USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘lighthouse’
Legends
Narrative

The Haunted Escanaba, MI Lighthouse

Informant, a screenwriting major, was talking about his screenplay for his class and mentioned it took place in Northern Michigan. The conversation is as follows, the informant is TP, I am PH:

PH: Of course it’s about Michigan [because the informant talks about his home state very often]

TP: If I knew of any other lakeside town with a haunted lighthouse, it’d take place there, but I only know of Escanaba

PH: A haunted lighthouse? Can I write this down for my folklore collection?

TP: Yes

PH: Okay, can you tell me about the haunted lighthouse?

TP: So there’s a famous lighthouse in Escanaba [in Northern Michigan] because people think it’s haunted because when Michigan was founded, the Menominee tribe used to have land in Northern Michigan but we slaughtered them so their official reservation is just in Wisconsin now but the land is still sacred spiritual ground and they built a lighthouse on this sacred ground… I think it was a burial ground

PH: Who is “they”?

TP: I think the Michigan people? The people who slaughtered the tribe… So people say the lighthouse is haunted by the tribal chief from the time and that, like, if you visit the lighthouse you’ll see his spirit and he’ll try to chase you out and that’s pretty much it

Folk Beliefs
Legends

The Ghost of Point Vicente

What is being performed?
BS: I’ll tell you something about PV
AA: What’s PV?
BS: Palos Verdes, my hometown. At point vicente there’s a story that goes that there’s a woman
who was the wife of a sailor and that she died super tragically so her ghost haunts the
lighthouse.
AA: Whose wife was she?
BS: She was the wife of the Vanderlipp, a famous sailer.
Why do they know or like this piece? where/who did they learn it from? What does it mean to
them?

AA: Why do you know this piece?
BS: I heard it at the point vicente cultural center. It’s told to kids.
AA: What does it mean to you?
BS: To me it’s super spooky. Ghosts are real, ya know?
Context of the performance- where do you perform it? History?
This story is told to people touring Point Vicente in Palos Verdes, California. It is also told
amongst the Palos Verdes community between school children and community members.

Annotation
Mallon, Elaine. “A PALOS VERDES GHOST TALE: THE LEGEND OF THE HISTORIC
LIGHTHOUSE’S ‘LADY IN WHITE’.” ActiveRain, 26 July 2011,
activerain.com/blogsview/952590/a-palos-verdes-ghost-tale- the-legend-of-the-historic-lighthou
se-s- lady-in-white-.
4
This citation is a published article in the Peninsula Palos Verdes News about the ghost at the
lighthouse. It explains that “In the darkness of night, this ‘woman’ forever haunts the historic
lighthouse. Time after time, the eerie ghost has been seen pensively pacing the upper tower
walkways in the dead of night. Walking… walking… waiting… waiting… pacing in private
vigilance until the rise of the sun. Then – like the moon gives way to the sunrise — she vanishes
with the fog until the dark of night returns again.”

Reflection
To me this is very interesting since I am from San Pedro, a neighboring town of Palos Verdes. I
have never heard of this or been to Point Vicente but think this is a cool part of the Palos Verdes
culture. There is not much of a distinction between Palos Verdes and San Pedro but this is
something I see as potentially defining of the two cities.

[geolocation]