Lorain Lighthouse Gets Spooky

This iconic Ohio lighthouse may look awful, but it's only temporary as the structure is being used for a new movie set on the shores of Lake Erie.

John Baumgartner’s odyssey to filmmaking started by making movies — Films By Us, he called his budding production company – as a kid in Lorain, Ohio.

And now he’s come full circle, using his hometown as the backdrop for “Beneath the Light,” which he describes as a horror movie with a heart.

The movie is about a man returning to his hometown after his mother’s death and taking a job at an abandoned lighthouse, where he reconnects with the daughter of its owner and goes on an odyssey discovering strange events at the lighthouse and learning more about his own background, which he can recall only in fragments.

The idea and script for the movie was his pandemic project. He’d left for California to embark on a moviemaking career, writing and directing everything from digital shorts to full-length disaster movies, but he returned to his hometown to care for his mother.

While there, he came up with the idea that would become “Beneath the Light,” enlisting the aid of Cindy Seng, who is writing the novelization of the movie. (There are also plans for an online game.)

Filming began in September — leading to the Lorain Lighthouse looking less like “the Jewel of the Port” and more decrepit. That’s just movie magic, though; in fact, they had to build sets for the lighthouse’s interior.

 “The real lighthouse has done too nice of a job fixing it up,” Baumgartner says in a video announcing the project.

There are plans to film in more locations in and around Lorain, and the goal is to premiere the movie at the Lorain Palace Theatre next year. Baumgartner continues to look for sponsors and donors for the film. More information can be found here.

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