Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Why Are Lighthouses Haunted?


(Newpoint-Comfort Lighthouse)

As a kid, our summer home was on a quiet inlet of the Chesapeake Bay. My favorite place to visit was a tiny rock island where an abandoned lighthouse sat. There, I heard footsteps, saw shadows blocking out light, and heard a muffled chuckling voice and smelled pipe tobacco. It began me wondering about haunted lighthouses, but it wasn't until I was older and studying ghostly phenomena that it came to me, the set of circumstances that seemed to contribute to the large ratio of haunted lighthouses.

Location: Lighthouses are located beside moving water. There is something about this element that seems to be present in a lot of haunted locales.

Construction: These circular stone fortresses were built to handle strong winds and the elements and remain standing to shed light for passing ships. The spiral staircases and rounded walls seem to create an interesting vortex of energy, spinning, and not dissipating.

Power: The power used to run a lighthouse in a narrow spiral building might be helping to "imprint" residual memories into a building.

Routine: A lighthouse keeper would have to regularly daily climb the stairs, monitor the light,and complete a repetitive routine that might make it possible to lay down a residual "footsteps" memory in the structure.

Isolation: As someone who studies the paranormal, I have found that noisy downtown city locations are nearly impossible to discern hauntings within, but give me a building that is isolated from others and I can hear, see, and notice changes that are not excused by outside influences. Perhaps it isn't that lighthouses are more haunted, but by virtue of their isolation, they are easier to notice a haunting within.

History: Lighthouses are not without their tragedy, either to the lighthouse keeper and his family or those who have crashed upon the shores and sank. Sometimes, even the loneliness of attending a lighthouse could make one a bit "off" emotionally and create a tragic personality that might remain residing within, attempting to continue a duty that was the major focus of the person's existence.

There are romantic elements about lighthouses that make them seem as if they should be haunted. The concept of a lone lighthouse keeper inside the isolated building, shedding light for sailors on the dark seas makes for a scenario we would assume should result in a haunting.

What are your thoughts on why so many lighthouses are haunted?

11 comments:

  1. Maybe they are just beacons for lost souls. The light not only guides ships to shore they may guide souls as well.

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  2. Interesting concept, Vivienne. I like it. On ghost hunts, I often stop, turn my palms upwards and sort of expand my aura of life energy around me as a beacon. It's very effective if the room isn't already too crowded with other living people. Perhaps the lighthouse's energy is a magnet, as well.

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  3. What about shipwrecks? Maybe lighthouses' proximity makes them a natural location for shipwrecked souls - especially if an unlit lighthouse beacon was the cause of the shipwreck.

    Or maybe it's just the land's-end factor, being a point where a wandering spirit cannot continue toward whatever's calling it.

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  4. I would think that the quieter areas would allow one to better be able to discern the more minor presences of spirits...

    But what do I know...??? :oD

    ~shoes~

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  5. Eric--yes, shipwrecks definitely give more spirits to the building. I've noticed in the history of lighthouses, they lose many keepers and their families, sometimes to natural disasters, but also simply by being far from medical care. It would be interesting to see if spirits cannot pass the ocean. What an intriguing thought. However, I do know of quite a few cases where family members saw the newly deceased in places all around the world at the same time, so it intrigues me that they seem to know now boundaries and even more intriguing that they seem to be able to be in many places at once. Perhaps the soul is not the linear thing we see it as; one person/one soul, but can be everywhere at once.

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  6. Shoes--you are totally right about that. It's why we hunt at night--when the rest of the world is quiet and down to bed. We can better see changes in light and dark, hear sounds that during the daytime would be impossible.

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  7. OK... I need to ask you something... or have you explain something to me. This happened a few months ago... I had just returned home from a day at work... unlocked the door and heard my dog, Thumper, bark to greet me... the thing is that he died back in '92.

    Can animals have left behind spirits that could/would communicate like the spirits of humans? Have I asked you about this??

    ~shoes~

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  8. Ah yes, Shoes. This is what I would call residual. It's like it was recorded in a space and plays back periodically under the right conditions (something I hope to learn more about). My sister when I was a kid would fight my mom when my mom would find her pot and flush it down the toilet. She would be in her room, pounding on the walls, screaming and having a fit, and years later when she moved away and was married, I'd periodically hear it again playing out. I'd rush to the old empty room and nothing there. Never found what the trigger was. In fact, I have a post coming up this month about whether we can haunt the world while we're still alive, scary, huh?

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  9. Storms...violent storms. And I agree about the memory of the footsteps.

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  10. As far as i know there are not many light houses here in California. lol.

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  11. There's a famous one in CA--the one from "The Fog." Point Reyes up north.

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