I really do say this a lot, but Florida has to be one of the most bizarre, in a very good way, state I've ever lived in, and I've partied with a spot-on Teddy Roosevelt impersonator in a Medora bar with my mom. Just when I think I'm starting to understand this place after a little over a year of living here, something else absolutely floors me. And it's so many times about all things haunted around Florida, which I'm slowly starting to collect an understanding of. But St. Augustine is a tough one. There is far too much to know about this notoriously haunted and famous chunk of Florida paradise.
Beautiful to visit, but peel back the layers and there's quite a history, and not all of it is of this world. In fact, St. Augustine is considered to be so haunted, it is often considered one of the most haunted cities in the entire U.S., and that's saying something because there are some old ghosts up in here.
I thought I had a general idea of what St. Augustine had to offer in the supernatural category, and then I was proven wrong. And all I can remember thinking then was: "St. Augustine is so haunted even the city gates have ghosts?!"
So let's rewind a little bit and talk about the history of the Old City Gates, because I just threw a lot at you in one sentence. Or at least it was a lot for me when I learned about it all the first time. You know I had to take a seat. '
Built in 1808, the Old City Gates were once the sole entrance to St. Augustine and were placed as a defense mechanism and are made of crude stone, according to Trolleytours.com, which takes you to the Old City Gates as stop number 4 on their St. Augustine tour, just FYI.
There are also many ghost touring companies that feature the Old City Gates as at least one of their star attraction, and for good reason, the alleged ghost story behind the gates is both intriguing and terrifying.
If the Black Plague that swept Europe wasn't scary enough, St. Augustine suffered something called "The Black Vomit" in 1821. Unable to escape the Old City Gate walls they'd sealed themselves into, yellow fever overtook St. Augustine, and mass burials were required. Considered to be the most fatal disease to ravish St. Augustine, the culprit was believed to be stagnant water from shipping barrels.
Sadly, many lives were claimed by The Black Vomit, including the life of a little girl named Elizabeth who died of yellow fever in 1821. She, along with hundreds of others, were buried at Huguenot Cemetery in the mass grave,
Her little body was found alone by officials, leaving the sad story of her family's whereabouts and how she came to die alone a mystery.
And, as with many sad stories, there comes a ghost. Many eye witnesses have reported seeing the ghost of little Elizabeth. All I know is, if there wasn't a reason to visit St. Augustine, there is now. Because if even the walls of a city are haunted, it has to be a pretty cool place.
Who's coming with me?
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