Founder / Lead Researcher & Investigator for Normal Paranormal
In March, Normal Paranormal will investigate the Absecon Lighthouse located in Atlantic City, NJ. 171 feet of sheer terror I've been told. Or so it feels that way once you reach the top to those not fond of heights. But have there been some equally terrifying encounters on the property as well? According to the reports, it would seem that way. And that is exactly what we will be looking to find out about.
Slamming doors. Footsteps. Disembodied voices. Phantom smells like pipe and cigar smoke. Dimes appearing in strange locations. Partial hands clutching the railing. And even full-body apparitions appearing at the top. These are just some of the reports from visitors and staff.
Executive director, Jean Muchanic and her dad once heard sounds of festive people having a party at the top of the lighthouse, but upon climbing the two-hundred and twenty eight steps to the top, they found that no one was there.
The paranormal incidents date back to the early 1900s when according to legend, a keeper spotted the infamous Jersey Devil as it perched on the very top of the lighthouse. When someone tried to shoot at it, it took off across the water.
History & Tragedy
Seven deaths are known to have occurred on the property, but more tragically, three hundred and eleven passengers and crew were lost when the Powhatan wrecked off the coast in April of 1854.
This tragedy was only one of many earning the Absecon Inlet the nickname of “Graveyard Inlet."
As a result, the lighthouse as we know it today was built on Absecon Island under direction by Army engineer George Meade that same year. Yes, this was the same Meade who would later go on to command the Union Army at Gettysburg.
The lighthouse glowed brightly across the Atlantic Ocean until it was decommissioned in 1933.
"Ghost Hunters" Investigate
In 2009, TAPS investigated the claims of activity for SyFy's "Ghost Hunters" in an episode that aired the following year. Despite the difficulty of conducting an investigation in the midst of a big storm off the Atlantic, the group concluded that a lot of the audible activity reported on the property could be easily debunked.
Some of their findings revealed that footsteps commonly heard within the tower could be attributed to the wind, which when rattling against loose windows produces a sound easily mistaken for footsteps. They also found that noises, which when heard at the bottom of the lighthouse sounded like conversation, at the top actually sounded like blowing wind.
However, TAPS also recorded some rather peculiar evidence that couldn't be explained away as easily. It was discovered that one of the cameras positioned inside at the top of the lighthouse mysteriously moved on its own accord along with the presence of an odd light or shadow in the room. So while the evidence was slight, there was at least a little bit to support that something strange is indeed going on here.
The Oil House
According to Milton Glenn, the director of educational programs at the lighthouse, the oil house and even the bathrooms have had activity too. Apparently, the oil house was also a spot where the keepers used to gather to smoke and drink so it doesn't come as a surprise that inexplicable events would occur here as well.
Olde City Paranormal, another group who investigated inside the oil house had an interesting encounter when the room suddenly became very cold. Immediately after, they got a whiff of pipe smoke. According to the report, it was very strong at first, as if someone in the room was smoking, but it only lasted about a minute and then quickly vanished.
We can certainly relate to this type of experience, as a similar instance occurred when we investigated Burlington County Prison for the first time.
A British Soldier
Many who have witnessed activity do not believe that just one entity haunts the structure, but rather several. One of which includes a British soldier from the Revolutionary War.
Some have spotted him in uniform at the top of the lighthouse in his red and white uniform, complete with musket in hand.
Perhaps this apparition ties into an incident that occurred in the vicinity in 1779. The British ship, Mermaid en route to New York from Nova Scotia, crashed into a sandbar killing one hundred and forty-five soldiers and crewmen during a nasty snow storm.
Some say that maybe this same British soldier waits at the top of the lighthouse in an attempt to warn others of a similar fate.
So is the Absecon Lighthouse
According to the reports, it would seem that whoever or whatever resides at the Absecon Lighthouse could be more of a residual type of energy rather than an intelligent one.
Nevertheless, it would appear that something is going on there. Hopefully, we'll be lucky enough to have our own experiences. But we'll find out in March.
Have you had any experiences at the Absecon Lighthouse?