The Girl and the Princess



© A Mixed Bag 2013

Ted and Priscilla were slowly motoring away from the lighthouse on Gasparilla Island, the small yacht’s sails secured it being a calm day on the Gulf. They were finally fulfilling their dream of spending the summers sailing the coastline.

“So you say that lighthouse is supposed to be haunted, Ted?” Priscilla was chuckling.

“Presumably the daughter of the lighthouse keeper died there sometime in the early 19th century. She’s been heard giggling and playing upstairs.”

“I’m more interested in the headless ghost of the Spanish princess decapitated by a pirate.”

“Of course you are, you macabre wench.”

Priscilla laughed. “If you weren’t steering this tub, I’d…”

Two unseen figures watched at the railing near the top of the lighthouse. A headless woman and a little girl held hands while a cat’s spectre affectionately rubbed against their ankles.

“Tourists,” the child said in disgust. “Wish we didn’t have to put up with them, Josefa. Glad they’re finally gone.”

She looked up at where the princess’s head should be. Josefa turned as if she were looking down, then squeezed her girl’s hand.

“I know. I love you, too. Let’s go back inside and play with my dollies. Casper, you come in, too.”

When I saw the prompt, I immediately decided to write about a haunted lighthouse and so looked up Top 10 Haunted Lighthouses.

The Port Boca Grande Lighthouse on Gasparilla Island, Florida (number 2 on the list) really is supposed to be haunted by a young girl, supposedly the ghost of a keeper’s daughter who died there. Legends say she can be heard giggling and playing upstairs. The headless body of Josefa, a Spanish princess decapitated by a pirate is said to wander the sand nearby. I decided to make the child and the princess friends. Another lighthouse on the list may or may not have a ghostly cat in residence.

I wrote this for the Sunday Photo Fiction Challenge for November 26th 2017. The idea is to use the photo at the top as the inspiration for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is 200.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to


12 thoughts on “The Girl and the Princess

  1. Love it! Lighthouses are a favorite subject of mine and haunted are so much the better. I’ve been to Owls Head (first on the list). A lovely place but unfortunately no spirits the day I was there.


    • None you were aware, of Susan. 😉

      Decades ago when I lived in California, I was dating a woman who liked to explore so we ended up driving up and down the California coast visiting all the sights including, occasionally, lighthouses. I don’t believe we ever went into one, though.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Have never read a more interesting horror story. In fact, I deliberately avoid them but yours has inspired me to move past that reservation. 🙂


    • Thanks, Moon. Horror isn’t actually a favorite genre of mine. I don’t even like horror movies unless they’re the old Universal films from the 1930s through 50s (Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolf Man and such). I don’t find being scared out of my mind entertaining. On the other hand, today’s tale was not so much terrifying or scary as just kind of creepy in a cute way. A little girl and a headless ghost playing dolls in the company of a cat’s spirit in a lighthouse that is now also a museum. Well, I supposed they have to haunt somewhere.


  3. Good story James. I wanted to apologise. I seem to have stopped one of your regular commentors from returning due to a reply I made to him over a month ago. It is never my intention to stop people from visint other people’s blogs, so I am sorry if he was a friend and I have caused any ill-will between you both.


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