore
31 Orange Street

Constructed as a pharmacy in 1739, this building has housed
a pharmacy ever since. It is currently a museum housing artifacts
from its history and a few lingering spirits. Whitehead states that
this building sits upon a Native American burial ground that extends
along Orange Street as far as Ann O'Malley's Pub at number 23. Photo
2007, by Jim Moore.

Avero House or
St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine
41 St. George Street

In a city settled by so many groups of people, we find a shrine
dedicated to Greeks who arrived in the city in 1768. Within this
shrine is the Byzantine chapel dedicated to St. Photios. Whitehead
mentions that he was physically attacked by a spirit here while trying
to take a photograph. Photo, 2010, by Cliff1066.
Avero House. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed 24
     February 2012.
Cox, Dale. "Old City Gates and Walls--St. Augustine, Florida." 2011.
Huguenot Cemetery. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. 
     Accessed 24 February 2012.
"Old Drug Store." The 1 March 2010.
Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.
     Accessed 24 February 2012.
Whitehead, David W. CryptoQuest Field Guide to Haunted
     St. Augustine. Published by David W. Whitehead, 2008.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Flickring Florida Phantoms (Photo Essay)

The photo-sharing site, Flickr, provides countless images of haunted places throughout the world. A portion of these images are relaesed under a Creative Commons License, which only requires attribution for use.

Recently, I've gotten caught up in life and working on a related project for possible inclusion in a book. So, I've decided to do a bit of a photo essay on Florida. A future project will expand this entry.

Belleview Biltmore Hotel
25 Belleview Boulevard

This historic, 1897 hotel has drawn controversy when developers
proposed demolition in order to build a retail and condominium
development. In January, the owner applied for a permit to raze the
grounds, but there is still controversy. Like so many historic hotels,
the Belleview Biltmore's halls are still stalked by guests who have long
since checked out. Photo, 2007,

Boca Raton Resort & Club
501 East Camino Real
Boca Raton

Spanish for "Rat's mouth," Boca Raton has evolved into a
vacationer's paradise. Originally opened as the Ritz-Carlton
Cloister Inn,  the Boca Raton Resort & Club retains its 1926
grandeur and also a few spirits. The most legendary of the hotel's
spirits is that of "Esmerelda," a hotel maid who died in a fire in the
1920s. Photo, 2005, by Charlie Anzman.

Castillo de San Marcos
1 South Castillo Drive
St. Augustine

Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest masonry
fort in the United States, having been started by
the Spanish in 1672. The centuries of standing guard
over the city have left spiritual marks. Moans and screams
have been heard, exotic orange blossom perfume has been
smelled and soldiers have been seen walking the ancient
battlements. Photo, 2006, by Flattop341.

The Colony Hotel and Spa
525 East Atlantic Avenue
Delray Beach

The Colony Hotel and Spa, built in 1926, boasts a good deal of
paranormal activity some possibly relating to the spirits of the
original owners. Shadow figures, pulsing lights and spiritual
noise has been witnessed within this luxury hotel. Photo 2005,
by ElvertBarnes.

Flagler Museum
1 Whitehall Way
Palm Beach

Whitehall Mansion was built by the inimitable Henry Morrison
Flagler, the businessman who developed the Florida East Coast
Railway. Flagler and his wife took up residence here in 1902 and
it was here that Flagler died in 1913 after falling down the stairs.
Within these halls, the spirits of Flagler and his wife have been seen
by visitors and staff. Photo, 2008, by Ray_from_LA.

Fort Pickens
1400 Fort Pickens Drive
Pensacola Beach

Part of the string of forts built in the early 19th century to
protect the coast of America, Fort Pickens saw action during the
Civil War. Later in the century the fort was used as a prison for
the Apache chief Geronimo and his warriors. His spirit may be among
the active spirits who are felt and heard throughout this historic fort.
Photo, 2011, by jennylynndesign.

Gibson Inn
51 Avenue C

The 1907 Gibson Inn is a noted example of the popular
Cracker Style of architecture that was predominant if the
state in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Among the
spirits here is one who plays the piano in the bar. Photo, 2009,
by Gregory Moine.

Hard Rock Cafe
313 Duvall Street
Key West

Here the rock music is hard and hauntings are active. Located in
an 1888 mansion, the Hard Rock Cafe is possibly haunted by the
spirit of an unhappy resident who hung himself in the house. Staff
has heard the man whistling and walking about. Shadow figures
have also been seen here. Photo, 2010,  by Charlesboesel.

Huguenot Cemetery
San Marco Avenue
St. Augustine

This cemetery was founded in 1821 to inter the dead from a
Yellow Fever Epidemic. This cemetery served the Protestant
citizens of St. Augustine, while the Catholics used the Tolomato
Cemetery a short distance away. After dark, both cemeteries have
a reputation of being quite active with spirits. One particular spirit
here is the shade of a judge whose gold teeth were stolen by
grave robbers just before his corpse was buried. Photo, 2010,
by Cliff1066.

Pensacola Light
2081 Radford Boulevard

Guiding ships into Pensacola Bay for almost
three centuries, this lighthouse still echoes
with apparitions and voices from the past. Legend
speaks of a murder that took place in the 19th century
here. Photo, 2010, by Digitizedchaos.

Silver Springs Nature Park
5656 East Silver Springs Boulevard
Silver Springs

One of the largest artesian spring formations in the world, Silver
Springs has been the scene of filming for a number of movies. This nature
park is home to a ghostly pair of lovers who legend says were swallowed
by the rocks in a place called "The Bridal Chamber." Photo, 1996, by ptrktn.

Tampa Theatre
711 Franklin Street

The 1926 Tampa Theatre is one of the great movie palaces
designed by John Eberson. This magnificent theatre is haunted
by the spirit of a loyal projectionist who had a heart attack
while working in the theatre in the late 1960s. His spirit has been
seen and heard especially in the balcony. Photo, 2010, by gordontarpley.

Vinoy Renaissance Hotel
501 Fifth Avenue Northeast
St. Petersburg

When the TAPS team of TV's Ghost Hunters investigated
the massive 1025 Vinoy Park Hotel, they discovered a very
active haunting. One investigator staying in a room on the fifth
floor was awakened by a voice stating "Just get out!" Which was
caught on tape. Photo, 2011, Fifth World Art.


Belleview-Biltmore Hotel. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed 13
     February 2012.
Boca Raton Resort. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed 13
     February 2012.
Castillo de San Marcos. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed 13
     February 2012.
Episode 418, "Ghosts of the Sunshine State. Ghost Hunters. Aired 1 October
Flagler Museum. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed 13 February
Jenkins, Greg. Florida's Ghostly Legends and Haunted Folklore: Vol. 1
     South and Central Florida. Sarasota, FL: Pineapple Press, 2005.
Jenkins, Greg. Florida's Ghostly Legends and Haunted Folklore: Vol. 2
     North Florida and St. Augustine. Sarasota, FL: Pineapple Press, 2005.
Jenkins, Greg. Florida's Ghostly Legends and Haunted Folklore: Vol. 3
     The Gulf Coast and Pensacola. Sarasota, FL: Pineapple Press, 2007.
Lapham, Dave. Ghosthunting Florida. Cincinnati, OH: Clerisy Press, 2010.
Pensacola LightWikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed 13 February
Silver Springs, Florida. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed 13
     February 2012.
Tampa TheatreWikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed 13
     February 2012.
Vinoy Park HotelWikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed 13
     February 2012.