“THE MOST HAUNTED LIGHTHOUSES IN THE WORLD” #WeirdDarkness
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IN THIS EPISODE: Accounts of haunted lighthouses have existed for hundreds of years. To many they are considered to be isolated and romantic. Some lighthouses are possibly haunted due to tragedies from shipwrecks or other horrors that have spawned all sorts of lighthouse lore. Some who have spent the night at a haunted lighthouse come away with stories to share such as seeing a former lighthouse keeper, or resident of the keeper’s home. Could they still be present in some form after their death? Could keepers possibly remain behind to make sure no further tragedies occur at sea? Perhaps the worst fear of a lighthouse keeper, a ship wrecked upon the rocks, is why some lighthouses continue to be haunted by their former captains. Lights turning on, movement of objects, disembodied voices, and see-through specters are often reported within, or around older lighthouses. Are the ghosts of these souls still on duty? Modern-day tragedies at sea still occur and so do the ghosts that eventually haunt our world. If their walls could talk, lighthouses could share many stories from the past. Unfortunately, these objects don’t have the ability to tell their tales – but the phantoms that haunt them just might.
SOURCES AND REFERENCES FROM THE EPISODE…
“St. Augustine’s Haunted Lighthouse” by Jessica Ferri: http://bit.ly/2ZF0e6N
“The Confederate Dead of Point Lookout Lighthouse” by Adam Karlin: http://bit.ly/2zpkmeb
“Haunted Lighthouses” posted at AngelsGhosts.com: http://bit.ly/2ZsBJFD
“Scariest Lighthouses Built In The United States” by Chelsey Dagner: http://bit.ly/2LcXc03
Join the Weird Darkness Syndicate: https://weirddarkness.com//syndicate
Advertise in the Weird Darkness podcast or syndicated radio show: https://weirddarkness.com/advertise
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Accounts of haunted lighthouses have existed for hundreds of years. To many they are considered to be isolated and romantic. Some lighthouses are possibly haunted due to tragedies from shipwrecks or other horrors that have spawned all sorts of lighthouse lore. Some who have spent the night at a haunted lighthouse come away with stories to share such as seeing a former lighthouse keeper, or resident of the keeper’s home. Could they still be present in some form after their death? Could keepers possibly remain behind to make sure no further tragedies occur at sea? Perhaps the worst fear of a lighthouse keeper, a ship wrecked upon the rocks, is why some lighthouses continue to be haunted by their former captains. Lights turning on, movement of objects, disembodied voices, and see-through specters are often reported within, or around older lighthouses. Are the ghosts of these souls still on duty? Modern-day tragedies at sea still occur and so do the ghosts that eventually haunt our world.
I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness.
Welcome, Weirdos – I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness. Here you’ll find stories of the paranormal, supernatural, legends, lore, the strange and bizarre, crime, conspiracy, mysterious, macabre, unsolved and unexplained.
Coming up in this episode…
If their walls could talk, lighthouses could share many stories from the past. Unfortunately, these objects don’t have the ability to tell their tales – but the phantoms that haunt them just might.
If you’re new here, welcome to the show! While you’re listening, be sure to check out WeirdDarkness.com for merchandise, my newsletter, to enter contests, to connect with me on social media, plus, you can visit the Hope in the Darkness page if you’re struggling with depression or dark thoughts. You can find all of that and more at WeirdDarkness.com.
Now.. bolt your doors, lock your windows, turn off your lights, and come with me into the Weird Darkness!
STORY: OWL’S HEAD LIGHTHOUSE=====
Owl’s Head Lighthouse sits on top of a hill that is just south of Rockland, Maine. It is located at the southern tip of the Rockland Harbor. It sits 100 feet above the sea and is a mere thirty feet tall. Though the lighthouse and keeper’s house are property of the United States Coast Guard, the grounds are open to the public. The name Owl’s Head, comes from the two indentations in the headlands that look like owl’s eyes.
In the eighteen hundreds, the lime trade in Rockland had grown so much that it was necessary to put in a lighthouse for ships coming into the Rockland Harbor at night. In 1825, President John Quincy Adams authorized the Owl’s Head Lighthouse. There was an argument between John Quincy Adams and Fifth Auditor, Stephen Pleasanton, as to who would become the first keeper of the lighthouse. Eventually, the President’s candidate, Isaacs Sterns, won.
