National Day on Writing

Oct 20 2021, 2:54 pm

October 20th is National Day on Writing. 

   A day to draw attention to all the writing forms we take part in, and to tell writers how important writing is to the world.

   To writers everywhere, Thank You. 

                                                                                       Rita 

 

St. Augustine Lighthouse. Haunted Lighthouse series.

Oct 20 2021, 7:00 am in

 Happy 147th Birthday to the St. Augustine, Florida Lighthouse

                                                                                                                                                                                           

 The St Augustine Light is an active light.  It stands 165 feet above sea level, with 219 steps to the top, and overlooks the Matanzas Bay and the Atlantic Ocean from Anastasia Island.  It is the first Florida light commissioned by the American government in 1824 and has a first order Fresnel lens now lit with a 1000 watt bulb.  The light is St. Augustine’s oldest surviving brick structure, and stands where, soon after arriving in the mid-1500s, the Spanish built a watchtower. A spot to watch over the town and see out to the ocean for 450 years. In modern times during World War II armed Coast Guardsmen used the tower to watch for enemy ships and submarines.

This light is also said to be haunted. Having grown up a couple of blocks from this light I can say I’ve been inside more times than I can count. To the top only a handful of times. I’d say half of those ‘visits’ were after dark.  Do I think it’s haunted? Well, let’s say during the day I’m a skeptic. At night – I believe. Mind you, I’ve never seen anything, but there is a feeling. That’s the only way I know how to explain.  

Who are these ghosts? There was a suicide by hanging and a man who fell from the first tower might be still around. A keeper and the wife of another keeper died there.  Three children died in an accident. Pirates were imprisoned and executed there. Some are buried on the grounds.   

Then there is the story about the original owner of the lighthouse who had the light taken from him by eminent domain and threatened never to leave. Some say his spirit still walks the tower late at night. Anyone of these men could be the cigar smoking ghost reported in the fuel house.

People say they’ve heard the laughter of children in the tower, and one has been seen, wearing the same blue dress she drowned in. Some have glimpsed a shadowy figure in the tower, a hand coming through the tower door and furniture moving around by itself.

I will also say if I’d seen anything I would never go back. The feeling in there is creepy enough.

According to the ghost hunters from the Syfy TV series Ghost Hunters there is paranormal activity there.  The main stars of the show, Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, dubbed the lighthouse complex “the Mona Lisa of paranormal sites.”

Dozens of YouTube videos online are also devoted to paranormal events here.

Other researchers say the light is not haunted. Everything can be explained.  

                        What do you think?

                                                Rita

 This is a repost   

 

Oct 18 2021, 11:11 am

   Today I woke to temperatures in the mid-60s here in NE Florida. Coolest day in forever. No AC needed. Big smiles here. 

   Spent the last few days rearraigning my office and, belck, cleaning. Needed a new view. Change is good for creativity. Now I can see the birds, butterflies, and what needs a chainsaw taken to it in the backyard jungle. Still have to shampoo the carpet but can’t seem to face doing that just yet. All the dust triggered a lovely allergy attack. But, I’ve vanquished almost all the dust bunnies. There are a couple, that may actually be dust raccoons, lurking in the corner under a desk that weighs a ton. With the cooler weather I’ll be able to take my laptop outside and write. Yippee!

   Don’t forget to check out my Wednesday Haunted Lighthouse blogs.

                                                                     Rita   

Owls Head Light. Haunted Lighthouse Series.

Oct 13 2021, 7:00 am in

President John Quincy Adams authorized the building of Owls Head Light, Maine in 1825. Not a tall light but it stands on a cliff and is exactly 100 feet above sea level. And guess what? It’s haunted……….

 

It has an awesome history of dedicated keepers and rescuing mariners. One of the most famous was when a schooner broke apart on the ice-covered rocks below the light.

The light keeper organized a rescue party and they found a block of ice enveloping a man and a woman seemingly dead. But the rescue party brought the block to the kitchen of the keeper’s house and chipped away, slowly raising their temperature of the water and began to exercise their limbs.  After two hours the woman showed signs of life. An hour later the man opened his eyes and wanted to know what was going on.

There was a dog, Spot, that barked to warn sailors away from the rocks. And… did I mention it’s also haunted? 

