A spirited road trip to the most haunted destinations on Florida’s First Coast

Travel to the “Psychic Capital of the World” and beyond on this bewitching journey along the Sunshine State’s northeastern coast

St. Augustine. | Photo: Amanda Adler

Dating back to 1565, St. Augustine is the oldest European-founded settlement in the U.S. Situated along the Atlantic Ocean in North Florida, on what’s commonly referred to as “Florida’s First Coast,” St. Augustine has a storied history that’s evident throughout the city’s centuries-old buildings, brick-lined streets, and hidden courtyards. Ponce de Leon famously sought the Fountain of Youth here, and today his spirit is just one of many thought to haunt this notoriously ghost-filled destination.

With so many historic places to see in St. Augustine, and its reputation as one of the most haunted cities in the country, it’s the perfect spot to begin a bewitching road trip this spooky season. Travel through haunted hallways, graveyards, and museums in this eerie hot spot before journeying on to other nearby spirited destinations to make the most of your decidedly dark visit to the Sunshine State.

a black and white striped lighthouse against a clear blue sky
St. Augustine Lighthouse. | Photo: Amanda Adler

1. St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum

St. Augustine is more than 450 years old, and in the last few centuries the town has racked up more than its fair share of haunting tales. Perhaps the most infamous locale in St. Augustine is the lighthouse, which has stood watch over this waterfront town since 1874. Many spirits are rumored to haunt its halls, drawing the attention of ghost hunters and tourists looking to spy a specter of the lighthouse keeper who tragically died here, or hear the lingering laughter of two young girls who drowned nearby.

a few people sit on a stone fort by the water with palm trees
Castillo de San Marcos National Monument. | Photo: Amanda Adler

2. Castillo de San Marcos National Monument

Next, head to St. Augustine’s imposing 17th-century fort, which has survived more than 300 years of bloody battles and disastrous storms. While traveling through Castillo de San Marcos’ hallowed halls, be on the lookout for supernatural occurrences, which are commonly reported here, such as flickering lights, ghostly sightings of a Spanish soldier, and the feeling of cold hands pressed against your skin. 

a small pink building with the statue of a soldier out front
Spanish Military Hospital Museum. | Photo: Amanda Adler

3. Spanish Military Hospital Museum

When the Spanish Military Hospital was rebuilt in 1821, workers discovered thousands of human bones buried beneath the building’s foundation. Today, visitors report hearing moans, screams, and cries, along with strange sightings of the restless spirits who were unearthed during construction. Many say that the building gives them an unnerving sensation of dread, making this stop on your journey one that’s not for the faint of heart.

tombstones in a historic cemetery
Huguenot Cemetery. | Photo: Amanda Adler

4. Huguenot Cemetery

Located near the Old City Gate, Huguenot Cemetery holds more than 400 bodies, many of whom were victims of the yellow fever outbreak in the early 1800s. While many of the cemetery’s residents are believed to haunt these grounds from the beyond, the location’s most famous ghost is the spirit of a judge who has been unable to rest since grave robbers stole several of his possessions, including his gold teeth.

a two story pink and white house with a porch and white picket fence outside
Old Jail. | Photo: Amanda Adler

5. Old Jail Museum

To conclude your visit to St. Augustine, be sure to check out the Old Jail, which is listed on the Florida and National Register of Haunted Places. At least eight hangings, along with other prisoner deaths and acts of cruelty, occurred at this site, making it a hotbed for paranormal activity. Locals and visitors alike report eerie occurrences at this location, especially when toured under the cover of darkness.

Related 150 years of escapes and executions at Burlington County Prison, one of the most haunted places in New Jersey

A sign for the cassadaga spiritualist camp next to a small white building
Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp. | Photo: Amanda Adler

6. Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp

After leaving St. Augustine, head for a destination where you can communicate with ethereal spirits, and perhaps even peek into the future. Named the “Psychic Capital of the World,” the Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp is home to a community of like-minded citizens united by spiritualism, with many of the resident mediums offering readings in local businesses and homes. Wander through this quiet hamlet’s unique bookstores and curio shops before seeking psychic services from whichever spiritual guide calls out to you.

Related Searching for answers in Cassadaga, the ‘Psychic Capital of the World’

a museum with creepy dolls and skeletons
C Green’s Haunted History House and Museum. | Photo: Amanda Adler

7. C Green’s Haunted History House and Museum

The unassuming C Green’s Haunted History House and Museum is part history museum and part haunted house. The 122-year-old building is packed full of hundreds of mesmerizing items, ranging from nightmarish dolls to creepy artifacts, witchy collectibles, and recreations of legendary creatures. Explore the collection by flashlight and purchase your very own haunted doll at the onsite gift shop… if you dare.

a brick chair in a historic cemetery with a can of bud light sitting on the seat
The Devil’s Chair. | Photo: Amanda Adler

8. Lake Helen-Cassadaga Cemetery

Folklore tells of a haunted chair found in graveyards throughout the U.S. Perhaps the most storied of these legendary “Devil’s Chairs” is a graveside bench in the cemetery that borders Cassadaga and nearby Lake Helen. The Devil is said to appear to those bold enough to sit in the chair, and local legend claims that an unopened can of beer left on the chair will be empty, though still sealed shut, by morning.

a small brick brewery with a sign painted on the side that says "wholesale retail ocean specialties stokes fish market" with a painting of a fish
Wop’s Hops Brewery. | Photo: Amanda Adler

9. Wop’s Hops Brewing Company

Continuing down Interstate 4 toward the city of Sanford, take caution as you head through the deadliest portion of the roadway, known as the “I-4 Dead Zone,” where ghost hitchhikers have reportedly been spotted by weary drivers. Head through the charming downtown and keep an eye out for a ghost horse that’s rumored to haunt the streets as you make your way to Wop’s Hops, a former fish market turned brewery. Built in the early 1900s, this historic building boasts five spirits in residence, with many visitors claiming they’ve encountered cold spots and apparitions while sipping on their IPAs.

a black building with a red door and a sign that says "manikins lounge"
Manikins Lounge. | Photo: Amanda Adler

10. The Manikin Lounge

After the sun goes down, head a few doors down to The Manikin Lounge. This last stop is only for the 21+ crowd, but it offers a unique environment that blurs the line between illusion and reality. The lounge is the brainchild of a rumored immortal, and possible descendent of Vlad the Impaler, and offers a chance to step inside a goth-inspired fantasyland. Whether you believe the mystical lore surrounding the venue’s creator or simply enjoy dancing to darkwave, EBM, metal, and ‘80s industrial music, you’ll discover an appropriately sinister environment in which to reflect on this otherworldly road trip.