Saint Augustine, FL

Visiting the Castillo de San Marcos at midnight sounds scary AF

Evie M.
The ominous Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, FloridaPhoto byJonathan Zander on Wikimedia Commons

I might just have a problem. Here it is, Christmas Day (Merry Christmas, by the way), and I'm over here thinking about haunted places around Florida. Top say it's a borderline obsession at this point might not be so much of an understatement, but hey. It's almost the New Year and coming to peace with who you are is all part of life, is it not?

I will admit, though, the night started off with no spooky thoughts. My friend and I were halfway through Christmas Eve dinner when we started talking about what we'd like to do differently in the new year.

"Travel and explore more around Florida," I'd said when my turn came.

"Yeah," my friend had replied, "I've been meaning to check out the Castillo de San Marcos. It's supposed to be really scary. My friend went on a ghost tour there and said she'd never go back."

Of course, his comment got the wheels turning in my little noodle. I've heard of the Castillo de San Marcos before. It's often mentioned as one of the most haunted places in the (apparently) very paranormally active St. Augustine, Florida. I'd passed it off for more "interesting" sounding haunts, but there was something in the way my friend spoke that made me realize I should take a second look.

And honestly, the place sounds scary AF. So let's talk about it.

A Spanish Fort with a heavy past

Dubbed as "the oldest masonry building in the U.S.",z the Castillo, which was constructed way back in the 17th century, even from only photos, is a striking sight along the Matanzas Bay. The brain-child of an engineer named Ignacio Daza off of an ancient Italian "defensive pattern" and constructed officially in 1672, the Castillo is a well-known and well-visited monument.

Up to 350 visitors at a time can enjoy exploring the Castillo de San Marcos, which is open seven days a week save for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Doors open at 9:00 a.m. and the final guests are ushered out at 5:15 p.m. Yet, the grounds don't close until midnight.

This might seem like rudimentary information, but the detail about closing early really struck me, especially considering the terrible ghost stories surrounding the Castillo.

Many suffered behind the walls of the Castillo

There are many reports that the beautiful Castillo, "centerpiece of Florida", has several (apparent) suffering spirits trapped behind its walls. Guests and ghost hunters alike have reported numerous "unexplainable events" around the Castillo, with each room providing a unique, curious experience. In one room you could smell Patchouli oil, in another you could feel suffocating dread, and if you put your ear to the wall, it's said you could hear "battle cries".

And it all is said to happen around Midnight. Big nope for me, but also, maybe not. If you'd like to go on a tour of the Castillo, sadly, you cannot go inside, but you can take a tour of the grounds using a local ghost touring company such as Old Town Ghosts.

My only question is: Who's coming with me?

Comments / 10

Published by

"Reader beware, you're in for a scare!--R.L. Stine"

Orlando, FL

More from Evie M.

Comments / 0