Haunted Lighthouses of America

Haunted Lighthouses

Haunted Lighthouses are all over the world. Most of them are in beautiful locations, guarding the shores and guiding ships to safety. From tragic tales of light keepers who don’t want to leave their posts, to souls of those lost at sea near the lighthouse, to the spirits of those who died on the lighthouse grounds, there are thousands of stories of haunted lighthouses. We read and researched tons of articles, books, and stories in our question for fascinating stories to share. Here are just a few:

Point Vicente Lighthouse, near Los Angeles, CA

Point Vicente Lighthouse is located near the intersection of Palos Verdes Drive and Los Verdes Boulevard in the Ranchos Palos Verdes section of Los Angeles.  It’s located about a mile and a half from Marineland of the Pacific.

https://www.freefunguides.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/point-vicente-lighthouse.jpgAll seemed perfectly normal at this lighthouse, at least until some local homeowners started complaining about the bright beam disturbing them.  In an effort to appease the homeowners, the Coast Guard blacked out the side of the light that was bothersome.  It seemed that this change somehow summoned the spirit of a tall woman with long, tangled hair.  She is now seen strolling near the lighthouse.  Her flowing gown blows in the wind as she circles the tower.

Locals believe she is the spirit of the first lightkeeper’s wife who fell off a nearby cliff on a very foggy night.  She lost her way in the thick fog and fell to her death.  Some say she has returned as she has become lost in the newly returned darkness.

Carysfort Reef Lighthouse – Key Largo, FL

This lighthouse is located in a treacherous stretch of water that has seen more than its share of shipwrecks.  In addition, the area is home to a dangerous stretch of reef that has claimed numerous ships, including the one it was named for, the HMS Carysfort in 1770.

Several lightships were set here, but they weren’t very effective.  Their presence more or less made them a target for attacks from Seminole Indians and more than 60 vessels were lost on the reef during the time of the lightships.


When a new method of securing reef lighthouses to the coral rock beneath was created, and in 1852 the Carysfort Reef Lighthouse was completed.  The lighthouse offered poor living conditions for its keepers.  Food would spoil after a few days because there was no means of refrigeration.  But even in these conditions, keepers were loyal.

One keeper, in particular, Captain Charles Johnson apparently decided he was never going to leave.  No the most likable guy, Captain Johnson died just after the lighthouse was lit.  After his death, keepers began reporting deep, guttural groaning that would carry through the rafters of the lighthouse.   These groans would begin softly and intensify into high-pitched, human-sounding screams as the night went on.  Most keepers had a hard time getting a good night’s sleep.

These days, many dismiss the noises as the iron joints of the lighthouse settling.  Others are convinced it’s Captain Johnson’s spirit hanging around to annoy people long after his death.

The Carysfort Reef Lighthouse is located offshore about 6 miles from Key Largo.  It can’t be seen from land. It’s very hard to reach by boat because of the reef, but you can get a charter to take you out there. The tower is currently closed to visitors.

Point Lookout Light, Chesapeake Bay, Maryland

The Point Lookout Lighthouse sits on a peninsula that marks the entrance to the Potomac River in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland. The area was known as a pleasant vacation place prior to the Civil War. It was originally part of St. Michael’s Manor, which was owned by the first governor of Maryland. The point had been used as a summer resort, complete with beach cottages and a wharf. The addition of the lighthouse had served to add to the charm of the region.

Owls Head Light, Owls Head, Maine

The booming lime trade of the 1820′s on Maine‘s midcoast led to the construction of a lighthouse on Owls Head, an area located at the entrance to Rockland Harbor, Maine. In 1825, President John Quincy Adams authorized the building of a lighthouse on a promontory south of Rockland Harbor in Penobscot Bay.

Georgetown (North Island) Light, Georgetown, SC

Located ten miles downstream from Georgetown, SC sits the North Island Lighthouse.  This seventy-two-foot tall beacon was built around 1812.  The haunting of this lighthouse is said to be caused by the daughter of a former keeper who drowned tragically at the age of seven or eight.

The father was a widow and was raising his daughter on his own. His little girl was his world and she would accompany him on his lighthouse duties and practically everywhere else he went.

