Explore a Centuries-Old Fortress

Total Spook Factor: Built in the late 1600s by Spanish settlers, Castillo de San Marcos is one of the oldest standing landmarks in North America. As a military fortress, the Castillo endured series of sieges and occupations for more than 150 years, before serving as a prison. Its history alone is haunting. To this day, many visitors and caretakers have reported paranormal activity here, particularly full-bodied apparitions, from Spanish soldiers patrolling the grounds to imprisoned Native Americans trying to escape over the walls, as well as the ghost of a Spanish colonel's wife.

Take a Tour: You can take your own self-guided tour of the fort, attend ranger-led discussions or see demonstrations given by re-enactors in period dress, but don't expect guided tours. Most visitors come to see the live weapons demonstrations during the day. The ghost-hunting set would be most interested in the nighttime weapons demonstrations, which are given during special events. Reportedly, paranormal activity spikes during and shortly after the cannon fire lights up the night.

Plan a Paranormal Investigation: Since no official ghost tours are offered, you can try to capture phenomena with small portable electronics during your visit. If you're a serious ghost-hunting team, you can apply for a special event permit to host an historical investigation of the paranormal kind of Castillo de San Marcos via the National Park Service. Past investigations have included those by the Travel Channel's "Ghost Adventures" team.

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