5 Haunted Lighthouses to Climb if You Dare

At America's haunted lighthouses, ghost lore and legends make for an especially exciting visit during the Halloween season.

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5 Haunted Lighthouses to Climb if You Dare
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5 Haunted Lighthouses to Climb if You Dare

Every good ghost story requires an isolated location, howlingwinds, and things that go bump in the night. You’ll find plenty ofall three at America’s haunted lighthouses, where paranormal loreand legend make for an especially exciting visit during the spookyseason. Each of these beautiful beacons is said to have at leastone resident spirit, so grab a flashlight and explore this fall—ifyou dare.

 

Cape May Lighthouse: Cape May, New Jersey

Standing guard where Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic, this 1859gem draws nearly 100,000 annual visitors. For most, climbing the199-step tower is a Jersey Shore rite of passage that rewards withfar-reaching panoramic views. But what if you’re more interested inCapeMay’s rich ghost lore? Wait until nightfall, then hop on a redtrolley for the Ghosts of the Lighthouse Trolley Tour,which shares the stories behind many of the town’s haunted placesen route to the lighthouse. As you ascend the spiral staircase, beon the lookout for one of the more famous residents: a ghostlywoman in a flowing, white gown carrying a lantern in one hand asshe holds a child. (Info: 800/275-4278. Price: $20 for adults; $15for kids ages 3-12.)

 

(MORE: CheckCape May best hotel rates)

 

St. Simons Lighthouse: St. Simons Island,Georgia

This lighthouse on the southern tip of one of the Golden Islesis the setting for one of Georgia’ls most famous ghost stories. In 1880, the light keeper, FrederickOsborne was killed in a gun duel with his assistant keeper, who wasnever convicted of wrongdoing. For over a century, many who haveclimbed the 129-step tower have reported hearing unexplainedfootfalls on the stairs or seeing Osborne’s restless spiritstanding at the balcony railing. (Info: 912/638-4666.)

 

Point Sur Lightstation: Big Sur, California

Perched on the famous rocky coastline between BigSur and Carmel,the beacon that has protected sailors and fishermen since 1889 wasnamed one of America’s most haunted lighthouses by the TravelChannel’s “Ghost Adventures.” During the show’s visit, the hostsclaimed to encounter the spirit of an admiral and heard accounts ofunexplained laughter in the stairway and desk drawers openingmysteriously in the light keeper’s quarters. Year-round, you cantake a three-hour daytime or moonlit tour; alas, the two Octoberghost tours are already sold out for 2013. (Info: 831/625-4419.Moonlight tours: $20 for adults; $10 for kids ages 6-17; free forkids 5 and under.)

 

(MORE: Browseparent reviews of kid-friendly attractions in Carmel)

 

White River Light Station: Whitehall,Michigan

On the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, a few hours’ drive southof TraverseCity, this compact lighthouse-turned-museum no longer guidesships but may have a very dedicated head keeper still caring forit. Captain William Robinson, who served for 47 years and diedhere, is said to pace around the building and even do someoccasional dusting. The lighthouse is open for visits June-October.(Info: 231/894-8265. Admission: $4 for adults; $2 for kids ages2-12; free for kids under 2.)

 

St. Augustine Lighthouse: St. Augustine,Florida

A star turn on the SyFy series “Ghost Hunters” has broughtstreet cred to this lighthouse in America’Fs oldest city, and the Dark of the Moon ParanormalTour (billed as “all ghost, no gimmicks”) leaves you wonderingif the place is, indeed, cursed. Since 1874, when several membersof a family, including children, were accidentally killed duringthe lighthouse’s construction, a long list of folks have claimed tohave witnessed strange happenings, from voices on the staircase tothe wafting scent of cigar smoke to a ghost-like man in thebasement. Bring your own flashlight; after the tour, you’llotherwise be armed with only a glow stick to investigate further.(Info: 904/829-0745. Price: $25 for adults; $20 for kids under12.)

KristiMarcelle, a Californiabased-freelance writer, contributed this toMiniTime.com.

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