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Re: haunted lighthouses of america


Through the glasses one could tell that she was an old steamer that boasted a chronicle of long and hectic years - her seams had opened and the oakum had baked out through a series of summers. Badly hogged, her decks had grown sodden from rain and sea water, and the rigging hung limp from her fore and main masts, like a broken spider web, against the dismal sky. The dingy paint was peeling from her sides, and streaks of rust from iron fittings had left tell tale marks. The davits swung empty, the pilot house was partly stove in, and the cabin portholes creaked open and shut with the pulse of the ocean.
It was clear she was headed toward the rocks, and the crew radioed for a Coast Guard cutter to respond. But it was soon obvious that one wouldn't make it there in time to save this old ship. As the seemingly lifeless ship drifted closer to the rocks, she suddenly became motionless even as a rip tide cut through her hull, and as if there was a skilled navigator at the helm, spun around, sparing herself from disaster. The wooden rudder did strike the rocks during this maneuver, and broke free as the derelict ship continued on her way, disappearing into the mist.

An air and sea search was conducted by the Coast Guard, but they could find no trace of the ship or the wreckage. Until a few weeks later, during a bad storm, when the waves crashing against the rock deposited a load of flotsam and jetsam at the base. The lost wooden rudder was there. The crew desperately wanted it as proof, so Gibbs allowed hiself to be lowered down on a lifeline to retrieve it. Just before he reached it, a huge whitewater wave came crashing, inundating him and all in its wake. As the water receded from over him, he watched helplessly as the rudder was swept back out to sea, never to be seen again.


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Execution Rocks Lighthouse
The Skulls Left Behind
 
Execution Rocks, sitting at the west end of Long Island Sound in New York since 1851, lends itself to grisly tales just due to its name. According to folklore, the British avoided public executions in Colonial times because they would inflame the revolutionary spirit of the American people. Instead, they would carry the condemned to these reefs at low tide, chain them to rings embedded in the rock, and wait for high tide to carry out the death sentence. Some say the skeletons were left to torture the minds of the newly condemned as they faced certain death. But the ghosts of the condemned had their revenge. A shipload of British soldiers, sent to pursue Washington on his retreat from Manhattan to White Plains, foundered at the reef. No redcoats survived.

Tillamook Rock Lighthouse
Terrible Tilly
 
Terrible Tilly, as she was called, was originally meant to be placed at the summit of Tillamook Head, Washington. Fortunately, someone realized in time that placing her at the top would mean the fog would cover her lights, so she was moved lower, to Tillamook Rock, a piece of land jutting up one hundred feet from the sea. One member of the party surveying it slipped off the rock and fell to his death below, but the Lighthouse Board continued on with plans. It had to be blasted level, and the first construction crew was stranded by fierce waves and terrible winds, where no boat could approach. They were attacked by sea lions, and nearly froze to death. But they continued on, finishing the station in 1881. The only access to this light was by derrick, where visitors and keepers had to be lifted up 75 feet over the roiling waters below to the summit of the rock.

A former keeper tells of working up to their necks in water that splashed into the tower to keep the light going, and of a Native American legend that told of an underwater tunnel that ran from the mainland to the rock, where spirits resided. Numerous lightkeepers would tell of hearing ghostly cries from far below as they climbed the stairs to the tower, and mainlanders still claim to see a ghostly glow from the tower, even though it has been discontinued since 1957.

Two other ghosts are said to reside at the Rock, one a former keeper who loved it so much he wanted to be buried there. Of course, he wasn't, but his spirit is said to have returned to Tilly to spend eternity. Then there's the tale of another keeper who threatened to kill the next one who took his job. When his replacement showed up, he tried to make good on his promise and chased his replacement up the stairs. When they reached the top, the new guy pushed the slightly insane old keeper down the chairs, and he was eventually taken away in a strait jacket.

But far more interesting of a tale is of the phantom ship that escaped the rocks, witnessed by the four lightkeepers residing on the rock one stormy day. From the book Tillamook light by Jim Gibbs, one of the keepers:

Leaping out of bed and into my pants, I was outside in a flash and "Swede" was waiting for me, all wrought up as if his blood was boiling in his veins. He pointed to the dim outline of a vessel parting the strands of mist less than a quarter of a mile away - its dull gray silhouette blending with the sky and sea and hinting of mystery.

