Howard Hobbs was a fisherman who lived on Wood Island. Late in the afternoon of June 1, 1896, Hobbs arrived at the island's lighthouse and told Keeper Orcutt that he had just shot his landlord and neighbor, Frederick Milliken.
Milliken had asked to speak with Hobbs, because Hobbs was behind on his rent. Hobbs had been on the mainland drinking earlier that day, and he arrived at Milliken's house with a gun. When Milliken tried to determine whether the gun was loaded, Hobbs fired a round into Milliken's abdomen. Hobbs was immediately remorseful and tried to help Mrs. Milliken attend to her husband. Shortly after Hobbs returned to the scene of the shooting with the lighthouse keeper, however, Milliken passed away.
Hobbs returned to his shack, where he committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. Subsequent Wood Island inhabitants reported seeing dark shadows and hearing strange moans in the lighthouse. One keeper was so distraught he left his post unattended to seek refuge in a mainland boardinghouse. The next day, he jumped from a window to his death.
Wood Island is considered by some to be haunted because of these events, and in 2005 the New England Ghost Project investigated the island for paranormal activity.