Sheffield Island Haunted Lighthouse Weekend
Yesterday, the Norwalk Seaport Association haunted Sheffield Island Lighthouse with ghost Esmerelda and witch Hazel offering tours to young visitors. The historic Lighthouse was decorated as a child-friendly haunted attraction to provide youngsters with chills and thrills for Halloween in August.
Since 1986, the Norwalk Seaport Association has owned and maintained Sheffield Island Lighthouse which was the second Lighthouse constructed on Sheffield Island to mark the treacherous Greens Ledge at the entrance to Norwalk Harbor. The 44-feet high Victorian stone Lighthouse was First Lit in 1868 exhibiting alternating red and white flashes illuminated by a Fourth-order Fresnel lens 51-feet above sea level to visible range of 10 nautical miles. In 1902, Sheffield Island Lighthouse was deactivated and replaced by Greens Ledge “sparkplug” style Lighthouse at the West end and a Lighted Buoy at East end of the mile-long Greens Ledge to improve marking the dangerous ledge after the Harbor was dredged for the safety of the increasing shipping traffic.
Perhaps, the deadly Greens ledge inspired Old Salts to create haunted Lighthouse stories as memory aids to teach young mariners how to navigate the dangerous waters of Long Island Sound. Mark Schlegel, a Seaport trustee, told the children the story about Penfield Reef Lighthouse being haunted by Lighthouse keeper Frederick Jordan who drowned rowing to the mainland during a storm on Dec. 22, 1916. Mr. Schlegel claims the Coast Guard always finds the Keeper’s logbook reopened to the day the keeper died after they close the book in a Lighthouse always closed to the public.
Last year, 19 paranormal researchers from the “Connecticut Paranormal Research and Investigations” investigated Sheffield Island Lighthouse and claimed the spirit of 7-year-old Abigail is trapped on the island and the Lighthouse by two quarreling adult ghosts. The researchers claim Abby’s ghost appeared to them on the second floor of the stone Lighthouse upon their arrival on July 8, 2006 at 9 pm.
Mark Schlegel, who has been to the Sheffield Island Lighthouse for 21 years and has never encountered any ghosts, dismissed the researcher’s claims and ironically, professional magician James Randi was also skeptical of their supernatural claims. Randi questioned the founder of the paranormal investigators, Christine Kaczynski, on how she knew the name of girl and Kaczynski said the name Abby came to her “on an intuitive level.” Her research can not be evaluated as evidence according to the sound principles of scientific inquiry.
In closing, the Lighthouse was haunted this past weekend by the real life ghost and Norwalk Seaport Association trustee, Patricia Kolkmeyer, as a entertaining fund raising event. The Norwalk Seaport Association maintains the historic Sheffield Island Lighthouse as a museum with a children’s maritime education program and maintains the island as a nature preserve.
During the summer, the Association offers daily tours of the historic Lighthouse and visitors can walk the nature trails of the scenic Wildlife Refuge after a 45-minute ferry ride from the Seaport Dock. Thursday Night Clambakes are scheduled to September 27 and a estimated 80,000 people will attend the attractions of the 30th Oyster Festival scheduled for Sep 7-9, 2007. For more information, please visit the 30th Annual Oyster Festival web page.
For Map Directions, please visit the Google Map of Sheffield Island Lighthouse.
Related News Story:
Spirits go to Sheffield Island Lighthouse this weekend