We do not often think of the Midwest as lighthouse country yet three states have lighthouses on Lake Michigan, Lake Superior and Lake Erie, and all have haunted stories to tell.
The Gales of November
Split Rock Lighthouse – Minnesota
Minnesota's Split Rock Lighthouse was the inspiration for Gordon Lightfoot's song about the sinking of "The Edmund Fitzgerald." The weather is so extremely brutal that people who visit after the month of October are warned to expect a six moth stay, as heavy ice, snow and gale force winds make traveling to the light impossible. Wolves have reportedly been heard howling at night.
In 1910, two first assistant keepers drowned when their boat capsized on the way to the mainland. The boat was eventually found, but their bodies were not, and consequently many people reported supernatural phenomena.
A visitor who lost his wallet returned to the light and asked an elderly man, dressed in a lighthouse keeper's uniform if he had seen it. The man, ignored him and refused to allow him entrance to the tower to look for his wallet, and walked into the house. The visitor later saw him looking down from the tower window and wondered what he saw. The next day the visitor returned and found his wallet, but never discovered the man's identity. Another story says the man returned the visitor's wallet, the abruptly vanished. Could this man be one of those who drowned?
Released by a Nun
Chambers Island Light – Wisconsin
Former caretaker Joel Blahnick noticed a "presence" when he first arrived at this light standing in the middle of Green Bay on Lake Michigan in 1976. The light was deserted for twenty years before Blahnick's arrival.
On his first night at this light, Blahnick was awakened by an extremely loud sound, followed by heavy footsteps from the spiral staircase coming from the lamp room. The ghost walked through the hallway and living room into the kitchen and outside, closing the door with an audible click. Skeptical visitors quickly became believers when awakened from sound sleep by loud, heavy footsteps.
The spirit, thought to be Lewis Williams, the first keeper, was not an angry ghost but enjoyed playing tricks on the caretaker. He loved moving tools from where Blahnick and his father were working, only to find them later tucked under a pillow.
In 1987, a group of nuns learned of the ghost as they toured the lighthouse. One no-nonsense sister fearlessly placed her hands against the tower and fervently prayed for the earthbound spirit's release. There has been no other reported haunting since that time.
The Ghost on Little Cat Feet
Fairport Harbor West Breakwater Light – Ohio
We are accustomed to tales of human spirits, but the ghost that haunts this lighthouse on Lake Erie is a lively, playful gray kitten. This light still aids navigation, and its keeper's house is the oldest maritime museum on the lake.
According to one legend, Keeper, Captain Joseph Babcock's wife, stricken by a serious illness was bedridden for several months. She was not alone, however, for a playful kitten regularly visited her and they spent many happy hours playing "go fetch" with a soft ball.
One curator, who saw and play with this kitten herself, did some research and surmised that the living room in her apartment was probably the bedroom in the old keeper's house where Mrs. Babcock recuperated.
Some people believe that the kitten died before reaching adulthood.