Stay the Night in a Not-All-So-Rosy Lighthouse

Total Spook Factor: A little lighthouse on a quaint New England island named for its rosy shape. So innocent sounding. However, more than blustery chills might sweep over you when you learn the Rose Island Lighthouse sits on the remains of an abandoned fort two centuries old, near unmarked graves from the Civil War era, and within earshot of old barracks reported to echo with the disembodied voices of cholera victims. Then there's the ghost of Charles Curtis, the lighthouse keeper who served from 1887-1918. According to the island's caretakers, "overnight guests claim to have heard him walk down the stairs at midnight, as was his custom in life, and make a thorough inspection of the facility."

Take a Tour: Throughout the year, weather permitting, you can tour Newport Harbor, the lighthouse and the fort on the Lighthouse and Harbor Tour, which is offered twice a day aboard the Starfish, the Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation's 32-foot lobster boat. During July and August, the general public can more easily visit the island via the Newport-Jamestown ferry. School and group tours are also offered from April through October, but by appointment only.

Plan a Paranormal Investigation: Since you can stay overnight in the lighthouse museum or volunteer to be the lighthouse keeper for a week, you're welcome to investigate on your own with portable cameras, recorders and devices. However, note that the lighthouse is virtually "off the grid" and generates its own electricity via wind power. Please make special arrangements with the foundation for serious investigations involving more than small portable electronics. Also note that some areas of the island are off-limits.

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