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Gibraltar Point lighthouse ghost

The Story

On a dark January night in 1815, a band of thirsty soldiers set off from Fort York garrison to Toronto Island. The troop in search of booze called on J. P. Radan Muller, Gibraltar Point lighthouse keeper and bootlegger of American whiskey. When the soldiers asked for seconds from his keg, Muller refused, and a violent fight erupted. That was the last time Muller was ever seen -- in the flesh.Some say Muller's ghost haunts the island to this very day, his spectre drifting across the sand at night. In 1958, the last keeper of the lighthouse recounts the ghastly tales.

Medium: Television
Program: CBC Newsmagazine
Broadcast Date: Aug. 3, 1958
Guest: DeeDee Dodds, John Durnan
Reporter: Allan Couples
Duration: 6:33

Did You know?

• DeeDee Dodds (seen in this clip) was the last keeper of the lighthouse. She was in charge for three years before it closed in 1958. In the early 1960s, the City of Toronto renovated the lighthouse, which stands today as an historic building.

• Before it closed, the Gibraltar Point lighthouse was Toronto's oldest landmark used for its original purpose. Its exact opening date was never recorded. In 1808, The Upper Canada Gazette said Lieutenant Governor Francis Gore visited the island to choose a spot for the structure.

• The lighthouse was one of the first built in the Great Lakes. The original hexagonal tower stood 16 metres, topped with a wooden cage for housing the lantern. In 1832, the lighthouse was raised 3.6 metres.

• The lantern originally burned whale oil, substituted for coal oil in 1863. It used 4,086 litres a year. A revolving light replaced the lamp in 1878.

• The first lieutenant governor of Upper Canada John Graves Simcoe named the peninsula Gibraltar Point because he thought the island could be fortified as strong as the Rock of Gibraltar.



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