Haunted Big Bay Point Light

The haunted Big Bay Point Light sits overlooking Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, being built in 1896. The Big Bay Point Light is made of red brick with a square lighthouse tower that is attached to the keeper's house. It was fully automated in 1941, later decommissioned by the US Coast Guard from 1961-1990, and is now operating again as an active aid to navigation. After it was shut down in 1961, the property was purchased by Dr. Pick (via sealed bid) who lovingly restored it over the next seventeen years. Eventually, he sold the property to the partners who still own it today (as of this writing).

When it became a bed and breakfast, apparently the resident ghost felt it necessary to help innkeeper Linda Gamble with things, but after she was woken up in the middle of the night by slamming cupboard doors in her kitchen, she angrily told him to stop! Reportedly, today the ghostly activity has settled, and she believes there to be five resident ghosts, though we are not sure just who all of them are. There was a soldier stationed there in 1952 who committed murder at the nearby Lumberjack Tavern, but why would he have stayed to haunt the Big Bay Point Light?

More to the Lighthouse Ghost Story?
Well, there is another story that may answer at least who one of the ghosts at the haunted Big Bay Point Light might be. Linda believes the ghost banging the cupboard doors was the first lighthouse keeper named William Prior. Mr. Prior began his lightkeeping duties in 1896, and stayed only five short years. He was looking for an assistant and found the perfect helper in 1899; his son George. Unfortunately, in 1901, George had an accident and was injured by falling down some steps, and eventually died in a hospital. A month later, William Prior walked away from his lighthouse duty and unto the nearby woods with his gun and some strychnine, being presumably grief-stricken for his son. His body was eventually found by a hunter seventeen months later in 1902, a skeleton hanging from a tree in the woods, not too away far from the haunted Big Bay Point Light. His tragic suicide and grief could be why his ghost still remains at the lighthouse to this day.

Additional Notes
The Big Bay Point Lighthouse went into service in 1896 in Big Bay, Michigan with William Prior as its keeper. Today, it is still 60 foot tall but has been converted into a bed and breakfast.

There are six ghosts that haunt this lighthouse, including William Prior, the original keeper. Prior’s son died of a leg injury, and in 1901, Prior disappeared. A year and half later, he was found hanging from a tree a mile from the lighthouse. Though no one knows whether it was murder or suicide, Prior’s red hair can still be seen in mirrors at Big Bay Point Lighthouse.

In 1951, the assistant’s house was being used to train an anti-aircraft battalion. An army officer murdered a local tavern owner. The incident was the inspiration for the book and movie, Anatomy of a Murder.

If you wish to pay a visit to the Big Bay Point Light that now operates as a charming bed and breakfast, you may visit their site: http://www.bigbaylighthouse.com/