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Haunted Maine Lighthouses: A Book Review

Gilbert earned BA degrees in English and theater, performed theater at Mount Sac Junior College, and LA. He writes fiction and nonfiction.

Owls Head Lighthouse

Owl Head Light; rated a top scary haunted  lighthouse

Owl Head Light; rated a top scary haunted lighthouse

Haunted Lighthouse Elements

Lighthouses help ship captains and crewmen navigate their vessels towards land. Oftentimes, turbulent seas cause large ships to crash into large shore rocks. Viscous storms and toppling waters tear them apart. Various aged people perish at sea, and sadden their family and friends back home. Some of them commit suicide. Loud howling winds and rough wild splashing waves provide a perfect atmosphere for ghost apparitions. Lighthouses resemble typical old haunted houses; doors creak open, sudden drafts makes house members shiver, eerie unknown voices capture listener's attention, and dark shadows morph into ghost figures. Tragic deaths at sea forewarn dark tragedies.

Ghost Owl's Head Lighthouse Weather Condition View

The Most Frightening Maine Lighthouses

Jagged sea rocks, fog, and bad storms, devastate ships. Cape Neddick's The Nubble Lighthouse, York, Maine, opened, July 1879, and attempted to reduce shipwreck fatalities.

1812, Boone Island Lighthouse towered as Maine’s tallest lighthouse. Hazardous storms tore apart wooden buildings. Many birds lost their sense of direction and collided into the tower.

1710, Captain John Deane and his crew embarked aboard the Nottingham Galley, and set sail from London, but couldn’t avoid treacherous Boone Island ledges. Marooned, the crew resorted to cannibalism; they lacked assistance and food.

Our first U.S. President, George Washington commissioned Maine’s second oldest lighthouse, Sequin Island Lighthouse in 1795. It towers over the highest promontory plane for sight-seeing purposes. Hazardous foggy conditions trouble mariners. Sailors aboard ships claim magnetic disturbances cause their compass markers to rotate abnormally. A Sequin legendary tale popularized an insane lighthouse keeper. His wife repeatedly played only one sheet music tune on her piano. He destroyed the piano with an ax and slaughtered her. The tale varies according to individual story tellers.

Our sixth U.S. President, John Quincy Adams commissioned Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, in Bristol, 1827. The white conical brick tower looks attached to a white cape house outbuilding: a bell house, and an oil house. The original thirty-foot tower upgraded to thirty-eight feet. Prosperous shipping trade encouraged Maine tourism and caused unfortunate shipwrecks. Light keeper logbooks entered many testimonials about ghosts and supernatural sights. Many residents credit Maine’s tragic history; Pirate, French, and Abenaki Indian raids, and the Great Colonial Hurricane which set-off ship navigation. The Angel Gabriel, the George F. Edmund fishing boat, and Sadie and Lillie, a small coasting schooner, all met disaster, hazardous rocks crushed them.

The unique square-shaped Hendricks Head Lighthouse, at Boothbay Harbor, opened in 1829. Area residents claimed they eye-witnessed mysterious female restless ghosts, suicidal or fatal accident victims. Head keeper, Jaruel Marr, and his wife, told a true story about rescuing a baby from a shipwrecked vessel, and raising the adopted child, Seaborn.

In 1955, Benjamin Stockbridge, a Burnt Island Lighthouse’ light keeper, died at two o’clock a.m. Lighthouse Inhabitants claim audible voices and ghosts appear at the time of his death.

Phantom sights include damaged hulled schooners, glowing figures, and floating hazy lights. Island campers claim they’ve awakened unable to breathe.

Marshall Point Lighthouse serviced mariners in 1832. A swordsman of the 1900s killed a local lobster man’s son. The phantom attacks tourists with a sword before vanishing and the murdered ghost occasionally appears. Port Clyde attracts ghost enthusiasts.

Shipping vessels needed Ram Island Lighthouse in 1883. The "dark old hole," a thirty-foot granite and brick lighthouse tower connects to an island footbridge. Notorious jagged rocks, bad storms, fog, high seas, rain, and snow, create an ominous atmosphere. A legendary ghost, the Lady in White, warns shipmen about uneven land.

Franklin Island Lighthouse, built in 1807, Maine’s third oldest lighthouse, stands as a forty-five-foot tall brick tower. Extremely dangerous dry and low ledges encircle it, and locals nicknamed the area “wreck island.”

1827, Matinicus Rock Lighthouse represented two wooden lighthouses looking over a little cove lacking a harbor. A light keeper hung himself by the north tower stair rail. The north light closed in 1923. The Coast Guard investigated it, unbolted the tower and examined property, but unleashed poltergeist activity.

  • Malfunctioning machinery
  • Beacon light turned off and on unexpectedly

Abbie Burgess, a fourteen-year-old girl and her family survived horrendous winds. 1856, Abbie’s father put her in charge of the isle during his Maine land trip. A severe gale prevented him from returning back home. The storm destroyed the keeper’s quarters. Abbie secured her family in the tower, and successfully maintained light for twenty-eight days. Mariners claim her spirit appears in the tower.

People claim many ghost sightings around Owl’s Head Lighthouse, constructed 1825. It's considered Maine’s number one haunted lighthouse. A light keeper claimed a ghost captain turned down thermostats. Someone reported footprints appeared in a sheet of snow out of nowhere and led to a lantern room’s seven-rung ladder. Heavy footfalls were also heard.


