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Happy Haunting: 8 of the Most “Spirited” Coastal Locales


Post by Team Dockwa - Published on 4/13/18 9:00 AM
Perhaps it’s the watery graves caused by shipwrecks or the sheer depth of nautical history, but port cities and their accomplices have long made for spectacularly haunted stomping grounds. Here we highlight five of the most “spirited” locations on the Eastern seaboard (and its outliers). A word of caution: Many of these locales are marred by a gruesome past. As to whether the apparitions that lie ahead are friend or foe – well, let us know once you visit, won’t you?
Haunted Locales Blog

 

Seguin Island Lighthouse

Bath, Maine 

 

Three miles off the coast of Bath sits the small Seguin Island. Population: 0 – technically. Years ago, a newlywed keeper and his wife moved to the island to man the lighthouse. The wife complained of boredom during the winter months, when the island froze in, becoming even more desolate. The keeper, wanting to please his wife, bought a piano for her to play through the next cold season.

And play she did – the same song, again and again, having no access to different sheet music. Driven mad by the repetition, the keeper took an ax to the instrument, chopping it to destruction. When his wife complained, he turned the ax on her, only to take his own life as well. Today, the keeper’s ghost walks the house – which Friends of Seguin Island Light Station members can stay in overnight – and on quieter days, his wife’s piano tune drifts across the island on the wind.

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Haunted Locales Blog (1)

 

Rose Hall Great House and Plantation

Montego Bay, Jamaica

 

Though today Rose Hall hosts multiple resorts and waterfront golf courses and provides countless picturesque backdrops for weddings, its history begins with legends of brutality that continue to walk the site. Some 20 minutes northeast of Montego Bay in Jamaica, Rose Hall is named for the great house that has sat there since it was built in the 1770s. The massive Georgian mansion once housed plantation owner Annie Palmer, a particularly vicious slave owner who practiced voodoo, had no qualms with human sacrifice, and murdered her second and third husbands before she herself was murdered in the early 19th century. Dubbed the “White Witch,” Annie was fictionalized in H. G. de Lisser’s The White Witch of Rosehall, which has left storytellers confused by where fact and fiction overlap. Even so, tourists visiting to the mansion spot not only her ghost but also the ghosts of her many victims wandering the grounds.

Haunted Locales Blog (2)

 

Block Island Southeast Light

Block Island, Rhode Island

 

Some 12 miles off Rhode Island’s coast, Block Island is a New England dream -- remarkably clear watersplashing against 17 miles of coastline, classic East Coast charm dotting the island’s dramatic bluffs, and an air of relaxation floating in on the Atlantic breeze, which also carries visions of the ghost ship Palatine. Alternately known as Princess Augusta depending on the tale, the phantom ship wrecked in the 18th century at the island’s northernmost point after half of the 15-man crew and nearly all of the 240 immigrants aboard were taken by fever.

But it isn’t just the waters that are haunted here. There’s also the Block Island Southeast Lighthouse, which was built in 1875. The angry spirit of a woman – who was murdered by her husband, the lighthouse keeper, in the 1900s – harasses men who visit her home. But reports of seeing her are among the least fearful accounts: She’s been known to shake men, lift their beds, and lock them in closets or out of rooms.

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devil-s-watchtower

la Garita del Diablo

San Juan, Puerto Rico

 

Partners in defense of Old San Juan, Castillo de San Felipe del Morro and Castillo San Cristóbal share military history some 400 years in the making. Both part of the national park that’s earned a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation, El Morro is known for its beauty and charm, while San Cristóbal earns attention for its strategic design. El Morro may be older (it was built over a period of 200 years), but it’s the newer Spanish-constructed fort that’s a playground to the long-since departed. There lives not only la Garita del Diablo – the Devil's Turret or Watchtower, marked by the mysterious disappearances of nighttime guards – but also a tale of tragic love in the vein of Romeo and Juliet. According to legend, in the 18th century a young woman named Maria fell in love with Betancourt, a thief, who was caught and hanged by Maria’s father, the executioner of San Juan. Heartbroken upon seeing her love’s lifeless body hanging in the gallows, Maria hanged herself by his side. Together in death, Maria and Betancourt spend the afterlife wandering the fort grounds.

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Haunted Locales Blog (3)

 

Savannah, Georgia

(The Whole Darn Town)

 

Widely acknowledged as one of America’s most haunted cities, Savannah, Georgia -- built on Native American burial grounds is essentially a hatchery for the undead. While there are entire tours devoted to the specters of the city, one highlight is the Olde Pink House, a Southern restaurant that’s haunted by the original owner, James Habersham Jr., who, distraught by his wife’s death, killed himself. He’s a friendly ghost that sticks mostly to straightening tables, chairs, and cutlery, but his children are more mischievous and have been known to lock women in the downstairs bathroom even after the locks were removed.

Then there’s Anna Powers, who haunts room 204 at the 17Hundred90 Inn & Restaurant, where she lived at the turn of the 18th century. After falling in love with and marrying an English sailor, Anna was driven to suicide, jumping through one of the hotel windows to her death. Guests who stay in the room are encouraged to record her ghost’s interactions in a notebook on the bedside table, and while not all who visit are haunted, couples cause a particular stir.

Lovelorn spooks aside, the Davenport House plays host to a ghostly feline, who criss-crosses hallways and sits on windowsills in the 1820s home.

Explore Georgia Marinas

The Shanghai Tunnels

 

The Shanghai Tunnels

Portland, Oregon 

 

During the 19th century, Portland was known as one of the most dangerous ports in the United States. Local lore suggests that the network of underground tunnels were used to illegally kidnap crew members aboard a ship for service, a term known as shanghai. The term shanghaiing was used because ships were often sailing to East Asian. A shanghaied sailor would be drugged, captured, and delivered to the ship's captain by a "crimp" who sold the men as unpaid labors. The tunnels are said to be haunted by the tortured spirits of the captives. 

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Haunted Locales Blog (5)

 

R.M.S. Queen Mary

Long Beach, California

 

In 1936 the R.M.S. Queen Mary left Southampton, England on her maiden voyage. She was the height of luxury, known for hosting Hollywood celebrities and dignitaries like Audrey Hepburn, Bob Hope, Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Winston Churchill, and many more during her transatlantic crossings. As World War II began, Queen Mary was painted grey and transformed into an Allied troopship, then known as the "The Grey Ghost".  After transporting over 800,000 troops during the war, Queen Mary was restored to her former glory. Two decades later, on Halloween night, she docked in Long Beach, California for her final resting place in 1967. 

 

The ship is haunted by the spirits of those who died aboard. Most famously, an 18 year old sailor was severed in half by being trapped under a heavy door. Unknown sources of screams, violent noises, flickering lights, and slamming doors are often reported. Now a floating hotel and museum, one can trace the steps of past passengers and experience the paranormal activity for themselves by staying the night or taking a tour of the haunted vessel. 

 

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Salem, Massachusetts 

(The Entire Town) 

 

The haunting tales of Salem, Massachusetts are deeply rooted in its history and began in 1692 when the town was bombarded with an overwhelming amount of women and young girls coming forward claiming to be possessed by the devil and practicing witchcraft. This struck fear and paranoia throughout the town and many of the possessed were sent to the gallows. 

As rumors and hysteria spread throughout the area, trials began to determine whether or not citizens were secretly practicing witchcraft. Giles Corey, an elderly farmer who questioned the girls' motives, spent months in jail before being crushed to death by heavy stones. Occurrences of paranormal activity are still noted at Howard Street Cemetery where Corey was buried. 

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What other haunted seaside locations do you know of? Chime in by joining our Facebook Group

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