The Casablanca Inn is known for being one of the most haunted locations in St. Augustine. It was built in 1914 and was known as the Matanzas Hotel since it overlooked the Matanzas Bay. It was later known as the Bayfront Boarding House and then later the Casablanca Inn. The lady that owned the place opened one of the best speakeasy in the town and would often let bootleggers stay in the Inn. She also let law enforcement officials trying to catch bootleggers stay at the Inn as well.
Her responsibility was to notify the bootleggers bringing in rum when the law enforcers were in town. She would do this by walking along the top deck of the hotel and swing a lamp to tell the ships that officers were staying and to stay off shore. As a result, the bootleggers brought her barrels of rum and she made the best rum punch in town in her speakeasy. To this day, people say they still often see her waving her lantern at night signaling to the water. Other experiences at the hotel are hearing people stepping lightly on the floorboards, people talking and even sounds of children playing since the place used to be a boarding house for kids.
We stayed in room 13 with the room facing the street, a street also known for having a soldier walk up and down the area asking how people are doing.
The room was creepy in itself with the decor. There was a painting of a woman in front of the bed that we swore would start moving her eyes at any minute. After our ghost walking tour, we decided to go back and hang out in the room.
Shiran’s boyfriend, Omar said he wished we had a flashlight so we could ask spirits questions using it. While examining the room, he opened a drawer, and low and behold a flashlight rolls out of a drawer where a bible usually is. I’ve stayed in several hotels before and never once had a flashlight in the room. Very creepy indeed! Since we were now equipped with a flashlight, we decided to unscrew it and make it so you’d have to reconnect it in order to turn it on.
The point is to ask a spirit questions, and their energy can reconnect the flashlight indicating a yes or no answer. Omar set it down on the floor and said “if there is a spirit in the room, please light up the flash light.” Nothing happened. Shiran then decided to ask the same, and again, nothing happened. They then turned towards me and asked if I wanted to ask a question. Instead, all I said was “Come out, come out, and play!” Immediately the flashlight turned on and came to life. Probably not the best choice of words to use either, considering that it sounds like the beginning of some paranormal horror movie. Basically we were all going to be dead by morning. Unable to get the flashlight conversation going any more than what we had, we decided to go to sleep…with the lights on of course!
During the middle of the night, I felt a tapping on my forehead and light squeezes on my upper arm. I tried my best to ignore it. The room was also extremely cold, and around 3AM, it became scorching hot. This was something Shiran experienced as well. Other than that, the room remained uneventful, until the morning at least.
We woke and decided to get ready for the day. I took the first shower. The shower was equipped with three shower heads. Two in the front, like a normal shower, and one in the ceiling in the middle that was like a waterfall. I turned the shower on and all three came to life. However, the middle shower head produced boiling hot water, that I was unable to even touch, and the front two shower heads were cold. I tried to turn every knob possible, but the shower heads would not turn off, change temperature, nothing. I warned Omar and Shiran about the shower, however they did not experience that problem, and were even able to turn off the waterfall shower head. Weird indeed. After getting ready, we then went to breakfast in the Inn’s dining area. I grabbed my chair’s handles as I sat down and then proceeded to notice I had black ashe all over the palms of my hands. I had not touched anything other than my chair’s arm rests and the arm rests were spotlessly clean. Where had the ashe come from? After washing it off and returning to my seat my food came. I grabbed the ketchup to use for my potatoes and proceeded to open it (did not even shake it like I normally would). The ketchup, under a carbonated like pressure, made a pop sound and exploded all over my hair, shirt and jeans. 1: Ketchup does not get carbonated enough to explode. In fact, glass bottle ketchup is notoriously known for NOT being able to get the ketchup out of it. 2: The ketchup only exploded on me. Not the table, not on Omar and Shiran, not on the floor. Me. 3: How does this seriously even happen!? The explosion was so bad that the waiter took my meal and drink off the bill he felt so bad. I had to go back to the bathroom to wash off my hair and clothes.
After eating, and officially starting my PTSD towards ketchup, we went back to the room so I could wash the remaining ketchup out of my hair and jeans. I used the blow dryer to dry it off quickly since we needed to leave. After drying my hair, I tried to dry my jeans, where the dryer promptly stopped and refused to turn back on.
Were these experiences a ghost? Maybe, maybe not. However, we were amused with the fact that I said “come out, come out and play” and here I was, getting played with. Perhaps a child from the boarding school playing pranks! It was definitely an interesting stay to say the least.
*Thank you Shiran and Omar for going on this adventure with me.
HOW TO DO THIS: Book through
WOULD I DO THIS AGAIN: Of course! It was a pretty area and the hotel was fun and in a great location.