St. John is an island of the Virgin Islands. Nearly the entire island has been designated as part of the Virgin Islands National Park. It has a deep history and is said to be a place with a high amount of paranormal activity. Ghost stories are passed around like everyday conversation. The locals casually talk about places that are haunted and things they have seen, because it’s such a common occurrence. There are a number of great trails in the area, almost all of them have a ghost story or two attached to them. Today I’ll just be focusing on one short trail that ends with a beautiful treasure.
The actual trail leading to the Jumbie Bay beach is only 320 feet long. But it’s packed so full of ghost stories, lore and legend that it doesn’t need to be any longer than that. The name itself, jumbie, means ghost or spirit in Creole.
As the name of the bay suggests, this area is filled with Jumbie trees. A legend has always associated ghosts with these trees, telling of the bad luck which will befall a person who injures even a single branch. Don’t even think about cutting one down, that’s the worst kind of juju.
It was once believed that pirates would bury their treasures under these trees. Since there was such a huge superstition about them, it seemed like a pretty fair chance that nobody would go digging around and risk the curse. So if you’re not afraid of ghosts, there may actually be some buried treasure in those woods. But don’t hurt the trees, just in case.
There’s also a myth telling of a beautiful woman in these trees. She will try to seduce you and if she succeeds, you will die the next day.
St. John, being home to a sugar plantation, saw the brutal treatment of far too many slaves. In 1733 the slaves had had enough and so decided to retaliate by revolting against the plantation owners. The rampaging slaves cut up the owners of the plantation and put them in a well somewhere near Jumbie Bay.
It was said that there was one cruel slave master who would bury the slaves in the sand of the beach. He would only leave their heads exposed. He would then proceed to use these tender, exposed heads as bowling pins. This is why the slaves revolted. This happened right at that treasure of a beach you end up on when the trail ends.
The beach itself is quiet, beautiful and sandy. The remote location and spooky nature of it, tends to send people to a larger beach where they have to pay to enjoy it. You’ll likely have this beach to yourself for absolutely no charge, which is far more enjoyable. The location of the entrance is a little tricky to find, but once you do it’ll be well worth it.