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Sea Captain Frightens Visitors - St Paul's Episcopal Church and Cemetery - Key West

Updated: Jul 21, 2022

In July of 2016, we we to Key West Florida with a list of locations we wanted to visit while we were there. One of the locations was the St. Paul's Episcopal Church and Cemetery.

St. Paul’s Church was formed by an official act of the City Council of Key West. In a petition to the bishop of New York, the City council requested a priest be sent and the Parish of St. Paul’s be established. ​The first rector was the Reverend Sanson K. Brunot, who arrived December 23, 1832. The first of four churches on this site was completed in 1839. The current rectory, built in 1857 is still standing but in need of renovation. (More history)

If you are in Key West, Florida, you can visit the church and cemetery at 401 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040. You can stop by and visit the location for yourself.

We walked and drove by the location a couple of times while we were in town, but when we finally had the chance to walk over to the church, we conducted an EVP session right outside the gate of the cemetery that sits behind the church. You can witness that session in our video below.

According to the reports we heard about the cemetery, many have experienced some really interesting events and found the area to be extremely active. We really did not experience that, we actually had a very peaceful and enjoyable experience when we were there. The following are some of the paranormal activity reports that we found on the Ghosts & Gravestones of Key West website.

The most well known haunt of St. Paul's Church Cemetery is that of a man in 19th century attire who appears as a flimsy white vapor. Many believe that it is the spirit of John Fleming who seems upset. Is it because his grave site was disturbed so many times throughout the years by all the reconstructions? Nobody knows for sure. But his apparition has startled many.
Another spirit that seems to roam the graveyard is a Sea Captain who appears to take great pleasure in frightening visitors. And beware of the ghost of a man who was legendary for driving the pirates out of Key West. His spirit is angry and ready to taunt - and those who have encountered his apparition say that even on a day when the weather is calm, violent winds come rushing through a tree that sits right next to his grave.
The Sea Captain and the angry man are not the only ghosts that linger in this quaint graveyard. The spirits of several children have also been seen and heard - particularly near the statue of an angel in the cemetery. The children were sent to a fiery death when a pastor attempted to burn down the church. He discovered that his wife and the deacon were having an affair and went into a jealous rage. Not realizing the children were still inside the church, he set fire to the place, trapping and killing the children. Their spirits have been seen huddling around the angel; and many have heard their voices. Perhaps they find comfort by staying there and being in the presence of an angel?

A visit to this historic church and cemetery is indeed an experience - if not to simply enjoy its beauty, but also to explore the possibility that ghosts really do exist.

We would love to go back to Key West again some day, and you can bet that we will make our way back over to the cemetery to do another session. If you have not visited Key West in the past, you are missing out on a great experience witnessing some historical buildings and stories around the town.


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