Today in history
1st Ohio River steamboat leaves Pittsburgh for New Orleans
"Demologos," 1st steam-powered warship, is launched
John Glenn returns to space at the age of 77 as a payload specialist on the Discovery
Halloween Spooktacular Stories
From now until Halloween, I will share stories from recent articles or books on “Haunted Lighthouses.” Unless otherwise expressed, the stories are a result of Internet research and not my personal experience.
The Jealous Wife
When one mentions jealous wife, one usually assumes the husband is messing around with some woman. Not so with Michaela Penalber, the newlywed wife of the first keeper, Jeremiah Ingraham. Shoddily constructed and poorly placed, the Pensacola Florida lightstation, was built in 1826, and the couple moved in shortly after. Michaela was the ideal lighthouse keeper's wife, constantly following her husband, helping him tend the light, and maintaining the house in impeccable condition. Perhaps she cared too much for the lighthouse, though. Jeremiah died in 1840 and Michaela was appointed keeper.
Some think that Michaela murdered Jeremiah by a violent stabbing while they were alone in the tower, but it was never proven. Official records only state he took ill and died. Michaela was as dedicated a lightkeeper as any, and she tended the light from 1840 until her death in 1855. The lighthouse, which was poorly constructed, was rebuilt in 1859. Apparently, this didn't sit too well with Michaela Ingraham. From that time on, objects have been hurled at visitors in the keeper's quarters. One of the workmen rebuilding the tower reported having a water hose yanked from his grip.
Moreover, when the lighthouse was refurbished years later, stains were discovered on the floor that looked suspiciously like blood. No amount of scrubbing could get rid of them and they remain to this day. A psychologist who stayed there a few years ago, however, thinks there are three ghosts haunting the tower, two of which are other unknown keepers. Many people have reported odd occurrences at the lighthouse. One tale tells the story of a father and his two children, ages 8 and 11 who were touring the lighthouse. While on the staircase the boy reported someone whispering his name "Alex" in his ear and he kept talking about seeing a ghost.
It is said that the presence of the old keepers can still be felt in the lighthouse and the adjoining buildings. A Pensacola resident, who was raised in the house said, "when I would go up to pull the chains to keep the lens turning, I could hear human breathing. I was certain that it wasn’t mine and I would stop and listen." He also told the story about the blood spot on the floor that refused to go away. He said, "I can remember my Mom scrubbing the floor trying to get rid of the blood stain and her getting upset because it would constantly return." He continued, "At night, we would hear footsteps coming up the stairs, but when we would look, no one would be there."
Happy Lighthouse Hunting,