Lighthouses are often beautiful tourist attractions, but many of these coastal icons have tragic histories. Sometimes, the people that fell victim to tragedies at lighthouse still roam the grounds long after their deaths. Here’s a list of the top 5 haunted lighthouses in America:
- Point Sur Lightstation
Big Sur, California
Big Sur is a beautiful destination, so you can’t really blame the ghost of a 19th-century lighthouse keeper from wanting to stick around the Point Sur Lightstation visitor’s center, where it’s been seen by numerous witnesses. The lighthouse on Point Sur has been around since 1889 and you can visit the site by taking one of the scheduled tours. You get extra spooky credit if you take one of the moonlight tours.
- St. Simons Lighthouse
St. Simons Island, Georgia
On the southern point of St. Simons Island sits the St. Simons Lighthouse. It’s said that in 1880, the head keeper Fredrick Osborne and his assistant John Stevens got into an argument that ended with Osborne fatally shooting his assistant. Osborne was never charged in the murder, but he reported hearing the footsteps of his victim in the empty tower. To this day, reports of phantom footsteps can still be heard inside the 129-step lighthouse tower.
- Seul Choix Lighthouse
This 78-foot tall lighthouse has been in service on the shore of Lake Michigan since 1892. Joseph Townsend was one of the keepers when he died in the keeper’s house in the early 1900s. Because of the harsh Michigan winter, he was not able to be buried for months following his death, so his body was kept in the basement of the house. Today, visitors and staff report smelling the scent of cigars–one of Townsend’s favorite pastimes–throughout the buildings on the property. Chairs and items will be moved in the museum’s kitchen, and some have reported seeing a man peeking into the windows.
- Point Lookout Light
The Point Lookout Light is considered by many to be one of the most haunted lighthouses in America. Full-bodied apportions have been seen on the property, as wells as doors that open and close on their own. People have heard footsteps, voices and even snoring. The site served as a prison camp and hospital during the Civil War, which may fuel the hauntings. This particular lighthouse has been out of service for almost 50 years, which somehow makes it even more frightening.
- Owls Head Light
Owls Head, Maine
Owls Head State Park sits on Penobscot Bay and is open year-round to visitors. The lighthouse itself isn’t accessible to tourists, but it’s apparently accessible to a ghost. Previous keepers at the house had a young daughter with a friend that only she could see who would tell her when fog was about to roll in. This friend looked just like an old ship’s captain. Current residents see the old captain’s snowy footprints and he apparently helps out around the joint, polishing brass and lowering the thermostats in the keeper house.