It was 1900 when relief lighthouse man Joseph Moore was sent to Eilean Mor lighthouse. Few envied him, the island had an unwholesome reputation. Instantly Moore entered the lighthouse he knew something was wrong, the door was unlocked, two oilskins were missing and a chair was overturned - of the keepers there was no sign. A few days later Robert Muirhead was sent to investigate, his description of the scene was the same as Moore’s, except he had read the lighthouse keeper’s log and a baffling read it was.
What did happen at Eilean Mor lighthouse
On the 12th December, Thomas Marshall the second assistant had noted ‘severe winds the like of which I have not seen before in twenty years’. It continued that the Principle Keeper; James Ducat had been ‘very quiet’ and William McArthur had been crying. Muirhead was puzzled, McArthur was known for being a seasoned mariner and a bit of a tough-guy, so why would he cry over a storm? Even odder, there were no storms recorded in that area until 17th December.
Since there was a crate missing from the platform on the supply crane, Muirhead assumed the men had died trying to retrieve it. Why, folks asked were there no bodies? Why did one man leave his protective clothing behind in a gale and why did the lighthouse men report a storm when the sea was calm? Some of the locals had other explanations including spiritual, pirates, ghosts, fairies and sea-witches.