Lily and the St. Francis Inn
The St. Francis Inn may be the oldest bed and breakfast in St. Augustine. With age comes wisdom, history, and - in this case - ghosts. Originally called “The Teahan House”, the inn did not take on it’s current name un 1948 and had several different names before it. During the middle 1800s the home was owned by Major William Hardee. Major Hardee’s nephew came to stay at the inn and soon fell in love with Lily, one of the young black servant girls. Lily and the young man would sneak into the rooms of the inn to carry on their secret affair. This was obviously not the most cautious action and the lovers were discovered by Major Hardee. The nephew was forbidden to see the girl and Lily was immediately dismissed. The nephew, deeply depressed, killed himself by hanging in the attic - now called Lily’s Room.
For many years Inn guests and workers have reported seeing Lily’s ghost in the attic and other parts of the inn. A beautiful, dark, young girl, all dressed in white, has been seen passing in the halls, perhaps searching for her young man. Guests have also reported seeing a tall, slender Hispanic man dressed in white silky shirt and dark trousers pacing back and forth before exiting to the sitting room and disappearing. Often guests report their belongings have been moved or thrown about the room in the night. One woman was awakened by a loud sound to find the entire contents of her purse had been scattered around the room. Once, a gentleman woke to find himself tightly wedged under his bed - so tightly that the St. Augustine fire department had to be called in to free the man. A young solider has also been spotted peering forlornly from a window on the third floor.
Although the activity is mischievous, it cannot honestly be called malevolent. Guest and employees agree that the inn’s ghosts mean them no harm but have also shown no signs of leaving the inn.