Haunted Caribbean: Great Isaac Cay Lighthouse, Bimini, Bahamas
Of all the different types of haunted ruins found throughout the Caribbean, few can match the mystery and intrigue of the region’s lighthouses. These lonely pillars meant to safeguard weary ships from harm have seen their own fair share of tragedy, occasionally giving rise to spooky legends and paranormal occurrences that persist to this day. One of the best such tales that I’ve heard revolves around this ominous obelisk in Bimini.
The 152-foot Great Isaac Cay Lighthouse was originally built as an exhibit for the Great London Exposition of 1952. Several years after the Expo, it was shipped in pieces to Isaac Cay and reassembled for more practical usage. Then as now, ships regularly traversed the Northwest Providence Channel. There are lots of shoals and small islets in the area, so the lighthouse was certainly a welcome addition at the time.
This is also a spot where several different bodies of water come together- the Grand Bahama Bank and the Straits of Florida both join with the Northwest Providence Channel here – a condition that superstitious seamen will tell you tends to breed paranormal phenomena…
Multiple ghosts are said to haunt the Great Isaac Cay Lighthouse, the first being a young boy who was eaten by sharks just off her shores. He was a passenger aboard a supply ship traveling to Isaac Cay during the construction of the Lighthouse. The ship wrecked, though he was the only casualty, leaving his spirit to wander the Cay and lighthouse… at least according to witnesses who’ve claimed to see him around from time to time.
Another, perhaps more famous ghost you may encounter here is The Grey Lady. She was among an entire shipload of folks who perished in the waters just off Isaac Cay during an ill-fated journey in the late-19th century. Everyone aboard The Grey Lady’s ship died, except for her infant son. Some say that even today, especially on full moon nights, you can hear her moaning as she searches about theliighthouse for her long-lost son.
If you’re keen on experiencing a ghost encounter with the ghosts at the Great Isaac Cay Lighthouse, you’ll need a boat. The island is located about 20 nautical miles north-northwest of North Bimini island. Landing ashore is a bit tricky from what I’ve read, but certainly doable, leaving ample opportunity to explore the lighthouse and surrounding buildings.
By the way, no one lives here anymore, the product of another strange occurrence here. From the time it was put into service in the mid 1800’s to the 1970’s, the Great Isaac Cay Lighthouse had been manned by lighthouse operators. That all changed in August 1969 when a pair of caretakers simply vanished. No explanation was ever arrived at for the disappearance and their bodies were never found.
After this latest incident and the reputed hauntings, I’m guessing the job application line for lighthouse caretaker on Great Isaac Cay was pretty short.
The lighthouse was automated in the early 1970’s and still shepherds sailors through these tricky seas. If you go at night, look for a flashing white light to shine every 15 seconds, and keep an ear out for the moaning…