Sunday, June 26, 2016

The oldest lighthouse on the Great Lakes is haunted

The oldest lighthouse on the Great Lakes, a stone structure at Gibraltar Point on Toronto Island was built in 1808 as a defense against US invasion. Not a crazy idea: the US did invade Canada four years later, during the War of 1812. The hexagonal tower is 52 feet high, and the limestone base, nearly two metres thick, is topped by a cage that originally held a whale-oil lantern.

This lighthouse is said to be haunted. The original keeper of the light, John Radelmuller, was a refugee from Bavaria who fled war-torn Europe to work for the British crown. Upon his arrival in Upper Canada, he started bootlegging during the Temperance years after the Revolutionary War.

One night Radelmuller vanished mysteriously. Legend holds that he was murdered in a dispute over alcohol, and buried around the lighthouse, where his ghost still walks.

And indeed, much later, a human jawbone was found on the site. However, no murder charges were ever laid.

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