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When a sadistic sea Captain is set adrift by his mutinous crew to die, he takes up his ghostly residence in an abandoned lighthouse vowing revenge while bringing terror and murder to a coastal community as he seeks someone to join him in death. The sheriff must contrive a way to rid the town of him.
Captain MacClure faces a mutiny aboard his schooner because of his sadistic treatment of them. The crew decides rather than kill him; they will put him overboard in a rowboat during a storm and let the sea have him.
Days later a young married couple discover a beached rowboat with a strange message written in blood. It says “I seek ye to join me in death. Cap MacClure.” Not to be dissuaded by the message, they enter the vacant lighthouse to explore it. Inside they are met by the ghost impersonating the town sheriff. He claims to be investigating a strange light seen by the Coast Guard. Upon leaving, they receive a strange warning from him not to return. They decide to report finding the rowboat to the sheriff’s office where they come face to face with the real sheriff, Gordy. He is informed of an impersonator and decides to investigate.
In the lighthouse, Gordy engages in a conversation which he attributes to talking to himself. He opens a large closet from which he believes a person may be talking to him. There is no one there. As he turns his back to close the door the apparition of the ghost appears unseen by him. That night while dining with his deputy a waitress informs the sheriff of a strange man seeking someone to join him in death. He looks over to see a man in a black rain slicker and hat. The young couple stops by to say hello and also identify the man as the impersonator. To avoid a disturbance, Gordy decides to wait when suddenly his deputy notices he is no longer there nor did he pass by to leave. He merely vanished leaving a full glass of whiskey at his table. Upon inquiry no one else dining nearby saw him at the table and wondered why a full glass of whiskey was sitting at the table unattended?
The Captain’s ghost continues to prowl the small coastal town telling townspersons he is seeking someone to join him in death. As long as people are with someone the ghost does them no harm.
A group of youth arrives to camp and a seasick young girl, Muriel, is left by her father until he returns. They become friends and set out to explore the lighthouse. Inside they too discover the large closet and a strange hole hidden by a false wall. It seems endless. Speculation is rampant and they decide to leave. That same day they explore the beach and find, among logs, skeleton bones washed up along with a medallion and coin. The bones are turned over to Gordy for identification. It is determined the bones belong to Captain MacClure.
A day later during the night, amid a raging storm and heavy fog, they gather at the campsite. Muriel decides to return to the boarding house she stays at. As she makes her way through the wooded area she is followed by the ghost. Scared she hides behind a tree. She crouches just as an ax hits the tree above her head. In fear she runs screaming from the woods into the arms of Gordy.
Back at the camp site the youths see a strange light coming from the lighthouse. Harold and Bob decide to leave the others and investigate. Harold picks the lock and they venture in to explore. They make the deadly mistake of separating. First Harold is killed in the basement, then Bob who has gone upstairs.
Weeks later the same schooner with his mutinous crew aboard arrives to dock in the harbor. Unseen, except by the sheriff who had earlier placed his bones aboard for burial at sea, the ghost slips aboard. The ship soon sails with both bones and the ghost reunited. Once at sea, late at night in a raging storm, the ghost proceeds to take revenge on the crew one by one. The leader of the mutiny, confronted in his stateroom by the ghost, throws a lantern setting the ship on fire. The ship is fast ablaze and sinking. In panic the mutinous leader escapes in a rowboat amid the storm with the ghost still aboard,
Days later, while walking along the beach, the sheriff and his deputy spot an abandoned rowboat. Identifying it as from the same ship that had left port earlier, both glance up at the lighthouse. They see the ghostly figure of a man looking out at them through a boarded up window. “Not again”, exclaims sheriff Gordy!