It was 2006, October. In that spooky and also festive month, the 13th also happened to land on a Friday. Taking advantage of this renowned date, I had convinced a buddy of mine, Tim, along with my girlfriend, Ashley, and her little sister, Alisha, to venture down to the State Park and meander around the lighthouse, the civil war Union fort, and POW camp. Besides 12yr old Alisha, the rest of us had graduated high school together in 2004.
On the way to the lighthouse, I told stories of phantom civil war soldiers seen crossing the road and a Lady in Black that would approach visitors asking for help in locating a burial stone before vanishing, firmly setting the mood for a creepy visit. We entered the parking area a little past 2 am, passing the fishing pier and many fishing spots along the rocky water break, which people are allowed into even after the park itself is closed after dark. We didn’t pass any fishermen or come across any park rangers. The park was empty. The four of us in my car approached the southernmost tip of Maryland, taking the roundabout in front of the fenced-off Point Lookout Lighthouse that provided a panoramic view of the grounds. I parked the car, pocketed a small flashlight into my jacket, and we all piled out into the darkness of the point. It took a minute for our eyes to adjust with the help of a partial moon nestled in the speckled starlit sky. Alisha walked with our group but was so closely attached to the arm of her sibling, I swear you couldn’t peel her off with a crowbar, she was so scared.
The 2 and 1/2 story lighthouse of Point Lookout is surrounded by the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River, and the only way in or out of the area was the single two-lane road heading north. Two porches are on either side of the building, one facing SE and the other NW. A wooded double door lay on the NE side for access down into the basement. The cupola of the lighthouse, housing the lens and lantern to the long extinguished light, and its catwalk sits protruding from the roof of its SE side. To me it always looked like a giant eye, always keeping its gaze on me. It felt like somebody was watching.
We made our way towards the lighthouse fence and I watched the two-story building of the lighthouse appear to grow in size as well with the ominous feeling of dread in my stomach. We slowly walked along the barb-wired chain-linked fence in scared silence. There was a strange energy in the air, it felt charged. A single light lit up one of the windows of the lighthouse on its second floor but I couldn’t see any movement. Arriving at the gate of the fence my friend Tim broke the silence saying,
“How much you wanna bet I can climb this?”
He was always a bit of a show-off and puffed his chest at any chance he could take.
“Really?” I said. “Then I double dare you to run up to the porch of the lighthouse and knock on the door.”
Ashley said in a hushed voice, “Be quick about it would ya, you don’t want to get caught behind the fence if the park rangers come around.”
Tim took to the fence and I helped shine a light for him with my flashlight. While we watched him make his start up the fence we started to hear faint voices coming from the porch of the lighthouse. It sounded muffled almost as if it were coming from inside. Tim took off his hoodie and stopped about halfway up when Alisha said “You hear that?”, frightened and still clinging to her sister’s arm. I noticed that single lit room on the second floor started to flicker for a moment, as did my flashlight. Tim threw his hoodie up onto the rusty barbed wire on the top of the fence.
“Hey, hold up,” I said trying to smack my flashlight back on.
Tim sat straddled at the top.
“Shhhh! Listen….” Ashley said as she grabbed my hand and held Alisha a little closer.
We all paused. I looked up and the once lit room was now darkened, now like my flashlight. The voices had ceased.
Movement shuffled from the porch in front of us. We heard booted footsteps clomp on wood from the same porch. I didn’t think anyone would have been inside, the place has been decommissioned and no one has lived here for ages. I looked back at the parking lot and there weren’t any other vehicles down here other than mine which we arrived in. I heard the chain link fence rattle as Tim jumped back down to our side.
“We need to leave,” Tim shakily said.
I turned back to the group and noticed Ashley and Alisha slowly starting to backstep away from the fence, their gaze fixed on what looked to be a shadow standing at the top of the steps to the porch. My hair stood up on the back of my neck as a chill dived down my spine. The girls rushed back out to the parking lot to the car. The fence started to rattle again as Tim yanked on the sleeve of his hoodie snagged on the barbed wire. The pit in my stomach grew as this dark figure made its way down the steps. My sheer terror at actually seeing a ghost left my senses frozen and time seemed to slow. The figure was blurry with the outline of a person. The closer it came to us I could start to see how much darker it was compared to the night around us, and I could see the head of the figure looked to have a wide-brimmed hat. I feebly tried to reach out and grasp at my friend Tim still trying to free his clothing from what now belonged to the Lighthouse.
“Leave it!” Ashley shouted from behind my car, snapping me out of some sort of daze.
Tim finally grabbed me and pushed me to start running with him to my car. I dropped my flashlight grabbing for my car keys and quickly left them behind as Tim left his hoodie on the fence. Driving away, with everyone thoroughly freaked out, I dared to look at my rearview window and the light in the second-story room was illuminated again and Tim’s hoodie, like a ghost itself, was left on the fence blowing in the wind.
Submitted to Weird Darkness and My Haunted Life Too by Jason K.
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