Monday, October 29, 2012

Free (Haunted) Lighthouse Tours (Pt. Fermin)

The Date: Tuesday-Sunday
Time: 1:00pm-4:00pm (Guided Tours 1:00pm, 2:00pm, & 3:00pm)
The Location:
Point Fermin Lighthouse Historic Site and Museum
807 W. Paseo Del Mar, San Pedro, CA 90731

Note: This event is not hosted by GHOULA. This is just a local (ghost related) event that exists independently that GHOULA wants its members to know about. As such, docents and staff at this event may not wish to discuss this landmark's haunted history.

The Ghost(s):

Unfortunately, because the ghost stories from the Point Vincente Lighthouse just eight miles up the road are more well-known, sometimes they get falsely attributed to this historic lighthouse, which predates that newer lighthouse by a half century.

The Point Fermin Lighthouse began its duty of protecting our shores in 1872 (some reports put it at 1974), although some portions of the building may be even older, considering it took about twenty years to build this seemingly simple Victorian home/lighthouse. Given the remote nature of the point it sits on, supplies had to be brought from either the Pacific North West, or the East Coast (around South America's Cape Horn), which made construction a very lengthy process.

Unlike the nearby Point Vicente Lighthouse, which is said to be haunted by a woman longing for her lost husband, this lighthouse appears to be haunted by the inverse, a lonely male lighthouse keeper carrying the torch (literally and figuratively) for his dead wife. When he passed away in October of 1925 (a couple of months after his wife died), the local papers reported he died of a broken heart. Two months after his death, the lighthouse was decommissioned and the grounds turned into a public park. Not only was he the last man to hold that job, some say he never left, and can still be seen (and heard) carrying out his duties, walking around the lighthouse and the lens house.

Although the current lighthouse staff claims that the historic structure is not haunted, they are familiar with the ghost tales, and curiously do not deny them. The explanation they give is that these yarns were originally fabricated by a ranger that used to live in the lighthouse (as caretaker of the building and park) as a means of scaring local children and teens so that they would not try to break in to the spooky old lighthouse or vandalize it. Needless to say, there are many locals that grew up around the lighthouse, who beg to differ.

Interestingly, the ghostly keeper may not be alone there with his feelings of loneliness, sadness, and regret. The adjacent cliff is well known in the area as a favorite spot for suicides (with stories of ghostly figures walking along the cliff's edge or the rocks below.) Also, Point Fermin Park was the site of the great UFO attack of 1942, but that's another story for another time...

(to read about the ghosts of the Point Vincente Lighthouse...)

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