  • Stout
  • Thirty feet tall
  • White painted brick and offset with black trim
  • Ebony colored lantern room
  • Hardy shrubs and treacherous pointed boulders
  • Promontory – one-hundred feet above sea level
  • Rockland Harbor's entrance

Nottingham Galley Mystery

1886 Annie C. Maguire Shipwreck Occurred by Portland Head Light

More Tragic Maine History

Maine land native tribes and European immigrants hated each other. An English captain and his soldiers stole a trick from the Indians playbook and scalped them.

Trade and travel prospered around Penobscot Bay.

1850, Christmas time, a bad storm grounded five shipping vessels

November 1844, Brig Maine, a shipping vessel, carried a lime shipment to New Orleans. Nine crewman disappeared. The ships artifact pieces turned up three years later. A visiting boat navigated by Portuguese sailors anchored at Rockland Harbor. The sailors dropped off a mahogany chest which contained a ship’s atlas and navigation book. They belonged to the Brig Maine’s captain.

Bass Harbor Head, a thirty-two-foot tall cylindrical brick lighthouse, opened in 1858. A crewman departed mysteriously. A worker discovered a hidden ax blade covered with dried blood near a construction site, and sparked an unsolved murder mystery.

Deadly diseases tormented light keepers and their wives before 1970s automation.

  • Typhoid fever
  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes
  • Strange accidents

A British army hired local fisherman to assassinate missionaries in 1613. The act discouraged French settlement. Residents claim hearing strange voices and sounds; French people pray to God, and phantom oar ships echo splashing water.

Burnt Coal Harbor Lighthouse rests on Swan Island. The small seaside hamlet inhabits three-hundred and fifty people. Spirits appear to locals, too. The island honors Colonel James Swan, a Renaissance man, and Boston Tea Party participant in 1773.

Burnt Coal Harbor, nicknamed "ghost hollow," benefited from a promontory in 1872. Hockamock Head provides a great view; people admire shuttling schooners. The beautiful view includes bizarre sightings. Natives and settlers claim illuminated bright faces appear along a road leading to Hockamock Head, and suspect an Abenaki tribal group orates ancient rituals.

Prospect Harbor Light residents claim their life-figure statues mysteriously turn around in clear view. The lighthouse beamed on Mark Island, 1857, and retired in 1933.

Taryn Plum includes a story about eerie crying and shouts for help echoing from the water. Auditory witnesses believe phantom revolutionary army deserters make the noise. Winter Harbor citizens hatched a plan against plunderers they called "harbor boys." They turned off all their house lights, and set-up lanterns against treacherous rocks. Fooled oarsmen deserters navigated their boats towards disaster. Winter Harbor had been raided by French soldiers and native Indians during The Queen Anne's War.

Antonio Jacobsen's (1850 - 1921) Artistic Rendering; 1898 SS Portland Shipwreck

Haunted Ships and a Cradle

Elizabeth Skinner found a baby’s cradle on sandy shore and used it for her own baby. The cradle rocked on its own during storms. Elizabeth’s sister eye-witnessed a woman dressed in black, seaweed clung to her hair, and she gazed at the child. Elizabeth reacted frightened and destroyed the cradle.

Locals consider Victorian dressed ghost sightings as lost souls. The SS Portland, a side wheeler crashed on the Maine shore, in 1898. A treacherous blizzard caused the passengers to perish.

Many mariners sight phantom ships from their’ vessels. The Red Jacket, a Bath schooner, launched in 1854, vanished. The speedy vessel raced against the Whidaw, Pirate Samuel Bellamy’s rival ship.

Maine Lighthouse Visual Reference

Summary Conclusion

Taryn Plumb wrote a fun and informative background story about Maine Lighthouses. She informs readers about the lighthouses unique characteristics, variable sizes, and their specific hazardous conditions. Characters inhabitants also provides wonderful insight.

Plumb includes a valuable Appendix for travelers and researchers. She includes calendar date information about which lighthouses offer tours, accept tourists, and remain closed to the public. Boat tours provide lighthouse sight-seeing.

Plumb includes a source page listing additional reference material for continual research about New England Lighthouses. Maine includes sixty-five lighthouses along its coast. Click link for a detailed map view of them. The list doesn't organize them in alphabetical order or rank.

Lighthouse Helps Mariners

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. What lighthouse offered hope to reduce shipwrecks?
    • Boone Island Lighthouse
    • Matinicus Rock Lighthouse
    • Owl's Head Lighthouse
    • Pemaquid Point Lighthouse
    • Cape Neddicks' The Nubble Lighthouse
    • Burnt Coal Harbor Lighthouse
    • Sequin Island Lighthouse

Answer Key

  1. Cape Neddicks' The Nubble Lighthouse

Maine Location Guide


Author: Taryn Plumb

Publisher: Down East Books: an imprint of the Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc. 4501 Forbes Blvd., Ste.200, Landham, MD 20706


Distributed by National Book Network

Copyright 2018 by Taryn Plumb

Paperback: 144 pages

ISBN - 10: 1608939693

ISBN - 13: 978 - 1608939695

© 2021 Gilbert Arevalo

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