Storied Lighthouses of the Eastern Seaboard

Hauntings and Lighthouse Lore

Piano playing horror

Seguin Island Lighthouse
Bath, Maine

This desolate lighthouse, one of Maine's tallest and its second oldest, is the site of a gruesome story. A keeper who had recently married moved to the island 3 miles off the coast to tend the light with his wife. To help with his wife's boredom in the winter, the keeper bought her a piano. It only came with the sheet music for one song. Unable to get new sheet music since the island was locked in ice, the wife played the same song over and over again eventually driving the keeper insane. He took an axe to the piano and then to his wife. Afterwards, he took his own life. The ghost of the keeper has been spotted in the house and sometimes, on a quiet night, you can hear the tinkling of a piano. The island is only accessible via boat or helicopter.

Prankish girl ghost

St. Augustine Lighthouse
St. Augustine, Florida

The scent of cigar smoke is sometimes detectable in this oil-house building. Records show no fatal oil-house explosions, but any ghost who smokes around flammable liquids must not be the brightest bulb in the U.S. Lighthouse Service. Tour guides claim to hear someone climbing the tower steps, but the footfalls fade away and no one appears at the top of the tower. This lighthouse's collection of spirits also apparently includes a prankish girl in the keeper's dwelling, a tall man in the basement, and a merchandise-disturbing poltergeist in the gift shop. The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum doesn't exactly encourage these spooky speculations, but its website does at least acknowledge their existence. It also provides a factual history of the seven people known to have died on the lighthouse grounds.

Woman ghost haunts this building and the grounds

Block Island Southeast Lighthouse
Block Island, Rhode Island

This lighthouse is not haunted iteself, but the entire 7,000-acre island is said to be haunted as well. Built in 1874 in the ornate Victorian style of the time, the Southeast Light helped ships clear the dangerous shoals and ledges of the “stumbling block” of the New England coast. Legend has it that in the 1900s a keeper murdered his wife by pushing her down the steps and her spirit never left her home. It is said she harasses men shaking them, lifting their beds or even locking them in a closet or out of their rooms. Many people have reported sightings of ghosts elsewhere on the island. Phantom pirate ships have also been reported as well as the spirits of the dead who could not be buried until the ground thawed at the end of winter. Block Island can only be reached via ferry.

Woman's ghost haunts this building and the grounds

Owls Head Light
Owls Head, Maine

Owls Head Light State Park, open year-round, provides lovely views of Penobscot Bay. The pretty little lighthouse and the keeper's residence are part of the park but not accessible to humans. That however doesn't prevent a ghost from trespassing. The 3-year-old daughter of a previous keeper once awakened her parents and announced, "Fog's rolling in! Time to put the foghorn on!" They discovered that she had an "imaginary friend" who resembled an old sea captain. Current residents recognize his footprints in the snow and welcome his services...newly polished brass and frugally lowered thermostats.

A Civil War prison camp

Point Lookout Light
Scotland, Maryland

Paranormal aficionados consider this the most haunted lighthouse in America. Male and female apparitions materialize and then vanish. Doors open and close without apparent reason. People hear voices, footsteps, even snoring, but no one is there. So why does it rank only ninth? Because the beam at this modest, house-style structure went dark more than 45 years ago. A lighthouse without its light appears so forlorn. Then again, a hospital and a prison camp for Confederate soldiers existed here during the Civil War, so perhaps an unlit lighthouse represents a fitting memorial to such a mournful heritage. Today, visitors enjoy the much more pleasant surroundings of a state park. For more info go to: Point Lookout State Park