"The Fire Island Lighthouse in the town of Islip, according to Turpin, carries the story of a caretaker who hanged himself in the original lighthouse sometime prior to the building of the second lighthouse in 1857. Today a circular ring of bricks and stone are all that remain of the original lighthouse. 'It would seem this circle should be the area of haunting and not the current lighthouse that was completed in 1857,' Turpin says, but 'the legends report heavy doors open and close by themselves, strange laughing, banging sounds that seem to come from inside, eerie feelings, as well as the appearance of a shadowy figure in the caretaker's house.' " (http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=5876971&BRD=1776&PAG=461&dept_id=6365&rfi=8)
"Unfortunately exposure to the elements brought illness and one of their young daughters died. Some say you can hear a man moaning. Supposedly he had to wait three days in torment before a doctor came and by then it was too late for his daughter. Others say you can hear footsteps on the lighthouse stairs. Other legends claim one of the lighthouse keepers hung himself in the tower but as of yet we have not found substantial proof." From Long Island Oddities, http://www.lioddities.com/ghost/lighthouse.htm
Stephen Kaplan believed the lighthouse was haunted.
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An aid for navigation and pilotage at sea, a lighthouse is a tower building or framework sending out light from a system of lamps and lenses or, in older times, from a fire. More primitive navigational aids were once used such as a fire on top of a hill or cliff (see beacon). Because of modern navigational aids, the number of operational lighthouses has declined to fewer than 1,500 worldwide. Lighthouses are used to mark dangerous coastlines, hazardous shoals away from the coast and safe entries to harbors. In order to conserve power, the light is concentrated. In old lighthouses:
This concentration of light is accomplished with a rotating lens assembly. In very old lighthouses, the light source was a kerosene lamp, and the lenses were rotated by a clockwork assembly wound daily by lighthouse keepers. The lens assembly usually floated in mercury to reduce friction. In more modern lighthouses, electric lights and clock drives were used, generally powered by diesel burning electric generators. These also supplied electricity for the lighthouse keepers.