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The unsolved mystery of the Eilean Mor lighthouse

Lighthouse - Storm

In 1900, on December 26, three lighthouse keepers have vanished without a trace. The event occurred on Eilean Mor, one of the largest islands that are part of Scotland. Scientists and historians are still unable to explain the disappearances of the lighthouse keepers Captain Thomas Marshall, James Ducat and Donald McArthur.

The island received its name from St. Flannen, a 6th century Bishop who was later canonized. A ship was sailing towards the island but was delayed by a storm. When it finally arrived, the ship’s captain James Harvey noticed that there was not one living soul on the island. Nobody came down from the lighthouse to welcome the ship.

The ship’s crew found that nothing was amiss in the lighthouse itself. The supplies, the furniture and the equipment, all were as they should be. But it was completely devoid of people. The lighthouse was never supposed to be empty, one man was always supposed to stay inside and keep watch- those were the rules.

The captain sent a telegraph to the authorities in Scotland’s capital. It stated that an accident occurred at the lighthouse and that all the lighthouse keepers are gone. It also mentioned that the clocks have stopped and the captain believed that they have been gone for over a week.

The telegraph resulted in Robert Muirhead, the man in charge of lighthouse keepers, to investigate the island. When he arrived, he stumbled upon one vital piece of evidence – a journal.

The journal stated several disquieting things. First, Thomas Marshall reported never seeing winds as strong as then. James Ducat was quiet and William McArthur, a veteran sailor and known tough guy, had been crying.

The next entry states that they were praying. It is difficult to understand why three veteran lighthouse keeper, safe behind thick strong walls, would be afraid of a storm, no matter how severe. What makes things even stranger is that on the dates that were mentioned, the 12th of December, for over a week the weather was very calm in that area.

The final entry, made on the 15th of December, stated: „Storm ended, sea calm. God is over all“.

The official reported note that the three men were simply careless and were swept away by the waves. And yet, this is mere speculation, and no evidence whatsoever reinforces the official theory.

In the following decades, lighthouse keepers at Eilean Mor spoke of dark voices calling for the three dead men. The mystery seemed to stay unsolved.

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