When ships traveled in and out of the Great Lakes, the Fairport Harbor Lighthouse played an important role in guiding vessels to safety. Located on the shore of Lake Erie in Fairport Harbor, Ohio, the lighthouse was constructed at the mouth of the Grand River. At first, the lighthouse was originally called the Grand River Light. In this article, you will learn more about the haunted history of the lighthouse.
The Fairport Harbor Lighthouse was first built in 1825. In 1871, the lighthouse was in need of repairs, as the tower and house quickly needed to be rebuilt. The lighthouse and keeper’s house that you see today was in use until 1925. When a new lighthouse was erected close to the old one, the locals abandoned the Fairport gem.
Sandstone was used to build the lighthouse that stands 70 feet in the air. It is no longer operational, but that doesn’t stop enthusiasts from exploring its haunted past.
Keepers of the Light
Throughout the history of the Fairport Harbor Lighthouse, there were two prominent lighthouse keepers to note. Samuel Butler was the first keeper who was an active abolitionist. His interest made the lighthouse a northern terminal of the Underground Railroad and was successful in helping runaway slaves find safety in Canada. Many believe that this piece of history contributes to the haunted past of the lighthouse.
Another theory of paranormal activity cited at the lighthouse is associated with the second lighthouse keeper who was very much attached to the structure. He loved his job and could have possibly refused to leave his post in the afterlife.
Captain Joseph Babcock was the first keeper of the reconstructed lighthouse and keeper’s dwelling. He also raised a family on the lighthouse grounds. Two of his children were born in the home, but he unfortunately lost one of his children (called ‘Robbie’) to smallpox at the age of five. Losing a child at such a young age was difficult and the family deeply felt the effects. Things took a turn for the worse when the lady of the house had fallen ill and had to stay in her bed inside of the house. To keep herself entertained, she kept a lot of cats.
The significance of Mrs. Babcock’s pets is that some people claim to have spotted the ghost of a cat moving quickly up the stairs. Some described the feline as traveling in a gray ‘puff of smoke.’ To add a twist to the ghostly cat account , the body of a mummified cat had been discovered by one of the workers on the lighthouse. It is actually on display in a glass cabinet at the Fairport Harbor Museum
Today, the keeper’s house is being used as the Fairport Marine Museum , making it the first lighthouse grounds to be restored into a museum in the United States. This transformation took place in 1945. It is here that people come to view a variety of nautical and historic exhibits significant to the local region.
Other ghosts thought to haunt the premises include the spirit of Mrs. Babcock and the spirit of the first lighthouse keeper.