In the mid-1980s a light keeper’s wife spoke of the night her husband went outside to secure some construction materials. She felt him return to their bed or thought she did.

She asked if all was well outside. Receiving no reply she turned over and saw only an indentation of a body in the bed next to her. The indentation moved, as if an invisible person was shifting in the bed. After a few minutes, she asked the visitor to go away so she could get some sleep. 

Right! Okay, I could have done that. But by phone from the next county.

The next morning the light keeper told his wife that when he’d gotten out of bed the night, he saw a cloud of smoke hovering over the floor. The cloud, he said, went right through him and into the bedroom.

The next keepers to take over the light were warned about the ghost but didn’t believe it. They chose a room said to be a favorite of the ghost for their daughter’s bedroom. For the entire time they were there the child had an imaginary friend she said looked like an old sea captain. Once, in the middle of the night, the little girl went into her parents’ room excitedly telling them, “Fog’s rolling in! Time to put the foghorn on!” Nobody had ever spoken of such things in front of her, the parents were mystified by the use of such jargon. 
Another common occurrence is the appearance of footprints in the snow, seemingly beginning from nowhere and going up the wooden stairs that lead to the lighthouse tower. On some occasions the keepers find the door to the tower open, the lens and brass inside freshly polished.

Um… I want someone to clean my house by draw the line at a ghost doing it. What about you?

                                                   Rita

This was previously posted

Currituck Lighthouse – Haunted Lighthouse Series.

Oct 6 2021, 7:00 am in

Currituck Lighthouse on the northern North Caroline Outer Banks was first lit on December 1, 1875 and is 162 feet high with 220 steps to reach the lens. It is a first order lighthouse, meaning it has the largest of seven Fresnel lens sizes. This light has a 20-second flash cycle (on for 3 seconds, off for 17 seconds), and can be seen for 18 nautical miles. The distinctive sequence enables the lighthouse not only to warn mariners but also to help identify their locations. Currituck was the last brick lighthouse built on the Outer Banks. Its brick facade was left unpainted to distinguish the light from other lighthouses, and allows one to grasp just how many bricks it took to build. Like a million!

And it’s haunted………..

Well, not the light itself but the North Room of the light keepers house.  Of course, now the light is automated, but until the 1939 the light was manually operated, you know, by people, and their families who lived on the property. And it seems some of these people could still be hanging about.

The Johnson family was the first to live in the keeper’s quarters. They adopted Sadie Johnson after the death of her parents. While living there, it was believed Sadie’s bedroom was the North Room. That is, until she drowned. There are two versions of her death. One says Sadie was often told not to play in the sand by the shore but paid the no attention. One day she didn’t return from her sand castle building. The next day her body washed ashore. Another version says she was swimming with her friends and disappeared. Since then it has been thought her spirit returned to her old bedroom. In both versions everyone assumed the drowning was a horrible accident. Until the next deaths occurred, that is.

 A lady visiting the keeper’s wife was given the north bedroom.  She was stricken with a mysterious illness and died. Another keeper’s wife contracted tuberculosis and was confined and quarantined to the north bedroom. With family and friends kept away it’s said she lost interest in living and she too became a victim of the North Room. After she passed, so the story goes, her clothing and sheets were put into a barrel and kept in the room for fear of the disease spreading. After the automation of the lighthouse in 1939, the home fell into disrepair but the barrel remained in the North Room. Children from the village of Corolla were told not to go into the North Room. But you know kids. All they heard was go into the room. The kids opened the barrel and their parents found them playing with the clothes and sheets. The clothes and sheets were immediately burned.

Is a supernatural phenomenon really to blame for those deaths? No one can say for sure. What is known is that the North Room remains a dark, foreboding area in the historic house. Many a guest has refused to enter the room, citing a chill hanging in the air and feeling an icy breath on their necks. The light keeper in the 80s said a guest who spent the night in the house said during the night someone, or something, kept trying to pull the sheets off the bed. Really? And she stayed in the bed? O. Hell no.  Others have reported seeing visions.

The current keepers says there are no ghosts. It is simply drafts and a creaking, groaning old house. Whether ghosts actually haunt the North Room is uncertain. For over a century, the room has seen the loss of loved ones and their presence may remain, keeping watch over the North Room.

What do you think?

