by Audrey Harper
Maine. A place known for coastal scenery and lobster. And Stephen King.
If there’s anywhere that’s been ingrained into society’s minds as the place of horror, it’s the state of Maine. Thanks to Stephen King, people believe we have cemeteries that bring animals back to life and supernatural clowns that haunt sewers.
Yet one of the most fascinating parts about my home state is the sheer number of lighthouses we have. And most, if not all sixty-five of those lighthouses have some sort of haunting or ghost stories attached to them. I’m going to talk about three of them.
The first lighthouse I want to talk about is Sequin Island, off the shore of Bath. This lighthouse has a ghost story that feels like it came straight out of a Stephen King novel itself. For entertainment purposes, a piano was brought out to the lighthouse for the keeper’s wife to play. However, she only knew one song, and played it over and over. Eventually it became so annoying in the couple’s isolation, the lighthouse keeper took an ax, destroyed the piano, and killed his wife. Today the lighthouse is a museum, and there are reports of a piano playing, a ball bouncing, and the sound of someone coughing or laughing.
The second haunted lighthouse is Pemaquid Point in Bristol. This lighthouse is not only spooky in that it has these ghost stories surrounding it, but also because the stories come from people who’ve actually stayed there. That’s right! The keeper’s house can be rented a week at a time during the summer! People who’ve vacationed here have mentioned seeing a woman in a red shawl sitting in front of the fireplace and just staring into the flames. People have also reported that all of the lights would turn on at the same time in the middle of the night.
The final lighthouse I want to mention is considered to be the most haunted lighthouse in Maine. Owl’s Head Lighthouse in Owl’s Head, Maine is known for two apparitions that have had many witnesses. The first is a man, believed to have been a past lighthouse keeper, as he is most often seen in the keeper’s house, the stairs going up to the lighthouse, or tending to the lens (even though the lens is automated now, I suppose a ghost will tend to their duties no matter what). The other apparition is more often heard instead of seen, and is known to rattle dishes and silverware. She occasionally will slam random doors throughout the house as well, and has been given the nickname “Little Lady.”
Haunted lighthouses are the perfect marriage of two well known tropes of the Pine Tree State: the coastal beauty and the Stephen King bestowed horror. So if you ever happen to find yourself in Maine, visiting a lighthouse, and perhaps someone touches you on the shoulder…be prepared for when you turn around. There might not be anyone there.