For all the sunny, joyful moments our favorite beaches can give us, the ocean's mysteries can be just as creepy and eerie. Throw in a good ghost story or two and you’ve got something perfect for an episode of American Horror Story. Just such a place exists off The Heart of Dixie's coast on a tiny floating island called Sand Island; the Alabama lighthouse's ghostly pre-civil war era shell still rests on its rocky shores. This spot is as intriguing as it is spooky, and you can even take a tour of the site if you’re brave enough.
The deep south has had no shortage of chilling tales, and this place is no exception.
The Sand Island Lighthouse has stood as an ocean sentinel since the early 1800s, off the shore of Dauphin Island. The original lighthouse, the first of Alabama’s coast, has been battered down in battles and rebuilt many times.
It’s also seen many deaths in its time, like the two Yankee operatives who were hiding in the tower while spying on Confederate soldiers in the early 1860s, leading to the structure being blasted away.
In 1906, one of the two lighthouse keepers went ashore for supplies right before an unannounced hurricane struck. The remaining keeper and both of their wives who were still on the island were never found.
A new employee was set to keep the light lit in 1919, and a crew was sent to pick them up. A landing party was sent out to investigate why the lighthouse was never illuminated by the new employee but discovered the island to be completely deserted and they were never found.
Today, the structure stands as a ghastly reminder of Alabama’s maritime past and even bears long scars running up its length from hurricanes.
While the lighthouse has never been officially confirmed to be haunted, there’s no denying its creepy and tragic past. If you’re brave enough, you can get close up to it on a boat tour with Mobile Bay Adventures.
Over the years, the small rocky island that the lighthouse sits on has grown smaller and smaller due to erosion from the sea and wind.
The Alabama Lighthouse Association, along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has worked hard in their restoration efforts to add more stable sand and boulders to grow the island into a sound structure again.
From harrowing battles, weathering storms, and witnessing tragic deaths and disappearances, the Sand Island Lighthouse still stands as an icon of resilience and endurance — with just a sprinkle of eerie mystery.
Sand Island Lighthouse
Address: 30.1876° N, 88.0506° W
Why You Need To Go: Visit a piece of ghostly Alabama history and check out this creepy-cool lighthouse!