The King House
Ocean Street, Mayport, Florida

by G. W. Reynolds III, Author

 The King House was originally built on an old Spanish grave yard and was used as a boarding house for travelers and sailors.  The first house fell to fire and was rebuilt sometime after April 25, 1881.  It still stands in Mayport, Florida to this day.

 The house was purchased , owned and occupied by John King until after his death in the late 1970's .  It was during his years at the house that John King made it the celebrated Haunted House of the area.  Mr. King told ghost stories to the children of Mayport on a scheduled weekly basis and soon was telling his stories to many, many visitors from all over the county.  A master storyteller, Mr. King was able to use his gift and the number of strange happenings which occurred to make the house come alive with the ghosts who had decided to roam the rooms and halls of the old boarding house.  A number of University studies have been conducted at the King House and it was concluded that the atmosphere at the house was perfect for haunting and there was some kind of presence in the house.

 Ghosts and Hauntings:

 A distant aunt of Mr. King’s was pitch-forked to death as she sat in a green rocking chair by her jealous sailor ex-boyfriend.   Mr. King claimed he still had the chair and it was used for selected visitors to sit in while he told his stories.  Many, including Mr. King, have claimed the chair rocked with no one sitting in it.   The death of the aunt is a great and tragic story and her ghost roams the halls of the house to this day.

 The “Little Man in Red” was a ghost who had a sense of humor and who would play games and tricks on Mr. King and his guests.  Mr. King told of the times he would go down the stairs at the house and there would be strangers sitting in his living room.  When he would question them about being in his house they would say they came for ghost stories and that his butler, a little man dressed in a red uniform, answered the door and let them in.  He told them to wait in the living room and he would get Mr. King.  Mr. King never knew where the little man came from but he was one of the first ghosts.  There was one time when a young couple gave Mr. King’s ghost butler a ride from outside Parnell’s Restaurant when it was raining.  When Mr King questioned the couple how they got into the house they told him the little man in red had asked them for a ride because of the rain and he had told them to wait in the living room for Mr. King.  Sometimes a couple would be surprised to find him sitting in the back seat of their car as it was parked by the King House.

 The “Lady in White” was a young woman who was killed on her wedding night in a car wreck near the Little Jetty rocks near the King House.  Being so near by, the house was the perfect place for her ghost to settle.  Mr. King heard her crying the night of the accident and a few days later he encountered her in his kitchen where she would spend most of her haunting time.  She would be seen at the sink doing the dishes, or cleaning off the table or opening the stove.  She even put away things Mr. King left out.  She wanted to be a good wife and house keeper.  She was also territorial and didn’t like other women in her kitchen.  It was hard to be a female cook in Mr. King’s House.  The “Lady in White” would make sure her cake fell.  She also followed some of Mr. King’s guests home.  It was consistently the young girls who would see her away from the house but she would always return the same night.  

 The ghosts would pull the covers off of Mr. King and guests at night.  They would  open the doors when a door knob was reached for.  Mr. King had a niece who would not go into the house because she could always smell her dead husband’s cologne when she did.

 For more about Mr. King, the Haunted House, the era, and Mayport, visit the web site:
<>. This site is one that has a map of Mayport and shows the location of the house.  It features the novels of the author, G. W. Reynolds III and cover art and illustrations of the house and area by artist, Steve Robertson.  “Jetty Man” and “Mullet Run” are two of the novels and a third, “Oak Baby” should come out by September, 2000.  These are adult reading material and they contain many references to the Mr. King and the house plus intriguing scenarios of superstition, violence and rites of passage set in fictional plots. 


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