June 26, 2004:
Being somewhat of an adventurer at heart, I
was excited about visiting the Castillo de San Marcos. The last
time I was there was in 3rd grade on a field trip. I was eight,
and I don't remember much. So getting the opportunity to go again
as an adult is interesting enough, but getting to go in after
hours and stay until midnight with free reign of the place brought
back the child with-in me. The night was wet, dark, and dreary.
It had all the makings for a great horror flick, or a suspenseful
ghostly thriller. I started SpookHunters because I wanted to experience
a ghost, and with the tragic and violent history associated with
the Castillo, mixed together with the ambiance of the weather,
it seemed like the perfect recipe for a supernatural encounter.
After reading this hunt, you'll see that I didn't
come face to face with a ghost like I wanted, however the night
was not with-out it's strange occurrences. We used the guard quarters
as a staging area. From there the group split up to explore the
fort in there own way. Before doing anything I went back to some
offices and talked privately with one of the Park Rangers named
Sue. I inquired if she believed the Castillo was haunted. She
didn't say yes or no, but said that personally she had not experienced
anything. However, she did believe in ghosts. I asked her a few
other questions like where the 'hot spots' were, and where the
most activity seems to be reported. She, and the rest of the Park
Rangers for that matter, were very helpful and friendly throughout
Five areas that will be reviewed:
After talking with Sue, the Park Ranger, I headed
back to the Guard Quarters to pick up my cameras. As I walked
back through the courtyard with lightning flashing and thunder
booming overhead, it was exciting to see flashlights all around
me as everyone explored the fort. The first place I went in, along
with a few others was the old prison, adjacent to the guard quarters.
prison was very warm. Very dark too. Some people got a feeling
of extreme sorrow and fear when they entered it. I just
The prison is also the scene of our first
unexplainable occurrence. Later on in the night Karen mention
that she kept smelling a fragrance called Patchouli. At
first she thought someone else was wearing it, and when
she started asking around she realized no one was. Nobody
else reported smelling anything strange.
2. The next spot
where something weird happened, was the Indian Prison.
In this room hundreds of Seminole Indians were held captive.
On November 29, 1837, Coacoochi, a Seminole leader, and
19 others escaped from the fort by starving themselves
to the point they could squeeze their bodies through the
bars on the window.
While nothing physical happened, some very strange orbs
showed up in several pictures. Normally I am not the kind
of guy to go crazy about an orb, but in my past experiences
orbs are usually dust particles or a reflection off the
shutter causing them to be perfectly round. In a couple
of the pictures below they are not a perfect sphere, and
almost look as if they are moving.
3. The Indian
Prison was not the only room to get an unusual orb in
the photo. In a storage room, indicated in red to the
left, a glowing orb can be seen. Again, this is something
I have not previously encountered with orbs. Maybe some
of you expert ghost hunters that read this site religiously
could explain these to me.
About this time, Eddie came up to me and told me
about a reading he was getting on one of the EMF detectors.
I had bought two especially for this hunt. He had been
on his own earlier in the night and followed something
that was sending his readings into the yellow. He said
he followed what ever it was as it went up the stairs
to the Terreplein (the second level) and then slowly started
to dissipate. You can see the path Eddie took by looking
at the map above. We tried to re-create this reading but
couldn't. We also looked for possible triggers such as
motion detectors and power outlets, but could find nothing.
|5. Finally, as the
night grew long, we made our way to what the legend calls
the dungeon, and where the bones were found. The Park Rangers
said they doubted that this room was ever actually used as
a dungeon, however, bones were found. The bones were tested
and found to be animal bones, not human.
This small little room was actually built for use as a
powder magazine. It was buried under the mound of dirt that
supports the Bastion above. This was done to protect the
gunpowder from enemy fire. However, the dirt protected the
room too well. Because no air reached it, the room stayed
damp and caused problems with the gunpowder.
During the remodeling of the Castillo that began in 1738,
a more suitable powder magazine was built, the gunpowder
was moved, and this room was sealed up. Almost 50 years
before Colonel Garcia Marti from, the legend above, assumed
command of the fort.
The room remained hidden until 1833 when a cannon fell
through the gun deck into the narrow room just outside this
After we looked in the
prisons, searched the store rooms, explored the powder magazine,
and flirted with danger on the Terreplein in a lightning
storm, we decided to try one last thing to get some spooks
to come out. We went back to the Guard Quarters an got out
the Ouija board. Karen and Gretchen worked it for a while.
They seemed to make contact with someone named "Tomas"
and it mentioned a date, "1593". Nothing else
seemed to come of it. I'm still not sure about the Ouija
board. I find it hard to believe that something I bought
in a toy store can make contact with dead people.
Now, I'm not going to be as ignorant
as I have been in the past to say for sure that the Castillo
de San Marcos is not haunted, however, I feel comfortable
in saying it's not likely. The legends proved to be false,
and the Park Rangers for the most part thought that it wasn't.
Nothing seemed to show up on the video. Nothing dramatic,
other than a few strange orbs, showed up on film. Nothing
was found out of the ordinary on the digital recorders.
If the Castillo is haunted I think we proved one thing.
Ghosts do not like rain!
|Do you think
this place is haunted?