Rita

This was previously posted 

Oct 4 2021, 2:56 pm in

October 4, 2021, the day Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp ghosted the world.

  I use Facebook the most and compared to many, I don’t use it that much. I am in groups where I receive local news, have global friends, writing groups, social groups gone. I have emails and phone numbers for a fraction of the people I enjoy connecting with. It been down three hours now and I’m thinking what-ever this is —it’s BIG.  If, when we are able to reconnect through Book de Face I’ll be taking time to get all my internet social link eggs out of one basket and making sure I have more than one way to connect with peeps.

How you doin with this?

                                          Rita

UPDATE: Book de Face did return after more than 5 hours. What happened? Seems several lines of code vanished. Employees were locked out of the system. It was like facebook put themselves in jail.  All kinda scary. As I said I am exploring other ways to stay in contact with peeps. 

                All I know for sure is

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                              Rita

Haunted Lighthouses on the US East Coast

Sep 29 2021, 7:00 am in

I couldn’t decide which east coast Haunted Lighthouse to feature this week. There are so many.  So, what the heck,  I decided to  do several.

 

 

     I’ll start with the Ram Island Light located on Casco Bay, Maine.  In 1900, because of a long history of shipwrecks in the area, Congress appropriated funds to build the 90 foot high granite light. With the many shipwrecks come several ghostly stories. One sailor tells how his boat was caught in a terrible storm. Wild waves and lightning streaking across the sky turning night to day. He was unsure of his bearings until he saw a woman dressed in white, shinning as if full of electricity, standing on the reef at Ram Island, waving her hands in warning. He goes on to say if it weren’t for her he would have struck the ledge. He was never able to find out who she was.  Another fisherman: “I was in danger of running into the rocks when I saw a burning boat near shore, about to smash on the rocks and in the boat was this woman, warning me away. I quickly changed direction. The next day I saw no trace of the burning boat or the mysterious woman.”

 

     The ghost of a beautiful young woman dressed in white walks the shores of the beach near Hendrick’s Head Lighthouse, Southport, Maine. There is speculation she’s the ghost of a woman found drowned there one morning, or…is the ghost the mother of a baby saved in a shipwreck?

     In 1871, a vessel went aground off shore during a March gale. The light keeper, having no means of rescue, watched helplessly as the ship sank. The next day the keeper and his wife gathering debris found feather mattresses bound with rope, a wooden box wedged inside. Opening it, they discovered an infant girl. Someone, more than likely the mother, had done their best to save the baby, and succeeded. The keeper and his wife rushed her to the house where they cared for and kept her as their own.

     Who do you think the ghost who walks the beach is? The drowned woman or the infant girl’s mother?

     Owl’s Head Light, near Rockland, Maine, has two ghosts, one a former keeper who polishes the brass. The other known as the “Little Lady” resides in the kitchen. She is credited with doors slamming shut unexpectedly and silverware rattling. Those who have the pleasure of bumping into Little Lady say she imparts a peaceful feeling.   

     Light keepers are the ones who usually encountered the unknown, brass polishing keeper, seeing him out of the corner of the eye. His brass polishing skills make him a welcomed ghost. Brass work was the bane of lightkeepers.  Footprints in the snow have been attributed to him. The 3 year old daughter of a keeper woke her parents telling them to ring the fog bell because it would soon get foggy. Which it did indeed do. When questioned how she knew, she revealed her friend told her. The friend who looked like a sea captain in a picture in the house. The lighthouse keeper’s house is currently used as quarters for the local Coast Guard and the thermostat is frequently lowered presumably by the ghost. Frugality passes on into the afterlife.

     The Boon Island lighthouse stands on a  300 X 700’ barren shoal in the Gulf of Maine.  In 1710  the Nottingham Galley crashed into the island. The crew that survived had no way to reach the shore six miles away and survived a winter by resorting to cannibalism.  Eh…. what about fishing, maybe catching birds? Sounds crazy to me.

