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Jamie Pearce

A haunting on Carrera Street

December 3, 2013 | Comment icon 0 comments

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Carrera Street in historic St. Augustine has seen many city residents come and go, so too has one particular house on the street. This house, located at 40 Carrera Street, was recently restored to its late 1800's, beautiful Victorian splendor. However, the new look of the place seems to have re-energized not just the property, but the former residents within. No surprise, because I learned some time ago what many people in St. Augustine already knew, 40 Carrera Street is haunted! A colleague of mine, Dr. Harry Stafford (PhD in Human Consciousness) owned the house several years ago, but seldom felt welcome in his own home. These uncomfortable feelings began shortly after he moved in. During the move, Harry discovered a painting of a house on glass sitting on a mantel, a depiction of the building he now occupied. He didn't really care for the painting, so he took it down and hid it away in the attic. He would later discover what a mistake he'd made.
While still settling in from the move, Harry began to hear eerie sounds and voices, and noticed that objects in his home seemed to move to other locations on their own. In addition, the strong sensation of being unwelcome in the house grew more intense. Harry wanted to learn why. He decided to invite a good friend and respected psychic over for dinner and a chance to get her take on the phenomenon. Willa Watkins was well known in St. Augustine as a powerful sensitive, but many suggested that her senses were stronger than others by way of compensation, because Willa Watkins was legally blind. Mrs. Watkins and her husband happily accepted her friend's invitation for dinner. Harry provided a pleasant dinner and conversation; making a point of not mentioning the details of his experiences. After dinner harry decided to give his guests a grand tour of his new home. When Willa entered the living room she exclaimed in a different voice, "Where is MY painting on glass?" Harry was shocked and asked Willa how she knew about the painting. She told him that Louise asked her about the painting and was very upset. Harry was a bit confused, not knowing who Louise was, so he went up to the attic to retrieve the painting. When he brought the painting down and examined it more closely in the presence of his guests, he noticed a signature in the bottom corner that read "Louise". Dr. Stafford immediately returned the painting to its former place on the mantel, but the damage had been done. Louise continued to haunt Harry until he moved out.

Dr. Stafford wasn't the only unfortunate resident of the house to experience supernatural activity. Voices and uneasy feelings were described by many others, and in fact, kept anyone from wanting to buy the house for a long time. These paranormal incidents permeated the house inside and outside with many St. Augustine tourists taking pictures of this Victorian style gem and capturing strange anomalies and orbs in the photos. The only break in reports of the Carrera House phenomenon occurred when an artist from California (who loved the painting and left it on the mantel) became the new owner. Unfortunately, the house has once again changed hands, and the movement of the painting and recent renovations seem to have stirred up more activity. It would seem that one of the most active haunted houses in St. Augustine is active again. If you take photos on Carrera Street examine them closely. You may be as surprised as Dr. Stafford by the evidence you discover in your own photographs.

Jamie's books, Historic Haunts Florida and Historic Haunts of the South can both be ordered from his website

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