In June 1896, a beach bum named Howard Hobbs shot Biddeford Pool’s Sheriff, Fred Milliken, and hurried off to the light station on Wood Island. When he heard that the sheriff had died from his wounds, Hobbs then shot himself. Subsequent inhabitants reported hearing strange moans and seeing dark shadows in the lighthouse. One keeper was so distraught that he left his post unattended and sought refuge in a mainland boarding house. The next day, he jumped from a window to his death.
Authorities removed the Wood Island lantern in 1972, in part because of anxiety caused by ghost stories. But locals complained about their “headless lighthouse” until the lantern was returned. Today the light is automated, but it’s still an active navigational aid.