Ghost Tour, Saint Augustine
Normally I would never do this, but we were in St. Augustine and my girlfriend insisted so we found a company that does St. Augustine ghost tours called Ghost Hearse. I figured it would be lame considering the reviews I've seen on other companies on here, but all in all it was actually pretty cool. I learned quite a bit about the old city and there was actually even a few things that creeped me out which is a plus.
I don't know about the other tours, but if you want to do a ghost tour in St. Augustine this is the one to do imho.
If there is one of these, there are at least 6 more around town. I am not sure what the draw is to be compelled to take a ghost tour, but they sure promote the theme. There is a lot of competition and the tours can be walking, riding, or even boating. Claims of many sighting of ghosts in the town is rampant. Only you can tell if it is true, but it costs you to find out. Most tours are $14-15, and most take maybe 1 hour; while others may be 1 1/2 hours for $25; so look real hard.
St. Augustine is so nice and the buildings are beautiful. About the Haunted Pub Tour though...
We went on 7-25-08. The tickets were $16 each. First our tour guide "Brie" shows up wasted. My husband is a cop and knows drunk when he sees it. You didn't have to be a professional to tell she was hammered though. There was no tour before us so it was not residual from the last tour. Beside the fact that she was a horrible story teller she was texting on her cell all night. The other thing was we were supposed to go to 5 pubs. She flat out told us that she didn't want to take us of one of them because we would get bad service so we skipped it. Pretty sure they are not supposed to do that. When we did go to a pub or bar Harry's in particular bartenders and waitresses seemed annoyed if not out right p-oed at our presence. Not very nice, we were bring them business after all. We had a group of about 16 so you can imagine after a few drinks and that amount of people there were some cut-ups in the group. No one was laughing at her but she was seriously perturbed at any actual fun that was going on. She said to her boyfriend (who showed up half way through the tour) while sitting amongst us, without even bothering to lower her voice or go around the corner, that we were the "worst group EVER." So in my opinion $32 is a lot to pay to be insulted and jipped! I recommend you don't waste your money. If you want to take a ghost tour do the "sober" ones then go out and drink if you want.
St. Augustine, being the oldest city in America, is a place for Ghosts. The many ghost tours in St. Augustine are a lot of fun. If, however, you are on a budget there are other ways to see ghosts. One way is to go in the evening and walk around St. Augustine on your own. It is not necessary to pay for a tour. Make sure and walk the moat of the Castillo San Marcos and also the Cemetary across the street. You cannot actually walk through the cemetary, but you can walk up to the iron gate and look for ghosts. Many ghosts sightings have been there every year.
If you love ghosts and would like to read a book about ghost stories that are based on a true sotry, then check out the brand new ghost story book based on a true story "If One Only Looks: 85 Years of Ghost Stories" by a local author. http://Book.BigRedRabbit.com
you know when they say a haunted pub crawl I expected not to be crawling to the different bars and hoping not to run in to a lady floating in the air or freddi kreuger. This tour is an a great way to have some insight about the story of the city but the downside is you only go to three pubs but at least one of them is an Irish pub.
As part of the activities for the VT meeting we went on a haunted pub crawl. Though we didn't see any ghosts--at least I didn't--it was highly entertaining, especially our guide. I don't remember the guide's name, but I'd recognize him anywhere. I also don't really remember much of what he said, but it was great all the same.
We went to three pubs in all, and would have liked to go to more, but we did have a chance to see some great sites in the city that we would have missed otherwise.
Walking tour costs $16 per person and begins at the ghost tour office. Wear comfy shoes.
The mercury vapor lights burn bight in defiance of the deepening St. Augustine twilight, but they can’t reach every dark corner of this city. You are ushered into the Ghost Augustine Tavern and Coffee House where you meet with a tour guide and this is no ordinary tour. The guide hands you a flash light, an electromagnetic field (EMF) detector, and a thermo scanner as he explains that the immediate vicinity around a “ghost” tends to produce a change in the electrometric field and a sharp drop in the air temperature. At dark you are led across the street to the grounds of the Castillo de San Marcos and turned loose with your gadgets to search for its nonliving denizens. The Castillo is only the first stop. The guide takes you to several historic sites around St. Augustine. He only tells you the history and ghost stories about the site after you have had a chance to explore it with the detectors. More often than not you will find that you or people on your tour do get sharp EMF spikes at spots which are thought to be haunted or where people have met with tragic ends.
You are encouraged to take pictures during the tour because, as explained by the guide, the supernatural often show up in pictures even when you do not see them in front of you. He had example images from both digital and film cameras. Here’s my tip –focus many pictures on people rather than objects. Of the example images shown at the Tavern, more of the ones with living people in them show ghostly lights than those without people in them.
Even for a nonbeliever, like myself, who never got a single EMF reading, this tour was spooky and wonderful. I felt the echo of past events even if I didn’t get to interact with them. Ghosts or no Saint Augustine becomes a magical place at night. This ghost tour above all others is the creature itself - a few gadgets, a little history, a little mystery, a whole lot of adrenaline, and the elusive other worldly.
Tour lasts 2 hours; It’s a walking tour- wear comfortable shoes. Call for reservations. 20$