Talacre Lighthouse: Does the old keeper still haunt the Point of Ayr lighthouse to this day?
For years now there have been constant reports of paranormal activity at the 19th century Talacre Lighthouse. It is believed that one of the old lighthouse keeper still remains to this day.
The River Dee has always been a major trade route, the Roman garrison at Chester was supplied by seagoing vessels. Large ships carrying goods from Spain, Germany and Ireland used the Dee Estuary to shelter themselves from strong winds. During the time of the Industrial Revolution traffic along the river dramatically increased.
In 1737 a new channel was cut to aid with navigation and create a more streamlined route for the ships. In 1777 a lighthouse was built at the Point of Ayr, this was used to guide the incoming ships into the estuary. The Point of Ayr lighthouse (commonly known as the Talacre lighthouse) was the earliest lighthouse to be built in Wales. According to the local records, a man by the name of Edward Price was the first lighthouse keeper, the records also show that he was paid an annual salary of sixteen guineas for his lighthouse keeper position.
The original lighthouse collapsed and fell into the sea, it was replaced shortly after in 1819 by the structure that still stands to this day on Talacre Beach. Although it no longer operates as a lighthouse and its lamp was last lit over 160 years ago.
The impressive tower stands at 58 feet tall and when it was operational its powerful light could be seen from over 19 miles away.
The Census records detail that several of the keepers had lived in the lighthouse with their wives and children. In 1841, the keeper, Samuel Brooks, his wife and three children lived there together with keeper Richard Hughes.
The lighthouse keepers previously at Talacre were single men, living alone and the life of a lighthouse keeper was certainly a lonely one.
In 1844, whilst Samuel Brooks was the keeper, a new lighthouse was constructed further out into the sea, this replaced the Talacre Beach lighthouse, making it redundant.
It was not long after the lighthouse was closed and no longer operational that reports of strange happenings started. Visitors to the beach would report that they had seen a man wearing a frock coat cleaning the lighthouse lantern, this led to a search of the lighthouse which confirmed that no one had been in the building and that the entrance was secured with padlocks and chains.
Several visitors made claims that upon approaching the lighthouse they began to feel uneasy and unwell, even stating as though they felt as though they were being watched. Reports of entire families being struck down with sickness after walking near the lighthouse left locals refusing to approach the Talacre lighthouse.
Once the stories of the apparent paranormal activity around the Talacre lighthouse spread, ghost hunters began to flock to the area hoping to catch a glimpse of the phantom spirit. Some believers claimed that the ghost of a previous lighthouse keeper still continues in vein to light the lamp in a bid to warn the passing ships, whilst sceptics put the sightings down to nothing more than mere reflections through the lens and passed it off as the eyes seeing what is not there.
During the Second World War, Talacre lighthouse was used once again, this time as an observation post, during this time the reported paranormal sightings appeared to cease. However, after the war ended and the lookout post was no longer required, Talacre lighthouse was once again sealed and abandoned.
Shortly after the final closing of the Talacre lighthouse the reports of the sightings started to happen again, this time even more frequently. The apparition of the unknown man, dressed in old fashioned clothes appeared to be back at the top of the lighthouse.
A family from Hereford started photographing the lighthouse whilst on holiday, all of the family reported that they started to feel ill whilst still in the proximity of the Talacre lighthouse, four of their five children came down with a strong case of fever.
In 1966, a man by the name of Jeffrey Moses made a bid to purchase the lighthouse, Moses used to holiday as a boy with his parents at Talacre and had a sentimental love for the Talacre lighthouse and the surrounding area. Almost immediately after making his offer to purchase the tower he fell ill and unexpectedly died at the young age of 38, with no apparent health problems.
22nd April, 2006, a team of paranormal investigators descended on Talacre in a bid to investigate the strange phenomena that had been surrounding the lighthouse for many years. The team proceeded to set up night vision cameras on every floor along with motion sensors, sound detectors and electromagnetic sensors.
During the night they said they heard many strange sounds and their monitors went wild. On the same evening, Mary White, a respected medium within the paranormal community conducted a séance, during which she claimed to make contact with four spirits. One of the spirits Mary claimed to have contacted was Raymond, a lighthouse keeper who had died of fever, possibly typhoid as well as a broken heart. Another medium claimed to make contact with a different spirit, they stated that one of the previous lighthouse keepers had returned to his duties and that his name was either Daniel or Samuel.
No records exist of a keeper at the Talacre lighthouse ever going by the name of Daniel, however, it does create the question as to whether the ghost of Samuel Brooks, a previous lighthouse keeper who lived there with his wife until 1844, has returned? Below are some of the witness statements from various people who have claimed to witness paranormal activity around the Talacre lighthouse over the years.
"My husband and I were on Talacre beach a couple of years ago and saw a lighthouse keeper at the top of the lighthouse, in front of the glass dome. He was wearing an old fashioned dark worsted lighthouse keeper's coat and hat. The lighthouse was locked and chained. We were on different parts of the beach when we spotted him and spoke about this image when we caught each other up. He was there for quite a while. It was a sunny day, so no mist about.