In December of 1850, five ships went aground at Penobscot Bay. One of the ships, a small schooner, broke free the cables that it was tied to. At the time, there were three people on board, Roger Elliot, First Mate Richard B. Ingraham, and his fiancée Lydia Dyerin. They could do nothing as the ship crashed into some rocks. Elliot was able to escape the ship, make it to shore, and eventually found Owl’s Head Lighthouse. By the time the keeper found him, he was half frozen. Elliot eventually worked up the strength to tell the keeper of the other two people aboard the ship. The keeper rounded up twelve other men to look for the two. When they found the couple, they were enclosed in a block of ice and appeared to be dead, but the men did not want to take any chances. They brought the couple back to the lighthouse. The put them in a tub of water and began to chip away the ice. Then, they began to slowly raise the temperature of the water and they exercised their muscles. Finally, they began to show signs of life and after several months, they made a full recovery and had four children. Roger Elliot was not so fortunate to make a full recovery.
In the 1930’s, the keeper of the lighthouse was Augustus B, Hamor who had a Springer Spaniel named Spot. As time went on, Spot learned to pull the rope that rang the fog bell when it became very foggy until it was his full-time job. One stormy night, the Matinicus mail boat almost ran aground at Owl’s Head. The rope for the fog bell was too frozen for Spot to pull so he began to bark. The captain of the vessel heard Spot and safely maneuvered away from the shore. After Spot had died, he was buried next to the fog bell.
The ghost that is often spotted at haunted Owl’s Head light house resembles that of an old sea captain. He is often recognized by unexplained footprints in the snow, polished brass, and feelings of coldness. One three-year-old daughter of a keeper befriended the ghost. He helped her alert her parents one night when the fog was rolling in and that it was time to sound the foghorn.
STORY: THE TYBEE LIGHTHOUSE=====
The Tybee Lighthouse was first built in 1736. However, several violent storms and shore erosion caused this Georgia lighthouse to become structurally unsound. As a result, the lighthouse was meticulously rebuilt. Over the years, inclement weather and erosion did away with the light a couple more times, and the lighthouse that stands today is actually the fourth one on Tybee Island.
Many people who visit this scary lighthouse have reported hearing disembodied sounds, such as phantom whistling and the sound of unseen feet. A few people have even reported seeing the apparition of a five-year-old while climbing the stairwell. The ghost girl, who wears historic clothing, warns visitors not to go any further up the staircase.
Some paranormal enthusiasts have theorized that the girl may have perished when one of the previous Tybee lighthouses crumbled to the ground in a storm.
More of the world’s most haunted lighthouses coming up, when Weird Darkness returns.
STORY: CURRITUCK BEACH LIGHT STATION=====
Made operational in 1875, the Currituck Beach Lighthouse first illuminated the northern shores of the Outer Banks in Corolla, North Carolina. Left unpainted with exposed brick, the powerful light immediately began saving lives as it guided ships safely around shallow waters with its unique light pattern.
The two-story, quaint Victorian home found on the grounds was first erected in 1876 as the keeper’s house and was used as such until 1939 when the light was automated. Originally, three keepers and their families lived on the grounds, sharing this residence. Eventually the building would fall into disrepair until it was restored anew, beginning in 1980. It is within this house that people claim haunting still occurs. Is it the ghost of a former keeper or family member who once lived here?
The north bedroom seems to be the epicenter of ghost activity. Some believe the ghost to possibly be young Sadie Johnson, a child of the first light keeper who tragically drowned while playing too near the water by herself. It was, of course, her bedroom on the north side. But, perhaps, she is not the spirit in question but a victim of whatever haunts this room.
The north bedroom was also the place where a friend of the family came to stay, possibly permanently, it would seem. She took ill and passed in this very room. Might she haunt the lighthouse property? And if that were not enough reason to believe in ghosts at the Currituck Light, the final family that resided in the keeper’s house before it was closed in the 1930s (well before its restoration 50 years later) is said to also have had misfortune occur while living there — the wife of the last keeper dying of tuberculosis in the north bedroom. There is legend that workers who renovated the old building were afraid to step into the north bedroom for some unknown reason. It is believed that the knowledge of its former tragedies was hidden from them, so what made them afraid?
Could the untimely deaths woven into the history of the lighthouse in Corolla be just coincidence? Maybe — but this is the lore that haunts the Currituck Light. And tales about such ghosts have possibly spooked those who have had the opportunity to visit the north room in recent times (it is not currently open for tour as it is used, today, as the groundskeeper/light keeper residence).
When we visited the site in 2014, we were told that the workers were not permitted to talk about the ghosts that may haunt the lighthouse; and the tourism was brisk. Who would want to risk frightening visitors away, afterall? We did get one gentleman who worked there to confirm the haunting of the home; but he was of the opinion that the lighthouse was also haunted by the ghost, or ghosts, of those who once kept the light lit for ships at night.
