The Old Point Loma Lighthouse

1800 Cabrillo Memorial Dr, San Diego, CA 92106

Could one of the old keepers still be watching over the seas?

The Old Point Loma Lighthouse guided ships into port for 36 years. Many keepers have kept watch over the waters of San Diego Bay. Perhaps some have stayed and continue the job even in the after life.

Did you know?

  • The lighthouse was commissioned right after California was annexed into the United States.
  • Some believe that Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo haunts the lighthouse.
  • The lighthouse was almost demolished and a Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo statue was almost put in its place.

The Restless Keepers

Many people who have visited the lighthouse have described the many bizarre and downright disturbing things that they have seen.

Many report hearing loud footsteps coming from the second floor. Others have mentioned a low, almost demonic moan coming from the bedrooms.

Perhaps the most chilling encounter that took place was when a visitor was climbing up the stairs to the light. They could hear that same eerie moan and it got louder and louder with each step.

When they got to the top, it became bone-chillingly cold. And a dark, shadowy figure appeared.

The apparition quickly flew by, disappearing down the stairs.

Some believe that Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, the Iberian explorer who first explored the American West Coast, is the specter that haunts the old lighthouse.

Others say it’s the last keeper, Robert Decatur Israel. Although, it is unknown if either are the cause of some of the more unsettling activities.

Cave Entrace

Perhaps some of the hauntings could be a result of the Point Loma Rosecrans National Cemetery being about a mile away from the lighthouse.

The cemetery has been known to have its own share of paranormal activity. Perhaps some of that paranormal energy has bled into the lighthouse.

The Life and Times of Old Point

A lighthouse was commissioned to be built by the U.S. government right after California was annexed into the United States in 1850.

It wouldn’t be until 1855 when the lighthouse was actually completed and operational.

Old Point wasn’t exactly the most ideal lighthouse to guide ships. Due to its height, low clouds and fog would often obscure the light, making it bad for navigation.

The fog would get so thick that the keeper would often have to signal ships with a shotgun blast.

The lighthouse would shine its light one last time in 1891, when the New Point Loma Lighthouse was built.

Cave Entrace

The lighthouse fell into disarray soon after.

There had been talk of the lighthouse being torn down in order to erect a statue of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, but it never came to fruition.

The lighthouse was given to the National Park Service in the 1930s where it was restored and tours were offered soon after.

During the Second World War, the lighthouse was painted in camouflage and served as a signal tower for ships coming into the San Diego Harbor.

During the 1980s, the lighthouse went through even more restorations, and authentic 19th-century furniture was added.

The Old Point Loma Lighthouse Today

The lighthouse still serves as a museum for visitors to have a feel for what life as a lighthouse keeper was like in the late-1800s. Visitors might even experience paranormal activity during their visit..

Know Before You Go

The Old Point Loma Lighthouse is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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