Flagler College


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The Ghostly Truth: Flagler College

The oldest city in America, St. Augustine, Florida has many secrets. In this particular city you will find a college that has the unfortunate situation of being haunted. Flagler College is one of those haunted places that for those who encounter it seldom view it the same afterwards.

Henry Morrison Flagler was an oil magnate and tycoon of the late 1800's. He along with business associate John D. Rockefeller made a fortune with oil and he decided to retire himself to Florida. In 1885 he returned to St. Augustine, Florida intent on investing in hotels there. Here he built the centerpiece of his property in the Florida, the Ponce de Leon Hotel. This hotel as well as several other historic buildings serves as the campus of Flagler College.
There are reported ghosts in this college, the most prominent being Henry Flagler himself. Counted along the ghostly entities are one of his wives, a mistress and at least two guests. These various individuals died in varying ways in varying degrees of sanity. Flagler himself had an fascination with death and the beyond, and this is where we will start off.
Henry Flagler was a railroad and oil tycoon that moved to Florida to make it more of a tourist attraction like the French Riviera. What followed was him trying to own and revolutionize St. Augustine. He built most of the buildings that consist of Flagler College and is reported to haunt it himself.
The story is as follows. Henry Flagler was a very peculiar man he had his own set of beliefs that he followed religiously. Every room in the Ponce de Leon is in fact different, no two are exactly alike. Also it is reported that as the tilers were finishing the tile in the main hall one of his associates made the innocent comment of it being 'perfect'. In response Flagler moved a tile commenting 'only God is perfect'. It is with this tile that our tale begins.
Upon his death Flagler requested that all the windows and doors be opened to allow his spirit to leave for the afterlife. During his funeral a wandering janitor of his closed all the doors and windows, the opposite of what was stated by Flagler. Suddenly a gust of wind enters the auditorium, Flagler's spirit. As the spirit rushed for the exit to beat the janitor the last window was slammed trapping it inside. Bouncing off of one of the windows the spirit landed in one tile, the tile stated above. Till this day you can see a picture of Henry Flaglers face in that tile. In the late 60's a student in Flagler College invited Henry for a visit in his room, he has been haunting the place and messing with students ever since.
Flaglers second wife Ida Alice Flagler is said to also haunt the hotel. Mrs. Ida was not the most mentally stable person. Though committed to a sanatorium she did not gain any health and ranting constantly at the walls. She eventually died of consumption, which is an older name for modern day Tuberculosis due to the fact that it consumes its victims. Now she haunts the the school wandering around and staring at the many paintings past and present as well as the beautiful ceilings. It is stated that she knew of the many affairs that her husband ensnared himself in and this drove her mad. She is seen at times staring at a place in the wall where a large painting of Flagler himself stood. One of those mistresses also died and haunts in the hotel.
The mistress usual room was the on the 4th floor in a large ornate room almost completed covered in mirrors. This room was in fact a psychomantium, a room designed to alter ones mood but also to contact the dead. Upon a surprise visit by Mrs. Ida Alice Flagler, Henry in a bit of a pickle locked her in the room to keep the two from having one of those awkward meetings. Well this happened so much and so often the poor girl started to slowly go mad staring at herself in a room full of mirrors. As time went on the thoughts turned suicidal and eventually she hung herself from a chandelier in the room.
Fast forward to today. The 4th floor is needed for space and is currently used for storing sports equipment. But it used to house students that had to be moved due to the alleged throwing of things off walls, screams heard from the mirror room itself and also other frightening ghostly activity.
The two guests that haunt the hotel are more of a mystery than the first three we have described. One is a women in blue that haunts due to sadness. Legend has it that she was a mistress of someone staying at the hotel. The plan was for the man to divorce his wife and marry her. This was also complicated by the fact she was also pregnant. When her love refused to follow through his plan she ran up the stairs crying, tripped on her dress and fell and broke her neck.
The other ghost is actually a small boy. The legends vary on him as he is unknown to many. There are two stories, one is he died in the hotel due to some disease in the early part of this century. Another is that he was actually a relative of a college student charged to watch him. He fell to his death from a balcony because the college student was not.
All these ghosts can be seen at any given time in the Ponce de Leon Hotel or what is now Flagler College, located in the heart of St. Augustine Florida.
Story Credit Given Too: Gordon Chaney via the website:
 
 
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 First Count Experiences
 
From the Blog: The Silver Path 
 
My freshman year we experienced several ghostly encounters in the dorms. There were many nights where we were plagued with the sounds doors opening and closing at random which might not be unexpected in a dorm room where people are coming and going at all times of the night but these were doors banging quickly when all the doors in the dorm were hampered by plush carpet and really hard to open and shut.


Besides that there was an instance where in our room with no air conditioning and a stuck window I went to open the door to dash in and get a course book I had forgotten before heading down to lunch when there was an emphatic NO from inside the room and the door slammed shut in my face and locked. Both my room mates were downstairs at the cafeteria waiting for me!


We also had an instance where the door locks refused to open. We had two doors in our room and our room mate was on the other side having forgotten her key and my other room mate and myself were trying to open the doors for her but both of them had shut and stuck.


