Michigan’s Haunted Lighthouses: The Smoking Ghost of Seul Choix
After he lay dead in the lighthouse for three weeks, the Seul Choix lighthouse keeper spends eternity haunting the tower.
Michigan has more lighthouses than any other state. With a history dating back to 1825, some of the past lingers with the stories and legends of hauntings numbering almost as many as ships that have sailed the Great Lakes. The most common phenomenon associated with hauntings is footsteps. Apparitions, voices and smells can also be cues that a spirit of the dead is nearby. All of these conditions were in evidence at Seul Choix.
Pronounced "sish schwah," the name is French for "only choice" as the light is the only harbor of refuge along a treacherous stretch of coast of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Joseph Townsend died at this lonely, remote lighthouse and his body lay in state for 3 weeks while family traveled to the U.P. and gathered to lay him to rest. (Getting around was a little more difficult in 1910.) Visitors to the Seul Choix have caught sight of what is said to be Townsend's ghost in mirrors, appearing to be looking out windows and there are even reports of his shadow seen in the nearby forest.
How do they know it is Captain Townsend? The distinctive aroma of his cigar often accompanies these appearances.