Oregon Coast Beach Connection - lodging, dining, news, events and more

Literally over 100 homes available as vacation rentals – all distinctive and carefully selected to be special. Find them in Yachats, Waldport, Newport, Nye Beach, Otter Rock, Depoe Bay, Gleneden Beach, Lincoln Beach, Lincoln City, Neskowin, Pacific City, Tierra Del Mar and Rockaway Beach. Some pet friendly.

Generously appointed rooms or spacious two-room suites. Continental breakfast. Heated salt-water pool and spa, fitness room, high-speed Internet, some Jacuzzi spas and ADA accessibility. Some pet friendly. Business and meeting facilities. Catering services available.

Suites, duplex units, houses for 2-8 people. Close to everything. All units w/ kitchens; many have fireplaces, decks, jetted tubs. Robes, slippers, luxury bath amenities and more. Award-winning flowers. Featured on Travel Channel.

Feed the seals! One of the oldest aquariums in the U.S. is here in Seaside, Oregon, right on the Promenade

smaller homes with a view to a large house that sleeps 15. All are either oceanfront or just a few steps away – all with a low bank access and fantastic views. Most are in the Nelscott area; one is close to the casino. You’ll find a variety of goodies: fireplaces, multiple bedrooms, dishwashers, Jacuzzis, washer/dryers, hot tubs, cable TV, VCR, barbecues; there’s a loft in one, and another sprawling home has two apartments. Pets allowed in some homes – ask first. Each comes with complete kitchens. Most have seventh night free.

Sumptuous indoor pool heated year round. Lovely ocean views come with many rooms. All units big, extremely comfortable, w/ special touches. Each room contains a microwave, refrigerator, in-room coffee makers, cable TV, and larger kitchen units are available as well. Free parking, choice of smoking or non-smoking rooms. Within walking distance to all of Yachats’ various amenities; short walk to the beaches

Free, fresh baked cookie upon check-in is just the start. All rooms beachfront and up against Lincoln City's most famous stretch of beach: the D River. Each room comes as a suite or mini-suite, and has a kitchen and balcony or patio. Some w/ gas fireplaces, while all have a DVD Players; movies to rent come with free popcorn. Heated indoor pool, a spa, and this fabulous beach is lit at night. Rooms sleep from two, four to six - including a deluxe fireplace suite. Gift certificates orspecial occasion packages

Oregon Coast event or adventure you can't miss

For over 80 years a favorite of Seaside visitors. 51 oceanfront condos, individually owned and decorated. Suites for couples, small apartments with fireplaces and kitchenettes, one or two bed family units with fireplaces, kitchens and dining rooms. Oceanview cottages sleep anywhere from two to eight, w/ two bedrooms, some with lofts, fireplaces and kitchens. Heated outdoor pool, enormous grounds w/ picnic tables - all at quiet southern end of Seaside.

Lincoln City’s only resort hotel built right on the beach with all oceanfront rooms - nestled against a rugged cliffside overlooking a soft, sandy beach. Dine in penthouse restaurant and bar, for casual meal or candlelight dinner. An array of seafood specialties, juicy steaks and other Northwest favorites, including decadent Sunday buffet. Rooms range from bedrooms to studios to 1-bedroom suites with microwaves and refrigerators to full kitchens. Also, wi-fi, spa, saunas, exercise room and year-round heated swimming pool. Kids will love the game room and easy beach access. Full-service conference/meeting rooms for that inspirational retreat; extensive wedding possibilities.

A castle on the coast. Fine antiques, gourmet breakfast, luxury w/ ocean views, pet friendly. Social hour in the eve. Have to see to believe. East Ocean Rd., just north of the Arch Cape Tunnel. Arch Cape, Oregon (s. of Cannon Beach and Seaside). www.archcapehouse.com. 800-436-2848

 

For More Paranormal...

Unusual Travel Articles TravelParanormal.com allows you to submit your own creepy tale or debunk one - or see up-to-the-minute news headlines about travel and the paranormal.

