Ripley's Believe It or Not!

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The Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Museum is located inside an 1880s castle, originally built by Standard Oil partner William G. Warden. It was later turned into an upscale hotel, owned by author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (“The Yearling”) and her husband Norton Baskin, before it became the chain museum site. The creepy collectibles in the museum may well have their own spirits attached, but the castle’s history surely adds to the hauntings here. Local lore has it that Ruth Hopkins Pickering and Betty Neville Richeson, who perished in a 1944 fire here, were actually murdered first; their bodies were then burned by their assailant to cover his tracks. Ripley’s Ghost Train Adventure tells of the sightings of both ghosts, seen peering out the windows of their rooms. Also a point of note is that Mr. Ripley often had visited the hotel before it became one of his museums; Mr. Ripley passed away in 1949. Therefore, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that museum guests may meet up with its namesake.

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Geographic Information

19 San Marco Ave
St Augustine, FL 32084
United States

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29.89944, -81.31381499999998
St. Johns County, Florida
Nearest Towns:
Saint Augustine, FL (0.3 mi.)
Villano Beach, FL (2.8 mi.)
Saint Augustine South, FL (3.9 mi.)
Saint Augustine Beach, FL (4.5 mi.)
Saint Augustine Shores, FL (6.1 mi.)
Butler Beach, FL (7.5 mi.)
Crescent Beach, FL (9.7 mi.)
Marineland, FL (17.0 mi.)
Hastings, FL (17.1 mi.)
Palm Valley, FL (19.7 mi.)

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Please note: It is your responsibility to acquire appropriate permissions before investigating any location listed on this site. Private property should be respected at all times, as should all posted signs concerning trespassing, hours of operation and other local regulations. Many "ghost hunters" have been arrested because they failed to contact property owners and/or local authorities ahead of time.

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Comments (11)

  1. I took the Ghost Tour here and it was crazy! I heard foot steps coming down the stairs and I felt a really heavy feeling and the lady giving us the tour was actually attacked and taken over by a spirit! I definitely recommend going!

  2. no one has been attacted i know that because i went and the people said it has never happened before but it is still very fun tour and a litttle creepy and recomend that you go and to take your family and friends with you.

  3. Ok so i really enjoyed the museum but i’m ashamed to admit that i had an experience ill never forget.. ok so i was instantly aware that their were presences all around. i can remember the heaviness i felt on my chest mixed with a whirlwind of emotions when i first walked in. i’m not a psychic or anything.. well that i’m aware of anyway lol so after i had seen the first couple of rooms i was content and enjoying myself. then i remember entering the room with the girl in the mirror my mood went from happy to gloomy almost instantly and as i began to read the first few words of the story about the fire my eyes watered up and i felt like i was suffocating. it felt a lot like when you inhale your drink and you instantly start coughing frantically. i felt so weird and i didn’t even say anything for fear of being teased by my husband. also i didnt wanna be “that girl” if ya know what i mean. well anyways after that i felt a little dazed but i tried to shake it off because i was attending the ghost tour later that night. all throughout the tour i chose to stand in the hot spot of every haunted place we went. i mean literally every single time. then in the bar i felt something messing with my hair clips. then later once we got to see the museum i seen nothing out of the ordinary. i even remember being in the theater and kinda wondering off whispering please show yourself i want to see something please and as i walked to the other side of the room as everyone was leaving and out of the corner of my eye i seen a large white thing. i can only describe it as looking much like a thick white fog almost. and as i turned my head out of disbelief to catch a glimpse of what it was i watched it fly off to the right quickly. i was speechless at first but then i ran down the hallway to see if it was an actor or someone trying to scare me but quickly realized that it would have been impossible because i was staring at a wall. i was so freaked out by the end of the night and it took almost a year for me to tell my husband. but it gets better.. after i returned home i realized that certain parts of my own house that never freaked me out before suddenly bothered me a great deal. mostly my hallway. i always seen a white woman with dark crazy hair just standing there facing the wall. i always wondered why her hair was the way it was and a couple of nights ago it finally dawned on me that her hair looked like it was burned in a fire. i got goose bumps after coming to that realization. seriously people i firmly believe that a ghost followed me home that night. but the place i always seen her the most is in my shower. i didn’t literally see her but when i closed my eyes i could see her sitting on the ground right next to me with a sad expression. i seen her and felt her so much that i was almost use to her.. i guess in some ways i even enjoyed having her around. its weird i know lol but after a couple of months i stopped seeing her. i noticed quite a few changes in myself. like things i would never do suddenly were things i felt like i almost had to do! for example i was always against being unfaithful it was disgusting to even think about it but almost over night my views on the topic changed and i began making horrible choices that messed up a lot of things in my life. i am doing better now but i cant tell you if she is still around me or not. sometimes i wonder if maybe she is living her life through me. but if anyone has any answers for me plz contact me via facebook jessica.stevens.798278 i would love to make some sense of this experience. this wasnt my first encounter and i’m sure it wont be my last either. thanks for reading!! hope everyone enjoyed it 😀

