The St. Augustine National Cemetery: A Hidden Gem
A few blocks south of the noisy bustle of downtown St. Augustine is well shaded, peaceful resting ground known as the St. Augustine National Cemetery. This is a site that is often visited on our ghost tour called the DEAD WALK. Our Shadow Ride EV vehicle also takes a route by this graveyard. The St. Augustine National Cemetery is one of only nine in Florida and the grounds have a long and storied history nearly as old as the Ancient City itself. While the gleaming white headstones and the well manicured lawn create a daytime atmosphere of peace, the cemetery and grounds are brimming with hauntings, history, and its own bloody past. Most of the graves in this cemetery have been disinterred and moved here from other locations throughout Florida, setting the stage for disturbed spirits and hauntings. Located beside the St. Francis Barracks, The St. Augustine National Cemetery is home to the Dade Pyramids- three coquina pyramids commemorating nearly 1500 men that died during the Second Seminole War including The Dade Massacre. These pyramids are also the final resting place of 140 of these men, and are among the oldest monuments located on the grounds of a National Cemetery.
A Bloody Massacre
The Dade Massacre was an attack in December of 1835 by Seminoles on Major Francis Langhorne Dade and his company of men while they were traveling to Fort Brooke (near present day Tampa) to Fort King (near present day Ocala). All but two of the men died in the ambush. Dade and his men’s corpses laid on the ground for 6 weeks before they were able to be recovered and identified by personal items. This event sparked the Second Seminole War. After the war’s end, a huge funerary procession with 8 wagons of corpses to be buried made its grim way through the town to put the men to rest. The whole town attended the burial.
However, just because bodies were at rest doesn’t mean the spirits were. It’s not uncommon to see orbs and unexplained shadows on the grounds of the cemetery. EVPs and other paranormal activity has been witnessed here as well. There have been reports of a soldier who smokes a pipe prowling near the cemetery- once approached, he disappears.
The cemetery isn’t the only location on the property with a rich, haunted history. The St Francis Barracks was originally a monastery that was burned down by the English raids in 1702. Seven missionaries lost their lives in the blaze, marking the beginning of the long and creepy history of the grounds. The current structure was built in its place and is made of coquina and was constructed between 1735-1755. This structure is still standing today and serves as the headquarters for The Florida National Guard.
Come Join Us
This famous final resting place and its permanent residents prove that hauntings and spirits lurk in every corner of The Ancient City. Let us be your ghost guides! We can bring you to haunted locations no other tour offers. We offer the best ghost tours in St. Augustine. We got all types of paranormal tours: walking, riding, the Original Haunted Pub Tour and investigations of a haunted house. Are you brave enough to join us for a spooky experience during your stay in the oldest and most haunted city in America?