One of the most haunted places in France is out at sea. The lighthouse of Tévennec was first lit in 1857 and is located snugly between the French mainland and the Île de Sein. It sits on a stretch of water known as the "Raz de Sein" in Brittany. Although it lighthouses are supposed to serve as a beacon of light, it has an irrefutably dark reputation. In fact, it was so difficult to get to and so utterly terrifying to its inhabitants, it was automated in 1910. How terrifying was it? Multiple guards went mad, died suspiciously, lost children, and experienced haunting.
There is a chance that death and destruction ruled Tévennec long before lighthouses were even invented. According to Breton folklore, Tévennec was the seat of Ankou...the personification of death. Ankou is also known as the grave yard watcher, so this treacherous stretch of sea seems like a good place to set up shop.
In it's 50+ year history it had twenty-three guards the first of which was Henri Guezennec. Unfortunately, the saying "the first is the worst" sticks solidly to Guezennec's time spent at Tévennec. He went utterly and completely mad due to the ghostly, disembodied voices he heard. Guezennec would be the first of many to be driven mad at Tévennec. The second guard suffered a similar affliction and the government changed Tévennec from a one-man to a two-man operation.
Hauntings aren't surprising in this isolated and dangerous lighthouse. In fact, it is likely that hundreds of people would have met their end near or on the lighthouse, which was located on the "Raz de Sein" a stretch of water notorious for huge waves. In fact, there was a house that was built and re-built three times but the waves were so large they would often go over the roof, ruining the house.
The strange happenings wore on to such a degree that in 1893 crucifixes were embedded into the rocks surrounding the island. It was thought that this could lessen the strange and unexplained going-ons at Tévennec. This was followed by a new kind of search for the guardsmen: married couples. There was a hope that recruiting married couples to keep the lighthouse together would help stave off loneliness and the ill effects of the island. However, it seemed that no guard could last much more than a year.
In 2015 Marc Pointud set out to spend 2 months alone in the lighthouse (albeit with media and communication tools) which has remained empty since 1910. Pointud might be just the man for the job, though. In 2002, he founded the National Society for Heritage, Lighthouses and Beacons, to preserve the country's lighthouses, especially the forgotten ones. In 2011, the state granted his organization permission to occupy and renovate Tévennec. He spent the weeks there without incident, although he did say he didn't believe in ghosts and did not feel as disconnected and isolated from the world as the guards that came before him. His long-term goal being to eventually turn it into an artist residence. I wonder what dynamic scenes could be inspired by Tévennec's location.
.The above image is by Calcineur, Self-photographed and is liscensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.