Owl's Head Lighthouse                              Back to Haunted Lighthouses

By T. Duplain
Owl’s Head Lighthouse sits on top of a hill that is just south of Rockland, Maine.  It is located
at the southern tip of the Rockland Harbor.  It sits 100 feet above the sea and is a mere thirty
feet tall.  Though the lighthouse and keeper’s house are property of the United States Coast
Guard, the grounds are open to the public.  The name
Owl’s Head, comes from the two
indentations in the headlands that look like owl’s eyes.

In the eighteen hundreds, the lime trade in Rockland had grown so much that it was
necessary to put in a lighthouse for ships coming into the Rockland Harbor at night.  In 1825,
President John Quincy Adams authorized the Owl’s Head Lighthouse.  There was an
argument between John Quincy Adams and Fifth Auditor, Stephen Pleasanton, as to who
would become the first keeper of the lighthouse.  Eventually, the President’s candidate,
Isaacs Sterns, won.

In December of 1850, five ships went aground at Penobscot Bay.  One of the ships, a small
schooner, broke free the cables that it was tied to.  At the time, there were three people on
board, Roger Elliot, First Mate Richard B. Ingraham, and his fiancée Lydia Dyerin.  They
could do nothing as the ship crashed into some rocks.  Elliot was able to escape the ship,
make it to shore, and eventually found Owl’s Head Lighthouse. By the time the keeper found
him, he was half frozen.  Elliot eventually worked up the strength to tell the keeper of the
other two people aboard the ship.  The keeper rounded up twelve other men to look for the
two.  When they found the couple, they were enclosed in a block of ice and appeared to be
dead, but the men did not want to take any chances.  They brought the couple back to the
lighthouse.  The put them in a tub of water and began to chip away the ice.  Then, they
began to slowly raise the temperature of the water and they exercised their muscles.  Finally,
they began to show signs of life and after several months, they made a full recovery and had
four children.  Roger Elliot was not so fortunate to make a full recovery.

In the 1930’s, the keeper of the lighthouse was Augustus B, Hamor who had a Springer
Spaniel named Spot.  As time went on, Spot learned to pull the rope that rang the fog bell
when it became very foggy until it was his full-time job.  One stormy night, the Matinicus mail
boat almost ran aground at Owl’s Head.  The rope for the fog bell was too frozen for Spot to
pull so he began to bark.  The captain of the vessel heard Spot and safely maneuvered
away from the shore.  After Spot had died, he was buried next to the fog bell.

The ghost that is often spotted at haunted Owl’s Head light house resembles that of an old
sea captain.  He is often recognized by unexplained footprints in the snow, polished brass,
and feelings of coldness.  One three-year-old daughter of a keeper befriended the ghost.  
He helped her alert her parents one night when the fog was rolling in and that it was time to
sound the foghorn.
owl's head haunted light house - uscg file photo
Website content Copyright 2004-7 Photograph courtesy of the USCG.
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