Pop Culture

To the Lighthouse

Recently, for reasons that aren’t entirely clear to me, my fiancé sent me this article on lighthouses that are being auctioned by the United States General Services Administration.  He’s always had an interest in non-traditional living spaces, but a lighthouse seemed a particularly odd choice… or at least it did until Hattie’s post about Ghost Hunters reminded me of the benefits that living in a towering beacon could offer.

Black and white diagonally striped lighthouse tower
The St. Augustine Light, image (c) Daniel Schwen

Dedicated fans of the show (or at least those who have taken advantage of one of the many GH marathons that Sci Fi– I also refuse to spell it their way– airs on a regular basis) may remember the group’s trip to St. Augustine, Florida, to investigate the St. Augustine Light, located at the northern end of Anastasia Island.  The tower that currently stands was built in 1874, but the location itself has a history that may date back as far as the 16th century.  As with anything that old, there have to be ghosts involved.

And if Ghost Hunters, along with a heavy dose of anecdotal evidence are to tell me anything, it’s that spirits abound in this beach-front locale!  TAPS’s (that is to say The Atlantic Paranormal Society’s) investigation of the lighthouse, on an episode of Ghost Hunters that originally aired in May 2006, is one of the most compelling and spine-tingling episodes of the show to date.  With cameras and sound equipment set up in key places throughout the tower, the crew records what appears to be forms looking over the edge of landings on the spiral staircase that runs around the inside of the lighthouse, as well as what sounds like unexplained voices– possibly a ghostly conversation of some sort!  Even though I can’t tell what they’re talking about, I’m sure it has to be interesting.  These are ghosts, after all.

Now, don’t tell me you can watch that video and not want to move in there post haste!  In addition to the tower, the lighthouse has a visitors’ center, which I imagine could easily be converted into traditional living quarters.  Really, you’d be getting an incredible deal with the tower alone: with all that vertical height, your picture-hanging options would be endless; the spiral staircase is very ’80s-chic, and the fact that it’s metal makes it sort of minimalist and utilitarian if you like that look; and just imagine the views you would have if you had your morning coffee at the very top.  Having the visitors’ center would be an added bonus.  Furthermore, you’d never be alone with your phantom roommates lurking about.  Ghost Hunters has shown they have a lot to say, and I’m sure that after an ice breaker or two (maybe some drinks at the top of the tower?) you’d get along famously.  And since you probably wouldn’t start off as friends, you’d get to enjoy the potential thrill of a spooky experience (or several) for at least a couple weeks after your move-in.  It would be just like having a scary movie queued up on Netflix or your DVR, except that you’d be living in it.  Be warned, though, I can’t be held accountable for what a prolonged adrenaline rush like that might do to your long-term health.

If you’re anything like me, your bags are packed and you’ve got a pen in hand, ready to sign a lease.  Well, I’m afraid I have some bad news for you, friend.  The St. Augustine Light is not on the list of lighthouses for sale through the GSA.  But!  The Saint Augustine Lighthouse and Museum, which now runs and maintains the lighthouse, offers after-dark tours of the grounds.  So… road trip, anyone?

By Emilie

Runner, yogini, knitter, Manhattanite in spite of myself. Also blogging at

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