This past Monday evening, 10JUN2019, we had an interesting experience at the Tolomato Cemetery. As we were gathered around the front gate, hearing stories of James P. Morgan (died in 1877, mentioned in earlier blog posts) and Native American Indians buried there my group of twenty-something ghost hunters listened intently. (Obviously because I am such a great storyteller 😉 ) After the bulk of the story was finished, I gave my guests time to come as close as they could to the front gate and take photos. It was then a woman came up to me with an interesting story to tell.
A horse carriage had passed by a few minutes earlier carrying a man and a woman, minding their own business listening to the stories their guide was telling. The woman on my tour felt a very abrupt, almost pushing in nature, hand press down on her shoulder just as the carriage passed by. She immediately assumed it was one of the people on the carriage trying to scare the “ghost tour”. A usual “boo!” or scream as people pass by is customary, but perhaps a hand on your shoulder at just the right moment would be better? The woman on the tour felt the hand come down on her shoulder and immediately turned around to see who or what it was. The carriage, to her surprise, was already too far past her to make contact, and no one else was close enough. She immediately assumed it was her son-in-law on the tour with them playing his own joke. He was across the way on the other side of her. She checked with her daughter to see if perhaps she saw him play this joke, and she assured her that he had not touched her. In fact, no one was even around when she claimed to have felt this hand. Right after this experience, she captured this photo. My first reaction upon seeing it was that it was a mistake finger that had found it’s way into the view of the lens. But wouldn’t your finger be totally round?
The touch on her shoulder was an abrupt, rigid feeling. It was not a cold feeling at all. Was it the spirit of James? Maybe the spirit of a Native American Indian buried there? Perhaps even someone buried in the Tolomato Cemetery with no tombstone- which happens for a number of reasons- who wants the recognition they deserve?
We will never know who, or what touched this woman on our tour last Monday, but I think it’s safe to say it was a ghost story she will never forget!
I just received word that my Ghost tour is SOLD OUT for tonight. It is always so exciting hearing a big crowd will be there. Not only do I feed off of the energy of a large group, but the spirits seem to as well.
I recall a night a few years ago, we were working in the Spanish Military Hospital Museum on a very busy night. The spirits in the building must’ve used this energy to manifest because we literally did not go ONE tour without something happening. Doors slamming, EMF readings, EVPs, you name it- it happened that night.
I always get excited and anxious (in a good way) before my tours. Will something happen tonight? What kind of evidence will we find? Stay tuned for details AFTER my tour tonight at 8:30pm. Or, if you’re in town, come on our tour and see it for yourself!
As for the people coming on my tour tonight, if you’re reading this, you better be ready, because I know I am!
We really do not like to boast, but we were notified this morning that we have been awarded or 5th Certificate of Excellence by Trip Advisor, based on reviews by our customers.
We are so proud of all of our guides and staff who have worked diligently every day, every tour, to make an experience that our customers enjoy and rave about. Your dedication to your craft is obvious and we cherish each and every one of you.
Whether your house is haunted or you just want to take extra precautions to ward away negative energies, there are several steps you can take in order to do so. As a historic/ghost tour guide in Saint Augustine, one of the most haunted cities in the U.S., I constantly am cleansing myself of negative spirits. I had a tour years ago where a medium claimed something nasty was following me home each night and causing chaos in my life. She told me about the certain crystals I could wear to protect myself.
I personally wear a couple of different crystals but the big one that wards off negative energies is Black tourmaline/Obsidian. These two stones are so dark, they are said to absorb the energy and keep it from coming in contact with you. I also wear crystals that introduce positive energies such as clear quartz. Clear quartz is also referred to as the master stone because healing properties. The use of crystals and the belief of spirits is something that dates all the way back to the ancient Egyptians and Romans.
A lot of people may also use white sage to cleanse the bad spirits out of the air. White sage is purifying and is used in many cultures to ward off negative energies from location/buildings. Some people believe that holy water and salt may also keep away negative spirits. It is never a bad idea to douse your crystals in holy water or holy oil.
I, for one, use all of these methods if I ever feel like something has followed me home from a tour and I’ve always been able to clear the negative energies from me. If you have already tried all of these steps, there are certain kits you can order online with everything you need to protect yourself. If you’ve tried every last resort- contact a professional exorcist, spiritualist, or demonologist.
Have a scary good day,
Tour guide and ghost enthusiast
The Timucuan Indians were the first people to settle on what is now Saint Augustine, FL- long before Pedro Menendez de Aviles arrived from Spain in 1565. In fact, Pedro came ashore directly into the village of Seloy. It was a huge village, you couldn’t miss it with between 600-800 inhabitants. The village of Seloy was situated on the property we now know to be The Fountain of Youth Archeological Park. It is here the very first Thanksgiving occurred between the Spanish and the Timucuan Indians, a whole fifty-six years before the Pilgrims celebrated at Plymouth Rock. It was a huge feast with all the fixins’- alligator, smoked mullet, the “three sisters” as they were called- squash, beans and corn, and a caffeinated home-brew concoction made from holly leaves called “cacina”. Admittedly, these “fixins” are quite different than what most of us celebrate Thanksgiving with today. However, the concept is still there: two different groups of people coming together in peace to enjoy a meal that is customary to the place of meeting.
Sadly, there are no remaining Timucuan Indians left today. Their population began to drop with the introduction of foreign diseases, and most of them either moved out of Saint Augustine altogether or absorbed into other tribes in Florida.
Timucuan Indians may not be ALIVE today, but they sure are PRESENT. Perhaps they do not know they are gone, or perhaps they just refuse to leave their homeland. Either way, visitors to the Fountain of Youth claim they see very tall, shadowy figures wandering around the grounds of the park. Our very own Tolomato Cemetery is indeed placed directly on top of a Timucuan Indian burial ground- who thought that was a good idea? The employees at the Oldest Drugstore, now home to Potter’s Wax Museum, claim that until a statue was erected in the building paying homage to Chief Tolomato, none of the elixir bottles would stay on the shelves. “Uneven shelves” they thought to themselves. After the third or fourth time fixing the shelves they realized perhaps it was the land that the building was resting on. They erected the statue to Chief Tolomato, and the bottles have been fine ever since.
So maybe the Timucuan Indians just want some recognition? After all, although St.Augustine has a very close relationship to the Spanish crown, they did, by order of the crown, take their land. The land in which they had lived for thousands of years before any mention of “Spanish” or “the New World”. I believe the Timucuan Indians still own this land. They are just doing what they have always done: living peacefully off of the land by hunting, fishing, and gathering. They are alive and well.
The below photo is NOT altered. It was a photo taken not in Saint Augustine, but in a town very close to it (today, this area is called Neptune Beach) where the Timucuan Indians were present. I say “were” loosely- because apparently they have never left.