You’ve stepped into a realm where history isn’t just told; it’s felt, experienced, and sometimes, it even reaches out to you through the whispers of the past. For those amongst you with a thirst for mystery and a heart brave enough to delve into tales of the ethereal, St. Augustine has ghost stories that are as alive as the rolling waves kissing its sun-kissed shores.
Direct your attention and adventurous spirits to our famous sentinel, the St. Augustine Lighthouse. This isn’t merely a beacon for lost sailors but also a magnetic field of stories that flicker in the twilight, between reality and the supernatural. This lighthouse isn’t just stone and mortar; it’s a silent keeper of secrets, a canvas painted with the joyous laughter and silent tears of souls long gone but not forgotten.
Dare to explore, and you’ll encounter the tale of the Pittee Girls – a story that oscillates between innocent childhood delights and the cold, unforgiving hand of tragedy. Mary, Eliza, and little Carrie didn’t just leave behind memories; it’s said they imprinted their lively spirits onto the very air and space around the Lighthouse. Hear that distant giggle? See that fleeting shadow? It might just be one of them, still playing in their eternal, unseen playground.
Now, brace yourself, for we offer you not just secondhand tales but a window to the past, a voice that trembled as it inked down the words that encapsulated the pain and disbelief of witnessing the irreversible dance of life and death. A letter, raw and poignant, written by the eyes that saw the accident, the heart that felt it, and the hand that shook as it chronicled the end of the Pittee Girls.
Diary Entry, July 11th, 1873
Yesterday was the most horrifying day of my life. I still cannot shake the images from my mind, and I’m not sure I ever will. The sun was shining, and the air was warm. Like any other day, I had wandered to the construction site of the new lighthouse tower to watch the workers and play with the other children.
The Pittee girls – Mary, Eliza, and little Carrie – were there, just as they often were, laughing and playing around. They were always so full of life, always smiling and filled with such joy. There was also that other girl, about my age, but I never knew her name. She was quieter and often tagged along with the Pittee girls, always seeming to be at the edge of their group.
One of their favorite games was to ride the railway cart from the building site to the supply ship docks. It looked so fun, and I was always a little envious of their bravery. I had always been too scared to join them, preferring to watch from a distance.
Yesterday, however, something was off. As they rode down on the cart, I noticed that the wooden board at the end wasn’t there. My heart raced. I wanted to scream, to warn them, but my voice was caught in my throat, paralyzed by fear. Before I could even comprehend what was happening, the cart went into the water, capsizing and trapping the girls underneath.
I wanted to run to help, to do something, but my feet felt rooted to the spot. Everything felt like a terrible dream. Mr. Dan Sessions saw it too, and he raced to the water, diving in to try to save them. It felt like hours passed before he managed to lift the cart, and when he did, only little Carrie was pulled out alive.
The scene after was chaotic. Grown-ups were crying, shouting, and running around. I was pulled away by my mother, her grip tight on my arm, her face pale. The haunting cries of the parents and the workers echoed in my ears.
Last night, I couldn’t sleep. Every time I closed my eyes, I saw Mary and Eliza’s smiling faces and heard their giggles, now silenced forever. And the face of that other girl, whom I never really got to know, haunts me even more. What if I had called out sooner? What if I had warned them? Would it have made a difference?
Today, the atmosphere around the construction site is heavy, filled with grief. The laughter and games of the past feel like distant memories. I can’t shake off the guilt, even though mama says it wasn’t my fault. She says terrible accidents happen, and sometimes we’re just helpless witnesses.
But I can’t help feeling that I could have done something, anything, to save them.
So, travelers of the mysterious and seekers of the unknown, as you stand at the precipice of reality and legend, the question beckons: Are you ready to step into the enchanting tapestry of St. Augustine, where the past is not merely a shadow but a living, breathing, and sometimes giggling, entity? The Pittee Girls and the timeless lighthouse invite you to a dance of whimsy and wonder, a journey that traverses not just through cobblestone lanes but through the misty alleys of time. And what better moment to answer this call than Halloween, when the veil between worlds is whisper-thin, and the air crackles with magic and mystery? Come, bear witness to the city where every sunset paints a story, every echo sings a ballad, and every shadow might just have a playful glint in its eye. Halloween in St. Augustine is not just a celebration; it’s an experience, a hauntingly beautiful symphony of tales waiting to be told and heard. Will you join us? St. Augustine isn’t far from Fleming Island come for a visit.The lighthouse stands sentinel, and the girls are waiting. Your adventure into the mystical begins now!