Thursday, July 7, 2011

Haunted Lighthouse: Southeast Light

Most lighthouses because of their isolation and raging seas were not easy places to live.

A lightkeeper’s life was fraught with danger and long periods of very tedious work. Many succumbed to madness because of the isolation and the harsh conditions. 

Families of lightkeepers did not escape this danger, many children drowned or died because doctors were too far away to fetch. 

It is no wonder most lighthouses have tales of being haunted.

In 1939 the U.S. Coast Guard took over the Lighthouse Service, at this point the old style civilian lightkeeper came to an end. 

Since then, the 604 light stations in the United States have all been automated. 

One such tale is told about a ghost who hates men. In Rhode Island, on Block Island, a lighthouse named Southeast Light sits at the edge of Mohegan Bluff. 

In the early 1900s, a keeper, angry with his nagging wife, pushed her down the stairs to her death. Although he claimed it was suicide, he was convicted of murder and imprisoned. His wife’s spirit, however, stayed behind.

She has harassed men ever since. But she leaves women and children alone. In fact, many children over the years have heard her, mostly in the kitchen, banging pots and pans. 

Men are not as lucky. 

Several successors to her husband have felt her wrath. Male visitors over the years have also been her victims.

She is a very physical poltergeist, often lifting beds with men in them and shaking them violently. She has locked men into rooms and closets. 

Once she even chased a keeper out of bed and into the cold night. Wearing only his underwear, he found himself was locked out. Embarrassed he had to call the Coast Guard to reopen the lighthouse so he could get back in.

Southeast Lighthouse
In 1933 Southeast Light, threatened with erosion, was moved back from the edge of the bluff to preserve it. 

Unfortunately, the ghost, Mad Maggie—as she is known—moved with it. She was not pleased with this move. 

She has shown her anger in several ways. 

She rushes up and down the stairs in a rage. She rearranges the furniture. She has even thrown bits of food at anyone who dares to sit down and eat in her kitchen.

No comments: