11 March 2007

Does History Haunt You?

This weekend, DH and I took a trip back in time. We traveled north to St. Augustine, Florida. The trip was to visit an old friend, but we also took in the city's sights. Established in 1565, it's the oldest city in the United States, with influences from the Spanish, French and British.

Last night we took a carriage ride. The clip-clop of horses' hooves contrasted with the grim history our guide revealed. The old French Huguenot cemetery is haunted by yellow fever victims when a plague wiped out almost the entire population of the city. The fort is haunted after munitions exploded. The old city gates are haunted. The oldest drugstore is haunted. This bed & breakfast is haunted by a woman who hung someone on a tree. Around the city we went, it seemed as if every block had a haunted structure on it.

Today we climbed the St. Augustine lighthouse, featured recently in the Sci-Fi Channel's special, TAPS. The lighthouse too, is haunted. The oil room is haunted by the ghost of the lighthouse keeper's 12-year-old little girl who drowned at sea and the rest of the lighthouse is haunted by a former keeper.

Listening to ghostly tales is fun, and makes me wonder if certain historic places that witnessed tragic and violent events have a certain energy that resonates with people who are haunted not by ghosts, but their history. Have you ever visited an historic place that fascinated you or made you feel haunted by the tragic events of its past?