"My husband and I were there in day time - the sun was out and a few people were on the beach as it was low tide. No footprints round the lighthouse steps or tyre tracks on the beach. The sand was as normal. My husband and I can't see how anyone could get there unless they were dropped by helicopter and we would have heard that. If the person was meant to be there surely they would have had a hard hat on and a fluorescent jacket.
"The chain round the door was very strong and the padlock was a large one. No one else seemed to be looking at the lighthouse, so we don't know if we were the only ones to see it. I was one side of the beach to the right, and my husband had wandered over to the left hand side of the lighthouse, and he was nearer than me. I wasn't very far from sand dunes so we saw this from different angles. "
Jo from Hereford:
"I've just got back from a holiday in Prestatyn with my children. One evening as it was getting dark we decided to take a walk along the beach to the Talacre lighthouse. We were all having fun and messing around and when we got to the lighthouse I took photos of the children on the steps. We didn't see or hear anything strange at the time but didn't stop long as it had become quite dark by then and it was beginning to feel quite creepy. As soon as we started to walk away from the lighthouse my youngest son who's 6 years old began complaining that he felt ill, by the next day he was really poorly with a high temp and tonsillitis. Out of the 5 children I took to the lighthouse with me 4 of them came down with fevers and tonsillitis. When we returned home we researched the Talacre Lighthouse and were amazed to find that the lighthouse keeper had died of a fever. We had fun at the time but could this be the curse of the lighthouse keeper? PS They're all fine now!"
Paul Sanderson, Stoke on Trent:
"My grandparents always went to Rhyl for their annual holiday. I always went with them. I was a young boy, my mother had a brother named Jeffrey Moses. He was fascinated by the lighthouse, and he said to my mother one day I will own that lighthouse. A few years later it came on the market, and was up for sale, he was excited and thrilled he was going to buy it. Alas, as he put his offer in he became very ill and died in 1966 aged 38. My grandparents never got over it."
"I recently took photographs of Talacre beach. I rarely take pictures of people. One of the beach...a figure is in the background. Haven't a clue who/what it is, even after messing with the picture for quite a few hours...seems more like a shadow and no footprints around it."
Steven Winter from the Association of Lighthouse Keepers:
"I have visited Talacre or Point of Ayr lighthouse, as it is officially known, several times, the first was in 1986 when it was a total wreck. I went again in 1994 just after it had been restored. Then again in 1999 with the ALK where we were given access to the tower and lantern room and were filmed by a local BBC TV station. I went there again in 2006, and have noticed that the paintwork has deteriorated somewhat, but I have not seen or sensed any ghosts or strange occurrences on any of my visits. I do know that the lighthouse at New Brighton (known as Perch Rock), Wirral, is supposed to be haunted."
Neil Hayden, Birkenhead:
"Never thought I'd share this with anyone but here goes... I'm 40 now and when I was 16 me and my best mate used to go and visit a relative of his in Talacre. The occasion that sticks out is one day while on the beach, we saw what we can only describe as one massive footprint, like nothing human size. The footprint was pointing towards the lighthouse, and as we we stared at each other and panicked, there was an almighty bang on the inside of the lighthouse door, we ran back towards the dunes, and turned round to see someone shining a torch at us, this was about 8 o'clock at night, just going dusk. Not only did the torch business frighten us but the footprint too, which believe it or not disappeared within the 15 mins it took us to go get a witness. No high tide, no one on the beach and no sign of the footprint being rubbed out. Has anyone else seen the footprint?"
Adam Corkill, Stockport:
"We have seen something there too. It was summer the first time we went near the lighthouse, coming up from Presthaven Sands. We saw a figure of a man up in the top tower. He looked like he was fixing equipment. However, there was little footprints around, the padlock seemed to be fully locked and the figure was only there briefly. He was dressed in dark green from what little we got to see. We had no idea about the rumours before we got there."
"I went there once and my little puppy ran almost to the other side of the beach and had the shivers all over!"
Chris Jones, Talacre:
"I live next to the beach and my dogs won't go near the lighthouse at times, as if they sense something is there."
Donna Graham, Flint:
"Pathfinder Paranormal Investigators our team of 8, including Mary White whom came 2nd in the country on Britain's Psychic Challenge investigated the lighthouse on the 22 April 2006. Well, what an amazing night we had (not orb chasers by the way) we went fully equipped with top of the range paranormal kit, 5 night vision cameras were set up on on each floor/basement motion sensors, EVP (electronic voice phenomena equipment) EMF (magnetic field monitors), digital photos taken and, of course, the old fashioned séances were performed with Mary White's mediumship.
"Strange sounds were picked up on EVP plus scraping around us when against the walls, many unusual lights (and yes, orbs) were caught on video cameras and digital cameras, our monitors were going crazy at times when no other explanation could be found. The name Raymond who was once a lighthouse man came through. Mary had empathy, picking up he died of a fever (like typhoid) plus a broken heart! Also, 4 other spirits came forward."
Is something strange still going on at the Talacre lighthouse? We don't know... It is hard to discredit so many witnesses over the years that have all claimed to have some form of paranormal experience whilst within the vicinity.
Let us know in the comments if you have ever visited Talacre lighthouse and share your experiences and opinions, don't forget to follow us on Facebook for more stories like this!