Through the glasses one could tell that she was an old steamer that boasted a chronicle of long and hectic years - her seams had opened and the oakum had baked out through a series of summers. Badly hogged, her decks had grown sodden from rain and sea water, and the rigging hung limp from her fore and main masts, like a broken spider web, against the dismal sky. The dingy paint was peeling from her sides, and streaks of rust from iron fittings had left tell tale marks. The davits swung empty, the pilot house was partly stove in, and the cabin portholes creaked open and shut with the pulse of the ocean.
It was clear she was headed toward the rocks, and the crew radioed for a Coast Guard cutter to respond. But it was soon obvious that one wouldn't make it there in time to save this old ship. As the seemingly lifeless ship drifted closer to the rocks, she suddenly became motionless even as a rip tide cut through her hull, and as if there was a skilled navigator at the helm, spun around, sparing herself from disaster. The wooden rudder did strike the rocks during this maneuver, and broke free as the derelict ship continued on her way, disappearing into the mist.

An air and sea search was conducted by the Coast Guard, but they could find no trace of the ship or the wreckage. Until a few weeks later, during a bad storm, when the waves crashing against the rock deposited a load of flotsam and jetsam at the base. The lost wooden rudder was there. The crew desperately wanted it as proof, so Gibbs allowed hiself to be lowered down on a lifeline to retrieve it. Just before he reached it, a huge whitewater wave came crashing, inundating him and all in its wake. As the water receded from over him, he watched helplessly as the rudder was swept back out to sea, never to be seen again.


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The legend of the executions had such hold, that when lightkeepers were assigned to Execution Rocks, they were under a unique contract. No lightkeeper was to ever feel chained to the reef. Instead of stating a set length of duty, their contract read that their length of service was for as long as they were willing. If for any reason, they requested a transfer, it was instantly granted.

Specters have been seen on the rocks near the lighthouse, but the last Coast Guard keeper denied ever having seen anyone that could be construed as a ghost. But with its history, it’s hard to say if maybe he just wasn’t sensitive enough to see them. The lighthouse has also been the scene of fires two times, once in 1918 and once in 1921, both in the engine room. The first time, the fog signal, running for five hours, slowed, and the keeper went to investigate. When he opened the door to the room, he was greeted by flames. The second time, an overheated exhaust pipe caused the roof to catch fire. Perhaps the spirits of those executed and left on the rocks were taking their revenge.



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you smile because iam different,i laugh because your all the same

Sep/21/2007, 8:01 am Link to this post Send Email to MaTTsWoRld   Send PM to MaTTsWoRld Blog
 
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Re: haunted lighthouses of america


Point Wilson Lighthouse
A Shadow of a Woman
 
Coast Guard wives stationed at Point Wilson Lighthouse in Port Townsend, Washington, have had to live with another woman. At various times, and to various wives, a shadow of a woman has been seen and heard in the keeper's quarters. Many a time a movement out of the corner of the eye has been seen, and when the wife would turn, there was nothing there but a fleeting shadow. Footsteps would often be heard leaving the room as the wife would turn to look. The woman is apparently a little on the nosy side, as evidenced by hearing someone rummaging in the bathroom cabinet, but of course no one else was in the house.

Who is this woman in a long gown who has also been seen wandering the grounds and going up into the lighthouse? No one seems to know for sure, but it is felt it could be the spirit of a woman whose daughter was lost in one of the numerous shipwrecks around Puget Sound. On one occasion, a mantel full of birthday cards was swept clean,all of them scattered on the floor. Perhaps it was the anniversary of the daughter's birthday. The neighbors have also heard the sounds of rummagin coming from the upstairs, even going so far as to call over and ask if anyone was there.

Strangely enough, most of the men that were stationed at the light have never seen or heard anything, with one exception. A visitor staying there and sleeping on the couch, and awoke with the feeling someone or something was smothering him. He sat up, clutching his throat and gasping for breath, and saw a figure of a woman in the kitchen. As he got up to see if she was the one who'd attacked him, she vanished.



---

you smile because iam different,i laugh because your all the same

Sep/21/2007, 8:02 am Link to this post Send Email to MaTTsWoRld   Send PM to MaTTsWoRld Blog
 


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