20 gorgeous homes sleep up to 18; doubled that with some side-by-side homes. Some pet friendly. Cottages to massive homes; new oceanfront to renovated historic beach houses. All over central coast w/ Lincoln City, Otter Rock, Boiler Bay and Nye Beach. Long list of features, including barbecues, large decks, antique furnishings, wood stoves, gas fireplaces, hardwood floors, Jacuzzis and hot tubs. Most have movies, music, books. Gift basket w/ goodies in each

Breathtaking high panoramic beach views from oceanfront rooms, spacious family suites & fully equipped cottages.  Known for gracious hospitality, the sparkling clean Sea Horse features a heated indoor pool, dramatic oceanfront spa, great whale watching, free deluxe continental breakfast, conference room, free casino shuttle & HBO.  Fireplaces, private decks and spas are available in select rooms.  Close to shops, golf, fishing & restaurants.  Pets are welcome in select rooms.  Senior discounts.  Kids 18 and under stay free in their parent's room.  Very attractive rates.

the finest in luxury condominium lodging. Every unit is focused on the beauty of the sea and the beach.

Perfect for large family vacations all the way down to a getaway lodging for two - with over 25 vacation rental homes to choose from. A breathtaking collection of craftsman or traditional beachfront homes, or oceanview houses – from one to seven bedrooms. In various areas of Lincoln City and overlooking the beach, with some in Depoe Bay. All kinds of amenities are available, like hot tubs, decks, BBQ, rock fireplaces, beamed ceilings and more. Some are new, some are historic charmers.

A famous little family eatery where the seafood practically gets shuffled from the sea straight into your mouth. Soups and salads include many seafood specialties, including cioppino, chowders, crab Louie and cheese breads. Fish 'n' chips come w/ various fish. Seafood sandwiches with shrimp, tuna or crab, as well as burgers. Dinners like pan fried oysters, fillets of salmon or halibut, sautéed scallops.

Day or Night Mysteries and Merriment on Oregon Coast It's more than just nightlife that comes to life, but the beaches offer major opportunities

News Headlines from All Over Oregon Need to scan Oregon headlines? Constantly updated news from all over Oregon: a comprehensive, up-to-the-minute display of news headlines from a variety of media.

Watching Transformations of Oregon Coast Beaches Seasons change and so do beaches, revealing different sides and a variety of eye-popping sights

Back to Oregon Coast Beach Connection

CONTACT / ADVERTISE ON BEACH CONNECTION

 


Published
03/09/09

Oregon's Haunting Lighthouses: Spooked or Not

Tillamook Rock Lighthouse as seen from above.

(Oregon Coast) - They inspire imaginations, impart mystery and create an ever-widening array of emotions and dreamy notions. And many of them may or may not be haunted.

Four of the five lighthouses on the upper half of Oregon's coast are some of the most legendary. Indeed, one - the Heceta Head Lighthouse, near Florence - is the most photographed lighthouse in the world. The others are the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse and the Yaquina Head Lighthouse in Newport, the lighthouse atop Cape Lookout (near Tillamook), and the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, a mile offshore from Seaside and Cannon Beach.

All but Cape Meares’ light have some tales of ghosties surrounding them, in various incarnations. But even Cape Meares Lighthouse has an eerie past to delve into. For the others, these tales of hauntings intertwine tightly with the buildings’ histories, making for some lively discussions and research.

If you want to see more, click here to purchase a video about Oregon coast lighthouses.

Tillamook Rock lighthouse in its heyday.

Tillamook Rock Lighthouse

This is one lighthouse that has never been accessible to the public and probably never will be. Thus, it sparks the imagination more than most, with mysterious silhouette lying more than a mile away.

Indeed, the truth behind this lighthouse is weirder than fiction itself – or any of its ghost tales, for that matter.

It began in the 1880’s, when it was decided that too many ships were meeting their demise at Tillamook Head and this part of the north coast. It was eventually planned for the blob of basalt rock offshore rather than Tillamook Head itself, as fog or other blind spots on the headland would create visibility problems.

Things didn’t start well. The first man to step on the rock to do some surveying drowned, creating an immediate public outcry that perhaps this wasn’t a good idea.

It took a lot of blasting to flatten the top of the rock enough to build the lighthouse. Then, construction crews had to endure insane conditions, living under soggy tents and enormous waves that constantly knocked at them.

The crews lived in rotating shifts on the rock, and there were so many casualties in these conditions that men waiting onshore to work there were actually sequestered away from the public and from talk of what went on there. They were housed in a remote spot on the southern Washington coast and later on a ship just offshore.

Lightkeepers lived there in shifts too: four of them, usually a few months at a time. It was a brutal existence, and one keeper reportedly went mad from the solitude.

