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Warehouse 31

225 West Davis Industrial Drive , St. Augustine, FL , 32084
205.714.5933     |
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Located off of Norcross Drive in St. Augustine, there resides a complex of several large warehouses used for business interests and storage. Everyday, trucks and trains make their way through this area, shipments are sent and delivered, and the houses are filled with goods, but one warehouse sits alone and abandoned with a simple sign that reads STORAGE 3-1. This building is known as Warehouse 31.

It wasn’t always so lonely. Over its history, it has had a number of tenants. Wal-Mart used it to assemble and store furniture until employees complained of constantly feeling ill. Mayflower, Inc. stayed only 6 months, because furniture kept disappearing, blaming it on theft even though there was and still remains tight security.

Warehouse 31 was even a sound studio at one point (Skul/Bonz Studio), where hip-hop and local music tracks for an independent label were recorded, but studio engineers kept discovering strange hissing noises and static during playback—with equipment that was in perfect working order. The studio closed because they were unable to get clean recordings.

The other warehouses thrive and are filled to the seams, but Warehouse 31 never seems to hold on to any business for more than a few months. Some even go so far as to say it is damned and cursed by its original tenants—a strange cult known as the Church of the Light Bearer or (CLB).


The Church of the Light Bearer Very little is known about this strange sect. Original members of the church remain anonymous, and the history is sketchy at best. What is known is that in 2001 a charismatic preacher, Parson Al Whist, made his way through the United States preaching a message of hope to followers. His sermons became extremely popular, and his small group of followers began to grow.

Joyce Morrison, who attended one of Parson Whist’s “meetings” in Norcross, Georgia remembers the preacher as “Thin, young, but with this beautiful voice. It was strange to hear a preacher like that, but it made everything he was saying seem more important.”

Morrison also remembered a strange compulsion of Whist’s—“He was always chewing a fresh stick of gum. He’d shove one into his mouth only to politely remove it with a tissue a few moments later.”

Morrison, who only attended one meeting of CLB, didn’t go back.

“There was something that wasn’t right. I have been to many sermons, and there was something wrong with what he was saying. He sounded like he was preaching from the Bible, he kept saying, ‘the Father loves you’ or ‘give up yourself to the Father,’ and people were all shouting amen and all, but he never said the name Jesus. Not once. I guess now we know why, don’t we?”

In 2006, Parson Whist, along with a group of his most loyal followers moved to St. Augustine, Florida to break ground and build a new permanent home for the Church of the Light Bearer. The plan was to create the church on donated land.

In February 2007, a story broke in the St. Augustine press (read story) that Parson Al Whist was not only renting Warehouse 31, but he and his followers were conducting bizarre worship services in the space. Dark rituals, including sacrifice, were discovered, along with living quarters for Whist and his followers.

By the time authorities were notified to evict the cult, Whist and his followers could not be found. They left behind some truly disturbing writings, graffiti, and evidence of dark masses and occult activity.

Although Whist’s group is still active, they are difficult to locate, and their leader, Whist, seems to have disappeared completely.

Authorities are hard-pressed to find any crime to convict the group. Sgt. Graham Averdick explains “It is a group protected by the Constitution. The only charge we may be able to press upon them is trespassing or vandalism. Neither of which are considered Federal crimes. They can just go anywhere and do this again.”

Paranormal Claims

Warehouse 31 has had a string of bad luck. Businesses renting this peculiar property have complained of missing items, increased illness among workers, power outages, even a small fire. As one prior customer stated, “It costs us a lot of money to move out of that warehouse to the one across the street—but nobody complained. If you spent anytime there, you would know what I was talking about.”

It seems that whatever resides in Warehouse 31 does not affect everyone—only those with a deep, religious faith tend to feel agitated or unwelcome in the gloomy storehouse.

In early 2009, a youth prayer group visited the warehouse in the hope of cleansing the area. They ran into difficulty when two of their team passed out during a prayer circle, and several encountered spontaneous bleeding.

“We want to go back and try it again with more of us,” said Glen Ainsworth, leader of the group. “But, the owners told us that they aren’t covered for that sort of liability. It’s a place that needs the healing light of the Lord real badly.” Ainsworth said that he and his followers saw and felt some, “mighty strange things” while they were on the premises. He told of finding dozens of tissues around the site, “Some of them just had chewed gum in ‘em, like someone had just been there.”

In addition, animal carcasses, mostly dogs, have been found around the area appearing to be eaten by a large bear or other animal. Some people have even claimed to see a large “beast” around the Warehouse.

“It didn’t look like any animal I had ever seen,” stated Jose Guerra, manager of Warehouse 3-3. “It looked like some kind of an alligator, but it had wings. I know that sounds crazy, but I know what I saw. “

As sightings of this “beast” continue to increase, some people wonder if Parson Al Whist has, in fact, returned to the St. Augustine area.



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