The Haunting Of Boon Island Lighthouse - Off The Maine Coast
Is Boon Island Haunted? Let's consider the anecdotal history of evidence surrounding this remote and desolate outpost.
Located approximately 6 miles off the Maine Coast from the Town of York, Boon Island is a pile of rock measuring approxi -
mately 400 square feet and is only 14 feet above sea level at it's highest point. It is a barren and windswept spot and due to a
nearby shallow underwater rock ledge extending some 4 miles out from the island, a very treacherous spot for shipping.
Many a ship was lost in the vicinity of Boon Island and the first Lighthouse was built there in 1799. The current lighthouse on
Boon Island, at a height of 133 feet, is the tallest lighthouse in New England and can be seen for miles around, in clear weather.
On December 11,1710 the British Ship, Nottingham Galley was wrecked off Boon Island and the survivors struggled to stay
alive, eventually resorting to cannibalism during their 3 week ordeal. After this disaster, local fisherman began leaving barrels
of foodstuff and provisions on the island to benefit shipwreck survivors and avert further tragedy.
Sometime in the 1850's a lighthouse keeper at Boon Island, married a young local woman named Kathleen Bights. A few
months after the young bride relocated to the island, a furious storm struck while her husband, the lone lighthouse keeper at
the time, was seriously ill. At some point during the storm, he died and Kathleen was forced to climb 168 stairs to tend the
light herself. After 5 grueling days, she finally collapsed from exhaustion and lack of food and water. Noticing the light was out,
local citizens went out to the island and so the story goes, found her wandering aimlessly around, deranged by grief and
exhaustion. Although physically surviving the ordeal, it was said that she never fully recovered from her trauma.
A common report from visitors and local fisherman, is a "mournful wail" emanating from the Island at night and during bad weather.
Some attribute it to young Katherine Bights, calling out for help during that storm many years ago.
Another experience by many of the Coast Guard keepers and area fisherman is the sighting of a full bodied apparition, of a young
woman "shrouded" in white, who reportedly appears sad faced. This ghostly presence has been attributed to the
mistress of the Nottingham Galley, or the spirit of young Kathleen Bights.
Coast Guard lighthouse keepers have reported paranormal activity and events right up to the time the light was finally fully
automated in 1978. One keeper stated that his labrador retriever chased and pursued an unseen entity all over the island.
Another incident occurred when the 2 coast guard keepers went out fishing for the day in their boat. Having drifted too far away
rom the island to make it back by nightfall, they were astonished when the light came on, right on schedule, since no one
else was on the island. It was reportedly common to hear doors open and close in the tower and adjoining house as well as
other noises which couldn't be readily accounted for. Many keepers also reported a feeling or sensation of being watched,
especially when going outside to turn on the fog horn.
After duty at Boon Island Light, most skeptics became firm believers in the paranormal, with their own tales and experiences
to report. Unfortunately, with automation and subsequent isolation, the ghostly denizens of Boon Island will have no further
opportunity for interaction.
Story told By Gregory Marlett
Gregory Marlett is a Maine resident and historian. For further articles and information on Maine Lighthouses please visit