The Gray Lady
Considered to be one of the more notable hauntings, Heceta Head lighthouse, Oregon, sits high on a bluff overlooking the Pacific. On the grounds, is a long abandoned grave of a baby girl, thought to be the daughter of one of the early lightkeepers. The grave is difficult to find, but it has been thought to be the focal point of the gray lady that haunts the lighthouse. Every keeper since the 1950s has reported the strange goings-on. Screams in the night have been heard, objects have been moved or are missing, rat poison in the attic has disappeared, closed cupboards have been found open, and lost tools reappear in strange places.
Perhaps the most notable sighting was in the 1970s, when a worker was doing some work in the attic. While cleaning the windows, he noticed a strange reflection in the glass, and turned to see a silver haired lady in a gray dress seemingly floating over the floor. He screamed and ran out of the attic. He was finally convinced to return to work, with the promise he wouldn't have to go into the attic While working outside, he accidentally broke the attic window, but of course refused to go back in to clean it up. That night, scraping sounds were heard from upstairs, and the next morning the glass was found swept up into a neat pile.
The ghost, who has been identified as "Rue" through a Ouija board, has been seen many times on the stairs, or lurking about the house. Often she is seen looking out the attic windows. She also wanders the grounds, near the abandoned grave. It's believed she's the mother of the baby, as she often has a sorrowful expression on her face.
Murder and Suicide on the Island
In 1896, the local sheriff, Fred Milliken in Biddeford, Maine, who was also a local lobsterman, rented a chicken coop on Wood Island to a drunken drifter named Howard Hobbs from Old Orchard Beach. After an argument with the sheriff's wife, he was confronted by Milliken, who threatened to arrest him. Hobbs drew a gun and shot the sheriff point blank. Witnesses helped carry the fatally wounded Milliken to his house, with Hobbs following, still holding his gun. When Milliken died, Hobbs said, "this bullet's for me," and ran off. He made his way to Keeper Orcutt's home, who tried to persuade Hobbs to give up the gun. He was unsuccessful, and Hobbs shot himself.
Most agree it's Hobbs that is haunting the lighthouse, and not the sheriff. Moans are heard coming from the chicken coop, and locked doors have been mysteriously opened at the lighthouse. Dark shadows and strange voices have been heard. The keeper who came after Orcutt couldn't take it any more, and rowed to the mainland to spend the night, leaving the lamp unlit. The next morning, he jumped from the third floor of the boardinghouse to his death.
A Lifesaving Spirit
Near Fairfield, CT, in Long Island Sound, a deteriorating lighthouse sits on a rock looking like a ghost itself. In 1916, just three days before Christmas, Keeper Fred Jordan set off to the mainland, leaving his assistant Rudy Iten in charge. Just a short distance from the light, his boat capsized. Iten took the lifeboat, and tried to reach Jordan, but by that time the winds had pushed Jordan more than a mile from the lighthouse. Iten tried signalling for help, but Keeper Jordan was lost. Two weeks later, the now Head Keeper Iten, saw Jordan's ghost for the first time, gliding down the tower stairs then disappearing. He reported in his log that the light began "behaving strangely," and later found the keeper's log book open to the day of Jordan's death.
Many keepers since have seen the spirit of Jordan, especially just before a storm, floating in the tower, or on the rocks next to the lighthouse. Every keeper that saw him was asked to sign an affidavit by Iten. It was unlikely that Iten would fabricate a story about seeing the ghost, as he tried to rescue Jordan from drowning in the first place. In 1942, two young boys were fishing near the light, when they capsized. A pale-faced man pulled them up onto the rocks. They walked to the lighthouse after regaining their strength to thank the lightkeeper, only to discover that he hadn't a clue. Later, they identified Jordan through a photograph as the one who had rescued him. More recently, a couple lost in the fog near the light were guided to safety by a mysterious person in a dory who vanished when they reached safety. The light behaved strangely after any tragedy or shipwreck. The light may be extinguished now, but many feel Keeper Jordan is still guarding the safety of mariners who come to close to the reef.
America's Most Haunted
Point Lookout, Maryland, holds the distinction of being America's Most Haunted Lighthouse. It was the first to be investigated by a team of paranormal researchers in 1987, the Maryland Committee for Psychic Research. Among the denizens of this abandoned lighthouse are Ann Davis, the wife of the first keeper and herself a keeper for thirty after her husband died. She moans and sighs, and has been heard to say, "this is my home." Ann, who is most often seen in a long blue dress and white blouse, was found dead in the lantern room still on duty.
Another ghost said to reside there is the Joseph Haney, an officer on a ship that wrecked offshore in 1878, and whose body drifted onto the lighthouse rocks. Park rangers, who are responsible for keeping the vandals away, have reported seeing his apparition, still in blue and white uniform, with brass buttons, standing near the lighthouse door with his hair stringy and wet, as if he'd just come out of the sea. He appears before every major storm.
Numerous other ghosts live in the lighthouse. One park ranger reported several apparitions passing through as he sat in the kitchen, the air moving, vibrations on the floor, and their clothes rustling as they calmly floated by, never to be seen again. Foul odors in the upstairs rooms have been reported. One state employee who was living in the lighthouse, once woke to a circle of lights dancing in the air above her. She smelled smoke, ran downstairs and found a heater on fire.
Point Lookout was the site of a hospital and prison camp during the Civil War, and over 4,000 graves have been found near and under the lighthouse. The moans and cries of the long ago prisoners and patients are heard by passing ships, and their specters have been seen, still in uniform.