When I decided to research haunted lighthouses there were literally hundreds. I came across two theories as to why this might be. Since lighthouses are surrounded by water, and water is considered a conduit, some felt this trapped a spirit. Others felt that spirits could become trapped due to the proximity and solitude of these areas. What stood out for me (and made more sense) were the number of tragic and violent deaths connected with these hauntings. The stories were both fascinating and sad. Many of these places no longer serve as lighthouses but have been converted to bed and breakfasts, become historical landmarks or have been abandoned. If you're planning on a vacation, you may want to check these out.
|Photo courtesy of L'Aquatique|
A man and his wife are said to haunt this lighthouse. In the 1800s the couple was visiting a ship just off the coast when a huge storm struck. The ship was evacuated, including their infant daughter, but for some reason the husband and wife chose to stay and they both froze to death. It is said that if one is walking a baby in a stroller, the ghosts will appear, compliment them on the baby, and then disappear again.
Big Bay Point Lighthouse, Lake Superior, Michigan
This lighthouse is said to be haunted by its first keeper, H. William Prior. Despondent over the death of his son, Prior went into the woods with a shotgun and a bottle of strychnine, apparently intent on committing suicide. A search party was sent out but he was never found. Over a year later, the skeleton of his body was discovered hanging in a tree. His ghost is said to haunt the property by slamming doors and moving objects. The Big Bay Point Lighthouse is now a bed and breakfast.
|Public domain photo|
Bird Island Light, Sippican Harbor, Massachusetts
William Moore was the first keeper of this lighthouse. There were two rumors associated with William: he was either a convicted pirate serving his sentence or he had stolen money from the U.S Army during the War of 1812. Regardless, William was known for his bad temper and for being abusive towards his wife. In 1832, he called shore for help and they found her, dead. He claimed she had died of tuberculosis but many felt he had murdered her. Though her grave site was never found, it is believed that William buried her on the property before he fled the area to avoid further investigation. Many claim to see her ghost--weeping and with her hands outstretched in supplication.
|Photo courtesy of Padraic Ryan|
Gibraltar Point Lighthouse, Toronto Island, Canada
J.P. Radan Muller, a whiskey bootlegger, was the first keeper of this lighthouse. He was murdered in 1815 by Fort York soldiers who were in search of whiskey. The drunken soldiers threw him off the top of the lighthouse, chopped his body into pieces, and then buried his remains across the island. His body, or pieces thereof, was never "officially" found. In 1904 a jawbone was discovered and reburied but was never identified as Muller's. Strange phenomena have been reported including lights in the windows, a shadowy figure of a man drifting across the sand, bloodstains on the stair case, and moaning and dragging sounds.
|Photo courtesy of HISE Studios|
Heceta Head Lighthouse, Florence, Oregon
This lighthouse is said to be haunted by a woman named Rue--reportedly the mother of a baby whose grave was found on the property. Her ghost is said to move objects, steal rat poison, open cupboards (and once) sweep broken glass into a neat pile. Some say they've seen an elderly woman looking down at them from the attic window.
|Photo courtesy of Ebyabe|
Old Port Boca Grande Lighthouse, Gasparilla Island, Gulf of Mexico, Florida
Reportedly haunted by two ghosts, the first is the spirit of a child who died of diphtheria or whooping cough. She can be heard playing in one of the rooms on the upper floor. The second ghost is that of a Spanish princess named Useppa (some legends report her as Josefa de Mayorga). Useppa rejected the love of José Gaspar, a Spanish pirate. Legend says that he beheaded her for rejecting him and carried his beloved's head forever. It is said that the headless ghost can be seen wandering the shores. The lighthouse is now a museum.
|Photo courtesy Mark|
Point Lookout Light, Chesapeake Bay, Maryland
Said to be America's most haunted lighthouse, Point Lookout Light was established as a prison camp during the Civil War. The place soon became overcrowded--a breeding ground for disease and death. Strange noises, disembodied voices and figures have been seen standing at the top of the stairway and in the basement. Some have encountered a woman in period clothing; asking for help to find the grave of her loved one. The apparitions of Union and Confederate soldiers have been seen, though the graves located on the property were moved many years ago.
|Photo courtesy of US Coast Guard|
Seguin Island Lighthouse, Georgetown, Maine
Seguin Island Lighthouse is said to be haunted by the wife of the first lighthouse keeper. The keeper had his young bride's piano moved to the lighthouse to stave off her loneliness and depression. Unfortunately, it was delivered with only one sheet of piano music. The wife would play the piece over and over again, even after her husband sent for more sheet music. Her husband was reportedly driven insane and destroyed the piano, his wife, and himself with an axe. Some report that they can still hear her piano music drifting across the ocean.
|Photo courtesy of Paul Brennan|
St. Augustine Lighthouse, St. Augustine, Florida
In 1859, the original keeper fell to his death while painting the lighthouse. In the 1873, three young girls--a servant and two daughters of the superintendent of Lighthouse Construction--drowned in a tragic accident. Voices and footsteps of the girls can be heard. Tenants report seeing a young girl dressed in old-fashioned clothing who appears and then disappears. A large, dark male figure has been seen in the basement, where a former caretaker reportedly hung himself.
|Photo courtesy of Andy Stephenson|
Point of Ayre Lighthouse, Talacre, Wales, U.K.
A figure of a man in work clothes has been seen on the lighthouse balcony. Dogs have refused to go near the lighthouse for no apparent explanation. Paranormal investigators report unusual sounds, laughter and large footprints on the beach. When one group followed the footprints to the lighthouse, a loud bang was heard and a dark figure shone a light in their faces. The investigators report that the figure and footsteps both disappeared soon after.
Only accessible at low tide, it was sold in 2012 for the price of £90,000 and is listed as a Grade 2 building.