Monday, October 22, 2012


No Ghost For You - Penfield Reef Light GSA Auction Cancelled

In the waning months of Summer, 2012, the United States General Services Administration placed the Penfield Reef Lighthouse up for auction. Just a few scant months later, mere days before Halloween, they abruptly cancelled it. But why

Probably because it's haunted. Guarding Penfield Reef on the south side of the Black Rock Harbor entrance to Long Island Sound since 1874, rumor and Wikipedia have it that the station is a potent host to a plethora of paranormal abnormalities. (So you'll probably want to ride out the inevitable zombie apocalypse elsewhere. -ed.)

Haunted Penfield Light Exterior

Reports of strange events began after the death of Lighthouse Keeper Frederick A. Jordan on December 22nd, 1916. Lost in rough seas in a failed attempt to row to shore for Christmas celebrations, his ghostly visage was first reported just two weeks later by Assistant Keeper Rudolph Iten. Later keepers experienced the apparition and its ill-effects on the light, as well, even going so far as to sign affidavits describing the encounters.

Haunted Penfield Light in Profile

The tales came to a head in 1942, when two boys reported that the ghost saved them from drowning. After the Coast Guard automated the  station in 1971, the stories slowed to a trickle. And now, after years attempting to force the sale of the Penfield light, the GSA is pulling the auction prematurely. But why?

Site of the encounter - Haunted Penfield Light Interior Stairs
Site of the encounter.

Now, I'm no ghost hunter, but the station was one of the last masonry lights ever built in the United States. Shortly thereafter, offshore installations transitioned to cast iron towers. Based on the knowledge I've gained via 16 viewings of Ghost Busters 2 and an episode of Food Network's Halloween Wars, I posit that the soft stone construction may be absorbing the ghostly energy, perpetuating the haunting effect. Ergo, good ol' Fred is conspiring to keep the light in its decrepit state, so that he may mourn his ghostly life alone. (Right... that's toootally it. -ed.)

Haunted Penfield Light Interior - Spooky
Extra scary story.

Now, before we get ahead of ourselves with this whole "haunted hypothesis thing," they say the bidding has been cancelled due to governmental "discussions" over the submerged lands lease. Verbatim:
Auction Sale-Lot # BOSTN112005001 has been cancelled due to renewed discussions with the State of Connecticut regarding the required submerged lands lease.  Penfield Reef Lighthouse will be reoffered in the Spring of 2013 with a new Sale-Lot #.  GSA will post a new Invitation for Bids at that time.
But we all know (probably) that it's been cancelled due to haunting (totally). There is definitely (kinda) some serious Scooby Doo level stuff going on here. (Or not...) Long story short, if you want to own this haunted lighthouse you'll have to wait till Spring.

Haunted Penfield Masonry Landing
No one can hear you scream.

Penfield Reef Light Station
Sale-Lot Number: BOSTN112005001
For more images, visit the GSA Shutterfly account for the Auction.

Scary Penfield Lighthouse Exterior
Haunted lighthouse for sale. Not.

Image Reference: GSA


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