the north end of Lake Michigan is a lighthouse near Gulliver, Michigan
named Seul Choix Point. It is pronounced "sis-shwa" in French and
translates into "only choice." It was named by French sailors who
found this point as refuge in a storm. For that reason a lighthouse
was built there in 1892. Marilyn Fisher, president of the local
historical society showed us through the lighthouse living quarters.
We did not take the offer to climb the tower, but decided to go
upstairs where Marilyn said she had seen the former lighthouse keeper
in a round mirror on three separate occasions.
Joseph Willie Townsend was the keeper there from 1902 to 1910 when
he died in that upstairs bedroom. His body was drained and prepared
for his wake which was held in the basement. He lay in state in
the parlor until his relatives could assemble from other locations.
He was buried nearby in a cedar coffin. Joseph was a cigar smoker
in life, but his wife refused to let him smoke in the house. Now
cigar smoke is often smelled in the house, as if Townsend now enjoys
what his wife forbade.
Some time after Townsend's death, the former round kitchen table
parts were retrieved from the four corners of the basement where
they had been stored. When it was reassembled in the kitchen it
seemed possessed since the place settings and the chairs have been
disturbed over 100 times by Marilyn's count. Forks are found turned
upside down, placed on the edge of a plate or forming a cross with
a knife. Townsend's typical way of laying a fork on his plate was
with the tines down.
An alarm company was once asked to make a quote on installing an
alarm system. The salesman was given a key so he could make his
estimate at his convenience. After making notes, he went outside
to his car, locking the lighthouse door behind him. As he sat alone
totaling his quotation in his car, he happened to look up at one
of the windows and saw Joseph Townsend looking back at him. He dropped
his clip-board, started his engine and left at a high rate of speed.
He never submitted his quote. Another company performed the alarm
The pictures I took in the round mirror showed nothing unusual,
but coming down the stairs afterward, on the landing, Yvonne and
I felt a definite cold down-draft. Marilyn said that is a regular
event without a cause. We don't know whether to believe in ghosts
or just believe we don't yet understand, what we call ghosts.