Currituck Lighthouse – Haunted Lighthouse Series.

Oct 28 2018, 9:26 am

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?

Owls Head Light. Haunted Lighthouse Series.

Oct 24 2018, 1:35 pm

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?

Ram Island Light. Hendrick’s Head Lighthouse. Haunted Lighthouse Series.

Oct 21 2018, 10:48 am

Ram Island Ledges are a series on stone break waters on Casco Bay, Maine. The ledge was the sight of frequent shipwrecks. As the result of a  steamship wreck in February 1900 Congress appropriated funds to build the Ram Island Light. The 90 foot high granite tower is   located near the entrance to Boothbay Harbor, Maine an went into operation January 1905. The region has a long history of warning and assisting mariners even before a lighthouse was finally constructed. One account from a sailor tell how his boat was being tossed about. Lightening turned the night to day and there, standing on the reef at Ram Island, waving her hands in warning was a lady all in white, as if full of electricity. He goes on to say if it weren’t for her he would have struck the ledge. He was never able to find the lady.  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 light in now private property. It was sold in 2010 to Dr.Jeffery Florman  

 

The ghost of a beautiful young woman dressed in white walks the shores of the beach near Hendrick’s Head Lighthouse, Southport, Maine. 

Is she the ghost of a woman who was found drowned there one morning, or is it the mother of a shipwrecked baby? In 1871, a vessel went aground on the ledge about a half mile off shore during a March gale. The keeper had no way of getting out there, so he watched helplessly as the ship went under. Some of the debris washed ashore, and the keeper and his wife went to pick through it. The keeper spotted what looked like two feather mattresses bound together with rope. He called his wife over, and they hauled it in. Untying the rope, they found a wooden box wedged inside, which was making strange noises. Opening it, they found an infant girl. Apparently the mother had done the best she could to save the baby, and succeeded. The keeper and his wife rushed her to the house where they dried her, warmed her and fed her, and kept her as their own. But the real mother, filled with grief and longing, may be the ghost who walks the beach.

What do you think? Real or stories. I believe it. What I wonder is why haven’t these women recently been seen. No one to help or did their spirit get closure?     

The Seguin Lighthouse – Haunted Lighthouse Series

Oct 17 2018, 10:05 am

 

The Seguin Lighthouse is in the Gulf of Maine on Seguin Island, south of the Kennebec River. Established in 1795, it is the second-oldest of Maine’s coastal lighthouses. The light station stands on the island’s highest point, and includes the lighthouse itself, the keeper’s house, fog signal building, a small oil house, and a 1006 foot tramway for bringing supplies from the shore to the site. The light, built from granite blocks, is 53 feet tall and 180 feet above sea level making it the highest in the state. The first tower was wood frame completed in 1797 and replaced by the present tower in 1857.

This light has quite the history and of course, it is haunted…..

 

Starting with the history part, on September 5, 1813 the epic sea battle between the HMS Boxer and USS Enterprise took place near Seguin. Yes. The name USS Enterprise has a long, glorious history.

 

More than a hundred light keepers have served at Seguin. There has been several women assistant keepers. Not a common thing in those days. Going through the list of keepers names I found it odd that some were removed from their position. For what reason? I can understand why many resigned. That island is pretty small and is said to be foggy fifteen percent of the time. The fog horn is so loud it can be heard fourteen miles away and keepers swear it has blasted birds from the sky.  BTW I don’t particularly care for fog.

Those who lived there had to be pretty self-sufficient. Electricity didn’t arrive until 1953 and from what I can tell it was kinda iffy at that. Did those that resigned get bored? Couldn’t take the isolation or get tired of being so self-sufficient?

Now here is where the weird stuff begins.     

Near the island, in July of 1875, a sea captain and ship’s crew reported seeing a monster that came to their boat and put its head over the rail. They struck it with a pike sending it back into the water. A few days later another boat reported seeing the serpent floating along occasionally raising it head to look around. WTH?

Many believe that the pirate, Captain Kidd, buried his gold and silver treasure on the island. In 1936, for a year, a man dug up the place looking for it but found nothing.

Sometime in the mid-1800s a murder suicide took place. A light keeper bought his wife a piano. Ah. Nice guy. She played the same tune over and over for hours upon hours until it apparently drove the keeper insane because he took an axe to the piano, his wife and himself. Eww. Doing yourself in with an axe? The mind boggles. The spooky thing is on quiet nights, the crews of ships going by the island say they can hear the tune playing over and over and over.

A young girl died and was buried on the island and many report still seeing her running up and down the stairs. Some have even heard her laughing.

There are other reports of items being moved or going missing, jackets being taken from hooks and thrown to the floor, and furniture rearranged.  

