BIG SUR, Calif. - "In 1866 President Johnson reserved this spot by executive order for a lighthouse, it wasn't until 1887 that they started construction and the light was lit on the first of August 1889," said Central Coast Lighthouse keepers Chairman, John O'Neil.
Driving down the scenic coast you might not even know it's there. The Point Sur Lighthouse juts out from the landscape high above the water to assist ships navigating the coast.
"During the gold rush, when a lot of ships were coming up from San Pedro to San Francisco, this was a spot where they made a turn to the right, a slight course correction so it made sense to put the light there," said O'Neil.
The light is still in use, but the last lightkeeper to live on the premises left in the 70's when it became automated.
"There were 11 buildings in the original phases of construction and we are trying to restore all of them. The head keeper's house is our latest restoration. It's restored to 1929 on the exterior and 1950 on the interior. In 1950, Mrs. Anderson had a baby. She went to the hospital, the Coast Guard came down and remodeled her kitchen. So we were able to keep a lot of the kitchen and restore the rest of it to match it," said O'Neil.
Some people say the station's old buildings are home to ghostly activity -- especially in the Headkeeper's house and assistant keepers quarters, which gives volunteers a chance to "turn up the creepy" during their sold-out Halloween tours.
"Personally I think it's spooky enough, but we have volunteers that love Halloween and every year they top themselves," said Volunteer Carol O'Neil.
The two story building is covered in decorations, some more familiar than others...
"This is family-friendly and we do it with a lot of good cheer and 'nod nod, wink wink.' We've got children," said Carol O'Neil.
But the true draw for people is the one that can't be bought at a store...
"You hear these footsteps and I asked the people who recorded it 'who was that?' and they said, well, that's it. No one was there," said Volunteer Carol O'neil.
*See PART TWO: Ghost hunters say they've uncovered more than a dozen spirits at Point Sur Lighthouse to hear recordings made by ghost-hunters and meet a volunteer who claims she saw a ghost at the lighthouse.