Mouth of the Thames River, Groton, CT

(860) 447-2501

Status: Historic Lighthouse; Museum



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By <a href="//" title="User:Beyond My Ken">Beyond My Ken</a> - <span class="int-own-work" lang="en">Own work</span>, CC BY-SA 4.0Link


The original lighthouse here was built in 1762. It was the 4th one built in the 13 Colonies and used to mark an important place in Long Island Sound.

It did not, however, warn incoming ships of the shoals outside of the harbor that could be very dangerous especially in inclement weather.

Beginning in 1890 the Lighthouse Board began asking the US Congress for money to built a better lighthouse. They had to ask 11 times before Congress finally approved the request in 1904 although the actual funds weren’t made available until 1909.

The base of the lighthouse was filled with concrete and sunk in 28 feet of water. The lighthouse itself was built by the Hamilton R Douglas Company out of New London.

When it opened on November 10, 1909 it is said you could see the light up to 18 miles away.

Individual keepers stayed in the lighthouse until 1936. Coast Guard crews then manned the station until 1987 when it was automated.

As of 2015 the lighthouse is owned by the New London Maritime Society. The lighthouse is still operational with an interpretive center created where the lighthouse keepers used to live.


Paranormal Activity

The story of “Ernie” can neither by proven nor disproved historically however, stories of the haunted lighthouse date back to the mid-20th century. The sheer number of stories from uncountable witnesses – including coast guard members and paranormal investigators – makes this haunting undeniable.

“Ernie” is thought to be a former lighthouse keeper – possibly one John Randolph – who lost his wife to a ferry captain. In his sorrow he jumped off of the roof of the house to his death.

Many mediums and others have attempted to cross “Ernie” over – and more than one has claimed to have done so – but the paranormal activity always returns.

His apparition is that of a tall man with a beard in raincoat and hat.

He’s a very active ghost playing with electrical devices turning lights, radio and tv’s off and on; opening and closing doors; releasing tied boats; sounding the fog horn; pulling blankets and sheets off of sleepers; unexplained knocks and bangs and moving objects such as plates and cups.