When the Coast Guard was packing up to leave the island in 1985 an apparition in oil skins begged a warrant officer to leave his furniture and home alone. The next day as the furniture was being loaded on a boat, chains broke and all the furniture fell into the ocean. Coincidence? Don’t know but my new rule is if a ghost asks me to leave his furniture and home alone, I’m not arguing.         

St. Augustine Lighthouse. Haunted Lighthouse series.

Oct 13 2018, 9:05 pm

 Happy Birthday to the St. Augustine, Florida Lighthouse

celebrating its 144th birthday this weekend.

 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 excited 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?

 

 

 Yaquina Bay Lighthouse. Haunted Lighthouse Series.

Oct 11 2018, 9:27 am

     Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, is located on a hill overlooking the northern side of the entrance to 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 scene 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 he decided to leave his daughter behind with friends in Newport. Weeks lengthened into months, and the captain didn’t return. Muriel was unhappy but made friends with other teens, which helped to assuage her grief. Her group decided to explore the abandoned lighthouse. It was a mess, dilapidated, and not as much fun as they’d hoped, but they did find a strange iron plate in the floor on the second level. It was a door to a compartment that had a deep hole cut into it. They looked inside, but left the door open, and went off to explore the rest of the area. In the late afternoon, as they were preparing to leave, Muriel remembered she’d left her scarf inside and went back to get it. Her friends waited, but she didn’t return. Several went back in to look for her. After searching without success, one of the kids noticed a pool of blood on the floor, with a trail of drops leading to the iron plate, which was now—mysteriously— closed. The teens tried to open the door, but couldn’t. After coming back with help, a complete search of the lighthouse and grounds was made, and the plate was frozen in place and couldn’t be pried open.  Muriel, or her body, was never found, and a dark stain marks the floor where, what is believed to have been, her blood was found. No one knows what happened that fateful day. 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 get 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?

 

Books to Movies.

Sep 23 2018, 1:35 pm

Do you have Netflix? I don’t. I’m afraid I’d become a giant blob of algae sitting on the sofa watching all the good shows. Nothing would get done. No writing. No cleaning house. Well, have to say I’m lax on that already. I have Amazon Prime and it’s bad enough. My passion is movies and small screen series adapted from books. Love seeing book characters come to life. I do my best to read (actually I listen to the vast majority of books) a book before I watch the movie or series because, the book is always better. Right?

Some adaptations I’ve enjoyed are:  

The Martian. Of course there are book details left out of the movie production. But the movie was totally fantastic.

Bosch. Amazon Prime series. I’ve read all of Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch books and really enjoy the story of an older LAPD homicide detective. I also like how the production, working with Connelly, have taken story lines from different books and woven them together in episodes for a season.  If you’re into car chases and shootouts this isn’t for you. It’s definitely about the human side of police work.  

Amazon also has the Jack Ryan series. It isn’t directly from any of Clancy’s books. It does evoke what the Ryan stories are about. Kinda like how the 007 movies developed. I liked it. Seeing comments, people either loved it or didn’t.  I particularly like John Krasinski as Ryan.           

Outlander. Okay. I confess. I LOVE Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. Time travel. Men in kilts. Epic love story. What’s not to like? Taking giganticus books and producing them for a TV series has to be a giganticus undertaking/headache. In which, it is difficult to please the purists book readers. If you are a fan and in any fan groups you will know of what I speak. From my perspective the casting is spot on. Acting, scenery, settings, and costumes are perfect.  Personally I’ve found very few things to get squinty eyed over. The series adds to the book story IMO.   

Mr. Mercedes. Made for TV series from Stephen King’s trilogy of the same name. It’s dark and disturbing and I love it. Not even minding changes from the book.   

Unbroken. WoW. If you haven’t read Louis Zamperini’s story of survival and overcoming I suggest you add it to your TBR list. I listen to parts frequently. The book was broken in 2 parts for movies. First part is war experiences and the second, which I haven’t seen, is how he overcame experienced horrors.    

The Monument Men. When I read the book I was floored I hadn’t heard the story before. My hubs and I are WWII history buffs and had seen much of the art and been to many places mentioned in the story. IMO the movie hardly did the story justice.

A favorite book, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, was made into a film showing only on Netflix.  I sooo want to see the movie but, once I have Netflix there would be no going back.  Can you feel my pain?  

These are only a few books to the screen adaptations. Do you have any favorites?

 

Audio Books

May 17 2018, 4:04 pm in

     Do you have to get debris and aquatic critters out of the pool because you have hoards of guests coming to visit for the summer?

Need to get the knee high grass cut and clear the poison ivy away from the yard?

Convince the mosquitoes not carry off your guests?

Have to give the old home a good cleaning?

