Goodness, it's practically here! With just a couple days left in the month of October I am in a race to finish as strong as possible. I lucked out and I am doing a little collaborating with my pal at Halloween Love so expect that tonight but until then, here is an impromptu trip to St. Augustine I took a year ago. If you'll notice most of my trips are from last year for this Halloween Hell Show. There's a reason for that.
So, last year I took a trip down to St. Augustine just because. It's about a 7 hour drive depending on the weather and the route but with perfect conditions, it's pretty much on the nose. I do love the historical city of St. Augustine with its Spanish rich history, old taverns and dark lore. Like Savannah and Charleston, this port city has some dark tales and if you are a weirdo like me, that's pretty much home.
One of the must-see sites is the infamous St. Augustine Lighthouse. I say must-see because back in 2006 I was blown away by an episode of Ghost Hunters which featured an investigation of the said historical lighthouse. On this particular episode they saw what appeared to be a shadow peering over the edge of the spiral staircase a few floors up. Then, as if being startled, it flew at an ungodly speed up two more flights and peered over again. It was so unnatural looking and unnerving, I remember sitting in my Southern Florida condo completely dumbfounded. This was the first really believable paranormal program of the sort and that physics-defying thing had me creeped out yet so absolutely fascinated.
Fast forward 12 years later, I was at the lighthouse ready to see it all for myself. The only difference was it was in the middle of the day on a weekend, tons of people, 98 degrees out, and I just ate the worlds most unhealthy cheese burger thanks to a Food Network tip. More about that burger later.
Oh hell, let me tell you about the burger now. So, the show "Best Thing I Ever Ate" is a program which features celebrity chefs going on and on about their one special place, item or whatever the topic for that particular episode. The one that I couldn't pass up on had Bobby Deen making weird faces over a deep fried jalapeño popper burger from the restaurant Gas Full Service about 2.5 miles down the road from the lighthouse. This is what happens when you enter into middle age, I guess? You revolve vacations around the Food Network suggestions? Oh well.
Anyway, this burger was ridiculous. It was so tall it needed to have a center beam to keep it from toppling. A giant stick was sufficient. The paddy was stuffed with jalapeños, cheddar and cream cheese, rolled in panko crumbs and then deep fried. After that it is covered in the same cheese and placed between a homemade fresh bun. This thing is stupid. And by stupid I mean glorious.
When it arrived I was instructed how to eat it. Now, have you ever been instructed by a server how to eat what you ordered before? I haven't. Especially when it came to something as common as a burger. But this was no ordinary burger. This was a meat and cheese building.
Long story short, I screwed up the process of cutting the paddy in the exact spot leading to a lava flow of cheese and ended up eating the thing like a rabid Guy Fieri. People stared and I didn't care. This thing was incredible and while I told myself I would only eat half, I went to the "Further" and before I knew it, everything was gone, all the while knowing that within the hour I would be climbing 200 stairs up a winding lighthouse.
If you want to learn more about the infamous burger you can see it here.
So, yeah, the St. Augustine Lighthouse. This entire place is pretty incredible. It is located on Anastasia Island about ten minutes from St. Augustine and surrounded by amazing wildlife and foliage. This isn't the typical lonely lighthouse but rather a sprawling and maticulously kept little village of manors. Each a well preserved glimpse at the late 1800's.
It's hard to say what makes this place such a "hotspot" for the paranormal. It is true that a family of six who operated the lighthouse lost two daughters in a tragic drowning and a gentleman fell sixty feet to his death but seeing how many of these estates and buildings from the 1800's experience onsite death, it's a wonder why this place is so famous? Regardless, people have reported all sorts of happenings from being touched, the smell of pipe smoke when no one is around, laughing and shadows that jet up and down the 164 feet of spiral stairs.
The day I went, sadly, I only experienced burger pains walking up the stairs. It was in the middle of the day, hot and lots of tourists which made for the least likely chance of bumping into something spooky. I would encourage people to stop by and check it out. The staff love to tell their experiences and will even guide you to the best oceanfront bar on the coast. Heck, they even pointed it out from the 200 foot railing of the lighthouse!
Check out the short little video here.
Stay tuned today and tonight as we wrap up Halloween in the proper fashion!