There are plenty of lighthouses left along the earth’s shores, although very few still have a lighthouse keeper. Some are automatic, but many are completely abandoned because of improved communication and navigation. Quite a few of these abandoned lighthouses have scary or even tragic stories in their history. For example, Flannan Island Lighthouse in Scotland saw tragedy only a year after it became operational. The lighthouse had no radio, and on December 15, 1900, there were no lights.
The lighthouse was manned by three people – James Ducat, Thomas Marshall and Donal Macarthur. A passing ship also reported that there was no light visible, and when it was investigated, the scene was an eerie one.
The table was set for dinner, a meal of meat and potatoes laid out for the men. The beds had clearly been slept in, and the only real clue of something that might have happened was a reference to a severe storm, made in the log for the day before. Another entry stated that the storm was passing, though, and there was no sign of damage to the Flannan Isles lighthouse. There was no sign of a struggle, no blood, and only a single chair had been knocked over. Everything else was eerily, strangely intact.
There were a number of theories about what happened, including the sudden arrival of pirates or the presence of vengeful ghosts from the nearby ruins. The theory given the most credibility is that the men were all killed when they were swept out to sea by fierce waves, but no trace of them has ever been found.
Other lighthouse stories include shipwrecks, murder, prisoners of war, plane crashes, suicide, natural disasters, ghosts, and men driven mad by loneliness. Read them all at Urban Ghosts.
(Image credit: Chris Downer / CC BY-SA 2.0)