Halloween thrills and chills

Halloween
Visitors and Convention Bureau Communications Director, Jay Humphreys, reminded Historic City News that, with more than four centuries worth of spooky thrills and eerie encounters waiting in the shadows, St. Augustine is the place to be for Halloween thrills and chills.

In fact, the spirit world can be easily encountered any night in the Oldest City, but Halloween – now that’s special!

Here, intrepid adventurers can choose to walk, ride or sail through Halloween events in a setting that features ancient streets, old cemeteries and the dark waters of a bay that is haunted by the spirits of three hundred murdered Frenchmen. So get ready for Halloween in the most haunted city in America and pick your poison from the following menu of frightening fun:

October 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26 and Halloween Night!
DARK OF THE MOON TOUR
Venture into the Keepers’ House and Tower at night, learn about the history of the St. Augustine Light Station, listen to paranormal tales and experience darkness inside the St. Augustine Lighthouse — a location dubbed “the Mona Lisa of paranormal activities” by the Sci-Fi network’s Ghost Hunters.. The tours begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 per adult and $20 per child. Children must be at least 7 years old and 44 inches tall to climb the tower. Space is limited and reservations are required. For more information, please call Faith at 904.829.0745 x207.

October 17&18; 24&25 and nightly October 27-November 1
GHOSTS OF THE MATANZAS
Join the ghostly pirate that has commandeered the 72′ Schooner Freedom and holds passengers captive as they sail the dark waters of Matanzas Bay. Entertaining tales and assistance from the captives are the highlight of this adventure– not to mention the rations and grog that add to enjoyment. BEWARE–‘thar be pirates here’. Tours cast off nightly at 8:15 p.m. from the St. Augustine City Marina. Tickets are $35 for adults and kids 2 -12 are $25. For more information, call 904.810.1010. Reservations are required for these tours.

October 18 – 31
RIPLEY’S GHOST TRAIN ADVENTURE
Tuesday through Saturday nights are the scariest of the week when you board the Ghost Train and depart from Ripley’s Castle Warden for a ride through the haunted streets of old St. Augustine. Voted “Best Ghost Tour” by St. Augustine Record subscribers, the 90-minute journey includes eerie stops along the way where tales are told and guests can use Electro-Magnetic-Field Meters to identify the presence of spirits. After hearing stories of the local haunts, passengers enter the historic Castle Warden for a sleuthing experience of actual events. Tours start from Ripley’s Castle Warden, 19 San Marco Avenue at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $26 for adults and $13 for children 6 -12. Reservations are required. For more information, call 904.824.1606 or visit.

October – every night!
A GHOSTLY ADVENTURE
Selected at the best ghost tour in Florida by the readers of Florida Monthly magazine, this 60-minute walking tour by candlelight includes eerie stories, stops at cemeteries (marked and unmarked), haunted restaurants, homes, inns and the Castillo de San Marcos. A Ghostly Adventure tours depart every night at 8 p.m. from Ghost Central, 2 St. George Street, across from the City Gate. Tickets are $12. For more information, call 904.829.1122.

October – every night!
Ghosts and Gravestones
Every Night’s the Night! Enjoy a most haunting experience on a St. Augustine “Frightseeing” Tour that explores the darker side of St. Augustine’s past. The only tour that takes you inside the three most haunted places in the entire city. Haunts include: The Old Drug Store that rests upon an old Indian burial ground and is a natural gathering place for lost souls and malignant spirits. Enter… and in darkness you will learn the secrets of embalming and why so many people were buried alive; The Spanish Military Hospital where you can visit a death bed and hear of amputations and strange medical practices shared in whispered tones as you re-live the grizzly duties of 17th century medical practitioners; and The Old Jail built in 1891 and housed prisoners for more than 60 years. Listed on the Florida and National Haunted Places Register, the Old Jail has been the site of countless supernatural occurrences. Tours are scheduled nightly and start at 8 p.m. from the Old Town Trolley Welcome Center at 27 San Marco Avenue (next door to Ripley’s Believe It or Not!) Tickets are $26 for adults and $14 for children. For more information and reservations, call 904.829.3800.

October 24
NIGHT OWL CINEMA SERIES: GHOST BUSTERS
Enjoy a night with the family in the open air while watching the movie Ghost Busters on the big screen at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, Florida’s newest outdoor arts and cultural venue. Admission to Night Owl Cinema Series is free and the show begins at 8 p.m. The St. Augustine Amphitheatre is located at 1340 A1A South in St. Augustine. For more information, call 904.471.1965.

