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The Haunted Gibraltar Point Lighthouse

Completed around 1808, the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse is one of the earliest and oldest existing structures in Toronto. This 150 years-old lighthouse which is located on the Toronto Islands in Toronto, Ontario is rumored to be haunted by the ghost of J.P. Radelmüller, its first keeper. It was functioned as a lighthouse for Lake Ontario until 1958. Now, it is currently unused and shut, however the building is occasionally opened to the public to have a look inside.

According to local legend, John Paul Radelmüller was murdered in the lighthouse.The story appeared in The York Gazette of January 14th, 1815:

The Gibraltar Point Lighthouse (2009)
“Died on the evening of the 2nd of January, J.P. , keeper of the lighthouse on Gibraltar Point. From circumstances there is moral proof of his having been murdered. If the horrid crime admits of aggravation when the inoffensive and benevolent character of the unfortunate sufferer are considered, his murder will be pronounced most barbarous and inhuman.”

During and after the War of 1812, when the U.S. besieged and destroyed most of York (only the lighthouse was left undamaged), drinking was the main pastime of most off-duty military recruits. Radelmüller was typically happy to oblige patrons who dropped by any hour of the day or night. There were rumors Radelmüller was also actively involved as a smuggler who brought whiskey from the United States. 

At that time, on January 2nd, 1815 two or three drunken soldiers from the Fort at York called on him late in the evening and asked him the bootlegged beer. But Radelmüller gently refused, and tried to send them away. And when they got angry, he try to fled from them. They chased him up the stairs and knocked him unconscious, and then they chopped up Radelmüller's body into pieces and buried around near the lagoon on the islands. Later, two soldiers named John Henry and John Blowman, were charged with his murder but later acquitted.

In 1893, George Durnan, the fourth lighthouse keeper found a coffin buried in the sand nearby that contained a jawbone, however It wasn't clear whether this belonged to Radelmüller.

Many believe that Radelmüller's ghost still haunts the lighthouse to this day. Some have reported that the sound of moaning can be heard on misty nights. Orbs of swirling light and an eerie ethereal “mist” have been seen and even photographed emanating from the tower. While others claim to have seen an apparition wandering the grounds that is believed to be his ghost.


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