Back in the 1920s and ’30s, a man named Ernie was the light keeper at New London Ledge Lighthouse. He learned that his wife had left him for the captain of the Block Island Ferry, so Ernie leaped heartbroken to his death from the lighthouse roof.
Today, sightings of Ernie’s ghost are a regular occurrence at the lighthouse — one of several stops along a “Haunted Connecticut” self-guided tour being promoted by the Eastern Connecticut Regional Tourism District. The haunted spots are either along the waterfront or easily reachable by taxi, making a Halloween-themed cruise possible all summer long.
Looking for extra reasons to tie up in Mystic while cruising this season? In addition to the ghost of Ernie in New London, there’s also the ghost of 7-year-old Ada Clift in Mystic. She was the niece of Capt. Daniel Packer, who erected the Captain Daniel Packer Inne on the Mystic River in 1756. Little Ada died of scarlet fever, right there in the building, and her ghost is known to play in the restaurant’s stairwell. Though guests tend to notice Ada most often, employees say Packer himself still roams around the back rooms, too.
If those aren’t enough to raise your hackles, then you can also check out the Monte Cristo Cottage in New London, which is said to be haunted by Nobel Prize-winning playwright Eugene O’Neill (and his mother); the Bradley Playhouse in Putnam, where a figure known as the Lady in Blue often catches performers’ eyes from the balcony seats; and the cemetery at the Norwichtown Green, where Benedict Arnold has been said to ride up to his mother’s grave, paying his respects from atop a white horse.
Learn more at www.ctvisit.com.