A giant winch was used to bring supplies and personnel from visiting ships to the rock, which was a dangerous and unwieldy endeavor under even the best conditions. They were put inside an object called a breeches buoy – which is essentially a giant pair of pants encircled by a floatation ring, attached to the cables overheard. Numerous men were lost doing this.

The place was ripe for ghost stories. It didn’t help that local tribes purportedly said it was inhabited by evil spirits.

Photo courtesty Seaside Aquarium

There are rumors of ghost tales over the years, including the claims of voices heard over the din of storms from lens area and other dark parts of the lighthouse. Sometimes, stories about ghost ships appearing in the fog and drifting past are associated with the place as well, but usually these have foundations in actual events involving near misses from real ships.

Indeed, a ship called the Lupatia nearly hit the lighthouse in dense fog, but was warned away just in time. However, it did soon after slam into Tillamook Head, killing all aboard except the ship’s dog.

oregon coast lighthouses on dvdOne legend says that you can sometimes still hear the dog howl in the night near Tillamook Head.

Another almost spooky tale from the lighthouse comes from a keeper who felt something brush past his face in the dark while lying in bed. All of a sudden, he heard strange footsteps in the pitch black, and after a time, bolted towards the light switch, arms swinging wildly in an attempt to smack whatever being – or trespasser – was there. When he turned on the light, he found only an injured bird that had somehow made its way into his bedroom. The odd footsteps were its broken wing hitting the floor.

The lighthouse was decommissioned in 1957, with the last keeper, Oswald Allik, proclaiming “I return thee to the elements.”

In the 80’s, after numerous failed ownerships, a firm called Eternity at Sea bought the property, and it now serves as a columbarium – a place for ashes of the dead.

Rather comically, that firm ran ads in the early 90’s or so offering free satellite TV for life – if you reserved your resting place early. Presumably, they figured if you were making such arrangements you wouldn’t be around too long.

Cape Meares Lighthouse

There are no stories of ghosts at this lovely place, but its past has some creepy elements.

The natural history of Cape Meares is nightmarish itself: picture a lava flow hundreds of miles long, destroying everything in its path and sometimes pooling into searing bodies of liquid Earth material perhaps hundreds of feet deep. All this happened millions of years, several hundred times, and through a long list of other geologic events created the headland we now see as Cape Meares.

Near the Cape Meares Light is the Octopus Tree – a strangely shaped tree that looks a bit like a candelabra. Scientists say it got that way because it was used as a burial place by local native tribes, who would place their dead in the tree in their canoes.

The practice is well documented. First, they flattened the direction the limbs were growing early in the tree’s life. Once a flat spot was attained, their natural growth direction took over, and the limbs grew upwards again, forming this unique shape.

Local tribes have lived on the Oregon coast for a good 3,000 years. The Octopus Tree is said to be more than 2,000 years old.

Just below Cape Meares, unbeknownst to most tourists, sits one of Oregon’s most famous but hidden ghost towns. The Bay Ocean spit, which runs across Tillamook Bay, was once the briefly glittering resort town of Bay Ocean. There’s essentially nothing left of it now, except one public building in the tiny town of Cape Meares (directly below the cape). It was moved to its present location, however.

Bay Ocean started in 1912 and essentially died less than ten years later, although its final nail in the coffin occurred with the Great Depression. It boasted five miles of roads, a couple of large hotels, a theater, and various other attractions.

Changing tidal conditions essentially destroyed most of it in the 30’s, and the rest was bulldozed by the U.S. government in the 70’s.

Yaquina Head Lighthouse

A bevy of rumors and ghost stories have surrounded this beauty, the tallest on the Oregon coast. But none are as wild as the truth behind the place.

The big tale involves a lighthouse keeper named Higgins who supposedly got drunk, then fell and broke his neck on the spiral staircase. Another version has the man deathly ill, and forced to work on the lens until he passed out and died, because of the negligence of a co-worker who didn’t attend to his duties. In any case, Higgins purportedly haunted the place thereafter, and his old coworker refused to go near the staircase at night for fear of running into the ectoplasmic Higgins.

Another story claims a construction worker fell to his death in between the layers of a wall while the building was being built. His corpse could not be retrieved, so the building was supposedly finished with his body still inside.

Those stories were eventually ghost-busted. The Bureau of Land Management, which now runs the lighthouse, told BeachConnection.net they received a letter from a descendant of Mr. Higgins who said he did not die in the lighthouse. He moved to Portland, became a dockworker, and eventually died of natural causes there in the 30’s.

