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Episode Recap: Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse
Ghost Hunters' season four finale takes the TAPS team to Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse and Fort Constitution in New Castle, NH. The 48-foot cast-iron tower was erected in 1771, with the grounds covering approximately 2 acres including Fort Constitution and the Keeper's Quarters. After years of late night reports from the Coast Guard and other witness accounts, the members of the Friends of The Portsmouth Lighthouse want to know if the lighthouse and surrounding grounds are truly haunted. Jason and Grant will be facing one of their most interesting challenges as they explore the Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse, the Fort Constitution and the Keeper's Quarters.
The lighthouse consists of 44 stairs that lead up to the Watchroom, a circular room with three portholes. Many strange happenings have occurred in this room, one being a female lighthouse enthusiast, who heard voices, only to find she was alone. Another witness to this paranormal activity heard a man ask, "What are you doing?" only to discover there wasn't a person in sight.
Many believe Joshua Card, the former lighthouse keeper, who preferred to go by the name "Captain," haunts this place. The Captain watched over the lighthouse for 35 years until he retired at age 87 in 1909 only two years before his death. It is reported that in all his years as the keeper, he barely left the lighthouse station and his spirit still keeps watch.
While visiting the lighthouse, two witnesses have reported seeing a man dressed in a pea coat and hat walking near the tower as if he was working, but this man could never be found. One of the witnesses later discovered a picture of Joshua Card and said, "that's the man I saw!"
Fort Constitution mainly served the country as a lookout and supply storage unit through many wars since the 1630s. The fort was one of Paul Revere's first stops on his way to warning colonists about the impending Revolutionary War. The fort consists of a lookout area, a powder magazine, a sentry room where prisoners were held, and sally ports on each side that served as entryways. On July 4, 1809, disaster erupted at Fort Constitution. Gunpowder that was reserved for a fireworks display accidentally exploded killing 14 people, most of whom were children. Some believe it is the residual ghosts of the 1809 explosion that haunt the structure today. Members of the Coast Guard are afraid to go into Fort Constitution at night because of the general noises they hear and its eerie nature. Witnesses have also claimed to have photos of unexplainable green smoke in the fort. While touring the fort at night, one witness claims to have quickly seen an apparition run around the corner near the lookout tower and almost everyone who enters the fort says they have a very heavy feeling in their chest while walking through the sally ports.
The Keeper's Quarters currently serves as an active Coast Guard Station and is nestled within the granite walls of the Fort Constitution. The house is made up of two floors separated into Coast Guard offices, and a basement. Many who spend time in the house believe Joshua's spirit still resides in his home. Witnesses through the years have said that they often hear footsteps in the house and a fan rattle on it's own in the area of the house that was once Joshua's old bedroom. Furthermore, witnesses have reported finding two pairs of oily footprints in the parking lot near the Keeper's house that were arranged in a strange pattern and seemed to come from nowhere. When they touched the footprints, nothing came off on their hands and with their best efforts they could not clean the footprints off the ground. Days later the footprints had vanished on their own.