STORY: OLD PRESQUE ISLE LIGHTHOUSE=====
The Presque Isle Lighthouse, the old one that is, was built in 1840 on Lake Huron, Michigan. It was quickly taken out of service by 1870, due to a newer, taller lighthouse being built. Thus, the former was abandoned. Of historical importance, a family known as the Stebbins lovingly restored the lighthouse and keeper’s dwelling as use for a summer home in the early 1900’s. The Stebbins eventually opened the old Presque Isle Lighthouse to visitors, and later on left it to tourism.
Eventually, George and Lorraine Parris moved into the keeper’s dwelling to take care of it and show tourists the old lighthouse and grounds. George loved children and truly enjoyed showing the Presque Isle Light to their visitors, but he noticed some strange happenings at the haunted place. The amber light would sometimes be seen lit in the lighthouse tower, yet, there would be no one there. In fact, the US Coast Guard removed the wiring in 1979 to prevent this from happening further; and it did cease, but only for a while.
George eventually passed away, and his wife Lorraine, knew he was still there. Every day, George used to make them breakfast before his passing, and she would awaken often to the smell of bacon and eggs, after his death! The amber light began to be seen as well in the tower of the haunted lighthouse after his passing, and was observed not only by Lorraine, but by the Coast Guard while on the water, and by the National Guard when in air!
What further cemented the idea of the ghost being George who haunted the lighthouse was when a young girl climbed up to the tower and returned giggling with glee. She informed her parents that an older man had spoken to her and entertained her while up in the tower. Later, she was able to identify him as George Parris after seeing his portrait!
STORY: SEUL CHOIX POINT LIGHTHOUSE=====
The haunted Seul Choix Point Lighthouse was built in 1892, but the tower had to rebuilt, so the lighthouse was officially completed in 1895. Seul Choix (Sis-Shwa) means “only choice” and marks a small harbor on Lake Michigan. French fur traders gave the name used for the lighthouse, as the area was the “only choice” for safety if boats were headed to the Straits of Mackinac. Today, only the haunted lighthouse is active in area that was once a bustling fishing community.
All of the original buildings stand today, including explosives storehouses, a fog signal building, and the two-family, red brick, keeper’s house attached to the lighthouse tower. Still operational today, the haunted Seul Choix Point Lighthouse was automated by the US Coast Guard in the 1970’s, and the site now houses a museum which is open from Memorial Day to mid-October, seven days a week.
Visitors to the lighthouse have experienced some haunted happenings, such as items being moved, and the sound of footsteps climbing the tower stairs, as if a lighthouse keeper is still on duty. But more than a lighthouse keeper is thought to haunt the Seul Choix Point Lighthouse!
A former lighthouse keeper’s brother used to visit Seul Choix Point and was captain of a ship. Captain James Townshend fell ill suddenly during one of his visits with his brother Joseph, and eventually died at the keeper’s house. His body was embalmed in the house basement, and put on display for quite some time until family and friends could make their journey to the isolated Seul Choix Point and pay their final respects.
Since that time, many a visitor has experienced the smell of what is presumably the Captain’s cigars, as well as his humor. Tour guides say he likes to turn the hat backwards on the mannequin dressed as a lighthouse keeper, and hide some cigars in the pockets of the jacket, from time to time.
Does the good Captain Townshend spend his days and nights at the lighthouse at Seul Choix Point? Could his brother be the keeper who is still on duty at the haunted lighthouse?
STORY: NEW LONDON LEDGE LIGHT=====
The New London Ledge Light haunted lighthouse was built in 1909 in New London Harbor, Connecticut . Being one of the last lighthouses built in New England, the New London Ledge Light is a unique three-story, red brick building which stands alone at the eastern end of the Long Island Sound. It was built to be elegant by standing in water in front of some very large homes on the nearby shoreline. Sitting quietly atop a concrete pier, this lighthouse simply looks the part of being haunted, being strangely mysterious.
The New London Ledge Light does have a tragic story and a haunted history. Purportedly, the ghost of a former light keeper named “Ernie” jumped off of the roof of the lighthouse after his wife ran off with the Block Island Ferry captain. It is believed that Ernie still haunts the lighthouse, and stories from former US Coast Guardsmen who formerly resided there may be the proof. Many have reported having the sheets ripped off of their bed, doors opening and closing on their own, televisions turning off, the foghorn being turned off and on, as well as boats being untied and left adrift. Some claim to have seen Ernie washing the lighthouse decks!
