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Stratford Shoal Lighthouse
(Middleground Light)

stratford shoal lighthouse

Bridgeport, Connecticut
Built in 1878



Midway between Stratford Point, Conn., and Long Island’s Old Field Point, NY. Access only by boat.

Latitude: 41° 03' 35" N
Longitude: 73° 06' 05" W


Historic Stories:

Although the lighthouse was due to be completed around 1872, consistent severe weather delayed completion until it’s being lit in 1878. stone architecture of Stratford Shoal (Middleground) light

It was one of a small grounp of lighthouses built along Long Island Sound that were buitl of stone that were called the "Castles of the Sound".

The schooner Mignonette was being used at the construction site to house men and store supplies. In 1877, during a severe November storm, the ship was driven onto the ledge. Luckily no lives were lost, but added to the many delays in completing the structure.


Suicidal Assistant Keeper Attacks Fellow Worker

Due to its isolated location, keepers sometimes would develop psychological issues. While the head keeper was ashore on vacation in 1905, one Assistant Keeper, Julius Koster, attacked another Assistant Keeper, Morrell Hulse in an argument with a knife, he also tried to commit suicide once when left alone. After five nervous days of fearing for his own life and trying to keep the lighthouse working, he found Koster in the lantern room with an axe ready to destroy the lens. Hulse was able to subdue Koster and get help from the mainland. Koster was immediately removed from service and committed to a New York sanitarium. It is believed he still haunts the lighthouse, throwing cookware and slamming doors.

haunted Stratford Shoal light


In 1915, Keeper Usinger rescued 5 people whose boat was knocked over from gale force winds.

In 1933, Keeper Allen and his assistant rescued a crew of 10 aboard the Saugatuck. The crew had been without food or heat for almost two days. early stratford shoal light
Vintage Image Courtesy of
US Coast Guard

With its remote location out in the open waters of Long Island Sound, Stratford Shoal light has been the source of many paranormal stories.

Stratford Shoal (Middleground) lighthouse amoung storm clouds

It is considered to be the most haunted lighthouse in Connecticut, with three different hauntings or paranormal activities occuring.

For details of these stories about these hauntings, select the "Hauntings" link above, to be directed to my blog. 



Places to Visit Nearby:

The city of Bridgeport, in addition to promoting the arts, provides visitors with a new sports and entertainment complex called the Arena at Harbor Yard with events happening year round, and the Shoreline Star, which provides greyhound and horse racing. From Bridgeport’s culturally diverse communities, there are offered plenty of special events throughout the year, and special places to visit like Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo.

Nearby, you can visit Stratford’s rich heritage, with it’s location on Long Island Sound, provides residents and visitors alike with two public bathing beaches, five marinas, several fishing piers and two public boat-launching facilities.

cormorants on a rock

Long Island Sound is 113 miles long and 21 miles wide at its widest point, covering most of Connencticut's shoreline and parts of New York.

Go hiking wihthin the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge .


Contact Info:
City of Bridgeport


Local Boat Tour

At this time there are no boat cruises out to the lighthouse. When any become available, they'll be placed here.


My 300-page book, Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions of Southern New England: Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, provides special human interest stories from each of the 92 lighthouses, along with plenty of indoor and outdoor coastal attractions you can explore, and tours.

In the book you'll find a more detailed account of the story mentioned above of the Assistant Keeper Koster who went insane and haunts Middleground Light today.

Look inside!

book about lighthouses in southern New England





New England Lighthouses: Famous Shipwrecks, Rescues & Other Tales

This image-rich book contains over 50 stories of famous shipwrecks and rescues around New England lighthouses, and also tales of hauntings that occurred.

You'll find more details and imagery on the story of Assistant Keeper Julius Koster at Middleground Light.

You'll find this book and others I've written from the publisher Schiffer Books, or in many fine bookstores like Barnes and Noble.


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