One day, after a trip to town to buy supplies, the two were headed back to the lighthouse in their little wooden boat.  Suddenly it began to rain fiercely and the wind began gusting.  The little boat began to rock wildly and started taking on water.  The lightkeeper realized the boat and all his supplies would be lost, so he took a rope that was in the boat and tied his daughter to his back.  Fighting hard to stay afloat, he had no idea which way he was swimming, but he knew he had to keep going to save his little girl.  Finally, they made it to the shore.

Feeling secure in the fact that his daughter was still strapped to his back, the exhausted keeper fell asleep.  When he woke, he tried waking his daughter, but to no avail, as the little girl had drowned during the struggle to reach the shore.  Despondent, the keeper was never the same and soon began neglecting his duties and wandering the town calling out for his daughter and falling to his knees in grief when she didn’t answer.

Mariners in the area believe Annie is a bit of a guardian angel.  Many claims that she comes aboard their vessels, warning them of impending hurricane and nor’easters.  When she appears, the wise sailors pull in their traps and nets and head home.

Pensacola Lighthouse, Pensacola, FL

The first Pensacola Light was the lightship Aurora Borealis. A lightship is a permanently The first Pensacola Light was the lightship Aurora Borealis. A lightship is a permanently moored ship that has a light beacon mounted on it. Due to the frequent occurrence of choppy seas, the lightship had to be anchored inside the bay entrance, behind Santa Rosa Island. Because of this, the lightship proved inefficient and unreliable and was quickly replaced in 1824 by a permanent lighthouse. How quickly? This new lighthouse and the keeper’s house were built for $5,725 and completed in barely two months.

In 1825 a 40-foot tower was built on a 40 foot bluff at the south entrance to Pensacola Bay. This light was also partially obscured by trees close to the tower and on Santa Rosa Island. There are no known drawings or photographs of this original lighthouse.

In 1858 a new tower was built on the north side of the bay entrance, and was lit on January 1, 1859. The new, and current, the tower is 150 feet tall, and also sits on a 40-foot bluff located on the Pensacola Naval Air Station, placing the light 190 feet above sea level.

The lighthouse is said to be haunted by its first lightkeeper, Jeremiah Ingraham. A transplanted bachelor from New England, he took on the lightkeeper duties in December of 1824. He grew fond of the tropical Florida climate and his crops of strawberries, grapes, rice, among others, were plentiful. He lived this abundant bachelor life for two more years, then decided it was time to take a wife.

Jeremiah married in 1826, and the couple soon had three children. They hired a young Negro boy to as an assistant lightkeeper and soon took on caring for an ailing relative. Although they expanded their crops and had more people to help with hunting and fishing, there never seemed to be enough food. This issue seemed to be the root cause of heated arguments and underlying tension for years. Jeremiah’s wife pressured him constantly, saying he wasn’t doing enough, although he seemed to work ceaselessly.

This continued for the nearly thirty years the couple ran the lighthouse. The intensity grew and grew and eventually ended in Jeremiah’s brutal murder. With the children grown and on their own, the couple was alone in the house.

One night, for reasons still unknown, Jeremiah’s wife got up in the middle of the night, went downstairs, and grabbed the sharpest knife in the kitchen. She disposed of the incriminating evidence and reported her husband’s death as a hunting accident.

Her tenure as a lightkeeper was not an easy one. The lighthouse was plagued by ongoing mechanical problems and setbacks, and the guilty wife seemed to be plagued by the vengeful spirit of her murdered husband.

Legend says she saw objects fly through the air, heard creepy laughter in empty rooms, saw shadows in the windows of the locked tower at night, constantly smelled the odor of pipe tobacco, and felt ice-cold blasts of air no matter how hot the fireplace was burning.

Even though the old station has been replaced, reports say the bloodstain of Jeremiah’s murder shows through the floorboards of the upstairs bedroom of the current keeper’s house. No amount of scrubbing is able to permanently remove that stain. The son of a former keeper stated that when he pulls the chains to keep the lens turning, he would hear breathing. Visitors have reported having their names whispered into their ears by some unseen force. Doors open and close by themselves, and residents would hear footsteps walking to the front door, the door would open and close, then the footsteps would continue on to the gate, where the gate would open and close, then the footsteps would stop.


Share on: