Kingsley Plantation in Jacksonville Florida


My parents live in Florida and whenever we visit we try and go and do something “touristy” but fun. This particular visit though I had recently broken my pinky toe and was walking around with the oh so fashionable “boot of shame” so we didn’t want to do too much walking. We decided to take a short drive out to Kingsley Plantation. None of us had never been so before we lef,t I Googled the place a little bit just to see what we were about to see and learn. I found out some interesting stuff and some down right creepy stuff.

The history of Kingsley Plantation is fascinating being that it was owned by Zephaniah Kingsley and his wife Anna who was from Africa. Anna was purchased by Zephaniah as a slave. What is interesting about this property is that it was unheard of for a land owner to be of African descent and to have her own slaves in this country.  I don’t know about you but that was never in my history books. She ran all aspects of the plantation like a champ. She was strong and embodied every aspect of a powerful businesswoman. So learning about that was interesting enough as it is but upon further reading, there is also a very dark side to this place.

There are also rumors of  the ghost activity that occurs there. I’m not a fan of scary stuff especially the paranormal but the stories are apart of the history so I just went with it.  One of the stories I kept reading about was “Old Red Eyes.” Apparently, this was a slave that tortured other slaves and assaulted the women quite often. The other slaves got fed up with his behavior, lynched him and hung him from a tree. Apparently, if you’re driving down the road and look in your mirror you’ll see red eyes. Creepy!!!!

When we first drove up to the plantation the road that was lined with trees covered in Spanish Moss. When the wind blew it looked like people dangling or hanging from the trees. Now that’s creepy enough during the day, I don’t think I ever want to see that at night. Pulling up to the Plantation itself, you notice a long driveway and a parking area off to the side. As we all got out of the car, it was windy but we were close to the water so I thought nothing of it. As we were walking around the grounds, the wind would pick up here and there and sort of knock you off balance and was cold, very very cold. It was December but this just felt odd. Again, didn’t think about it. We began to tour around the grounds and I started taking pictures of the shanty houses and old buildings. As I stepped inside of one, the wind picked up again and it felt like something icy walked right through me. I literally shivered but no one else around me was cold, just me.

We decided to walk closer to the main house and the kids were starting to run around. My oldest went into one of the detached buildings. When I went inside, I took a few photos of the kitchen and went out to the other part of the building. I kept taking photos and reading the plaques. When we left the outbuildings, the wind was starting to get crazy and so did the kids. They were running around and I quickly became “that” mom who’s yelling “where are you going, come back, don’t go near the water!” Well, they proceeded to do all of that! *eye roll* This is when things got real weird and real creepy. The more I corrected them, the stronger the wind got, no lie. I pulled up the hood on my jacket but the wind was bone chilling! The closer we got to the water the more the wind gusts would kick up. It was the type of wind that comes from all directions and gets inside your ears and you hear nothing but wind. Creepy-as-hell. After about 15 minutes of that I had had enough and my foot was starting to hurt so we started to leave. Right as we got to the car, the wind stopped. It was an eery stop like someone pushed the mute button on a sound machine.  It was time to go! Apparently I had pissed off the “ghosts” and I wanted out of there. I did not look in the rear view mirror as we left because I’m not trying to scare the hell out of myself for life with that “red eyes” legend. Ignorance is bliss!

Overall, it was a good trip and I took some nice photos but I think we’ll return on a warmer day. That wind would be welcomed in the humid Florida weather. The plantation is beautiful! I really wanted to get some pictures by the water. I also learned that there is a little trail that leads to a barn and a small garden. One day we’ll get back there.

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