Most Haunted Places in America: Castillo de San Marcos
As the Nation’s oldest city the town of St. Augustine in Florida was secured as a fort by the Spanish empire between the years of 1672 and 1695 after being destroyed by Sir Frances Drake in 1586 and English Pirate Robert Searles in 1668. Built from a type of shell stone called coquina it made the fort practically untouchable. It was around 1672 when the fort was built once again, again with the coquina and this time named Castillo.
It took 23 years to build Castillo and the coquina was brought from Cuba to construct this massive fort. During the hundred years before Castillo the town of St. Augustine was defended by nine wooden forts. While the British was in control it was known as Fort St. Mark between 1763 and 1784 and then as Fort Marion between 1821 and 1942.
One of the most famous legends of the Castillo de San Marcos is that of Colonel Garcia Martis, what happened to his wife Dolores, and his chief officer Captain Manuel Abela. It is said that Captain Abela and Dolores were involved in a torrid love affair in which the Colonel caught them by smelling his wife’s perfume on the captain. Both, the Captain and Dolores suddenly disappeared although the Colonel could give excuses as to where they went, Dolores supposedly went home to Mexico and the Captain was supposedly reassigned back in Spain.
Years later in a hidden room in the dungeon ashes and bones were discovered, they are believed to be the ashes and bones of Captain Abela and his lover Dolores. When people have toured this room, they have felt sudden cold spots and have smelt the sweet perfume that was Dolores’ own special scent, the scent that caused her to lose her life and the life of her lover.
There is also said that if you place your ear up again the wall of the fort that you can hear screams and fighting as if you are listening to the war and death that occurred at that place. The watch tower light is almost always being lit as sunset, or as it is rising, although there is no power to that particular area. Apparently the soldiers are still keeping the light burning for their comrades that are coming to the fort from Spain and are needing the light to guide their paths.
Is this the only phenomenon at the Castillo de San Marco, I am sure it is not, but who knows for sure, aside from those who experience the sightings and feelings of death, dread and wonderment that just seemed to ooze from every crevice of the fort. It is said that you can see apparitions, orbs, cold spots and the feeling of being touched by an unseen hand.
They do offer tours of the fort daily until 4:30 in the afternoon, and the grounds around the fort are open aside from the hours of midnight to 5:30 in the morning. Everyone is encouraged to add their story of their visit of the Castillo de San Marco, if you visit and feel or sense something very strange, or if you see something that shouldn’t have been there, then you can say you have had an experience at one of the most haunted places in America.