On June 29th, the Shadow Chasers traveled to Dunkirk, NY to investigate the reportedly haunted Dunkirk Lighthouse.
The site was notoriously haunted and well within driving distance. The team unanimously decided it would be worth our time and an investment to investigate one of America's most notoriously haunted locations.
History: Dunkirk Light, also known as Point Gratiot Light, is an active lighthouselocated at Point Gratiot on Lake Erie in New York state.
The lighthouse was established in 1826 and the current tower was first lit in 1875. The lighthouse was automated in 1960 and is still operational.
The foundation is made out of dressed stone and the lighthouse is made out of rubblestone encased in brick. The tower is a square shaped tower. The upper two thirds is white and the lower one third is natural and the lantern housing is red. The original lens is a third order Fresnel lens installed in 1857 and is still in operation. Its being still in use makes it a rarity. Only 70 such lenses are operational in the United States, 16 being on the Great Lakes of which two are in New York.
In 1875-1876, a 61-foot stone tower and a beautiful Victorian residence were constructed to replace the original tower, which was threatened by erosion. These structures still stand today. Bricks from the original keeper's house formed the foundation for the new house. The old cylindrical tower was moved adjacent to the new keeper's residence. A square tower was built around the old tower "to be more compatible with the keeper's house." (Tinney, Burdett-Watkins, p. 13; Seaway Trail Video)
At the entrance to the park property is the South Buffalo North Side Light, formerly located in Buffalo Harbor. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places as Point Gratiot Lighthouse Complex in 1979.[WIkipedia]
Military Parade Reservation Grounds - The Dunkirk Light ship is located on these grounds
War of 1812 - The first shot of the 1812 War was fired near the west bank of the lighthouse.
Civil War - Cpl. Cryus Jones of Dunkirk was the first soldier killed in the war. His resting grounds are located on the grounds.
WW II - Twelve active Coast Guard personnel were stationed at the lighthouse along with the lighthouse keeper. .
Shipwrecks - The waters of Lake Erie off Dunkirk have been the site of several notable shipwrecks.
- The lake's first steamboat, the Walk-on-Water, was lost to a storm in 1818.
- 1841 the Erie burned with the loss of 141 lives. The fire was blamed on painters who stored turpentine and varnish on the deck above the ship's boilers.
- In 1893, the steamboat Dean Richmond, which carried sacks of meal, flour, copper sheet, and gold and silver bullion, sank off Dunkirk. Dunkirk residents salvaged hundreds of bags of damp flour after the wreck.
- 1897, the freighter Idaho was lost. Some of its cargo of Christmas items, including slabs of chocolate, were recovered by the locals. (Roberts, Jones pp.29-30)
Planning Phase: In most investigations you contact the proprietor and work with them to set up an ideal investigation date. The Dunkirk Lighthouse was quite a bit different. One of our contacts with another local team discussed doing an investigation at the site and said they were open to investigations. After inquiring, talking with the events coordinator for the Light we set up an investigation.
Despite a few miss-communications we eventually managed to establish a time and date for the 29th at 8PM-2AM. A few days before hand we verified the time and date with our contact. To help support the historic Lighthouse the team would provide a donation upon arrival.
After dealing with some road construction that made navigating to the light rather confusing, we came up to the Dunkirk Lighthouse grounds. The gates were closed with a sign that stated the hours ended at 2 P.M. on Saturdays. Taking it on faith that our contact would be there, with the reassurance that we had their phone number, we opted to go out and grab dinner and go over our plans for the investigation based on our new information. Taking our ques from our investigation at Rolling Hills we decided that it would be best to forego any supplies and just head back to the Lighthouse.
On Site: We arrived about half an hour early and met with our contact who offered to give us a tour of the site and recount the history of the location. The first interesting piece of information that we learned was that the Lighthouse had received an unusual answering machine message. Our contact played an answering machine recording that the lighthouse had received recently. After checking with the phone company the staff said that this strange call was not recorded as any incoming call. Strangely enough, the local media reported that someone had just drowned near the light on the night of this bizarre message. We recorded a copy of the message for analysis.
Once the overview was out of the way, our contacts took us on a walk-through of the site explaining all of the related stories and areas of the Lighthouse that we would have access to throughout our investigation. We were informed that one of the Dunkirk Lighthouse attendants had been so dedicated to his work that they believed that he was still patroling the grounds. Aside from the Coast Guard boat and the basement of the Lighthouse, we would have complete access to the property.
After the fireworks we continued our investigation with additional EVP sessions and began ITC sessions. We received some responses on our equipment from the second floor of the Caretaker's house but recorded little activity. We did receive additional responses on the EMF ITC from the first floor rooms in regards to kids.
The Dunkirk Lighthouse was an impressive site to investigate and our host was great to work with on an investigation. Even though other Ghost Hunters had limited experiences and little evidence from their investigation our results showed the site was haunted.