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Famous Haunted Places--Haunted Lighthouses

Updated on March 11, 2011
Baker's Island Light
Baker's Island Light


Everyone who knows me is aware that I have a “thing” about lighthouses. Is it a past life connection? I’m not sure, but I am sure that someday I want to live in one (again), or perhaps haunt one. I will be in good company in that event. There are approximately 680 lighthouses still standing in the United States, and over 11, 000 in the world. It stands to reason that some of those magnificent structures are haunted.

Here are some of the famous lighthouses in America that are reportedly haunted. As a life’s goal, I would like to investigate every one of them. I might run out of time in this lifetime to do that, but I’d like to get to as many as I can.

Baker’s Island Light, Salem Harbor, Massachusetts

Built in 1907, this lighthouse seems to have a mind of its own. The fog horn turns on and off by itself, whether there’s fog or not. It has also performed as a warning of foreboding. There was a reunion of past light keepers scheduled to take place on the island. The fog horn on the light went off as they were all on a ferry. A freak storm came up and all but one of the former light keepers were killed.

Barnegat Light, New Jersey

This light was built by a retired sea captain, Winslow Lewis, in 1834. The sea captain is not one of the two spirits who are believed to still reside at the light, however.

A man and is family were on a ship off the coast near the light when a storm came up (lots of storms near lighthouses!) and the ship began to sink. The man sent his wife and baby to shore in the life boat while he decided to stay with his ship. His wife sent the baby with one of the crew and stayed with her husband. They both perished, but they never really left the area. They can still be seen in January and February walking along the shore together and stopping to comment on babies that are pushed by their mother’s. Once the spirits realize that the baby is not theirs, they disappear.

Point Outlook Light, Marilyn

This famous light marks the entrance to the Potomac River, in the town of Scotland, Maryland. It is located at the southern-most tip of the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay. The light has a long history of being haunted and has been the subject of numerous paranormal investigations.

Point Lookout, Md., was the site of the largest prison camp during the Civil War, with more than 50,000 Confederate soldiers held here between 1863 and 1865, many of them transported by steam boats down the Chesapeake. Park authorities estimate that about 2,400 soldiers died in the camps. Some believe many of these departed soldiers never left the camp.

Residents inside the park (a few people still live on the grounds) often tell of hearing the sound of muzzleloader shots, "but when rangers check it out, they find nothing," notes Keith Frere, State Park Manager.

Gerald Sword moved into the north side of the lighthouse and Anna Carpenter moved into the south side in the late 1970's. Both experienced unexplainable events. Gerald (Gerry) Sword became very interested in the rich history of the Point Lookout area. An unexpected bonus of living in the lighthouse was the ghostly visitors who frequently made their presence known to him. Gerry wrote to Dr. Hans Holzer while he was living in the lighthouse and invited Dr. Holzer to Point Lookout to investigate the source of the paranormal activity. Dr. Holzer, a renowned parapsychologist based in New York, performed psychic investigations and discovered a hot bed of activity. Anna Carpenter lived in the south side of the lighthouse when Gerry lived in the north side. Unfortunately she did not live there for long and another commitment forced her to move within a month. In the short time that she lived in the lighthouse, Anna reported hearing someone walking up in the attic and frequently heard furniture being moved around in the north side when Gerry was out. Gerry wrote down some of his experiences:

* The kitchen wall started to glow one night for about 10 minutes
* Every night for 2 weeks he heard someone snoring in the kitchen
* During storms, he often heard voices outside and inside the lighthouse
* He frequently heard someone walking up and down the hallway and up and down the stairs
* He heard loud voices outside - he would search and could never find anyone
* His dog was locked in the screen-in porch in the evenings. One night he heard the dog barking
and came outside to find the dog outside the porch but the door was still locked from the
* He smelled an unexplained odor in the living room
* He experienced lights turning on and off and doors banging

Pemaquid Point Light, Maine

I have personally visited the Pemaquid Point Light on several occasions. It is one of my favorite spots to visit on the Maine coast. The rock formation leading up to the light from the sea is unique and breathtaking.

The light is located at the end of Rte. 130 off of the Maine Coastal Highway. Although this light isn't noted as one of the most haunted lighthouses, it does have a ghost associated with it. Not in the tower, but in the former keeper's house, now the Fisherman's Museum. On occasion, a red haired lady dressed in a shawl is seen, usually near the

fireplace. No one seems to have any history on her, as there have been no notable deaths associated with Pemaquid Light at all. Perhaps the lady is a survivor of a former shipwreck, or is waiting for a loved one who was lost. Even if you don’t see her, it’s worth the trip to see the light. It’s hard to believe there is a more scenic lighthouse in the entire country. (Oh, yeah, and the museum also shows off a 20 lobster—the shell, anyway. That’s worth the trip even if you don’t see a ghost!)

SequinIsland Light, Boothbay Harbor, Maine

This is another light that is worth visiting, even if you don’t see the spirits lurking there. Boothbay Harbor is a quaint fishing port town that has been used as many movie backdrops. The light is located 3 miles off Boothbay Harbor, so you must take a boat ride to see it. Because of this, the light was very isolated, especially during the Maine winter months.

One newly married keeper brought his young wife out with him to tend the light. Becoming very bored, the wife complained about not having anything to do. The keeper ordered a piano to be brought to the island before the next winter in hopes it would keep his young wife occupied. The wife was delighted, but could not play without sheet music. Fortunately, one song had come with the piano, so she set to playing it. Soon afterward the island became icebound. She played her piano, though. The same song, over and over and over again, which drove her husband insane. Even when he had had new sheet music brought out to the island,

she kept playing the original tune. Finally he'd had enough, took an axe and chopped the piano to bits. When she complained, he turned to her and chopped her up with the axe, nearly decapitating her. Then he killed himself. The sound of the piano playing can still be heard by visitors to the light. The keeper has also been seen on occasion, still tending to his duties.

There are many more lighthouse that are reportedly haunted. One could write an entire book on the subject, and several people have. To read more about other Haunted Locations, try Amazon and see how many pop up! I think you’ll be amazed.


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    • Christine B. profile imageAUTHOR

      Christine B. 

      8 years ago from Medina, Ohio

      I would love to investigate every one of them. Wouldn't that be fun? If only . . . :o)

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 

      8 years ago from Oakley, CA

      I, too, like lighthouses, as did my mother. She had a collection of lighthouse replicas about 8" tall...I still have them...Most of the ones you mention are in that collection.

      I think a couple of these have been investigated by T.A.P.S. I do recall seeing a couple of lighthouse episodes. ;-)


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