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Hunting Island Lighthouse Ghost














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21 miles from Beaufort, South Carolina on Hunting Island, rises a most magnificent lighthouse. Legend claims Frederick Ranehl's daughter jumped off the top observation deck when she was told the family would be moving to Brunswick, Ga. An identation remains on the second stair leading into the lighthouse. This identation was patched over in the mid 1980's with a metal weld. A magnetic anomaly remains. A compass held above the impact point deviates 90 degrees from readings taken from the same heading on either side 5-10 feet away. Using a digital or an "analog" compass will show the same anomaly. The lighthouse, which is built of cast iron and brick, would give off similar magnetic deviations from nearby points but not in this case. The deviation is too high to be attributed to the iron structure and the readings are too far away from the structure.
 
A list of the lighthouse keepers are located in the admission shack at the entrance of the lighthouse that lists all keepers. The reason I believe it was Ranehl's daughter is because keeper Burns followed Ranehl and only stayed a year. A search of the lighthouse logs at the National Archives in Washington, DC was fruitless in confirming this. Only speculation remains.
 
The original story was told to me in 1974 by the park ranger who had been there since the 1940's shortly after the lighthouse was decomissioned in 1933. His story was very accurate and believable.
 
During those simpler times Beaufort was still a small city and there was a lot of freedom and little theft or vandalism. The lighthouse was actually left unlocked all night. Campers were free to roam the island and there were no rules about entering the lighthouse at night. Camping out at the top of the lighthouse as a teenager was a wonderful experience. There was no light pollution as there is now and the view of the Milky Way galaxy at night was absolutely incredible. One could clearly see the purple and pink filaments of the galaxy's dust clouds with the naked eye.
 
My adventure came to an abrupt end around 4am when I was awoken to what sounded like a short moan from a girl below. It sounded as if she was in pain. The sound came spiralling up towards me and the echo lasted a few seconds. Glimpsing down I saw a small bluish colored orb zip past the 3rd landing. It didn't last long and needless to say I didn't go back to sleep. Shortly before sunrise I mustered the courage to descend the stairs and return to my tent at the campground, sleeping bag and flashlight in hand.
 
Since that night long ago the moment has captivated my thoughts. When I heard the park ranger tell me the story of Miss Lady a few days later I was really terrified. It all started making sense.
 
Now that the lighthouse is beyond the point of salvage before the ocean arrives at the base of the structure, the time has come to tell the story.
 
During the past 2 trips it has become obvious that Miss Lady is becoming very frightened. She realizes her time has run out. She knows that the funds will not be available to move the lighthouse nor can it be moved due to rust and politics. That's just fine with me. This all has to end sometime.
 
 















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$3.00 will buy you a ticket into the park, but, do you really want to know what you might find?

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another $2.00 would have gotten you into the lighthouse before they locked it for repairs.

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Why do people want to know something even if it might be risky? Can't they see the light?

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Are you sure you want to go? It's not too late to turn back you know.

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If you're sure you want to go there then ok, let's go.

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Comments? Questions? Statements? Observations? Contact steve.cybersmith@gmail.com