For years, Denise Germann and other keepers of Owls Head Light have been haunted by a question: Who’s been sleeping in our bed?
This month’s issue of Coastal Living magazine explains what Germann and other keepers have suspected for years is the answer: A ghost – because Owls Head Light is haunted.
The magazine lists Owls Head Light No. 1 among its who’s who of America’s haunted lighthouses.
Germann, who works at Camden National Bank in Union, recently described the ghostly experiences she and her family had while living at the light station overlooking Penobscot Bay. They spent five years there.
It began, of course, on a dark and stormy night in the mid-1980s when an unexpected visitor climbed into her bed.
The keeper’s dwelling and light tower were being renovated.
“We had just gone to bed and we could hear the wind howling,” she said.
Her husband, Andy, climbed out of bed to secure all the construction materials outdoors.
“I rolled over and went to bed,” she said. “Then I felt him get back in bed.”
“How’d you make out outside,” she asked, but got no reply.
When she turned over, “the indentation of a body lying next to me was there. This form was … moving.”
“The thing of it was, I wasn’t scared,” she said.
“I’m a pretty practical, realistic person,” Germann said, adding, “I don’t drink. I don’t do drugs.”
After a while, she actually spoke up, telling the visitor to “stop, I’m trying to go to sleep.”
“I’m positive it wasn’t a dream,” she said.
What’s even eerier: When the couple awoke the next morning, they said to each other at the same moment: “The weirdest thing happened to me last night,” Germann said. “We fought over who would go first.”
When Andy Germann got out of bed the night before, he saw a “cloud of smoke hovering over the floor,” his wife recalled, “and it went right through him and into our bedroom.” He checked the entire house for smoke, went outside and tied everything down.
Malcolm Rouse of Turner and his family lived at the lighthouse in the late 1980s.
“My wife always said if you look toward the bedroom – the one facing toward Rockland that overlooks the state park beach – you’d see an outline of a person dressed in white,” Rouse said. His son Willie often woke up and would see a woman sitting in a chair.
One time, Rouse and a civilian Coast Guard worker were walking up to the light tower after a snowstorm. They saw footprints that ended just halfway up the steps.
Not all keepers have encountered spooky experiences.
Mary-Ellen and Paul Dilger of Warren lived there from 2003 to 2006, and nothing ever happened in the way of ghosts, she said, surmising the ghosts “felt at home” surrounded by her period decor.
The current keepers, Kevin and Jodie Stancliff, who moved in when the Dilgers moved out, acknowledge their predecessors’ experiences.
“We have weird stuff happen,” Kevin Stancliff said, mentioning light bulbs appearing to burn out, but actually being unscrewed three turns, strange noises and the thermostat being adjusted – but not by them.
Rockland Fish Pier Manager Al Gourde recalled the time his sister-in-law was visiting and they watched a plastic Halloween pumpkin spin on the floor all by itself “for a minute or so.”
And Gourde remembers a time in the mid-1970s when his wife “got touched in bed.”
“I was there, but it wasn’t me,” he said.
Coastal Living names the Top 10 haunted lighthouses, based on supernatural occurrences, scenic beauty and overall interest. In addition to Owls Head, they are: Port Boca Grande, Gasparilla Island, Fla.; St. Simons Island Light, St. Simons Island, Ga.; Point Sur Lightstation, Big Sur, Calif.; Big Bay Point Light, Big Bay, Mich.; St. Augustine Light, St. Augustine, Fla.; Battery Point Light, Crescent City, Calif.; Heceta Head Light, Yachats, Ore.; Point Lookout Light, Scotland, Md.; and White River Light, Whitehall, Mich.