St. Augustine is one of Florida’s most beautiful and historic places to visit. In 1891 the area was in desperate need for a jail, so Mr. Flager, a local businessman, had one built. While the exterior of the jail was built to emulate the grace of the Victorian era, very violent criminals and activities were contained inside its walls.
A Beautiful Building, an Ugly Past
Many criminals were hanged on the gallows on the property. Others still died, but as a result of harsh living conditions. The jail remained open until 1953. Now, the Old Jail is open for tours, and one participant, Angela G., got more than she paid for.
“I was visiting family in Florida when they decided to take me to St. Augustine,” she recalled. “I thought the jail was such a beautiful building, despite what it was used for. My great aunt, sister, niece and I all decided to take a tour together. I remember feeling creeped out through the duration of the tour…
“But all you have to think about is the type of people who lived there and how many of them died there and, really, it’s not like it’s hard to be creeped out, ya know?” she laughed softly. “It might have been my imagination but it felt like nearly all of the cells were five degrees colder than the temperature through the walkway.”
St. Augustine: Where the Dead Aren’t Afraid to Make Themselves Known
“Anyway, I asked my family to huddle together for a photo. I took a few more pictures, and I felt like I was finally starting to feel less uneasy about the jail. My niece asked me to take a photo of just her. I had her sit on the bench of one of the jail cells, and I stood outside the doorway.
“I snapped the photo and hit the review button to look at it. I almost dropped the camera in shock,” she said, almost in a whisper.’
What did you see?
“My niece was there, looking normal. But sitting to the right of her was this…figure. I could see it was a man. He looked deathly pale, like hadn’t seen the sun in decades. But what frightened me more than anything was that he was sitting right next to her, his mouth just inches from her ear.
“He looked at her as if she were his next meal!
“I plan on going back to St. Augustine someday,” Angela concluded. “But I will never visit that jail again.”
167 San Marco Ave
St Augustine, FL 32084