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Dest. Strange Destination Strange

Destination Strange Destination Strange

Your guide to all places other‑worldly, haunted, and just plain weird.

At Castillo de San Marcos the spirits of pirates still roam the halls

Most everyone knows that Saint Augustine is one of the most haunted cities in America, and for good reason. Castillo De San Marcos is the oldest masonry fort in the country, and it was built to last. The 17th century, 50,000 square-foot fortress has survived battles, sieges, and bloodshed thanks to the 11-19 foot-thick walls, surrounding moat, and barbican entrance. In other words, this building is a badass.

She was built in 1668 after English pirates raided, sacked and burned Saint Augustine to the ground. By 1695 work on the Castillo was complete, but it wasn't until 1702 that the walls of the fort were finally tested. The British attacked for 50 days, but the fort could not be taken. The city around them burned, but still Castillo De San Marcos stood unwavering.

"Castillo de San Marcos was twice besieged: first by English colonial forces led by Carolina Colony Governor James Moore in 1702, and then by Georgia colonial Governor James Oglethorpe in 1740. Possession of the fort has changed six times, all peaceful, amongst four different governments: the Spanish Empire, the Kingdom of Great Britain, the Confederate State of America and the United States of America." -wikipedia

The Castillo de San Marcos was also at the center of the Seminole Indian War in 1834 where the war ended. Both Osceola and Coacoochee were tricked into making the trek to the fort — both chiefs were put in irons and the war was declared over.

"Beginning in 1875, numerous Native American prisoners were held at the fort in the aftermath of the Indian Wars in the west. Many would die at the fort. Among the captives were Chief White Horse of the Kiowa, and Chief Grey Beard of the Southern Cheyenne." - wikipedia

All of this has helped to feed Castillo de San Marcos' reputation for being exceptionally haunted. Often times guests visiting at night will see strange bright lights that run along the side of the fort. Soldiers have been spotted inside the cannon room or running through the courtyard. The head of a Native American man has been spotted floating around the fort, and according to eye-witnesses, he's not a happy ghost.


One of the most famous ghost at Castillo De San Marcos is the spirit of Andrew Ranson, a villainous English pirate. When Ranson was captured he was sentenced to death by gallows, but managed to survive when the rope snapped. The friars declared it a miracle and Ranson's life was spared, though he was sent to Castillo de San Marcos, and according to many that's where his spirt is still today. On 2008 this photograph taken during a paranormal event at the fort, captured what many believe is the spirit of Andrew Ranson. According to the photographer there was no one on the left-hand-side of the frame when the it was taken.

It's one of the oldest pieces of American history, it's been wonderfully preserved, and it's totally infested with ghosts, what more could you ask for? The staff at Castillo De San Marcos hosts a ton of amazing events which include historic war demonstrations, candlelight tours, and ghost hunts. So head on out and get your spooky seasonal fun pirate style!

If you're looking for more paranormal hangouts, we've done all the hard work for you! Here's your guide to Haunted Happenings. Don't forget your flashlight!

Featured image credit: wikipedia 

jessica.scotten jessica.scotten
A cool spot to visit, I visited in December, the people watching here was AMAZING. The rest of the town I'd describe as a D-version of Disney World. Maybe being a Floridian, has jaded me to the "touristy" destination. Lucky to get in , see the fort, the AMAZING people, and get out. Nice Parking structure.
about 4 years ago At Castillo de San Marcos the spirits of pirates still roam the halls
mocha.klein.3 mocha.klein.3
We went to st Augustine ft. We heard drums being played. I asked the ranger where were the drums being played . He said "what drums?".
over 4 years ago At Castillo de San Marcos the spirits of pirates still roam the halls
urcookin urcookin
Yes as a Saint Augustine resident some nights you can see what looks like a flame lighting the cannon on the left wall facing the Matanzas Inlet. The place is very haunted as is the city. Saint Augustine is the oldest city in America not Jamestown as some thought. Saint Augustine is a hundred years older.
over 4 years ago At Castillo de San Marcos the spirits of pirates still roam the halls
sufiatno sufiatno
Is it true ?
over 4 years ago At Castillo de San Marcos the spirits of pirates still roam the halls
shelliebean28 shelliebean28
I went there many times for school field trips and family outings. There is a small room that was used for storing ammo and at some point, dah dah dah... dead bodies. That room to me has the heaviest feeling. I can't wait to read what your trip turns up! Wish I could go 😞
over 4 years ago At Castillo de San Marcos the spirits of pirates still roam the halls
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