October 24 & 25
FLORIDA’S HAUNTED TRAILS
Celebrate Halloween at the Florida Agricultural Museum! This family affair includes a haunted house, scary stories by the Tale Tellers of St. Augustine, and a Trick or Treat Trail. Wagons will carry visitors along trails inhabited by ghouls and goblins in the deep, dark woods! You may even meet the famous Flagler County equivalent to Bigfoot, known as the “Mugwump”. Pony rides, face painting, moonwalks, and carnival games will provide some action for the kids, and a variety of food and drinks will be available to purchase. The event takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. each night. The Museum is located at 7900 Old Kings Road, near the corner of U.S. 1 and Old Kings Road in Flagler County. Donation is $6 per person; $5 for Museum members. For more information, call 386.446.7630.

October 25
UPTOWN SATURDAY NIGHT
Combine a supernatural experience with spooktacular bargains in St. Augustine’s San Marco Shopping District during Uptown Saturday Night. From 5 to 9 p.m. art galleries, antique stores and unique shops between Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum and the Mission of Nombre de Dios remain open. Meet-the-artists, book signings, live music, refreshments and other Halloween-themed events contribute to the party-like atmosphere. The Mission of Nombre de Dios provides FREE PARKING for Uptown Saturday Night. The event is sponsored by the San Marco Avenue Merchants Association. For more information, please call 904.824.3152.

October 26
HALLOWEEN COSTUME PARADE AND TRICK-OR-TREATING
Get the kids dressed in their scariest, funniest or most original Halloween costume and come participate in Ancient City Tour’s Annual Halloween Parade. The parade begins at 2 p.m. from the Clock Tower located at the Visitors Information Center, 1 Castillo Drive in St. Augustine. The parade will proceed along St. George Street and end at the Plaza de La Constitucion, where the costume judging will take place. Costume categories are 5 and under; 6 to 10 years old; 10 to 17 years old; 18 years and older; Family, and new this year, Pets. Following the costume contest, there will be Trick-or-Treating with St. Augustine historic district merchants from 3:30 to 5 p.m. For more information, call Ancient City Tours at 904.827.0807.

October 28-31
FAMILY FRIGHT NIGHTS
There’s a Halloween event for every member of the family when Ripley’s Believe It or Not! presents Family Fright Nights. Tuesday through Saturday, you can climb aboard the Haunted Express for a 45-minute ride through the Oldest City’s most haunted sites. The Haunted Express pulls out of Ripley’s station each evening at 7, 8 & 9 p.m. –tickets are $18 for adults and $10 for children. Suitable for children of all ages, the Family Fun Ghost Walk heads out from Ripley’s Castle Warden on Friday and Saturday evening at 6 and 7 p.m. Tickets for this non-threatening, 30-minute walk are $5. Don’t miss Spooky Dan the DJ performing from the rooftop of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! on Friday and Saturday night from 6 to 9 p.m. In addition to spinning Halloween tunes, Spooky Dan will be tossing candy and prizes to the crowd below – including the various ghouls, vampires and creatures roaming the grounds. Of course, Ripley’s popular Ghost Train and Ghost Walk Adventures will be operating as well. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is located at 19 San Marco Avenue. For more information, call 904.824.1606.

October 30 & 31
CREATURES OF THE NIGHT
Come dressed in your favorite costume to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park and we will provide the candy, a creepy creature experience, animal trading cards, and a great time! Young ghosts and goblins can wander the wild walkway and encounter costumed animal keepers with creepy creatures and candy! There will be an alligator feeding show and a drawing for free annual passes and other prizes. The fun takes place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and admission is $7 adults, $5 children for Annual Pass holders, and $8 adults, $6 children for non-pass holders. For more information, call 904.824.3337.

October 31 – November 1
A GHOSTLY ENCOUNTER HALLOWEEN TOURS
Have a frighteningly good time on the Halloween version of the Ghostly Encounter Tour. The Doctor is always in ….at the Haunted Hospital! Enter…if you have the guts… and check in with the MAD Surgeon…..as he demonstrates the “cutting” edge of patient care. Then join Ancient City Tours guides and walk the dark, narrow streets of St. Augustine and hear stories of those who came before us and refuse to leave. Tours run from 7 to 10 p.m. from The Spanish Military Hospital, 3 Aviles Street, St. Augustine. Tickets are $12 per person. For more information call 904.827.0807.

October 31
HALLOWEEN INSANITY
One night only – Halloween Insanity! Presented by Ghost Tours of St. Augustine, this insane tour includes a terrifying trolley ride to Potter’s Wax Museum where participants will meet a special host and a sculptor afflicted with a horrifying case of cabin fever! Insanity begins at Ghost Central, 2 St. George Street, across from the City Gate. Tickets for this approximately 90-minute tour are $28. For reservations, call 904.829.1122.

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