Perched on 2601 Atlantic Ave, Fernandina Beach, Fort Clinch State Park is a mecca for history and Pokémon lovers. It is home to a 19th-century brick fortress (and a bunch of rare Pokémon). Moreover, it offers a range of recreational activities such as surfcasting, pier fishing, and wildlife viewing. Locals and visitors alike are also treated to military re-enactments every first weekend of each month.
That’s what the brochure and services like Yelp will tell you.
But what you may not know is the Fort Clinch Park is actually one of the few extremely haunted spots in Fernandina Beach.
The Ghostly Union Soldiers of World War II
Fort Clinch was supposed to serve as a Union Civil War fort, but it was never finished. In addition to the lack of government funding, the Confederate troops’ ambushes delayed its completion. Especially as many good men died in the process.
Many of the re-enactors volunteering at the fort have come across the real deal in the courtyard. Deathly pale with sunken eyes, they hardly speak to the people they come across.
If you feel a cold chill all of a sudden and find one of these staring at you through the screen, you may want to stop hurling PokéBalls and run in the opposite direction.
There’s one soldier you should definitely NEVER cross paths with. Somberly walking in the grounds, at a distance from the others, you may see a Confederate soldier. Legend has it that he promised his wife that he wouldn’t die until he saw her again. Fate had something else in mind.
So, he roams the Union Civil War fort in hopes of finding a way to her. But as he begins realizing this is an impossible dream, he lashes out at the nearest living thing. Many small animals have been found dead in the courtyard. If you try hiking there near midnight, beware. You may face the same fate.
The Spirits of Fernandina Beach’s Black Death Victims
In times past, a plague swept over the residents of the beach, claiming their lives. During the Civil War, many were admitted into the fort’s infirmary. Unfortunately, they didn’t last against the plague and their souls joined those of the soldiers at Fort Clinch.
Whether you’re exploring the Fort Clinch State Park or hunting for an Abra there, you may want to be on the lookout for the ghosts of the victims. One ghost in particular has been spotted by several visitors – a child with a grim look.
Standing near the fort’s infirmary, at times surrounded by moaning spirits, he glares at the living with dead eyes. You won’t get a friendly vibe from him. No one has till date. Just don’t try aggravating him or else you’ll find out why people fear him.
So, whether you’re at Fort Clinch State Park for Pokémon or to indulge in its offerings, remember: the spirits are watching you. Be respectful to them and their forever home and they won’t lash out at you.