Shriek Show - St. Augustine Lighthouse Kate Shields and Abby Gehlhausen
This week’s segment takes us to the St. Augustine Lighthouse located in Florida. The lighthouse was built in the mid-1500s, making it one of the oldest structures still standing in America. Many different people have lived in the lighthouse and kept watch over the many years it has stood. These people have come and gone, but some have extended their stay.
There are many lingering spirits on grounds of the lighthouse. One is referred to by locals and employees as “the man”. He can frequently be seen wandering up and down the spiral staircase while wearing a blue jacket and a mariner’s cap, or peering down from the catwalk above. Some people think he’s the spirit of William Russel, a watchful and obedient lighthouse keeper from the 1850s, because of his tall, lean build. Others mention Joseph Andreu, who in 1859 fell from a scaffolding while applying a new coat of paint. Joseph’s wife, Maria, also said to stand at the edge of the catwalk, where her husband stood seconds before he tragically lost his life. She was so heartbroken she had to leave the island, but she has since returned.
These aren’t the only spirits that linger at the lighthouse, however. In 1872, while the lighthouse was under construction, the Pittee family was staying there. The girls and their friends liked to play in a rail cart that the workers used, but one day the cart went off the rails and fell into the sea. A couple of the girls survived, but both Pittee daughters were taken away by the tide and weren’t able to be rescued. Guests can hear their giggles and often wake up to find child-sized footprints on the floor.
Early in 1994, the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum began operations on a full-time basis. Shortly after, the location was entered into the National Register of Historic Places. It continues to operate as a lighthouse and is still a popular tourist site, especially for ghost hunters.