     Many report seeing an ethereal young woman shrouded in white on the Boon rocks at dusk. She  may be Katherine Bright, who came to Boon as a newlywed with her lightkeeper husband. Four months after arriving, a surge tide swept the island. Attempting to secure the island’s boat, Keeper Bright slipped on the rocks and drowned. Katherine pulled his body ashore, dragged it to the lighthouse and left it at the foot of the stairs.  She took over lighthouse duties for five days and nights, without eating or sleeping. On the sixth day, the light was out. Fishermen investigated and found Mrs. Bright sitting on the stairs holding the frozen corpse of her husband. She’d completely lost her mind and died a few weeks later. Those who see her apparition also say they hear her screams.

Do you have any haunted Lighthouse experiences?

                                                                     Rita

 

This was previously posted

Life is Good.

Sep 27 2021, 11:00 am

  Don’t have much to share but feeling pleased with things. Knocked my weekend to-do list out of the park. Enjoyed local seafood and drinks with family on the deck over the river. Read and wrote. 

  The weather is splendiferous. I’m thinking it’s going to be cool enough to get out the power tools and cut back the back yard jungle. Will let you know how that goes. Feeling this week is gonna be a good one.  

Hope yours is good,

                                  Rita

Haunted Yaquina Bay Oregon Lighthouse

Sep 22 2021, 7:00 am in

Are the stories true? 

This was previously posted. 

               Yaquina Bay, Oregon. The charming two-story clapboard structure was deserted a mere three years after its light was first lit in 1871 and it remained empty for fourteen years. In 1889 The Army Corps of Engineers used it to house one of their engineers and his family. That is, until it was heavily damaged in a hail storm and struck by lightning. It’s had spotty off and on use until it was privately purchased and relit in December 1996 as an aid to civilian navigation.

     Deserted and in disrepair, it has ever since been the setting for many a ghostly tale. The most famous being about Muriel Travenard, born at the end of the 18th century to a sea captain and his wife. Her mother died when she was young, and for a time she sailed with her father. When she was a teen the captain decided to leave his daughter behind with friends in Newport. Weeks lengthened into months, and the captain didn’t return. Muriel and a group of friends decided to explore the abandoned and dilapidated lighthouse. They discovered an iron plate in the floor on the second level of the light opening to a deep hole. Nothing exciting there so they went off to explore. And you know teens they didn’t bother to put the iron plate over the hole. Muriel remembered she’s left her scarf inside and went to retrieve it.  

     She didn’t return. Friends went to look.  

     You know what’s coming.

     She was nowhere to be found. But…… they did find a pool of blood and a blood trail leading to the deep and mysterious hole which was now—mysteriously— closed. The teens tried to open the door, but couldn’t.  (Feel free to use your Rod Sterling voice reading that.)

     Help was summoned. A through search of the lighthouse and grounds made.

     No Muriel.  

     Are you saying, “look in the hole dummies?”

     Thing is, as the story goes, the plate was frozen in place and couldn’t be pried open.  I find that a little iffy. But anyhow, Muriel, or her body, was never found. Dark stains mark the floor where, what is believed to have been, her blood was found.

     Over the years there are claims Muriel’s ghost has been seen peering out of the lantern room or walking down the path behind the lighthouse.  

      Now here is where the story gets a little wonky. It may or may not be true. All this falderal could have originated from Lischen Miller’s story, “The Haunted Lighthouse,” published in an 1899 issue of Pacific Monthly. A fictional account of a girl named Muriel Trevenard, who mysteriously disappeared in the lighthouse after returning to retrieve her handkerchief. 

     Hmmm. So whatcha think? Fact or fiction? Did Ms. Miller hear the legend and write her story or, did the legend get legs from her story?

                                                   Rita

 

 

A Magical Week

Sep 20 2021, 11:00 am

 

 

 

Yup, the 38th week of 2021 has magical stuff in store. It has a full moon, today. Fall begins Wednesday the 22nd. During the fall equinox, there is a balance of light and darkness. Our energy is harmonious and artistic. Hope so because I plan on doing a lot of writing .  

Heavy rains are predicted for the NE Florida coast—that’s me—and King Tides. Rain and higher than normal tides mean flooding. Nature is amazing. It’s gonna be a Jeep kinda week if I need to go anywhere. But, I there is plenty to do at home. I have a bucket of green beans that need to be blanched and put in the freezer. Get caught up on housekeeping chores. I listen to an audio book so that’s not so bad. Going to write three more Tips for Writers posts. And, drum roll please, write. Also finish editing three short stories.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. What does you week look like?

                                                    Rita  

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