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Lighthouse Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana


Location: Burnham (Somerset) - Burnham High lighthouse
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A phantom labourer is said to be heard moaning in this lighthouse, now a holiday home.

William Marshal

Location: Churchtown (County Wexford) - Hook Lighthouse
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: William Marshal, the builder of this lighthouse, is said to continue to haunt the site. A ghostly hooded monk has also been reported in the area.

Hooded Monk

Location: Dover (Kent) - Roman lighthouse, near St Mary in Castro Church
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Both a ghostly monk in a dark habit and a phantom Roman soldier forever walk the area.

Vanishing Keepers

Location: Eilean Mor (Outer Hebrides) - Lighthouse
Type: Other
Date / Time: December 1900
Further Comments: The three keepers who vanished from the lighthouse left their log behind, which reported they had been rocked by storms over a five day period. However, the surrounding towns and villages reported that the weather had been calm.

A photograph of Longstone Lighthouse in Northumberland.

Grace Darling

Location: Farne Islands (Northumberland) - Longstone Lighthouse
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1976
Further Comments: Grace became a notional hero after helping her father, a lighthouse man, save nine people from a stricken steamer during the nineteenth century. Although she died in 1819, two keepers in the 1970s claimed to have heard her walking around the engine room and the tower. As the lighthouse became fully automated in 1990, it is not known if Grace remains.

Mary Wringing her Hands

Location: Pakefield (Suffolk) - Crazy Mary's Hole; gully near disused lighthouse at south of parish
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1981
Further Comments: Local legend says that Mary, while living, lost her husband at sea, and waited on the cliffs for his return. There she died of starvation, but her ghost still waits. The shade was seen in 1981 by an employee of a local holiday camp.

Lighthouse Arts Centre, Poole.

Older Woman

Location: Poole (Dorset) - Lighthouse Arts Centre
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2010s?
Further Comments: A few ghostly figures are said to haunt this arts venue, including an older woman sitting in the cinema, a man in t-shirt and jeans standing close to Sherling Studio, a Victorian Lady who haunts the studio, and a woman who hums a tune in a dressing room.

Portland Lighthouse.


Location: Portland (Dorset) - Cave Hole (or alternatively an unknown cave), close to the lighthouse
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The large, black dog that lives in an unknown cave grabs the unwary and drowns them.

Stomping Boots

Location: Skellig Michael (County Kerry) - Lighthouse and general area
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: 1928?
Further Comments: The lighthouse was haunted by cries, bangs, doors which slammed, and the sound of footsteps which crossed the floor as the keepers sat down to eat. The haunting drove two of the keepers away (or drove them insane, depending on the source).

A ghostly lighthouse keeper.


Location: South Shields (Tyne and Wear) - Souter Lighthouse
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Three phantoms are thought to haunt this locale - an unknown woman, a miner from a nearby pit, and an old lighthouse keeper. One or all of them could be responsible for the bangs and the ghostly footsteps heard around the site.

Woman with Small Dog

Location: Southerness (Dumfries and Galloway) - Main Street from the lighthouse
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1985, just after midnight
Further Comments: A witness walked towards a lady wearing a long cloak that concealed her face. The lady also had with her a small dog and spoke to the witness as they passed, but as the witness turned to respond, both lady and dog had vanished.


Location: Talacre (Clwyd) - Lighthouse
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2000s
Further Comments: An old fashioned lighthouse keeper was observed standing at the top of the lighthouse, even though the building was locked up. Others have also reported strange happenings at and around the site. In 2009, the owners of the lighthouse applied to erect a sculpture to honour the sightings.

Former Keeper

Location: The Bass Rock (island) (Lothian) - Lighthouse
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Unmanned since 1988, the lighthouse is said to be home to a phantom former lighthouse keeper who checks the light is burning.

Headless Woman

Location: Wicklow (County Wicklow) - Wicklow Head Lighthouse
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2000s
Further Comments: A local legend says that, during the mid-nineteenth century, this woman was decapitated with a scythe after a jealous former boyfriend became overly upset when he discovered her engagement to another. The entity is said to haunt the staircase, and according to one story, was once seen by a party of six people staying at the building.

The lighthouse in Youghal.


Location: Youghal (County Cork) - Lighthouse
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The lighthouse keeper reported hearing someone moving around the building, even though he was the only person who worked there. During this time, he also spotted a phantom monk who vanished into thin air. The same apparition is reported to walk around outside the lighthouse, and it has been reported local nuns would hand out sweets to children in return for not telling their parents they had seen the ghost.

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