The New London Ledge Light was investigated in 2005 by TV’s Scariest Places On Earth and in 2006 by SciFi Channel’s Ghost Hunters (now SyFy). The light is automated and maintained by the USCG, but restoration is under way on the building as of this writing. Also, plans are in the works to create a museum – bed and breakfast that can be opened to the public.
I still have a few more of the world’s most haunted lighthouses to tell you about when Weird Darkness returns.
POINT LOOKOUT LIGHTHOUSE=====
Phil was in the Navy, but we’d known each other since high school. He had been the sort of angry kid who never met a fight he wouldn’t back down from, which was why it was so shocking to see those eyes alive with fear after he told me, over a beer, about the time he had to do maintenance work in the Point Lookout Lighthouse. But fear was there, along with a certainty I only questioned once.
“You’re sure you saw something? Like, something supernatural” I asked.
He raised an eyebrow, and without speaking, reminded me he was a guy who wasn’t prone to superstition. He had seen, or more accurately, felt something. But then, he had been working in what has been called the country’s most haunted lighthouse, which sits by the mass grave of thousands of souls. I shouldn’t have been that surprised.
The Point Lookout Lighthouse is situated in Point Lookout State Park, a spit of land that sits at the tip of St. Mary’s County, itself a rural peninsula that claws at the crossroads of the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay. Although ‘the County’, as locals call St Mary’s, is rapidly becoming an exurb of Washington D.C., 80 miles to the north, for centuries it has been a rural backwater, draped in oak and pine woods in her interior, fringed by estuarine marsh at her edges.
During the American Civil War, Maryland posed a dilemma for the Union; the state surrounded Washington DC, but many of her citizens owned slaves and sympathized with the Confederacy. St Mary’s County, at the state’s extreme southern tip, was a particularly troublesome enclave of Confederate support.
St Mary’s was also isolated, sparsely populated and easily defensible, which presented the Federal government with an elegant solution: to intimidate local Southern sympathizers, and house an increasing number of Confederate POWs, a Prisoner of War Camp was created at Point Lookout in July 1863.
In coming months, thousands of prisoners would flow into the camp grounds. Historical accounts describe squalid conditions: prisoners contracted illness from the swamps, wells became contaminated, and protection against the elements—freezing, damp Chesapeake wind in winter, thick, mosquito laden humidity in summer—was minimal. Lacking barracks, the prisoners slept in flimsy tents.
By late February 1864, many of the guards charged with watching the Confederates were black Union soldiers. Historical records suggest both prisoners and wardens understood the ramifications of a newly reversed racial power dynamic.
By the time the war ended, over 50,000 Confederates had been housed at the Point, and 4,000 of them were left buried in the Maryland marshes—the victims of starvation, typhoid fever, and exposure to the elements. In time, other disasters added to the tiny area’s death toll, most notably an 1878 fire that wiped out a local hotel, and in the same year, the sinking of the steamship Express, with the loss of 22 lives.
Today spirits are regularly seen and heard in the land and water now designated Point Lookout State Park. Typical sightings describe a slender man (although not the Slender Man) loping across the road or into salt-kissed groves of loblolly pine. One former ranger recalls a regular apparition of a man running at full stride away from the camp’s historic smallpox hospital—a regular escape route for prisoners. Other rangers tell of frequent low lying, damp fogs that suddenly become impenetrable and chilled with eddies of otherwordly energies that set their dogs into a panic.
Recording devices left in the pine bottomlands and by local piers often pick up disjointed snippets of conversation at all hours of the night—a woman saying “let us take no objection to what they are doing,” a man snapping “fire if they get too close to you” and a child asking to play in the water.
But it is Point Lookout’s lighthouse, now owned by the state, that inspires the most consistent paranormal exposure. Former park ranger Gerald Sword said his Belgian Shepherd would regularly lunge at unseen figures, and that once, he had seen a young man in a sailor’s dress walk to the lighthouse, then run away into thin air. Voices and piano music would drift through the lighthouse halls, and fishermen would regularly tell him about hearing phantom cries for help on the water.
My friend Phil told me that after a few minutes alone in the basement of the lighthouse, he had felt his skin prickle with a foreboding that grew so alarmingly fast it left him in a cold sweat. As he left with three co-workers, none of them spoke to each other for a few minutes; when they did, the first comment was, “Did you feel that?”
All four of them nodded, and said nothing else.
STORY: HECETA HEAD LIGHTHOUSE=====
The haunted Heceta Head Lighthouse is located in Florence, Oregon and overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Built in 1894, it took five years to build due to its steep location, standing 205 feet above the water.
