WALKING GHOST TOUR IN ST.AUGUSTINE, FL

cemetery

Little James c.1877

On the northern end of Cordova street, in our nation’s oldest city, lies a catholic burial ground with the name “Tolomato Cemetery”. It served as the Catholic burial ground for the city; beings inside the city walls was considered “consecrated ground”, only Catholics could be buried there. The first recorded burial in this cemetery is from 1786 (a woman named Gertrude Pons), making it one of the oldest cemeteries in the nation.

A small, lonely tombstone stands in the front of this cemetery, the tombstone of little James P. Morgan, who died at the age of five years and ten days old on November 28, 1877, cause unknown. James has been, quite literally, at the forefront of many ghost tours for as many years as I can remember. Children say they see him up in the trees playing around, swinging his feet. It is rather ironic that James is buried by himself if you know about his story- one that many continue to tell nightly. James was buried in this cemetery, tragically, long before his parents died. It seems as though his parents suffered an insurmountable amount of grief in their lifetime; James also had two siblings pass on long before their time. Agnes, aged two years, and Arthur, aged seven years. Both of his siblings are buried in the cemetery at the Shrine of our Lady of la Leche on what John F. Kennedy called “the most sacred acre”- The Mission of Nombre de Dios, NOT the Tolomato cemetery where James is buried. (They both died after burials were no longer permitted in the Tolomato- 1884.) Thus, little James seems to be alone in every sense of the word.

I was giving a ghost tour tonight, telling about the spirit of James, when a guest asked me to look at a photo he caught. Was it the James playing in the tree? We looked back a where the picture was taken, thinking it must have been Spanish moss. No Spanish moss hanging in that area. We thought perhaps it could be a light from someone’s car passing by- no cars. We even thought maybe a camera flash was the trick- but how in this exact pattern? It sure looked like someone playing in the tree from my angle, but surely we couldn’t have been this lucky to catch James AS I was talking about him. But perhaps we did. We could find no other explanation for this figure in the tree, even after taking other photos and trying to recreate anything even remotely close. What do you think?

I’ll end this post with a quote from Sherlock Holmes I think applies in this situation:
When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”