|St. Simons' lighthouse.|
The St. Simons Island Light is a lighthouse on the southern tip of St. Simons Island, Georgia.
It guides ships into St. Simons Sound and warns them of the many sandbars in the area. This lighthouse is still used today.
The original lighthouse was built in 1810 and was 75 feet tall. It was octagonal in shape and was topped off by a 10-foot oil-burning lamp.
During the American Civil War, this lighthouse was destroyed. During a battle, Union soldiers drove back the Confederates. The Confederates then destroyed this lighthouse so the Union troops that took over the area could not use it to guide their warships.
In 1872, the U.S. government constructed a new lighthouse just west of the original location. This lighthouse is 104 feet tall, made of brick and has a 3rd order biconvex lens. This lens is one of 70 that are still in use today in the U.S.
The St. Simons Island Light is haunted by a light-keeper. One of its keepers Frederick Osborne is believed to be this ghost.
In March of 1880, Osborne was killed in a duel.
The reason for this duel is uncertain. One version states that Osborne made an inappropriate comment to his assistant light-keepers wife. This man, John Stephens then challenged him to fight.
In another version, it is stated that it was Stephens who made unwanted advances to Osborne’s wife.
Regardless, the two men stood 98 feet apart--Osborne held a pistol and Stephens held a shotgun loaded with buckshot. Stephen hit his mark. Osborne was fatally wounded.
Stephen was later acquitted of any charges, but this did not end it for him.
Stephens took over as light-keeper, he often reported hearing the sounds of footsteps ascending and descending the steps that lead to the top of the lighthouse.
Till his death, he firmly believed this was Osborne’s ghost.
In later years another lighthouse keeper by the name of Svendsen claimed that Osborne’s ghost constantly harassed his dog, Jinx.
Multi-witnesses have claimed to hear footsteps on the tower’s staircase.
The U.S. Coast Guard took over the running of the lighthouse in 1939. Guardsmen at this time reported hearing the sound of footsteps while they did routine maintenance on the light.
Many believe Osborne still lingers because he wants to make sure the light is cared for.
In the early 1970s, the Coastal Georgia Historical Society spent three years restoring the 2-story Victorian light-keepers cottage--in 1984 this building became a museum. Tourists for a small fee can now climb the 129 steps to the top of the lighthouse.
The view of St. Simons Sound and the surrounding area is spectacular.
In 2010, the lighthouse tower was fully restored--great pains were taken to protect the rare biconvex lens.
In 2013, a paranormal group called LDL captured activity on their video of the lighthouse. They use a P- SB7 Spirit Box to communicate with the ghosts. Information about this box is in another post here.
Lawrence G. Miller
This ghost is Lisa Register. She is believed to have committed suicide by jumping off the top of the lighthouse in 1999.
Here is a link to this video on YouTube.
In Part l, I share another ghost story connected to St. Simons Island entitled, Light in the Graveyard.