5 Haunted Sites In St. Augustine With True Backstories

Old Jail

The Old Jail that was built by none other than Henry Flagler himself and is home to many spirits who are who were inmates, the sheriff, and the sheriff’s family. The jail was made to blend in with the rest of architecture during that time period (opened until 1953) and how you see it now is how it was back then. The only way to tell it’s a jail is the bars on the windows.

By today’s standards, the cells would be considered unlivable. The mattresses were stuffed with Spanish Moss that were infested with bugs and there were no blankets or pillows. There was no where to bathe and no where to go to the bathroom, except in the cell they lived in. Many inmates died of disease, and many were tortured or executed. Many believe it is for this reason, that their spirits still haunt the jail.

Paranormal experiences that often occur:

  • frequent sound of footsteps: clunky and loud footsteps that people say are the “men in chains”
  • aromas: smell similar to molasses cooking on the stove or a sewage smell
  • dogs barking: believed to be the Sheriff’s dogs
  • voices: whaling and moaning coming from the maximum security/ solitary confinement areas, voice of a little girl coming from Sheriff’s area, sinister laughs in the women’s cells, and whistling
  • low temperatures: spots that are colder than others, many people feeling like a cold hand is touching their shoulder, or blowing on them as they walk by


Photo Credit: Trip Advisor

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Spanish Military Hospital

The Spanish Military Hospital is known as the most haunted hospital in St. Augustine and is located in the village of Spanish Quarter. The hospital stood from the 1700’s to 1821 and the building that stands is a replica, but still is home to many spirits.

During the year of 1821, the city of St. Augustine had to replace the water lines under the building so the entire hospital had to be rebuilt. During this time, the patients and employees of the hospital started seeing something described as “evil,” like “death lingering in the air.” The walls were eventually removed, and thousands of bones were discovered. According to The North Florida Paranormal Research group, the bones belonged to the Timucuan people (one of the earliest Indian tribes in St. Augustine.) It is now believed that the evil presence in the hospital are the many souls of the Timucuan people that are buried there.

There are many rooms in the new rebuilt Spanish Military Hospital that are believed to be haunted. One for example, is the “Mourning Room;” where patients were previously moved too to pass away peacefully and a priest would come to bless the dying people. The hauntings aren’t reported to interact with the living, but, there have been reports of screaming, crying, distant conversations, and even imprints on the beds.

“The Ward” is the room where the sick and the dying were kept before going to the “Mourning Room.” In “The Ward,” many of the patients were in pain and it is said you can hear moans, screams, see objects move, doors close and open, and sometimes an apparition.


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