Monday, February 6, 2012

The Ghost of a Pirate's Wife

Third in our series of haunted lighthouses:

Location: Sippican Harbor off of Buzzards Bay
Station Established: 1819
First Lit: 1889
Operational: Yes
Automated: 1997
William S. Moore (alleged pirate) took the post as keeper of the Bird Island Lighthouse in 1819 after having fought in the War of 1812. Supposedly he owed the U.S. government money and this position repaid his debt.  He brought with him his wife, who was a heavy tobacco user, and suffered from tuberculosis. Mrs. Moore was forbidden to leave the island by her husband, since he feared she would be unfaithful.

The lighthouse was damp and lonely which worsened Mrs. Moore’s illness and need for tobacco.  The townspeople said they could hear her cries of desperation and would sneak bags of tobacco out to the lighthouse when they could.  One evening Moore raised the distress flag and when the townspeople arrived to help they found Mrs. Moore dead.  Moore insisted that his wife had died from her disease but some townsfolk believed otherwise.  Moore demanded that his wife be buried on the island so she was laid to rest right next to the lighthouse.  Moore was always blamed for the death of his wife and for holding her captive on the island.  Legend has it that keepers have been haunted by Moore’s wife ever since, the ghost of a hunched-over old woman, rapping at the door during the night.

Kalina Schloneger, Education & Community Programs Intern
See our haunting production of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies' The Lighthouse, Feb. 8--12

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