Reader Submission - The Old Jail in St. Augustine
St. Augustine’s Paranormal Places: What’s Locked Up in the Old Jail?
The Old Jail in St. Augustine, Florida is listed on the Florida and National Register of Haunted Places. The Old Jail’s paranormal past has been featured on The Today Show, the Syfy Channel and the Travel Channel. These supernatural occurrences include loud banging noises, light orbs, sudden chills and even sightings of moving shadows and apparitions. The history of the jail is sordid and scary, so many tourists and locals flock to the site to experience the haunted tales firsthand.
Henry Flagler, a key industrialist in Florida, built the structure in 1891. The same construction company would later go on to build the infamous Alcatraz prison. During its time as a jail, conditions for prisoners were notoriously inhumane, with poor diets and sanitation. The maximum security area housed the most dangerous criminals, and a total of 8 men were hung from the jail’s gallows. All of the violence and death led to many angry spirits haunting the grounds, which may be why strange odors and supernatural occurrences persist in the Old Jail even during the day.
Presently, the Old Jail is only accessible by guided tour. During a visit to the Old Jail and Museums, you’ll see the restored facilities, weaponry displays and even a visual account of the 8 infamous gallows deaths. For those who desire a bit more than a guided tour, Old Town Trolley Tours and 2Ghouls partnered up in the spring of 2013 to offer overnight paranormal investigations of the jail. The unique tour allows you to hunt for ghosts and spirits inside the registered haunted site, which is a one-of-a-kind but spooky experience for any fans of ghosts and the occult.
During my tour, about twenty ghost hunters gathered for three hours in the Old Jail. Being in such a small group was great because everyone was able to get individual attention and assistance from our guides. Ghost hunters on the tour can even use real ghost-hunting equipment including EMF detectors, field matrix scanners and camcorders. Using these authentic tools was a perfect combination of thrilling and educational, and some of my fellow ghost hunters were able to capture pictures of spooky orbs and even feel the presence of apparitions.
Ideal for both beginners and more advanced paranormal investigators, this opportunity to experience ghoulish activity shouldn’t be missed during a trip to St. Augustine. I would definitely go again. For more information about the Old Jail and Paranormal Investigations Tour, visit http://www.ghostsandgravestones.com/st-augustine/.
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