Perched atop a concrete pier in New London Harbor, the New London Ledge Lighthouse stands as a picturesque landmark along the Connecticut coast. However, this distinctive lighthouse holds more than just scenic beauty—it is believed to be haunted by the spirit of a former keeper known as “Ernie.” With a history dating back to its construction in 1909, the lighthouse has witnessed unexplained phenomena and eerie occurrences that have intrigued paranormal enthusiasts from around the world. In this article, we delve into the haunting legends surrounding New London Ledge Lighthouse, sharing the ghostly encounters and mysterious events that have captivated visitors and investigators alike.
The Legend of John Randolph
The origins of the haunting tale can be traced back to a lighthouse keeper named John Randolph, who allegedly lived within the lighthouse during the 1920s or ’30s. Lonely and isolated, Randolph’s life took a tragic turn when his wife abandoned him for a local ferry captain. Distraught and heartbroken, Randolph purportedly leaped from the lighthouse’s roof to his death. Although no concrete records have been found to corroborate this story, locals and visitors firmly believe that it is John Randolph’s tormented spirit, known as Ernie, who haunts the New London Ledge Lighthouse.
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Strange Occurrences and Ghostly Encounters
Over the years, numerous keepers, coastguardsmen, and visitors have reported a plethora of eerie happenings at the lighthouse. These inexplicable events include doors mysteriously opening and closing, unexplained knockings, bedsheets flying off beds, and objects moving without any apparent cause. Witnesses have also described cups shifting, radios and TVs turning on and off, and the foghorn sounding without warning. Moreover, sightings of a tall, bearded man in a slicker and rainhat, believed to be the ghost of Ernie, have added to the lighthouse’s eerie reputation.
Ernie’s Mischievous Nature
The ghostly activities attributed to Ernie extend beyond the realm of mere hauntings. Visitors have reported encountering the distinct smell of fish permeating the air, cold spots appearing in certain areas, and locked drawers being mysteriously rearranged. Tools have been known to disappear, only to reappear in unexpected places, while sheets have been violently ripped off beds. Strange whispers and unidentifiable noises have been heard throughout the lighthouse, and on clear days, Ernie has been known to activate the foghorn. Additionally, local folklore suggests that boats and ships may drift when someone speaks ill of the ghostly keeper.
Ernie’s Selective Interactions
Curiously, Ernie seems to show a preference for certain individuals. Reports indicate that he tends to reveal himself to women and children, often making his presence felt through various paranormal encounters. However, he has also been described as a helpful spirit, occasionally performing tasks such as washing floors and windows, adding a touch of benevolence to his otherwise mischievous nature.
Investigations and Exorcisms
The haunted reputation of New London Ledge Lighthouse has attracted paranormal investigators from far and wide. Renowned teams, including the popular “Ghost Hunters” crew from TAPS, have ventured to the lighthouse in search of evidence and encounters with Ernie. Several attempts to exorcise the spirit and free him from his eternal torment have been made, claimed by psychics and others. However, despite these efforts, unusual and inexplicable phenomena continue to occur, leaving the enigma of Ernie’s presence intact.
Visiting the Lighthouse
For those intrigued by the paranormal or simply interested in exploring this historic landmark, opportunities to visit New London Ledge Lighthouse are available. Project Oceanology offers summer tours that include access to the lighthouse, allowing visitors to step into the realm where Ernie is said to reside. Furthermore, the lighthouse can be viewed from the water, as it sits prominently in New London harbor at the mouth of the Thames River, providing a unique perspective of this haunted beacon.
The haunting legends surrounding New London Ledge Lighthouse and the enigmatic spirit known as Ernie have captivated locals and visitors for decades. Despite attempts to solve the mystery and put the ghostly tales to rest, the paranormal activities and encounters persist, leaving many fascinated by the lighthouse’s haunted reputation. Whether you believe in the supernatural or simply appreciate the allure of ghost stories, a visit to the New London Ledge Lighthouse offers an opportunity to explore history, mystery, and the enduring legacy of Ernie, the haunted keeper of the light.