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Haunted Lighthouse

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Old Calavera Light

The Haunted Lighthouse

Just a few miles North of San Diego lies a small cove with the unusual name of Calavera Cove.   It was so called by the early Spanish inhabitants due to the large number of human bones scattered about the beach, presumably from the bodies of shipwrecked sailors.  Seaward a half mile, only 4 feet under the surface of the Pacific at low tide, the jagged rocks of Mermaid Reef lie waiting for the unwary shipmaster.    The existence of this hazard moved the Federal Government to order the construction of a lighthouse on the tip of Calavera Point and in October of 1882 the Calavera Light was completed.

Unfortunately the Calavera Lighthouse was not as effective as had been hoped.   The frequency of thick and unusually localized fogs prevented the light from being seen and there were 3 fishing boats and a freighter that were wrecked on the reef within the next few years.   In 1886 two of the light’s keepers went missing without a trace and a third mysteriously fell or leaped to his death from the observation deck.    During that time, several of the light’s keepers quit within a month of being hired.  There were fantastical stories being told about the old lighthouse.   Reports of mysterious fogs and strange creatures seen on the beach below the light house circulated among the local inhabitants.   By 1895 the light had developed such a bad reputation that it became difficult to hire keepers.

Finally the Coast Guard decided to replace the lighthouse with an automated buoy equipped with a bell and light to be anchored seaward of the reef.    The Fresnel lens was removed from the tower to equip a new lighthouse in Oregon and the lighthouse closed.  

The old lighthouse sat crumbling until February of 1920 when a retired sea captain purchased it for his home.    But within 7 years the Captain was found murdered in his kitchen.  The County Sherriff undertook an investigation but was unable to come to a conclusion.   Over the years since there have been several mysterious disappearances reported from the area, but no bodies or other solid evidence has linked the old lighthouse to any crime.

On a sunny day the beach below the old lighthouse is often frequented by the more daring of the local youth who come to swim in the quiet waters of the cove.  But when the fog boils up from the reef and comes floating in over the waves, no one remains long.  When the great thunderheads roll inland from the dark ocean, when the lighting flashes and the rain falls in sheets there are none who dare seek shelter in the old lighthouse. 

The Reviresco kit of the Haunted Lighthouse consists of 4 pages of assembly instructions and 10 pages of parts for the lighthouse which, when completed measures 16 x 8 x 10 inches.   The download version of the kit is in the form of a .pdf with active layers so you can choose to build the Calavera Light as new or as the dilapidated and unmaintained structure of the Haunted Lighthouse.    You have your choice of new plaster, old cracked plaster, or unfinished stone.   Choose a colorful tile roof, shingles or a blackened and weather damaged roof.  Broken windows,  darkened and bullet holed, are also available.  

Provision has been made so you can print the light room windows on clear overhead projector film so that the detail inside the light room can be seen.  Or you can put a battery powered candle inside the lamp room so that your light house will actually show a light.   

Haunted Lighthouse

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File Last Updated:
March 20, 2017
This title was added to our catalog on March 20, 2017.