Way up in the northeastern corner of the U.S, perched high on its own little barren island made of rock, sits Sequin Island Lighthouse. This lighthouse, located at the mouth of the Kennebec River in Georgetown, Maine, is the second lighthouse that was ever built in Maine and is one of the oldest in the U.S. The little island of rock, located in an area that is frequently shrouded in fog — an average of 2,734 hours of fog every year — and hammered with cold, high winds, seemed almost designed by nature to harbor a lighthouse.
Merchants submitted the petition for the lighthouse in 1786, but the government didn’t order the lighthouse built until 1795. Once President George Washington gave the order, the lighthouse construction began and the project was completed in 1797 at a cost of $6,300.
Sequin Island Lighthouse holds the title as the highest elevated lighthouse in Maine, standing just over 180 feet above sea level. The fixed, non-flashing light is visible to ships as far out as 40 miles. Due to the high occurance of fog in this area, the light house is equipped with one of the most powerful fog horns ever made. The original structure was replaced in 1820, and again in 1857 when the present structure was erected. The light was continued to be manually monitored until it was fully automated in 1985.
The history of Seguin Island Light Station is filled with strange and tragic stories.
One is that of the first lightkeeper who died penniless and boatless on the island. Some say his ghost has haunted the keepers who came after him. There have been sightings of a ghost who has been named the “Old Captain”. He is usally seen climbing the staircase of the tower as if heading upstairs to tend to the light.
One night the old furnishings were being removed from the premesis. Apparently the man in charge of the crew moving the furniture was awakened in the middle of the night by the “Old Captain” who asked him not to take the furniture and to leave his home alone. The man didn’t grant the request and the next day after the furniture had been loaded onto a boat and was being lowered into the water, the cable mysteriously snapped. The boat and everything in it fell onto the rocks below and were smashed into pieces. It appears the “Old Captain” got his way afterall.
Another frequent sighting is that of a young girl running up and down the stairs and waving to those who see her. She has also been heard laughing and bouncing a ball in a room upstairs. History shows that a young girl died on the island and was buried near the lighthouse.
Perhaps the most tragic incident that occured on the island is that of a former caretaker in the mid 1800’s who was driven insane and murdered his wife, then took his own life. Legend states the caretaker brought his wife to live with him at the lighthouse shortly after they were married. As time went by, she became depressed and sullen and he bought her a piano to help cheer her up.
Unfortunately, she didn’t memorize music and had to play from sheet music. Since she had only had one piece of sheet music on the island, she played the same song over and over until her husband finally took an axe to the piano and to her, and then killed himself.
Passing ships have reported that the sound of faint piano music coming from the island can be heard floating out over the waves on still, calm evenings.
Additional accounts of the paranormal include doors opening and closing by themselves, mysterous cold spots, coats being thrown onto the floor, tools disappearing and reappearing at random, and coughing from an unseen source.
The Sequin Island Lighthouse is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and is accessible by boat from Bath, Popham Beach, or Boothbay Harbor.