This haunted lighthouse is known to be haunted by a friendly elderly lady who appears as a smoky-gray apparition, her name is “Rue.” This “Gray Lady” has a habit of moving objects when work is being done – especially at the keeper’s house.
The grave of a baby has been found on the haunted Heceta Head Lighthouse grounds, and is believed to possibly be Rue’s child. Rue has not only been known to move items, but to also set off fire alarms while workers paint, opens and closes cupboard doors, and she has been heard walking upstairs!
A worker who once encountered the Gray Lady, refused to return to the attic again. After he accidentally broke an attic window while doing work on the outside of the house, he elected to repair it from the outside. That night, workers could hear the glass that he left lying on the attic floor scraping upon the wooden boards. Upon checking the attic the next morning, they found the glass was neatly swept up into a pile for them!
Many have seen Rue peering down at them from an attic window, which only substantiates the claims of the Gray Lady still living within the haunted Heceta Head Lighthouse. Today, the Heceta Head Lighthouse keeper’s house is a bed and breakfast. We imagine that Rue is very pleased to have her home so well kept.
STORY: SEGUIN ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE=====
The Seguin Island Lighthouse was commissioned by George Washington in 1795 and is located off the southern coast of Georgetown, Maine. Seguin Island is just two miles off the mouth of the Kennebec River. The haunted Seguin Lighthouse was rebuilt in 1819, replacing its original wooden tower with stone; and in 1857 it again was reconstructed with cut stone and the addition of a brick light keeper’s quarters.
The rocky and ledged area has long been hazardous to ships, and the stories of maritime mishaps abound, including the sighting of a 135 foot sea serpent in 1875!
Among the long list of lighthouse keepers at Seguin Island is the tragic story of a mid-1800’s man and wife. Being isolated and lonely, the wife of the keeper received the gift of a piano he had shipped to the home. As she was only able to play but one song, over and over, it is believed it eventually drove him into a mad rage in which he took an axe to the piano, the wife and himself! Piano music is said to be heard over the waters today. But haunting melodies are not the only ghostly sounds that have been heard at the haunted light.
Apparently, a young girl died on the island and is buried not far from the lighthouse grounds. Keepers have reported seeing the ghost of the girl running up and down the stairs, laughing and waving at them! The tower, foghorn building and keeper’s quarters seem to have the most haunted activity, and the US Coast Guard who stayed there has had plenty of stories to tell. Various ghostly sounds, sights as well as furniture being moved, jackets falling off of hooks and missing items have all been reported.
Probably the most prolific of haunted Seguin Island Lighthouse tales is when the Coast Guard was decommissioning the light and packing up items in 1985. The Warrant Officer was awakened that very night after packing, to the apparition of a man dressed in oil skins shaking his bed. It seems the ghost had a message when he purportedly said, “Don’t take the furniture. Please, leave my home alone!” The next day, the boat that was carrying the furniture to the mainland sunk when an accident happened while lowering the loaded boat into the water. Was this ghost a former light keeper?
The list of lighthouse keepers is long, and due to its rich history and tragic stories, it is no wonder the lighthouse is haunted.
STORY: FAIRPORT HARBOR LIGHTHOUSE=====
The haunted Fairport Harbor Lighthouse is located on the shore of Lake Erie in Fairport Harbor, Ohio. Being built at the mouth of the Grand River, it was originally known as the Grand River Light, and was one of many lighthouses used to guide ships in and out of the Great Lakes. Constructed in 1825, the tower and house soon fell into disrepair and had to be rebuilt in 1871. The Fairport Lighthouse and keeper’s house standing today, was used until 1925, as it was abandoned for a new lighthouse that had been erected nearby.
The haunted Fairport Harbor lighthouse is 70 feet high, built of sandstone and no longer operational. The keeper’s house is now home to the Faiport Marine Museum and was the first U.S. lighthouse grounds to be restored into a museum in 1945. The museum houses many nautical and historic exhibits important to the local region.
There are two prominent lighthouse keepers in the history of the Fairport Harbor Lighthouse. The first keeper of the light must be noted, Samuel Butler, as he was also an active abolitionist and made the haunted Fairport Harbor Lighthouse a northern terminal of the Underground Railroad, effectively guiding runaway slaves to the safety of Canada. This history of the site alone makes it a possible site that’s haunted. But the second lighthouse keeper seemed a fixture and remained very attached to the lighthouse of Fairport Harbor, which he loved. Captain Joseph Babcock was the first keeper of the reconstructed lighthouse and keeper’s dwelling, who also raised a family on the grounds. In fact, two of his children were born in the home, with one of them dying young at age five from smallpox.
