Haunted Port Boca Grande Lighthouse

The haunted Port Boca Grande Lighthouse is located on Gasparilla Island, Florida in the Gulf of Mexico. Built in 1890, beach erosion eventually threatened the lighthouse, but it was saved by the building of a 265 foot granite jetty to form a basin.

The haunted Port Boca Grande lighthouse marks the entryway into Charlotte Harbor. Still a working lighthouse today, it is part of the Gasparilla Island State Park and houses a museum, as well. In 1986, the lighthouse was fully restored as a working lighthouse, after being decommissioned by the Coast Guard in 1966 due to disrepair and the structure becoming unsound. Lighthouse keepers and their families stayed in the keeper's house from 1890 until 1951. The light was automated in 1956. But what makes this landmark haunted?

The Port Boca Grande Lighthouse also served as the keeper's house. One of the lighthouse keeper's daughter's passed away in the home due to sickness. It was either diptheria or whooping cough that claimed her life. Legend has it that at midnight she can still be heard playing upstairs in one of the rooms (according to a former Park Ranger tour guide). The story of the young girl is not the only lore surrounding the Port Boca Grande lighthouse being haunted. There is another legend of sorts about this site.

Some have claimed to see the headless apparition of a lady, believed to be a former Spanish Princess by the name of Josefa. The pirate who gave the island its name, Jose Gaspar, was said to be madly in love with Josefa, whom he had kidnapped and brought to the island where he had buried his treasure. After professing his devotion to her, she is said to have rejected Gaspar. In a fit of rage, he took off her head by his blade, then buried her body on the beach near where the lighthouse was later built. Her head, however, is believed to have left Gasparilla Island with the pirate. Does she still search the beach for her head? Some claim so, and it does make for a great story...