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Haunted Lighthouses to Visit or Stay in – if you dare!

There are many stories of haunted lighthouses with ghostly goings-on. Some are based on true stories, some may have been embellished over time, and some we just don’t know. Some of these lighthouses you can visit, or even stay in!

Point of Ayr Lighthouse

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Please note that some of these lighthouses offer holiday accommodation or may be privately owned.  Please take care not to trespass or drive on private property. 


At Happisburgh Lighthouse in Norfolk, I spent the evening with paranormal investigators. We sat in the dark basement listening for signs of paranormal activity. Others have felt a presence when climbing lighthouse towers. Keepers mentioned rooms that were said to be haunted when they were working there. 

Here is a guide to some haunted lighthouses and some that feature in ghost stories. Some of these lighthouses you can stay in – if you dare!

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Haunted Lighthouses to visit or stay in

England

Burnham High Lighthouse, Somerset

Burnham-on-Sea has several lighthouses, but one that may be haunted is Burnham-on-Sea High Lighthouse, built in 1832, working with the Low Lighthouse on the beach.  

Burnham on Sea Lighthouse
Burnham High Lighthouse

Whilst building the High Light, one of the workers fell to his death. His ghostly moans are said to be heard on stormy nights.

Happisburgh Lighthouse, Norfolk

The Pump Hill Ghost is a well-known ghoul that haunts the village of Happisburgh and walks near the lighthouse. He is sometimes seen in the village carrying his severed head in his arms. 

The headless spectre follows a route from the church toward the cliff, past Happisburgh Lighthouse and along the coast to Cart Gap.

Happisburgh at night
Happisburgh Lighthouse

It is thought that the man was a smuggler who was involved in a fight over the division of booty. He went to a site where a well once existed between Whimpwell Street, Whimpwell Green and Coronation Road. He was seen to head towards the village well, throwing in the sack he was carrying, followed by himself.

A villager searched the well and found a sack with a pair of boots still attached to a sailor’s legs. Further dredging revealed a sailor’s torso with a pistol hanging from his belt. 

Happisburgh Lighthouse is sometimes open to the public, and private visits can be arranged.

Souter Lighthouse, Tyne and Wear

Souter Lighthouse was built in 1871 at Marsden Cliffs near Sunderland.

There have been reports of temperature drops and cutlery floating mid-air. Some people claim to have seen the ghost of Isabelle, Grace Darling’s niece, who lived at Souter in 1881.

Souter Lighthouse
Souter Lighthouse

At the end of the kitchen corridor, a lighthouse keeper was said to have appeared. He left the smell of tobacco scent, but there was no trace of him to be found.

Souter Lighthouse was featured in an episode of Most Haunted.

Souter Lighthouse is open to the public, and you can also stay in the cottages.

St Mary’s Lighthouse, Whitley Bay

St Mary’s Lighthouse is located on an island in Whitley Bay, connected to the mainland by a causeway. 

A medieval chapel was built on St Mary’s Island, and next to it was a burial ground for the monks. The remains of the chapel vanished when the lighthouse was built in 1898.

Human remains have been found close to the lighthouse when the lighthouse keepers’ cottages were built.    

St Mary's Lighthouse
St Mary’s Lighthouse

Anthony Mitchell, a local customs officer, was brutally killed by smugglers in 1722. They dumped his body on the island, which became known as Smugglers Creek.

In 1739, local glassmaker Michael Curry was found guilty of murdering Old Hartley, the pub landlord. He was hanged, and his body was hung in sight of the crime, now known as Curry’s Point.

Some visitors to St Mary’s Lighthouse have reported feeling cold air when climbing the lighthouse. Are there spirits still haunting the lighthouse?

St Mary’s Lighthouse is open to the public, but do check the tide times before crossing the causeway.

Isle of Man

At Langness, the church nearby at Malew was thought to be haunted for a while. People saw strange lights coming from it, but then they realised it was the lights of the newly built Langness Lighthouse shining through the windows and out the other side!

Langness Lighthouse
Langness Lighthouse

Wales

Point of Ayr Lighthouse, Flintshire

Sightings have been reported of a lighthouse keeper walking across the gallery or being spotted from the gallery at Point of Ayr Lighthouse.