The tragedy of losing “Robbie” at so young an age, certainly weighed heavy on the family, but Mrs. Babcock also had fallen ill and remained bed-ridden inside the house. For entertainment, she reportedly kept many cats. Many years later, some claim to have seen a ghost cat whisking about upstairs, describing it as a gray “puff of smoke.” Interestingly, a mummified cat was found by a worker years later, and is displayed in a glass cabinet at the Fairport Harbor Museum to this day!
We (the AngelsGhosts.com team) were fortunate enough to be able to investigate the haunted Fairport Harbor Lighthouse and see what we could uncover. Working with different members of the ghost hunting group, S.I.G.H.T., we were able to make some ghost box recordings in the tower and lighthouse keeper’s house.
Is the Fairport Harbor Lighthouse haunted? If we were to compare reports from guests and volunteers with the recordings of ghostly messages we received, we believe it is indeed haunted, and a jewel of a lighthouse worth visiting.
STORY: HAUNTED WHITE RIVER LIGHT STATION=====
The haunted lighthouse on the White Lake channel of Lake Michigan is known as the White River Light Station. Built in 1875, the first lightkeeper Captain William Robinson took his post in 1876, and raised eleven children with the help of his wife, Sara, at the White River Light Station. In fact, they loved the lighthouse and duty so much that they stayed there for 47 years, and upon retirement saw their son become their successor. Yet, the Captain refused to leave the lighthouse and worked at the White River Light Station unto his 80’s. At age 87, he eventually died the night before he was to leave the premises for good.
Today, the haunted lighthouse is believed to be watched over still by the Captain and Sara. His ever distinctive cane and gait can sometimes be heard walking around the light station, while Sara makes her presence known by tidying things up from time to time!
The haunted White River Light Station was officially decommissioned by the US Coast Guard in 1960, and re-opened as a museum in 1970.
STORY: BIG BAY POINT LIGHT=====
The haunted Big Bay Point Light sits overlooking Lake Superior in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, being built in 1896. The Big Bay Point Light is made of red brick with a square lighthouse tower that is attached to the keeper’s house. It was fully automated in 1941, later decommissioned by the US Coast Guard from 1961-1990, and is now operating again as an active aid to navigation. After it was shut down in 1961, the property was purchased by Dr. Pick (via sealed bid) who lovingly restored it over the next seventeen years. Eventually, he sold the property to the partners who still own it today (as of this writing).
When it became a bed and breakfast, apparently the resident ghost felt it necessary to help innkeeper Linda Gamble with things, but after she was woken up in the middle of the night by slamming cupboard doors in her kitchen, she angrily told him to stop! Reportedly, today the ghostly activity has settled, and she believes there to be five resident ghosts, though we are not sure just who all of them are. There was a soldier stationed there in 1952 who committed murder at the nearby Lumberjack Tavern, an incident that was the inspiration for the book and movie, Anatomy of a Murder. But he only murdered someone there – he didn’t die there himself. So why would he have stayed to haunt the Big Bay Point Light?
There is another story that may answer at least who one of the ghosts at the haunted Big Bay Point Light might be. Linda believes the ghost banging the cupboard doors was the first lighthouse keeper named William Prior. Mr. Prior began his lightkeeping duties in 1896, and stayed only five short years. He was looking for an assistant and found the perfect helper in 1899; his son George. Unfortunately, in 1901, George had an accident and was injured by falling down some steps, and eventually died in a hospital. A month later, William Prior walked away from his lighthouse duty and unto the nearby woods with his gun and some strychnine, being presumably grief-stricken for his son. His body was eventually found by a hunter seventeen months later in 1902, a skeleton hanging from a tree in the woods, not too away far from the haunted Big Bay Point Light. His tragic suicide and grief could be why his ghost still remains at the lighthouse to this day.
STORY: PLYMOUTH LIGHTHOUSE=====
The haunted Plymouth Lighthouse was originally built in 1769 at the mouth of Plymouth Bay in Massachusetts. The original structure had two towers lit with oil lamps, being built on the property of its eventual lighthouse keepers, John and Hannah Thomas. Hannah became a very capable lighthouse keeper herself, as John went off to the Revolutionary War and was killed in battle. In fact, she became the first woman lighthouse keeper in America!
Some believe Hannah still resides at the location still today, even though the original Plymouth Lighthouse was lost to fire and rebuilt in 1803 with a new building and even taller twin towers. 1843 saw both towers reconstructed, and by 1924, the northeast tower was removed, as it was no longer needed. The haunted Plymouth Lighthouse south tower has continued to operate since that time, but today is automated (1986). However, in 1998 the lighthouse had to be moved due to fear of losing the structure due to erosion.
