A case of mistaken history has led to rumors this antebellum Gulf-Coast lighthouse is haunted.
- The current lighthouse, on the north side of Pensacola Bay, replaced an older lighthouse located on the bay’s southern entrance.
- According to legend, the first lighthouse keeper haunts the new lighthouse, which was built in a different location 18 years after his death.
- Pensacola Lighthouse was featured in a 2009 episode of Ghost Hunters.
Since Ghost Hunters came to the Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum in 2009, there have been no shortage of articles about its legends. I finally had the opportunity to visit this historic site shortly before Halloween in 2014.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), the lighthouse and former keeper’s house was decorated for the holiday. Fake spiderwebs and cheesy Halloween decorations were everywhere–making for some interesting photos.
Pensacola Bay has long been a strategic harbor, and even today, it is used for military purposes. The lighthouse sits on the grounds of the Naval Air Station, home of the Blue Angels. Ships have long needed safe passage into the harbor. The first lighthouse was built in 1824/25 for $6,000 on the south entrance of the bay. It was 40-feet tall.
The current lighthouse, located at the north side of the bay, was built in 1858 and lit in 1859. It is made of brick and stands 150-feet tall. In 1861, an artillery duel between Union and Confederate forces lightly damaged the tower.
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