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st augustine st francis inn

St. Francis Inn Hotel Hauntings

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You never know what you might...

encounter on the streets of St. Augustine

Florida’s St. Augustine is ‘the nation’s oldest city.’ The city itself dates all the way back to 1565. There are stretches of beautiful beaches, restaurants, outdoor experiences, history as far as the eye can see and a famous Inn that continues to tell the city’s history through its apparitions. Part of the city’s centuries old-history is their ghoulish and ghostly hauntings. Some head to this northern Floridian city for beaches and flip-flop filled vacations while others come for the peculiar, the possible and the paranormal activities.

History

St. Francis Inn dates back to St. Augustine’s Spanish colonial period in 1791.

A member of the National Register of Historic Places, St. Francis Inn has architecture inspired by the times and a history that spans that of the city and the military arena. Due to the threat of impending invasion that was ordered by the King of Spain, structures built at the time needed to be able to withstand a possible onslaught. The Inn stands on the street and is situated so that the front entrance and courtyard are blocked for safety. Over the years, the name has shifted many times (The Teahan House, The Hudson House, The Valencia Annex, The Amity Apartments, The Salt Air Apartments, The Palms and The Graham House and known historically as the ‘Garcia-Drummett House’) but was officially changed in the mid-1900s.

Timeline of Ownership

  • First owner: Gaspar Garcia, sergeant in 3rd battalion of the infantry regiment of Cuba who got the land lot through a grant by the King of Spain. He built the home shortly there after.
  • 1802: Property purchased by Juan Ruggiers (sea captain).
  • 1838: Property shifted to Colonel Thomas Henry Drummett who grew up in Barbados. In 1842, he purchased what is today the St. Francis Inn.
  • 1845: Daughter Anna, of Colonel Drummett, converted the home into a lodging place; she was an avid supporter of the Confederacy.
  • 1888: John L. Wilson purchased the Inn; he built a home at 34 St. Francis Street which today is occupied by innkeepers and their family.
  • 19th century: Various notable figures and educators both owned and stayed at the property.
  • 1948: Name officially changed to The St. Francis Inn.

Strange Happenings: Did Lily Ever Really Leave?

The most haunted room at the Inn is Lily’s room. Lily’s apparition has been regularly spotted performing harmless mischievous pranks throughout. Over the years both she and her lover have been the focus of the paranormal activity at the Inn. Whether flickering lights, changing radio stations or knocking objects off of shelves, it’s possible that Lily never really left the Inn.

  • Lily’s Room: There have been reported hauntings and sightings of a ghost in her room & around the Inn.
  • She’s been seen in the hallways while dressed all in white.
  • Television once turned on & off by a ghost.
  • Odd happenings to guests’ makeup bags.
  • New bride was awakened by a passionate kiss; husband was still next to her asleep.
  • Male guest woke up stuck under his bed and couldn’t get out on his own.
  • Sightings reported: Hand on railing of back stairs, whisperings/moaning sounds, lights and appliances flickering on and off, radio stations changing, doors once locked were found open, falling or moving objects, cold touches and more.

Ghostly Stories

Come for the fireplaces, stay for the ghost stories. The St. Francis Inn is filled with spooky goings on and paranormal activity. Legend has it that the hauntings are affiliated with a secret love affair that was discovered by a strict family member. After the lovers were forbidden to see each other in life, the male lover killed himself. Performing harmless mischievous acts of good-natured pranks, the two are known to roam the halls of the St. Francis Inn.

  • A young man, soldier, lived with his uncle, Major William Hardee, who owned the Inn during the 19th century.
  • The young man fell in love with a young servant, Lily, who is believed to have been a gorgeous slave woman from Barbados.
  • A secret love affair took place while sneaking into various rooms of the Inn.
  • The uncle found out about the affair, dismissed the servant and ordered his nephew to stay away from her.
  • The young man committed suicide; legend has it that he hung himself in the ‘attic’, Lily’s room, or by jumping out of a 3rd floor window.