Absecon Lighthouse, located in Atlantic City, New Jersey, is the 3rd tallest masonry lighthouse in the United States. A structure which extends 171 feet in to the sky and 228 steps to reach the top. In April 1854, the Powhatan wrecked off the coast. Three hundred and eleven passengers and crew were lost. This tragedy was only one of many earning the Absecon Inlet the nick name of “Graveyard Inlet”.
In an effort to prevent further wrecks, the U.S. Lighthouse Service commissioned funding from Congress to build a lighthouse on Absecon Island. Designed by Lt. George Meade, the construction began in 1854. Lt. Meade replaced Major Hartman Bache to oversee the building. He would later go on to command the Union Army at Gettysburg. The first lighting took place on January 15, 1857 with a kerosene flame focused through a huge 36-plate, First-Order Fresnel lens (which it still retains). The final cost was $52,436.62. The white light shone brightly towards the sea. One could spot it 19.6 nautical miles from shore. The Absecon Lighthouse served its purpose for many years until being decommissioned in 1933. Since then, the tower has been restored and the lost Keeper’s house rebuilt.
Reports of paranormal activity date back to 1905 when one such keeper claimed to have spotted the Jersey Devil at the top of the tower. Since then, visitors and employees have experienced activity such as smells of pipe and cigar smoke, sounds of footsteps in the tower and the sound of the tower door opening/closing. Dimes have been said to appear in strange locations and partial apparitions have been seen. Not to mention the reports of eerie laughter. Seven deaths have occurred on the property. Thus, is the Absecon Lighthouse haunted by former lighthouse keepers and their families?
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