Cape Disappointment: Story behind the lighthouse on Ghost Adventures: Graveyard of the Pacific

Zak Bagans and the Ghost Adventures crew at Cape Disappointment
Zak Bagans and the Ghost Adventures crew head to Cape Disappointment. Pic credit: Travel

The last stop on the Ghost Adventures: Graveyard of the Pacific series is at Cape Disappointment, a national park in Southwest Washington that is home to a supposedly haunted lighthouse that sits atop rocky cliffs where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean.

The Cape Disappointment Lighthouse is known as the oldest lighthouse on the West Coast. It was the only lighthouse at the mouth of the Columbia River from 1856 to 1898.

Despite the aid of the lighthouse, there were still numerous shipwrecks at the mouth of the river in the area known as the Graveyard of the Pacific.

This led to another lighthouse, the North Head Lighthouse, being built in 1898 to serve as another beacon for ships attempting to navigate the Columbia River from the north.

While there are many locations in and around Long Island, Washington in Pacific County, the story behind the North Head Lighthouse is one of the saddest hauntings of the region.

It is found on the northwestern spur of Cape Disappointment to guide ships coming from the north. It is the second windiest lighthouse site in the nation and it’s very secluded and lonely due to the remoteness.

There have been stories passed down about the first lighthouse keeper Alexander K. Pesonen and his wife, who was driven crazy by the seclusion and the constant howling of the wind. In 1923, Mary Pesonen jumped from the high cliff of the lighthouse and died when she landed on the rocks below.

Newspapers reported that Mary’s apparent suicide was the result of temporary insanity after nearly 25 years of helping her husband care for the property. After Mary’s death, Alexander retired as the lighthouse keeper and died just a year later.

It is believed that the keeper’s wife now haunts the lighthouse keeper’s house. There have been claims that Mary can be seen wandering the halls as well as other strange happenings like power surges, displaced objects and also the feeling of a supernatural presence have been reported in the lighthouse and also in the keeper’s home.

Those brave enough to seek out Mary’s ghost can get up close and personal by staying the night in the lighthouse keeper’s house or by camping in the nearby area.

Ghost Adventures airs on Saturdays at 9/8c on the Travel Channel. 

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