A professional lighthouse photographer and his wife decided to spend the night at the haunted location, choosing to sleep in a house adjacent to the light. He awakened in the night to find the upper half of a woman floating above his sleeping wife and staring at her! The apparition was in period-dress, and had long, dark, flowing hair. Could this woman have been the original owner and keeper, Hannah Thomas? Some believe so.
STORY: BATTERY POINT LIGHTHOUSE=====
The haunted Battery Point Lighthouse (formerly known as the Crescent City Light Station) is a unique lighthouse, due to it being situated on Battery Point Island. It only sits on an island during high tide, otherwise, it can be accessed from the mainland at Crescent City, California as a peninsula!
Being built in 1856, this northern California lighthouse decorates the Pacific Ocean as a two story white, granite stone house with a white brick lighthouse tower atop. Today, it can be visited, as it is a museum and remains operational as an aiding light for navigation, though it was decommissioned by the US Coast Guard in 1965. Being fully automated, the haunted Battery Point Lighthouse has had its share of stories!
A year before it was to be deactivated, the lighthouse keepers witnessed an unfortunate tragedy. A tsunami occurred in 1964, creating huge tidal waves that destroyed seven city blocks of Crescent City. The keepers were eyewitnesses to the destruction, being threatened themselves by the largest of waves from the ocean.
The lighthouse is haunted at Battery Point, but no one seems to know exactly by whom and why. There is believed to be at least one resident ghost which is playful. A paranormal research group that investigated the Battery Point Lighthouse believes it is haunted not by one playful ghost, but by three: a child and two adult spectres!
Some of the haunting activity being reported occurs when visitors are given a tour. Some guests have experienced being touched on their shoulders, and sensing a presence. Caretakers report having their slippers moved at night while asleep, a rocking chair moving back and forth on its own, and sea boots trudging up the haunted lighthouse stairway, as if still on duty; especially during times of storms! Even cats at this lighthouse have acted strangely during times of ghostly activity.
There’s still more Weird Darkness to come, with more of the world’s most haunted lighthouses… up next.
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STORY: HAUNTED LIGHTHOUSE – SAINT AUGUSTINE=====
One of the oldest cities in America, St. Augustine, Florida, is rich with history—and ghosts. The lighthouse that stands at the end of St. Augustine’s Anastasia Island was built in 1874, one in a long line of lighthouses that have served the city since Sir Francis Drake raided the village in 1586.
St. Augustine has become a national historic site, drawing thousands of visitors each year. But visitors don’t just come for the history. St. Augustine’s years of service has left it with many ghosts, leading Jason Hawes of Ghost Hunters to dub the lighthouse “the Mona Lisa of paranormal sites.”
After the original lighthouse established by the territorial American government eroded and fell into the sea, construction began in 1871 to build the lighthouse as it stands today. A man named Hezekiah H. Pittee oversaw the work. To entertain his restless children, he allowed them to play with the supply cart that ran back and forth between the lighthouse and the ocean. But on July 10, 1873, he would come to regret that decision.
After a day of play, the two eldest Pittee children, Eliza and Mary, drowned when the cart toppled over into the water. Historians believe that a third child, a young African-American girl, was also killed in the accident, though her name goes unmentioned in newspaper reports.
According to lighthouse workers, the mischievous spirits of these children still haunt the lighthouse today. Workers will find locked doors standing wide open the next day, and the sound of children’s laughter can be heard in the stairwell. Music boxes sold in the gift shop inexplicably pop open, playing by themselves. Tour guides report multiple incidences of being touched or grabbed by ghosts while showing visitors around the lighthouse.
Visitors to the lighthouse report catching glimpses of a young girl dressed in period clothing peering out from the lighthouse door or standing near an upstairs window. In 2009, a cell tower technician took a photo of his coworker with the lighthouse in the background—the figure of a young girl in a long dress with long hair can be seen standing alone on the top observation deck.
The ghosts of the young girls are friendly and don’t engage directly with visitors. Unfortunately, there are other, less pleasant presences making themselves known at the lighthouse, including a figure who has come to be known as “the man in blue.” This specter has terrified many who have worked and lived in the house, following them down all 219 stairs from the top of the tower. One lighthouse keeper was so unnerved that he refused to live in the lighthouse any longer. Eventually a coast guard who evidently didn’t fear ghosts switched duties with him.
Many believe that the man in blue is the restless spirit of lighthouse keeper Joseph Andreu, who fell to his death while painting the original tower in 1859. Others claim the spirit is that of another lighthouse keeper, who allegedly hanged himself in the tower. Visitors and staff report the overpowering smell of cigar smoke on the landing of the tower, despite the fact that smoking is expressly prohibited on the grounds. Could it be that Andreu had a penchant for cigars?
