Pensacola Lighthouse is the oldest light on Florida’s gulf coast. It was built in 1826 and is reportedly haunted by a lighthouse keeper who was murdered there.
The first keeper of the Pensacola Lighthouse was a man named Jeremiah Ingraham who lived there with his wife. She helped her husband for many years, maintaining the house in impeccable condition.
Perhaps she cared too much for the lighthouse, because her husband died under mysterious circumstances in 1840 and she was appointed keeper of the light.
Locals say that there was more to the death than met the eye. They believe the woman got up in the middle of the night, fetched a butcher knife from the kitchen and murdered her husband Jeremiah in a violent rage. Then she got rid of the incriminating evidence and made it look like a hunting accident.
But it seems that the murderous wife could never forget her horrible deed and for years afterwards was haunted by the ghost of her dead husband. Whenever she was alone in the tower, random things would fly through the air. She was hit by objects that seemed to have been hurled across the room by a ghostly hand.
She heard eerie laughter in empty rooms, saw shadows in the windows of the locked tower at night and felt freezing cold temperatures even when the fireplace was blazing.
Her duties as lighthouse keeper were made nearly impossible by one malfunction after another. Countless mechanical problems seemed to taunt the guilty wife every day and she came to believe that the spirit of her murdered husband was tormenting her. She died in 1855, driven almost insane by a murderer’s guilt and a ghost bent on revenge.
Years later, when the lighthouse was being refurbished, stains were discovered on the floor that looked suspiciously like blood. No amount of scrubbing could get rid of them and they remained there until the floorboards were taken up and replaced.
A Pensacola resident, who was raised in the lighthouse said, “when I would go up to pull the chains to keep the lens turning, I could hear human breathing. I can remember my Mom scrubbing the floor trying to get rid of the blood stain and her getting upset because it would constantly return. At night, we would hear footsteps coming up the stairs, but when we would look, no one would be there.”
It is said that the presence of old lighthouse keeper and his murderous wife can still be felt in the old lighthouse and the adjoining buildings. The Pensacola Lighthouse was featured on The Travel Channel special “Haunted Lighthouses of America”.