Mad Ida Alice
Flagler College on King Street is one of the most recognizable symbols in St. Augustine. Built by Henry Flagler in 1888, the grand hotel was the crown jewel of St. Augustine’s elite. However, among the busy students lurks the ghostly spirit of Henry Flagler’s second wife, “Mad” Ida Alice.
Ida Alice was the nurse to Henry’s first wife, Mary Harkness. Devastated after Mary’s death, Henry soon took comfort in the young nurse eighteen years his junior. Ida was a vivacious woman who loved the lavish lifestyle that Henry provided. However this spirited young woman soon succumbed to insanity. Her insanity was said to be spurred by her belief that Henry was being unfaithful. In her rage, she took to using the ouija board to communicate with ghosts, and eventually believed she was engaged to the spirit of Nicholas, Czar of Russia. Ouija boards are often used inexpertly, and have been known to open portals to the other side allowing spirits to pass through to the land of the living. Perhaps she unknowingly allowed ghosts and other entities to pass to our side during her sessions.
Her mental health deteriorated. She would wield sewing scissors and take great swipes at her doctors and nurses, and roam the halls screaming. Her crumbling mind got her committed, and Henry quietly divorced her and remarried.
To this day the ghost of Ida Alice has been seen and heard by staff and students. Her spirit is often seen gazing at a painting of Henry, and her footsteps and laughter have echoed through the quarters she once occupied.
Ida is not the only ghost to grace Flagler College. The ghost of an unidentified young boy has been seen out of the corners of people’s eyes. A woman rumored to have been a former lover of Henry Flagler is said to have taken her own life, and her ghost still haunts the hallways. Students at the college have experienced slamming doors, flickering lights, knocks on the walls, and even blood curdling screaming.
Are you brave enough to join us for a walking tour that goes past this haunted building? Join us for a Deadwalk, where we take you to the most haunted corners of St. Augustine. Or you can join us on a Haunted St. Augustine, a walking paranormal investigation. Book your tour today!