Off the coast of Maine, shrouded in the fog of the Atlantic Ocean, lies a small, barren island with a history as treacherous as the waters that surround it. Boon Island, a mere 300 yards long and 700 yards wide, is home to a lighthouse that stands as a beacon amidst the tumultuous waves, a silent sentinel to the island’s dark past. The island’s history is steeped in tales of shipwrecks, cannibalism, and ghostly apparitions, making it one of the most enigmatic locations in Maine. This article aims to unveil the mysterious legend of Boon Island and shed light on the enigmatic tales that have shaped its reputation as Maine State’s most treacherous island.

The History of Boon Island

Boon Island’s history dates back to the 1600s when it was used as a fishing station by local fishermen. However, the island’s treacherous reputation began in 1710 with the shipwreck of the Nottingham Galley. The crew, stranded on the barren island for weeks in the dead of winter, resorted to cannibalism to survive. This gruesome tale of survival is one of the earliest and most chilling stories associated with Boon Island.

The Nottingham Galley Shipwreck

The Nottingham Galley, a British ship, was wrecked on Boon Island in December 1710. The crew of 14 men was stranded on the island for 24 days without food or shelter. In the face of starvation and freezing temperatures, the crew was forced to resort to cannibalism, feeding on the body of their dead shipmate. The survivors were eventually rescued, but the horrific ordeal left a dark stain on the island’s history.

The Boon Island Lighthouse

In response to the numerous shipwrecks around Boon Island, a lighthouse was erected in 1799. The original wooden structure was replaced in 1855 by a granite tower that stands to this day. The lighthouse keepers and their families lived in isolation on the island, further contributing to its eerie reputation. Tales of hauntings and ghostly apparitions began to circulate, with many claiming to see the ghost of a former lighthouse keeper’s wife who died on the island.

Ghostly Apparitions and Hauntings

Boon Island is said to be haunted by the spirits of those who have perished there. The most famous ghost story involves the wife of a lighthouse keeper in the 1800s. After her death on the island, her husband was said to have gone mad with grief and was often seen talking to her ghost. Visitors to the island have reported seeing a woman in white, believed to be the keeper’s wife, wandering the island.

Modern Day Boon Island

Today, Boon Island is uninhabited and the lighthouse is automated. The island is not open to the public, adding to its enigmatic allure. Despite its dark past, the island serves an important role in maritime safety, with the lighthouse guiding ships safely past its treacherous shores.


Boon Island, with its chilling history and tales of survival, cannibalism, and hauntings, is a fascinating piece of Maine’s maritime history. Its lighthouse stands as a testament to the island’s past and a beacon of safety for ships navigating the perilous waters of the Atlantic. While the island may be shrouded in mystery and legend, its role in maritime safety and its place in Maine’s history is undeniable.

Review of 'On Trails: An Exploration', unveiling Maine's untamed beauty through hiking adventures....

Explore Maine's top summer festivals and events with our guide. Experience the best of the Pine Tree State's vibrant culture and traditions....

Explore the stunning beauty of Mt. Zircon in Maine. A must-visit hiking trail offering breathtaking wilderness views....

"Maximize your Maine summer vacation with essential packing tips. Prepare for coastal fun, hiking adventures, and local cuisine."...