Haunted West Point Lighthouse Inn

Haunted West Point Lighthouse Inn
The West Point Lighthouse in O’Leary on Prince Edward Island was built in 1875 and 1876 by the Canadian Federal Department of Marine. It was lit for the very first time on May 21, 1876; and the last keeper, Benny Maclsaac, retired in 1963 when the system was automated.

The square lighthouse tower was built attached to a “one-and-a-half-story dwelling with a gable roof.” The first two floors of the tower were actually part of the keeper’s residence. The tower’s bottom floor was used as a parlor, and the second floor was divided into two bedrooms.

There were only two lighthouse keepers from 1876 until 1963. The first keeper, William Anderson MacDonald, operated the lighthouse from 1876 until 1925, and his spirit is said to haunt the area.

MacDonald was a “very attentive” keeper, and kept the premises in a very clean and comfortable state, according to the Department of Marine agent’s report.

MacDonald, wife Mariah, and their eight children lived on a farm two miles from the lighthouse. They stayed on the farm during the winter months, “but as soon as the ice melted, heralding the opening of navigation, the family would move to the lighthouse.” Two of the MacDonald children were actually born in the lighthouse.

Soon after taking residence at the lighthouse, the MacDonalds hauled a pump organ into the parlor “where Mariah and her daughters would often entertain visitors” with hymns in the evenings.

William MacDonald was known affectionately as “Lighthouse Willie” and he never missed one single night of work during those 50 years. He received an Imperial Long Service Medal for his service there.

After his retirement in 1925, an advertisement was placed for a replacement. Benjamin MacIsaac was the second keeper at the West Point Lighthouse.

He had been wounded in WWI. He and his wife, Pearl, lived on their farm a few miles from the lighthouse year-round. They had 15 children, and would have needed more room than the lighthouse lodgings offered. Bennie would spend nights alone at the lighthouse during the navigation season and during WWII. He retired in May of 1963 when the lighthouse became automated.

MacDonald’s grandson, Frank, served as a caretaker of the lighthouse for a few years. In 1983, a great-granddaughter of MacDonald’s started renovating the structure. In 1984, Canada’s first Inn in a Lighthouse was opened which included an inn, craft shop, museum and chowder kitchen.

In 1987, a restaurant and additional guest rooms were added as well as a room in the same space that MacDonald had used to entertain his guests. Mariah’s organ is also back in the parlor.

The Lighthouse is now part of the West Point Lighthouse Inn and Restaurant. Guests and staff have noticed odd paranormal activity for years including mysterious lights that turn on by themselves, voices out of nowhere and cold spots. The apparition of MacDonald is also often glimpsed. He is known to be a friendly spirit.

In addition, the apparition of a burning ship that sank centuries ago has been reported many times within the nearby Northumberland Strait. The legend is that the crew made a deal with the devil to save themselves, and are cursed to burn for eternity.

In July and August of 1992, nine people reported seeing a sea serpent “in the water off the shores at West Point.” The documented reports indicate that the creature is “sixty to eighty feet in length with a long, slim neck and a head shaped somewhat like a horse.” The witnesses stated that the snake-like beast appeared to be “covered with dark, reddish-brown fur.”

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