Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I’ve had a theory since I was a kid that lighthouses tend to be more haunted. How can I say that? Do you know any lighthouse that isn’t reported to be haunted? It was no wonder to me at all that TAPS on its first St. Augustine Lighthouse episode ran into some very amazing finds.

Here’s how I see the concept of these round buildings being haunted as legitimate: When I was growing up at Aspen Grove, we had nightly walks up the stairs and down the hall by the same unseen booted gentleman. The house was used as a Civil War field hospital. What do you suppose this and a lighthouse have in common?


A lighthouse keeper is in a position of great importance and his routine is critical. The same stairs, the same light, the same surveying of the water from the tower. Over and over again and again, days on end, months on end, years on end, decades on end.

Keeping this in mind, in the right environment and geology, a guard tower walkway, a parapet, or the helm of a ship should all provide ideal locations for repetitive hauntings. I’ve long wondered why hallways (which are human pathways and not necessarily critical for spirits to follow) have huge amounts of activity, especially in old homes that have seen a lot of residents going up and down that hall to their rooms every day, many times a day. The newer parts of my childhood home added on in the 20th century saw no activity whatsoever. Even if future generations used the rooms a good deal, they were not part of the pathway of the house to get to the main rooms such as the kitchen, living room, dining room, and upstairs. They were extra rooms, ones you don’t often go through to get anywhere else or perform any rituals of daily living such as cooking and sleeping.

My childhood home sat atop of a well with a creek that nearly encircled the whole property and a driveway that was mostly quartz rock which we found everywhere on the property. With this combination, we had an ideal site for hauntings according to those of us who believe certain geological conditions can be ideally conducive to hauntings. A lighthouse is a round building, which if you follow principles of Feng Shui should mean the energy remains in a circular pattern, caught in a loop. Sitting beside a wide ocean of saltwater in constant motion on a rocky shoreline. It sounds like an ideal soup for a haunted building.

These are just my theories, though. You have to come to your own conclusions about such things, but everything in my gut tells me there is something to be said for the combination for the right haunting combination:

Geology + repetition + emotion = residual


  1. Another thing about lighthouses is the isolated and often tragic lives that the keepers and their families had. They were cut off, sometimes by distance, often by water, from everyone else. I imagine there were many hours of boredom and loneliness and there were many who actually went insane. Suicides occurred, though I am not sure how often- but the "cabin fever" alone could have accounted for alot of negative energy being left behind. I am fascinated with lighthouses too, as an artist they are one of my favorite subjects to draw and paint. Living less than an hour from the ocean, I have about 5 of them at my disposal, the closest and my favorite being Barnegat Lighthouse. I think the picture of the lighthouse that you have at the top of your post is one of the NJ lighthouses, Sandy Hook, one of the oldest in the country, built before the revolutionary war. Hard to tell for sure due to the size of the pic, but I think it's Sandy Hook.

    You need this book:
    "Ghostly Beacons:Haunted Lighthouses of North America" by Therese Lanigan-Schmidt. If you can't find it, let me know and I will mail you my copy, as long as you promise to return it. You seem like the sort of person who respects books enuff to return one that you borrowed, but if not, I will have to put you on my list of people to haunt in my afterlife.

  2. Thanks Jennifer! When I was growing up in the DC area, we had a summer home on the Chesapeake down near the Delmarva area. It had this amazing abandoned lighthouse that I spent a lot of my childhood summers playing in. It's still there and I think that is one I seriously want to do a ghost hunt at some day when I get back to hunt in the east again. You are lucky to be near so many great lighthouses! I do oil painting myself and I would love to capture the bleakness of them. The isolation certainly did make for some dramatic memories in these beacons. I'm working on a series of novels about a team of paranormal hunters and one of the lighthouses is based on the physicality of the one at Newpoint-Comfort. I gave it a tragic past for the story and it was so much fun to write a story that takes place on a little rock island in the bay and this lonely tower. The way sounds travel inside are so strange and the very shape of it just seems to funnel energy.

  3. here is an interesting history on a lighthouse off the coast of your beloved Oregon. What I wouldn't give to visit this place.

  4. http://www.lighthousefriends.com/light.asp?ID=135

    If the link won't work, google Tillamook Island Light

  5. Yeah, that is one on my list for sure! Heceda Head,I believe has a B&B there too. That would be a cool place to stay.