Point of Ayr Lighthouse
Point of Ayr Lighthouse

South Stack Lighthouse, Anglesey

At South Stack Lighthouse, the ghost of lighthouse keeper Jack Jones is said to be heard knocking on the door at night or banging on the window.

South Stack Lighthouse
South Stack Lighthouse

In October 1853, a severe storm broke out off the coast. Jack ran down to the lighthouse and across the bridge connecting to the island. A loose rock hit him on the head as he crossed the bridge. He was found outside the lighthouse door the following day and died two weeks later.

The lighthouse was featured in an episode of Most Haunted, and an object was flung at the host, Yvette Fielding.

South Stack Lighthouse is open to the public.

Flatholm Lighthouse, Bristol Channel

A lighthouse keeper is said to have died at Flatholm Lighthouse, leaving his wife alone on the island. She carried on keeping the light. However, after the light had not been seen for a few days, worried boatmen landed on the island to discover the dead body ravaged by rats. Her body was hung from the lighthouse to stop the rats, but later, when they returned to collect her, she had disappeared!

Flatholm Lighthouse
Flatholm Lighthouse

The ghost of the keeper’s wife is said to still walk around the island today.

Scotland

Kinnaird Head Lighthouse

At Kinnaird Head Lighthouse, part of the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses, the legend is often recalled of the daughter of Alexander Fraser, Laird of Philorth, who fell in love with a servant piper. Unhappy with this liaison, he tied the piper into the Selches Hole (Seals Hole), a cavern underneath the Wine Tower.  

Kinnaird Head
Kinnaird Head Lighthouse and the Wine Tower below

The Laird’s daughter Isobel, was locked in a room on the tower’s top floor. An exceptionally high tide that night drowned the piper, and when Isobel found out, she jumped to her death from the top of the Wine Tower. Her ghost can usually be seen before bad weather, and you may be able to hear the pipes being played by the piper.

Ireland

Hook Head Lighthouse, County Wexford

At Hook Head Lighthouse, the builder, William Marshal, and a hooded monk are said to haunt the site.

Hook Head Lighthouse
Hook Head Lighthouse

Hook Head Lighthouse is open to the public, and guided tours are available.

Skelligs Lighthouse, County Kerry

Banging doors, footsteps, and cries have driven two keepers away or possibly insane at Skelligs Lighthouse.

Skellig Michael Lighthouse
Skelligs Lighthouse

The lighthouse is located on Skellig Michael, the largest of the Skelligs group of islands.

USA

Seguin Island, Maine

One of the early lighthouse keepers lived with his wife at Seguin Island Lighthouse, and she often played the piano to drown out the silence. Her husband, however, was driven to madness and took an axe to his wife before turning it on himself.

Seguin Island
Seguin Island Lighthouse

Some say they can hear the sounds of the piano playing at night, even though there hasn’t been a lighthouse there for many years…

Heceta Head, Oregon

Heceta Head Lighthouse is said to be haunted by a mother whose baby fell from the cliff where the lighthouse stands. The Gray Lady, as she is known, is said to wear a long grey skirt in the top room of the lighthouse cottage, which is now a guest house.

Heceta Head Lighthouse
Heceta Head Lighthouse

New London Ledge Lighthouse

The lighthouse keeper at London Ledge Lighthouse is said to have jumped from the lighthouse roof. Whether he killed himself or was pushed is uncertain, but his spectre was said to disturb the Coast Guard crew while they were sleeping.

New London Ledge Lighthouse
New London Ledge Lighthouse

In 1987, there were reports of someone signalling from the lighthouse, but on further investigation, no one was at the lighthouse…

Pensacola Lighthouse

The wife of Jeremiah Ingraham, lighthouse keeper at Pensacola Lighthouse, is said to have stabbed her husband to death in 1840. She was never convicted due to lack of evidence and lived at the lighthouse until she died in 1855.

Pensacola Lighthouse
Pensacola Lighthouse

Visitors report objects being thrown; some have felt breathing or a presence following them.

Pensacola Lighthouse is open to the public for guided tours.


Haunted Lighthouses to Stay In

Some of the haunted lighthouses listed above are available to rent. Many more can also be found in Lighthouse Accommodation. Available in paperback, kindle and digital.

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