With Halloween next week, it’s not a surprise that we’re writing about our area’s haunted past. With a long, colorful history under eight different flags, Amelia Island has plenty of spooky stories and haunted hangouts to explore not just in October, but year round! Below are some spots to see and a few ghost tours to learn more about them.
The site of the original town of Fernandina was originally settled over 1000 years ago by Timuca Indians. In the centuries that followed, this area has been the site of a Spanish fort and the home of a witch named Felipa (famous for her love potions). It is said that a 16-year-old that drowned in the river still appears to unknowing teenagers today if they visit the old Plaza San Carlos.
A protected 300-acre marsh with suspected treasure left by an unfortunate pirate who, after burying his treasure, met his demise in the marsh after being bit by a rattle snake. If you see the rusty remnants of a chain in a tree during your walk, it’s best that you leave the money tree alone.
The Amelia Island Museum of History
Housed in what was the Nassau County Jailhouse, where the infamous pirate, Luis Aury, was sentenced to hand for his many crime. According to locals, Aury’s ghost has been heard moaning around the jail.
The oldest bar in Florida, it is said that “ghosts from ten decades past join in drinking to your health.” Sounds of music, conversations and clinking glasses have been heard in the early morning hours when the bar is deserted, and, an electric player piano is known to strike up a tune although it is unplugged.
Florida House Inn
A boarding house for railroad employees turned hotel run by Major Leddy and his wife, “Miz Leddy.” This Inn has housed famous guests from Carnegies, Rockefeller’s, Ulysses S. Grant and Henry Ford. The hotel was so well loved, patrons hated to leave. And, it seems that one didn’t. Miz Leddy’s strong lavender perfume haunts the bar area and her antique shoes tend to disappear from their display near the desk.
Learn more, take a Ghost Tour:
Amelia Island Trolleys host ghost tours during the fall season and highlight haunted spots including Old Town and The Florida House. Tickets can be purchased from trolley drivers. For more information, call (904)753-4486 or visit their website.
Amelia Island Museum of History Ghost Tour: Learn Amelia Island ghost stories as you tiptoe through the past. The tour begins at 6PM every Friday and lasts approximately one hour. Tickets may be purchased at the Museum for $10/adult, $5/student.
Amelia Island Ghost Tours are available any night of the week, this walking tour takes a little over 2 hours and features stories of Amelia Island’s past filled with “piracy, plunder and death.” Tickets on sale online or via phone (904)548-0996 $20/adult, $15/child