The St. Augustine Lighthouse hosts over 200,000 visitors per year, and is open to the public daily. For those especially interested in the paranormal activity, the lighthouse offers the Dark of the Moon Tour, a comprehensive tour of all the haunted sites related to the lighthouse. If you’d like an intimate audience with the man in blue, private tours are also available.
STORY: POINT SUR LIGHT STATION=====
Big Sur, California had always been a dangerous place to navigate ship, so sailors in the 1800’s petitioned to have a lighthouse built there, especially after the steamship Ventura sank at Point Sur in 1875. In 1886, the U.S. Lighthouse Service Board allocated money to build the Point Sur Light Station. It was given its first keeper on August 1, 1889.
On February 12, 1935, the U.S.S. Macon airship sank in 1,450 feet of water of the shore of Big Sur. The zeppelin-like structure was helium-filled, had an aluminum frame, had a top speed of 80 miles per hour, and was 785 feet long. Of the 83 people on the airship when it crashed, two lost their lives.
Today, Point Sur is a ghost town and the lighthouse is totally automated and the buildings under restoration. The most popular ghost seen at the Point Sur Lighthouse is a man in a keeper’s uniform that is from the 1800’s. He is seen at the visitor’s center primarily.
STORY: ST. SIMON’S ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE=====
In 1810, at Couper’s Point on St. Simon’s Island, Georgia, James Gould finished the construction of the first, 85-foot St. Simon’s Island Lighthouse that began in 1804. In May of 1810, President Madison appointed James Gould as the first keeper of the lighthouse until he retired in 1837.
During the Civil War, Federal soldiers invaded Georgia, forcing the Confederates to evacuate St. Simon’s Island. Before they left in 1862, the Confederates destroyed the lighthouse on St. Simon’s Island so that the Union could not use it as a navigational aid. In 1874, the U.S. Government had Charles Cluskey build a second St. Simon’s Island Lighthouse that was to be built on top of the ruins of the destroyed one. It is 104 feet tall and has 129 spiraling stairs.
In 1880, head keeper, Frederick Osborne, and assistant, John Stevens, got into a serious argument about Osborne’s wife that ended in Osborne’s death by gunshot. Stevens was never charged and became head keeper of the lighthouse.
Years later, Stevens and many other people would hear haunting footsteps going up and down the staircase in the tower. Are they the footsteps of Frederick Osborne?
STORY: PORT BOCA GRANDE LIGHTHOUSE=====
The haunted Port Boca Grande Lighthouse is located on Gasparilla Island, Florida in the Gulf of Mexico. Built in 1890, beach erosion eventually threatened the lighthouse, but it was saved by the building of a 265 foot granite jetty to form a basin.
The haunted Port Boca Grande lighthouse marks the entryway into Charlotte Harbor. Still a working lighthouse today, it is part of the Gasparilla Island State Park and houses a museum, as well. In 1986, the lighthouse was fully restored as a working lighthouse, after being decommissioned by the Coast Guard in 1966 due to disrepair and the structure becoming unsound. Lighthouse keepers and their families stayed in the keeper’s house from 1890 until 1951. The light was automated in 1956. But what makes this landmark haunted?
The Port Boca Grande Lighthouse also served as the keeper’s house. One of the lighthouse keeper’s daughter’s passed away in the home due to sickness. It was either diptheria or whooping cough that claimed her life. Legend has it that at midnight she can still be heard playing upstairs in one of the rooms (according to a former Park Ranger tour guide). The story of the young girl is not the only lore surrounding the Port Boca Grande lighthouse being haunted. There is another legend of sorts about this site.
Some have claimed to see the headless apparition of a lady, believed to be a former Spanish Princess by the name of Josefa. The pirate who gave the island its name, Jose Gaspar, was said to be madly in love with Josefa, whom he had kidnapped and brought to the island where he had buried his treasure. After professing his devotion to her, she is said to have rejected Gaspar. In a fit of rage, he took off her head by his blade, then buried her body on the beach near where the lighthouse was later built. Her head, however, is believed to have left Gasparilla Island with the pirate. Does she still search the beach for her head? Some claim so, and it does make for a great story…
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Now that we’re coming out of the dark, I’ll leave you with a little light… “I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” – Psalm 16:8
And a final thought… “Be brave enough to live the life of your dreams according to your vision and purpose instead of the expectations and opinions of others.” – Roy T. Bennett
I’m Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me in the Weird Darkness.