The elevators were another story. There were many jokes about the west elevator and it’s mysterious tendency to go to the Forbidden Fourth Floor, however I never experienced that. We did hear that our Dorm Mother had at one time been using the west elevator when she turned and saw a woman dressed in blue Edwardian style clothing in the empty elevator and that was why it was shut off at night so no one could
ride it.


The east elevator, the one that we primarily used, was also only able to be set off by a key. It would not come down to the ground floor unless the key was used or someone was inside it. There were many times that it would open at the ground floor without being called and a lot of our dorm mates reported hearing a “there you go” in a male voice when the doors opened. This ghost, who it was collectively decided, was a former hotel worker was especially handy on days you’d forgotten your keys.
 
Story Credit Given Too: http://thesilverpath.net/blog/2011/10/ghost-stories-flagler-college-dorms-elevators/
 
 Image Credit Given Too: http://www.staugustinepics.com/architecture/flagler-college-rotunda/
 
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Room 300

I went to Flagler College in St. Augustine for a while in 2007. I stayed on the third floor in room 300. As some may know, the dorms there were once a famous hotel that had a chequered past.

The third floor was the workers floor where employees would live during their work at the hotel.

I shared my room with two other girls who never seemed to experience the things that I did, but I KNOW that what I experienced was real.

At night, when we were all quiet and in bed, I would hear a typewriter an old one like an Underwood. It would type for about an hour between midnight and 1am. The weird thing was the sound seemed to move throughout the room, and the smell of burning tobacco (which was a huge no-no in the dorms) would waft along with it. It wouldn't *ting* when it got to the end of the line, but you could hear someone push it back. That occurred the entire semester, and while it never interfered with us, it was still enough to give me a start in the beginning.

We shared a bathroom for the room, which was rare as many girls on the floor had to use a community shower. About once every couple of weeks, I would be in there, usually around 10 in the morning when my roomies had gone to class, and the door sounded as if it opened and closed. The shower had a glass door, so I knew that no one had entered. When the door would close I would hear a toolbox set on the floor and a man groan as if he was getting on his knees. You know, like your Dad does? The next thing would be the whistling. It was always the same tune, very upbeat and just like something you would whistle while you work.

These two experiences seemed Residual, as they never interfered with us and therefore I wasn't afraid to shower in front of this man.

The only thing that scared me into shivers was a morning in November when I was showering and the door seemed to slam and suddenly, the light burned out. Now, everyone knew that you are probably most vulnerable in the shower. I was petrified! I jumped out of the shower, ran the 12 or so feet to the door and ran out in my towel! I quickly threw on a t-shirt and ran outside to the rotunda where all the lights were on and no one seemed frantic about a blackout.

It never happened again, but it was enough for me. If you want a semi-active night, go sleep in room 300 in Ponce Hall.
 
 Image Credit Given Too: http://collegeprofiles.com/flagler.html
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First Count Experiences
From the Blog: The Silver Path


When you come into Flagler College from the main entrance you are faced with a double stair case which goes up and then curves around the entry way. If you only go up that first flight of stairs you go straight into what is now the dining hall. If you follow the stairs around to the first floor they take you up to a large landing where there is a television and chairs flanked by two fire places. This is the Mezzanine.
During one of those college nights where you stay up the entire time studying I was up on the Mezzanine with my friends whom I’ll call M & G. We were on the Mezz because M was helping us study and guys are not allowed into the girls dorms and there was too much football crowd noise in the open halls in the guys’ dorm lounges. By this point there was no one else in the Mezz and the fourth time G fell asleep M left her to it and we sat for a while talking about random things. I kept feeling like someone was watching me from behind to the point that I moved to the other side of M so I could face that side of the landing but all that was over there was an empty fireplace with a shield over the top of it.
 
“What is going on?” M asked me.
“There’s someone watching me. Don’t you feel it?”
 He shook his head, “No. People always seem to feel freaky (stuff) going on around me but I never see it. Tell me what you’re feeling.”
 “Like there’s someone watching me from over there.” I pointed.
 “P always says if he half closes his eyes some times he can sorta see the ghosts.”
Me being me I tried it. I didn’t see anything but I suddenly felt like I wanted to burst into tears. I opened myself to it the way I do when I’m reading the tarot and then it became clearer. I told M about the woman she was horribly upset because she couldn’t find her child and she was going to keep waiting for him because he was supposed to be up there but she couldn’t find him.
I return my focus to M and find him staring at me like I have two heads. There’s about five minutes of back and forth where he accuses me of winding him up and goes on about campus urban legends.
Eventually I find out that there’s a story which goes around the girls’ dorms of a little boy who fell off the Mezz during the time the college was a hotel and how he’ll go into the girls’ dorms and move things around and how some of them but little toy cars and things out for him. The story is that the mother was not paying attention as he was playing up there and his ball fell down through the Mezz railings and he went right over after it.

The impression of the lady is one of the tamer experiences that I had while living in St. Augustine but it’s also the first so I hoped it would be a good place to start.

1 comment:

  1. I'm by the collage now, I'm about to go in, I'm scared now lol

    ReplyDelete