Massachusetts, known for Plymouth Rock, where the first pilgrims landed, and the Salem witch trials, is also home to five of America's most hated lighthouses.
A haunted bell
Baker's Island Light
Baker Island of Light, just six miles along the Salem coast, home to the infamous witch trials, is famed as being haunted by a phantom bell.
This mechanized bell sounded the sailor's warning of an imminent danger and rang only once, before being struck by lightning that destroyed it. The lighthouse keeper had to go out in a storm and manually hammer the bell at precise intervals to keep the sailors safe. The bell was replaced, but the new bell failed several times and the frustrated guard left his function.
Seventeen years later, as they toured the lighthouse by steamboat, the guard and his other passengers heard the bell. After dropping a few passengers to a nearby port, he abruptly emerged from the sea, overturning the boat and drowning all but a few passengers. A former survivor guard believed the bell sounded a warning.
According to legend, this bell, also destroyed by thunder, can be heard alarming even when there is no obvious danger.
Port of Boston
The port of Boston on Little Brewster Island is the first lighthouse built in pre-revolutionary war colonies. The original structure, cone-shaped and first lit with candles and later with oil lamps, was destroyed by a British army garrisoned in Boston after being attacked twice by colonial militias.
When the war ended, a new tower was erected, standing 75 feet above sea level, and prevailed against hurricanes, winds and high seas for more than 200 years. The new Fresnel lens was installed in 1859, giving the Boston light sixteen miles.
Little Brewster had its share of shipwrecks, though not as much as other lighthouses. Sailors continue to speak of a "ghost walk" a few miles from the island, where the beacon signal cannot be heard. New Englanders and others believe that this area has persecution.
The pirate guard
Bird Island Lighthouse
The first keeper of the Bird Island lighthouse was reportedly the pirate, William Moore. Moore, who fought the English in the War of 1812, owed the government enough money to justify their expulsion of the lonely life of a lighthouse keeper.
He was assigned the Bird Island Light in 1819, taking his wife, who apparently married him when he prospered financially. Mrs Moore, who was suffering from tuberculosis and tobacco dependence, was barred from leaving the island because her husband feared that he would never return again.
The humidity of the lighthouse exacerbated her condition, and the desperation for tobacco disturbed her so much that people from the mainland could hear her cries. A local doctor begged Moore to allow her tobacco, but he decisively refused. Citizens, upset by her crying, took pity on her and smuggled her tobacco despite fear of her husband.
When she finally died, Moore raised the flag for trouble, and the minister went to the island, performed funeral rites, and put her to rest. Angry residents blamed Moore for her death, and he in turn blamed them for disrespecting his wishes. Rumors spread that Moore killed her and hid the true cause of her death.
According to legend, several of Moore's heirs reported seeing an old man's ghost, exiled, knocking on doors late at night.
Gurnet (Plymouth) Light
Gurnet, or Plymouth Light, the oldest American wooden beacon from the Revolutionary War, is also one of its most hated.
Today, the Coast Guard manages Plymouth Light, but many believe that the ghost of the former caretaker's wife is haunting her rooms, awaiting her husband's return.
Hannah was left behind to turn on the light as her husband went on to fight for America's independence from Britain. Neighbors noticed her watching every night at her window, waiting for her husband, who was sadly killed in action.
Some say Hannah still holds her faithful vigil, appearing briefly at the window and then quickly disappearing from view.
Warning cries-night shadows
Minot's light of the loggia
Minot's light of the ship is nothing more than a tower sitting on a ridge that faces the sea off the coast of Scituate. The first tower lasted less than a year before the angry sea demanded it.
Isaac Dunham, the first guard of the Minot Lodge, hastily warned his superiors about the instability of the lighthouse and retired after fourteen frustrating months.
One day, Dunham's successor, John Bennett, dropped the flag from the lighthouse, indicating that he needed a ride to shore. He left his two assistants, Joe Wilson and Joe Antoine, at the helm, when they were suddenly attacked by a savage strand of the east, packed at a hundred miles an hour. Bennett watched helplessly from the shore as the storm destroyed the lighthouse, killing his two assistants.
Several fishermen reported Antoine swinging from the ladder and yelling and "Get off!" in his native Portuguese. Later guards reported seeing shadows in the lantern room, hearing ghostly whispers at night and hearing or feeling soft tentacles on their shoulders. The two Joe's used these taps to signal the end of the shift. One guard, hearing the taps, committed suicide and another went crazy and was taken ashore in a straight jacket.
Then there are the windows … It usually takes a whole day to clear the windows soaked in seagulls, but every new assistant guard reports that the windows shine before they ever reach them.
Are these stories true or legend? Visit it and find out.