The St. Augustine Lighthouse: A Haunted Beacon
The St. Augustine Lighthouse is an iconic structure that has stood for over 140 years on Anastasia Island, just off the coast of Florida. While it has served as a beacon to sailors for generations, it is also known for its hauntings and ghostly tales. The lighthouse has been investigated by paranormal researchers and is considered to be one of the most haunted places in America.
History of the St. Augustine Lighthouse
The St. Augustine Lighthouse was built in 1874, replacing an earlier lighthouse that started to fall into
the sea during the time of the Civil War. The tower stands 165 feet tall and has 219 steps leading to the top. It is still a functioning lighthouse and is open to the public for tours.
In the 1980s the Junior Service League of St. Augustine took on the job of restoring the Lighthouse and the Keepers house and in 1994 the Lighthouse Museum was first opened. Today, the St. Augustine Lighthouse is a popular tourist attraction and museum and is owned and operated by the St.
Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum Inc.
Over the Years
Over the years, the lighthouse has been the site of several tragic events. In 1859, during the construction of the lighthouse, a man named Joseph Andreu fell to his death while painting the tower. It is said that his ghost still haunts the lighthouse, appearing as a dark figure on the stairs.
Another tragic event occurred in 1873 when three young girls, Eliza and Mary Pittee and a young
unnamed African American girl, drowned in the ocean just off the coast of the lighthouse. During
construction of the Lighthouse. Legend has it that their spirits still haunt the lighthouse, and visitors have reported seeing the ghostly figures of three young girls playing on the grounds.
The Haunted History of the St. Augustine Lighthouse
The St. Augustine Lighthouse has a long history of alleged paranormal activity. Many visitors and employees have reported strange occurrences, including unexplained noises, objects moving on their own, and apparitions appearing in photographs.
Another popular ghost story involves the lighthouse’s former lighthouse keepers. Visitors have reported seeing the apparitions of former keepers, who seem to be going about their duties, checking the light and maintaining the equipment.
Joseph was the 5th Lighthouse keeper of Florida’s firs official U.S. Lighthouse in St. Augustine. According to legend, one day while painting the beloved tower, he fell to his death. Since that fateful day, many lighthouse visitors and workers have seen him, still lingering on, unable to move to the next dimension. His figure has been seen standing at the top of the tower, looking out to sea. He has also been seen walking back and forth on the sand right where his lighthouse once stood.
The Young Girls
The tragic event occurred in 18791873when three young girls, Eliza and Mary Pittee and a young
unnamed African American girl drowned in the ocean just off the coast of the lighthouse. During
construction of the Lighthouse. Legend has it that their spirits still haunt the lighthouse, and visitors
have reported seeing the ghostly figures of three young girls playing on the grounds. Guests have said
they can hear giggling and the girls are known for playing tricks on guests and staff.
The Ghost of the Lighthouse Keeper’s Wife
The wife of Joseph Andreu, Maria Mestre de los Dolores Andreu, is also said to haunt the lighthouse. Maria did not die on the property we believe she died in Georgia Visitors have reported seeing her ghostly figure in the house and on the grounds. She helps guests navigate the nature trails and we smell her orange blossom perfume. She has even been seen during the day.
The Ghost of the Assistant Keeper
One of the lesser-known ghosts at St. Augustine Lighthouse is that of the head lighthouse keeper, Peter Rasmussen. Legend has it that Rasmussen died of Cardiac Asthma The smell of his cigar is often detected in the basement where he tends to frequent. He also is a stickler for manners and will baseball hats of people who into the house wearing hats. Visitors have reported seeing his ghostly figure on the tower stairs, and some have even claimed to have felt his ghostly hand on their shoulder.
In addition to these ghostly sightings, there have been reports of strange occurrences, such as doors opening and closing on their own, unexplained footsteps, and lights turning on and off by themselves.
St. Augustine Lighthouse is not only a historic and architectural wonder, but also a place that is steeped in legend and mystery. The ghosts of the lighthouse keeper, his wife, their daughter, the little girl, and the assistant keeper are just some of the reported hauntings at the lighthouse. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, there is no denying the allure of St. Augustine Lighthouse and the many stories that surround it.
St Augustine Lighthouse and Staff
I want to give a special thanks to Sammy Washburn from the St Augustine lighthouse staff. If it wasn’t for her time and effort and photos to this article would not have been possible.