The Gray Ghost Cat of Fairport Harbor's Lighthouse - OH
N 41° 45.414 W 081° 16.627
17T E 476962 N 4622822
Quick Description: First reported in 1989, a gray ghost cat has been seen many times running playfully around the keeper's house and lighthouse. A puff of gray smoke is the most common description.
Location: Ohio, United States
Date Posted: 1/26/2009 6:57:59 PM
Waymark Code: WM5NRW
The cat’s remains are currently on display in the keeper’s house which is now a Great Lakes marine museum. Very creepy looking, looks just like an Egyptian mummy without the wraps. Summer of 2008 the museum was running a “Name the Cat” contest. I don’t know if they ever chose a name, if I can find out I’ll post it here.
The story of the cat goes back to approximately 1877. Captain Joseph Babcock was the Head Keeper of the Fairport Harbor Lighthouse starting in 1871. He was a Civil War veteran and he and his family resided in the second floor quarters of the keeper’s house. The lower floor was the working shop for the lighthouse. The Babcock’s had two of their children born in the house, Hattie and Robbie. Robbie died of diphtheria at the age of 5. Shortly after that, his wife Mary took ill with depression and was bedridden. The Captain gave her numerous cats to keep her company, to comfort her. After she died most of the cats disappeared except for a gray cat. It stayed around for years after her death until eventually it disappeared.
The Babcock family tended the lighthouse for more than 50 years and are its most remembered keepers. Babcock’s oldest son Daniel served as assistant housekeeper from 1901 to 1919 and was the last keeper of the lighthouse until 1925.
The lighthouse was officially decommissioned in 1922 after 100 years of providing guidance to Lake Erie sailors. The two structures sat unused and unoccupied until 1945 when the townsfolk of Fairport Harbor rallied to save this sentinel from demolition. Eventually the keeper’s house and lighthouse were turned into a museum and was operated by a newly formed historical society. In the late 1980’s, they allow a curator by the name of Pam Brent to live upstairs in the house, Babcock's old living quarters. Pam reported seeing the ghost of a gray cat in 1989 to the society’s board. She said, "It would skitter across the floor near the kitchen like it was playing. I would catch glimpses of it from time to time. Then one evening I felt its presence when it jumped on the bed. I felt its weight pressing on me." Reports of the cat were soon being mentioned by other society members working in and around the site. “Small puffs of gray smoke” reports from museum visitors came next. The gray ghost cat of Fairport Harbor began getting some recognition.
Twelve years later in 2001, some light was shed on the gray ghost cat haunting. The historical society had HVAC upgrades being made to the keeper’s house, air conditioning was being installed. A worker installing the new system wiggled his way into a tight dark crawl space in the basement. He looked to see what his head was resting on and discovered the mummified remains of a gray cat. The society didn’t hesitate to put the cat on display inside the museum. Today it is it’s most popular attraction with the kids who visit.
I think it's very likely that there is a cat haunting this place. The timeline, the story, the dead cat found in the crawlspace. It all adds up for a great haunt story. We visited and toured the museum early in the afternoon one day summer of 2008. Saw the cat on display inside a glass case, creepy looking. No experience with the ghost cat then. After our visit we spent the day at the nearby Headlands Beach park until sunset. Then we stopped back at the lighthouse for a night visit, to see if we could see the cat in a window perhaps, no joy.
Come see for yourself!
Volunteers at the museum also report that the ghost of Robbie Babcock haunts the downstairs of the museum. They describe him as "a presence of dread" sometimes accompanied by cold air and a foul smell of decay. Reports of Robbie’s ghost are not as numerous as the gray ghost cat.
After closing hours, you can view the grounds of the lighthouse and keeper's house from the public sidewalk that runs down two sides of it. Don't trepass on the grounds after dark.
Summer Hours. Open on Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays & Legal Holidays : 1:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.
From the Saturday before Memorial Day through the 2nd Weekend in September.. Special Tours by Appointment
Admission to the Museum and Tower Adults - $3.00
Seniors - $2.00 Ages 6-12 - $1.00
Children Under 6 Years Old or Members - Free
School Tours, (Children & Chaperones) - $1.00
Small Tour Groups Minimum Charge - $20.00
Website about the location and/or story: [Web Link]
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