And….. all you want do is to read a good book?

 —Imagine me talking in a cheesy infomercial voice.—  

Well, have I got the solution for you.

Audio books.

Yes that’s right. You heard me-

Audio Books.

For busy people who love to read.

You can listen on your phone, E-reader, or laptop.

—End cheesy voice over—

 I’m here to tell ya listening to books will make the drudgery of cleaning closets, using the shop vac to suck the crumbs from the oven, and scrubbing those toilets a thing of the past. You’ll be so pleased to listen you’ll wish there was more work to do. Ehh. That last statement might be pushing it.

I started listening because of vision problems. Even with glasses over contacts, it was difficult to read. After five eye surgeries reading is much easier now but I’m totally hooked on listening. Many times I’ve foregone seeing a movie because the audio book production was so good.

The big thing is, I can listen to books and not feel guilty because I should be doing something else. ‘Cause I can do something else.  Except drive. I get too engrossed in the story. Shakes head here –Not a good thing. Now that I’m thinking about it, listening to the, shall I say, steamy parts, of a romance novel in the doctor’s office or in the dentist chair, eh, not good either. Well, it’s not bad that you’re listening to it there, it’s odd to explain why you’re fanning yourself and you’re hyperventilating. Whatever you do, just say no to the hygienist if she wants you to take out the earphones so she can also hear.

So, tell me, do you listen to your books? Do you have a favorite narrator?

I would know Dick Hill anywhere. He narrates many of my favorite books. Many actors lend their voices to books. If any of you are longtime watchers of Law and Order you remember there was a female psychologist on the show. Carolyn McCormick portrayed Dr Elizabeth Olivet, and narrates The Hunger Games Trilogy. I also have one narrator I will not listen too. Nope. He ruins the story for me.

I loved:

11-22-63

Water For Elephants

The Martian

Outlander Series and novellas

Michael Connelly Books—all of them

Barry Eisler

Jack Reacher Series

Stephen Kings Me. Mercedes Trilogy

The Hunger Games Trilogy

Neil Gaiman

I guess you get the picture.  

Tell me an audio book you enjoyed.

My first book Under Fire is available in audio format. Click here Audible to listen to a sample.

—WARNING—

Listening to Audio Books is habit forming.

 

National Library Week

Apr 9 2018, 4:51 pm in

I grew up in St Augustine Florida, the oldest city in the nation. History all round. Many buildings in use date to the early 1700’s. My grandparent’s home was built around civil war times.  

One was constructed around 1783, by Bernardo Segui.  It also was the home of Edmond Smith, the last Confederate general to surrender his command. He was born in the home in 1824. In 1863 Union officials exiled the general’s mother from the city for spying.   

The house came to be called the Segui-Smith House. In 1895 it was given to the city to be used as a library.  My library.

It’s a good possibility many of the books I perused on the shelves had been there since 1895. Really. It’s still in use as a research library, home to historical records. That building holds powerful memories for me.

Rainy afternoons sitting in a corner listening to rain tap a beat on the banana leaves and palm fronds in the courtyard. The rooms were dark and the library cards yellowed.  The wood floors upstairs creaked when no one stepped on them. The powerful musty scent of dust, old paper and history was comforting. I honestly can’t remember any books I checked out and if I remember correctly there were a set of encyclopedias from the 18th century. Yes, I am that old that I didn’t have a device to look everything up on not the 18th century part.     

I miss my library.   

Do you have fond Library memories?

April is National Poetry Month.

Apr 2 2018, 2:26 pm in , , ,

I know nothing about poetry. Except what speaks to me. When I open a book of poems I can honestly get lost in them. I marvel at the author’s ability to tell me a story in a few lines. To draw me in and make me feel. I’m sharing a few.

 

Impromptu – To Kate Carol – Poem by Edgar Allan Poe

When from your gems of thought I turn 
To those pure orbs, your heart to learn, 
I scarce know which to prize most high — 
The bright i-dea, or the bright dear-eye.

 

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

 

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

 

Oh, the Places You’ll Go! By Dr. Suess

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
Any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

 

An Irish Poem ~Unknown

Death leaves a heartache
No one can heal
Love leaves a memory
No one can steal.

 

The Toucan by Shel Silverstein
Tell me who can
Catch a toucan?
Lou can.

Just how few can
Ride the toucan?
Two can.

What kind of goo can
Stick you to the toucan?
Glue can.

Who can write some
More about the toucan?
You can!

 

My Spoon ~Unknown Author
Greasy grimy gopher guts.
Mutilated monkey meat
Little dirty birdies feet
And I forgot my spoon.

~Unknown because who would admit to writing this?

Do you have favorite poems? Please share.

To learn more about Poetry Month click here 

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