Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pensacola Lighthouse


The Pensacola Lighthouse is known locally as a real haunted lighthouse. The TAPS team from the TV show Ghost Hunters will visit there on November 18, 2009. I am interested to see what they find. Both the Lighthouse and the Cottage are supposed to be haunted. We visited both last summer and although we were not investigating there were several odd occurrences. There was the sound of someone going up and down the steps in the lighthouse, as well as muted whispers that echoed. On the tour of the cottage an upstairs door slammed shut with a lot of force. The guide laughed and said that it was the ghost. There were no windows or doors open at the time.

The lightship Aurora Borealis was the first Pensacola Light. A lightship is a permanently moored ship that has a light beacon mounted on it. Due to the persistent occurrence of choppy seas, the lightship had to be anchored inside the bay entrance, behind Santa Rosa Island. Due to the location where the lightship had to be anchored, it was very inefficient and provided little benefit as a lightship and in 1824 was replaced by a permanent lighthouse. This new lighthouse and the keeper's dwelling were constructed for $5,725 and completed in barely two months. This real haunted lighthouse seems to still be inhabited by its first light keeper, Jeremiah Ingraham. Jeremiah moved south from New England in December of 1824 to assume the light keeper duties at the Pensacola Light. The light keeper got married in 1826, and three children soon followed. Even with everyone who was able to do so pitching in to hunt and harvest the crops, there just never seemed to be enough food. This struggle to provide adequate food for everyone caused much stress and became the root cause of frequent heated and violent arguments between Jeremiah and his wife. Jeremiah's wife pressured him constantly, saying he wasn't doing enough, although he seemed to work endlessly.The constant tension and strife festered for the entire time the couple ran the Lighthouse - about 30 years. The children were all grown and on their own after 30 years, which left Jeremiah and his wife alone in the house. One night, the reason unknown to this day, Jeremiah's wife woke up in the middle of the night, went downstairs, and retrieved the sharpest knife she could find. Then she went back upstairs and stabbed her husband in the back. While watching him die, she formulated her alibi to make sure she would get away with it. She got rid of the incriminating evidence and reported her husband's death as a accident. Her plan was successful, and she soon took over tending the lighthouse. Her duties as light keeper we made nearly impossible by one malfunction after another. Countless mechanical problems, setbacks and malfunctions seemed to taunt the guilty wife every day. Was it the spirit of her murdered husband tormenting her? Stories say the murderous wife saw random things fly through the air, heard eerie laughter in empty rooms, saw shadows in the windows of the locked tower at night, frequently smelled the odor of pipe tobacco, and felt freezing cold blasts of air regardless of how hot the fireplace was burning. The Pensacola Lighthouse definitely seems to have the makings of a real haunted house. The bloodstain of Jeremiah's murder shows through the floorboards of the upstairs bedroom of the current keeper's house. It doesn't matter how hard it is scrubbed or what cleanser is used, the stain always comes back. A former light keeper's son said that when he used to pull the chains to keep the lens turning, he would hear breathing behind him. Visitors have their name eerily whispered into their ear by an unseen presence. Doors open and close by themselves, and footsteps are heard heading to the front door, the door would open and close, the footsteps then head out the door towards the gate, where the gate would open and close, then the footsteps would stop. Coast Guard crews can't keep the doors locked. They regularly lock them, double-check them, and come back to find them unlocked again. Many of them have experience the essence of the pipe smoke; one even reported actually seeing the smoke. Nearly everyone reports feeling another presence among them when they're in the tower. Still others are startled by the sudden slamming of the hatch to the lantern room, when they know no one is there. Just about everyone who is asked will say this is a real haunted lighthouse. One of the most convincing reports that this is a real haunted lighthouse happened in the late 1980s. The couple was asked to check the lighthouse to see why the light was out. When they got there, they heard a man pacing and cursing. The husband went upstairs to try to fix the light, while the wife remained downstairs listening to the unseen man ranting, raving, and swearing. At the exact moment the light came back on, the cursing and pacing abruptly stopped. Is it possible that Jeremiah was angry because the light was out and he couldn't fix it? This encounter probably provides the best evidence that this just may be a real haunted lighthouse.The Pensacola Light was fully automated in 1965. In 1971, the Gulf Islands National Seashore was created to help preserve the tower, as well as Forts Pickens and Barrancas which sit on neighboring land. The lighthouse tower and associated buildings were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

4 comments:

Momma Pug said...

oh i cant wait!

grannybitch said...

I was disappointed the TAPS didn't say one way or the other on a haunting dispite the evidence they collected. They should have gone to Fort Pickins while they were there too.

Anonymous said...

How do you get in touch with someone to let you investigate @ The Lighthouse? I am with S.H.I. (Spirit Hunter Investigators), based in P'cola and we are getting started with research and investigating into the paranormal, and we would like to start with the Lighthouse.

Maggie Riley said...

believe what you want but.. i was stationed in pensacola for 2years as part of my marine corps schooling. i never took the chance of visiting the pensacola since i drove by it every day and i am from florida so light houses are no big thing to me. i had no clue as to its story or it being reportedly haunted and never really belived in ghosts or anything paranormal... untill i got pregnant. during my late second-mid third trimester sometime, i had a heart stoping nightmare. i was at the lighthouse with my husband and two of our friends. we were running toward the lighthouse away from someone out of the woods near it. when we got inside we were stared down by a creepy threatening woman who had a knife standing in the corner of a room. she started to chase us and as we were running we saw blood stains on the floor. it wasnt until i woke up that i got on line and started looking up the history of it. talk about heart stopping and hair standing. it still bothers me to this day and that was over two years ago.