  4. When I first arrived, I toured the facility during the day to see all of the Ripley’s aspects of the museum. It was a fun place, with many interesting artifacts, historical items and even a room with some fun optical illusions. I toured the facility and at first everything stayed pretty mundane, that is until I reached the top floor. I walked along looking at the different artifacts, snapping photos with my camera phone. When I reached an area with a fireplace, however, I felt a tightening sensation in my neck and I had feelings of both terror and immense sadness, which washed over me as I began suffocating. As I struggled to breathe for what seemed like at least 10 seconds, I teared up and then, just as quickly as I began feeling the sensations, they ceased. I was shocked and little taken back, but kept on with my self-guided tour. I reached the movie theater area and took a seat to take a breather from the long tour through the house. I noticed many people just skipped this part of the tour and headed down the long staircase to the end of the tour. Ripley’s has the theater setup to watch stories and history of the Ripley’s legacy. As I watched the clips, in the corner of my eye I noticed a young woman standing in the left corner of the small theater room, next to the screen. I thought that maybe she was an employee who was checking in on the area or getting a head count. As I turned my head to look and see who it was, she vanished. I did a “double take.” I looked around the theater and there was only one couple, who were sitting in the front row on the right (I was in the back, near the middle). There were no others in the room. I jumped up and checked the staircase and didn’t see anyone headed down the stairs. Where this young lady went or how she vanished without making any noise on the creaky wood floors or staircase, I wasn’t sure. I left the facility only to come back, later that night for the “after hours” ghost tour. As we reached the room with the fireplace, in which I described having choking sensations earlier that day, the guides explained this was a common feeling. Their thinking was that both of the women were murdered, before the place was burned down and that a common belief was that one (or both) of the women were strangled to death before having their bodies positioned with towels wrapped on their heads in bathtubs. As we moved into the theater area, the guide explained that one of the bodies of the alleged murdered women was found positioned strangely in a bathroom tub that was nearby. Of course, since we were on a “ghost tour” we the tour-guides had provided everyone with K2 Meters to track EMF (as spirits sometimes communicate this way). We hadn’t had much activity on the K2 Meters, until we reached the theater. Strangely, the meters went crazy (all the way to the highest reading) near the corner of the theater where I had spotted the woman standing in the corner. The wave of readings spread from that area of the room, over to me. Maybe the spirit of the woman recognized me from earlier in the day? Either way, there is no doubt in my mind that this place is definitely spiritually active. If you go there to investigate, please respect the dead and don’t make jokes. I heard other people doing this on the tour and just thought it was a bit insensitive and mean. If you’re one of those those who don’t take the supernatural seriously, then the question you should ask yourself is, would you want someone coming to your grave and making horrible and tasteless jokes about how you died? These spirits are trying to find peace and I hope that someday they do. Many Blessings.

  5. I went here on a ghost tour and as soon as I walked in the detector thing went off the charts! I snapped a picture. When I got a pic of it there was a definite human form, it seemed like a man. He was blurred at the feet so he may have been walking… towards me!!! I felt like I was being watched in the room where those people were murdered (the place with the scorch marks on the ground) and I took a picture where there was possibly a portal to another ghost dimension or whatevs, at least 20 orbs around it!!! I want to go again and see what else I find.

  6. I also went on the ghost tour. I didn’t expect to find anything really. Just for fun. Our machine was going off an awful lot during the tour and each time it did, I would snap a picture with my phone. It wasn’t until we were driving home that I was going through the pictures and saw the creepiest thing. Above a girls shoes was this face… It gave me chills just looking at it. More so because it seemed to be looking right at me. Not sure I’ll be returning for another tour!

  7. We took the ghost tour in 2013. I felt very cold and nervous. This was the first time I had ever visited this site. I kept hearing walking upstairs but there was no one up there. When we got to the room where a young lady was murdered I felt like I there was someone there trying to kill me. I kept hearing a woman tell me to go down a hall and I would be safe. Then out of the blue I just started freaking out saying I gotta go, I gotta go, I gotta go repeatedly and started running down the hall. My family and the guide had to run after me to stop me. They finally caught up to me and had to physically pull me to the exit. The guide said nothing would follow us and to return the equipment next day. I could not breath until I got about 25 feet from the exit.

    When we went back the next day to return the equipment I again got very cold and shivering. I ask the lady and my husband if they felt the cold and they said no. I do not and never have had panic attacks and ran a ghost tour business so I have been in haunted locations many times. This is the first and only time this has happened. I will NEVER go back!

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Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.