The Haunted Lighthouse Day Thread

The Gibraltar Point Lighthouse sits on the southernmost part of the Toronto Islands. It was built in 1808, and is the oldest lighthouse on the Great Lakes, and one of the oldest buildings in the City of Toronto. It is also supposedly haunted by the ghost of its first keeper,  John Paul Radelmüller.

A sketch of the lighthouse in 1816.

Radelmüller was a Bavarian, born in 1763, who made his way to Halifax in 1799 after being forced to flee his family farm due to the chaos surrounding the events of the French Revolution. Hearing that the newly established Upper Canada was the land of opportunity in British North America, Radelmüller made his way east and arrived in what was then the Town of York in 1804. He was selected to be the lighthouse’s keeper when it opened in 1809, a post that he served in until 1815.

Radelmüller had a hobby of brewing German style beers, a fact that was well-known among the British soldiers stationed at Fort York on the mainland. With the War of 1812 in full swing, the garrison was full and Radelmüller frequently entertained soldiers when they came to visit. One night in January of 1815, two such men were visiting him when Radelmüller decided they had had enough and cut them off. Drunk and angered, they attacked and murdered him, hid the body (with the help of an axe), and then fled the town.

The lighthouse in 1900.

A perfect crime, it was not: the coincidental disappearances were noticed quite quickly, and the two soldiers were caught before long. Unfortunately, Radelmüller’s body was never found, and due to a lack of strong evidence, they were acquitted of their crime. And so, Radelmüller is said to haunt the lighthouse to this day, in search of the justice he never received.

Of course, this story has been warped and exaggerated over two centuries, and an old lonely lighthouse on the lake is certainly eerie enough to boost the idea of there being a ghost, but I’ll let you come to your own conclusions. Have a great Saturday, and happy Halloween.