Spooky tales are everywhere in Florida’s rich and storied history. In St. Augustine, you’ll find tons of ghost tales, tours, and scary spots that even the bravest among us might not want to stay the night in. You can take a terrifying night tour of one of Florida's haunted prisons, the Old St. John’s County Jail, or visit during the day where they’ll even book you as an inmate!
Not only was this spot St. Augustine’s very first jail, but it was also operational up until 1953.
Today, the jail is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, and on this guided sightseeing tour you’ll learn all about its gruesome history — you'll even have the opportunity to wander through a reenactment of how the jail once operated.
It's during this day tour where they'll book you as an inmate, taking you into the holding cells all while telling harrowing tales of the prison's past.
Hearing the true stories and witnessing the cells that real people stayed in is creepy enough, but just wait until evening falls.
The Ghosts and Gravestones tour is not for the faint of heart. Touring the jail at night, guests have claimed to hear unexplained sounds, see shadows, and even feel taps on their shoulders from invisible forces.
The show was even recently featured on a new Travel Channel series called Kindred Spirits back in January of 2020.
Could some inmates still linger behind the bars? The Kindred Spirits' crew seems to think so.
The treatment of the prisoners very well could have contributed to this location's haunted legacy.
The jail housed both male and female inmates and did not feature any kind of bathing facilities or human waste filtration, leading to much sickness and death beyond the executions that occurred there.
The maximum-security cells in the back of the jail even held stockades, a torture cage, including a clear view of the execution area.
Perhaps most ironic of all, from the outside, the jail looks like any other romantic revival house in the area. It was structured like that on purpose by founder Henry Flagler, who didn’t want the eyesore of the old jail interrupting the experience of the guests at his nearby hotel.
Who knows what you may hear, smell, or feel during your visit to St. Augustine’s Old Jail. Whether you're a haunting adventurer or a history buff, there's a lot to experience on tours of this eerie location.
Old St. John's County Jail
Address: 167 San Marco Ave, St. Augustine, FL
Why You Need To Go: Explore this ancient, haunted jail and even become an honorary inmate!
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