The Saint Augustine Light, St. Augustine, Florida (Famous Haunted Places)
by Christine B. 2011
The Saint Augustine Light was the first lighthouse built in Florida by the American government in 1824. It has seen and survived many storms and quite a few lighthouse keepers. The light is located on the north end of Anastasia Island, but is still within the city limits of St. Augustine, Florida. It is now owned and operated by St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum, Inc. and is open to the public.
St. Augustine has a long and troubled past. Can it be any wonder that one of the oldest structures in the city holds on to some of its ghosts and spirits? Two of those spirits are the daughters of the engineer who was hired to renovate the light in 1873. Eliza Pity, 13 and her sister, Mary Pity, 15 were playing near the edge of land in a cart waiting for their father to finish working. The cart gave way and fell into the ocean with the girls still in it, and they both were drowned. The young ladies can still be heard giggling and have been seen inside and outside the building.
Former light keeper, Peter Rasmussen was known by the cigars that he loved to smoke on a regular basis. His ghost is still smoking his cigars and their smoke can be detected a few days a week by workers at the light. Maybe he hasn’t moved on to the light because he knows there’s no smoking in Heaven!
An additional specter still in residence at the light is another former light keeper, Joseph Andreu. Andreu died in the 1850s from a fall while he was painting the outside of the original tower. His spirit can still be seen and his footsteps heard on the tower’s spiral staircase and at the top of the structure.
A number of pirates have been buried near the lighthouse, as well. In its early years St. Augustine was home to many pirate gangs. It would not be surprising that some of those ancient mariners would opt to hang around the light that signaled them back home.
The St. Augustine Light and its ghosts have been the feature of several television programs, including Ghost Hunters. There seems to me a lot more to this attraction than merely the oldest working light in the United States.