Skeptophilia (skep-to-fil-i-a) (n.) - the love of logical thought, skepticism, and thinking critically. Being an exploration of the applications of skeptical thinking to the world at large, with periodic excursions into linguistics, music, politics, cryptozoology, and why people keep seeing the face of Jesus on grilled cheese sandwiches.

Monday, November 7, 2011

For sale: One haunted lighthouse

Looking for a great property to purchase?  Strutt & Parker, LLP, of London, has the place for you.


(1) Awesome ocean view.
(2) Two acres of private beach.
(3) Picturesque.
(4) Ready to occupy immediately.


(1) It's a lighthouse.
(2) It's haunted.

Of course, (2) under the "downsides" might actually deserve to be (5) under the "upsides," depending on your attitude toward ghosts.  Me, I think that'd be a selling point.  I've always wanted to live in a haunted house, or at least stay in one for a while.  For one thing, it would allow me finally to check out the whole phenomenon first-hand, without having to rely on evidence of such dubious provenance as "My Uncle Fred's ex-wife saw a ghost in this room!"  Of course, being (to put not too fine a point on it) a wuss, if a ghost really did appear to me, I'd probably wet my pants and then have a stroke.  Especially if it was of the gruesome, blood-streaked kind, the sort made popular by movies like The Sixth Sense.  Just watching that movie made me want to hide under the bed, except that's where the little girl that her stepmom poisoned was hanging out, and she's not exactly the sort of company you want in those circumstances.

But I digress.

The property in question is the Point of Ayr Lighthouse in Wales, and looks like a pretty cool place.  (See a photograph here.)  It has that lonely, windswept ambiance that definitely lends itself to ghostly occupation, and is a steal at £ 100,000.  However, you might want to hear something about your potential roommate before you lock in a downpayment.

The ghost in question has been seen on the balcony and also on the lower floors, and is usually dressed in work clothes.  There have been voices heard, calling out someone's name, and more than one instance of "spectral laughter."  Dogs apparently routinely refuse to go into the lighthouse.  One witness, Adam Corkill of Stockport, reports seeing a man up on the top of the tower who "appeared to be fixing equipment," but upon investigation the place was locked and empty.

I don't know about you, but having someone fix stuff in my house for free would be welcome, even if he was a ghost.  And that goes double if he's willing to mow the lawn.

However, before you jump you might want to consider the testimony of one Neil Hayden, of Birkenhead:
When I was 16 me and my best mate used to go and visit a relative of his in Talacre.

The occasion that sticks out is one day while on the beach, we saw what we can only describe as one massive footprint, like nothing human size.  The footprint was pointing towards the lighthouse, and as we stared at each other and panicked, there was an almighty bang on the inside of the lighthouse door, we ran back towards the dunes, and turned round to see someone shining a torch at us, this was about eight o’clock at night, just going dusk. 

Not only did the torch business frighten us but the footprint too, which believe it or not disappeared within the 15 minutes it took us to go get a witness.  No high tide, no one on the beach and no sign of the footprint being rubbed out.
So, I don't know about you, but that sounds pretty creepy.  Fixing the equipment and hanging around in jeans and blue chambray work shirts is one thing; making gigantic mysterious disappearing footprints and larking around with flashlights is another one entirely.

So, on the whole, it seems like a mixed bag.  Unfortunately for a variety of reasons, I don't have £ 100,000 just hanging around, or I'd consider it.  It'd be nice to have a vacation property in Wales, which is a lovely place, and I like being near the ocean.  I'd also like to have a chance to see if someone who is as generally skeptical as I am would have any sorts of paranormal experiences there, and also to see if my dogs would "refuse to enter."  I happen to know that one of my dogs, whose name (Grendel) and junkyard dog appearance mask a personality that is best described as "Cream Puff," is a bigger wuss than I am, and if he sensed anything weird about the place we'd have to drag him inside bodily.  So he'd be a pretty good gauge of the general atmosphere.

On the other hand, it's not the most practical of properties.  For one thing, it very much gives the impression of not having central heating, which would be a serious disadvantage in a climate such as that of coastal Wales.  For another, I'm not sure we're ready for the upkeep, even with a ghostly workman assisting us.  We have enough trouble with light housekeeping -- I don't think we're ready for lighthouse keeping.


  1. I tried to comment last week and hit the Google brick wall, so now I made a dummy blog (ugh) just to be allowed to say:

    "Wow, guy, I feel so happy having stumbled onto the one critical Xanga post that I, like, definitely shouldn't have missed. In which you announced your transition. And here I thought you'd been de-mused.
    So it sure looks like I have a mother-lode to load up on here. Incredible feeling!
    And as to terror-in-the-night, I've learned not to play with fire. I even had a sort of panic attack once in my empty house in the States.
    Pitch dark, sounds from the basement, 250 years of assorted creatures and their embedded vibrations, that's all it takes to trigger, and then the madness feeds on itself. *shudders*
    Anyway, like Droopy loved to say, "I'm happy" *sigh*

  2. So nice to reconnect! I'd wondered what happened to you -- nice to see you're still here & reading & commenting!

  3. What you mean boy, what happened to ME? I been keeping Xanga alive like a good soldier while others... how to say it, "jump out of a perfectly functioning airplane" (the standard description of parachuting)
    *And if I may say so, do remember the good points of that web-site where interactive banter plays such a large role.

  4. Fair enough... I guess I WAS the one who bugged out from Xanga...

  5. Speaking further of deficits, Blog-spot as herein configured lacks a directed 'Reply' feature. No painless way to notice whether someone had anything to say in response to a comment. Ok, an Israeli friend of mine, also jumped from a nicely-rolling train on to this desolate web-host platform, noticed the fault, and somehow added a start-page panel which lists 'Recent Comments'. A great improvement. Never asked her how she done it though.
    I must say though that your posts here are simply superb. Well reasoned, attractively-phrased, timely, and funny. Oh, and legion, which given the previous is another plus, ha.
    But as an inveterate attention-seeker, I walk into the bar and ask: "So, how does a guy get double-digit Comment-count in this joint, huh?"

  6. ADD: Went through three(3) 'Guess the letters' boxes on that one ^. The Dead Sea scrolls were bupkess by comparison.
    Oh and where's the 'Edit comment' feature. An errant comma slipped into my precious text above, un-noticed, and now I'll have to live with that blot on my permanent record.

  7. Yeah, the comment feature is kind of a problem. I never got many comments on Xanga, either -- so I haven't noticed a particular drop in numbers. I have gotten a huge increase in hits, though -- total hits in the past year (since I started at Blogspot last October) is 32,000. I think I had (maybe) a total of 1000 hits in the three years I was with Xanga. It was the greater visibility that attracted me to Blogspot.

    And if you don't mention the comma, I won't. Consider it our little secret.