A true scary story, however, is how the Hollywood crew from the old “Hardy Boys” TV show came to the lighthouse in the 70’s to film a Halloween episode, complete with lots of cobwebs and other spooky accoutrements scattered around the lighthouse. The group in charge of the lighthouse at the time had to sue the Hollywood crew to come and clean things up.

There actually is a cemetery in the hills atop the headland, set a ways behind the trails atop Salaal Hill and the old quarry.

There is also a tale of a head lighthouse keeper who died in a storm while trying to cross a creek close to the ocean, getting washed in by a large wave. The story has his daughter so bereaved she shot herself. It’s said sometimes you see her spirit wandering the beaches between Agate Beach and Nye Beach, looking for dear old Dad.

Another rumor about the lighthouse says it was mistakenly built here instead of at Cape Foulweather, just to the north and much taller. This is not true, say historians.

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse

Newport is lucky to be blessed with actually two lighthouses: one at the headland, and this smaller one, which serves as a bit of living history now. It was started in the late 1800’s, but was shut down after only three years. The place started to decay fairly quickly, and really fell into serious, even creepy, disrepair by the early part of the century.

Somewhere in there, a tale got started about the ghost of a teenaged girl named Muriel, who had fallen to her death while being chased by pirates, or something like that. One version involves a secret passageway into a hidden cavern beneath the lighthouse, where she fell.

This tale has her wandering the beaches as well, appearing out of the fog.

However, it turns out this one was only a fictional short story written by an imaginative local around the turn of the century. What is interesting to note, however, is that until local historians found the original short story in the 80’s, it had somehow weaved itself into local lore as a real ghost story.

Even book authors took the tale seriously as late as the 70’s.

Heceta Head Lighthouse

The lighthouse here is one of the only ones on the coast to still have its keeper’s quarters. They’ve been turned into a charming little B&B, in fact, and it’s on the national historic registry.

It’s notorious for being haunted, however. Indeed, Coastal Living Magazine recently named it one of the top ten haunted lighthouses in the nation.

It’s said to be inhabited by someone nicknamed the “Gray Lady,” or “Rue,” often appearing as either an elderly woman or a grayish, smoke-like figure of a woman that quickly dissipates. One version of the tale is that she is the mother of a baby whose grave sits hidden somewhere on the grounds. The other says she is the person in this secret grave.

In any case, this one has more witnesses and coherency than any other ghost story on the coast. The family that runs the B&B claims she’s just a member of the family now.

Some of the earliest tales involve workmen who’ve encountered the otherworldly lady and ran off in fear. One man actually refused to finish working inside one room, and would only continue working on a window from the outside – even after he broke it. He wouldn’t even venture in to clean it up.

In the middle of the night, the family living there heard sweeping noises somewhere upstairs. The next day, they discovered the mess had been swept into a neat little pile.

Two of the more credible witnesses of this ghost are famed Oregon scenic photographers Steve Terrill and Larry Geddis. Terrill spoke to BeachConnection.net editor Andre’ Hagestedt in 2001 and told him how the pair were staying at the B&B while shooting photos of the area. At one point, they spotted what looked like the figure of a woman in the window of Geddis’ room, if only briefly. When they later discovered there was absolutely no one in the building at the time, Terrill said Geddis was visibly disturbed.

Later, Terrill said, they discovered some small objects in Geddis’ room had been moved.

Oregon Coast Whales - Guide to Whale Watching; Whale News, Blog
Oregon Coast Whales - Guide to Whale Watching. Gray whales, killer whales minke whales, orcas and more. Whale news and sightings from Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City, Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Waldport, Yachats and Florence. Oregon Coast Whale Blog.

Video: On and Off Run of Humpbacks Has North Oregon Coast in Awe
Humpback whales have been spotted in heavy numbers for the last month or two around the north coast. Kids, science, Seaside Aquarium, Astoria
Oregon Coast Vacation Rentals - A Massive List
Find dozens of beach rentals in Gearhart, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Rockaway Beach, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City, Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Waldport, Yachats, Florence
N Oregon Coast's Manzanita, Wheeler, Nehalem and Rockaway Beach Offer Lodging...
Fall brings more specials to the area. Keep checking here as these are updated
Latest Lodging Specials, Deals from Cannon Beach, N. Oregon Coast
Who's offering a free night? Discounts? Lower prices and deals in Oct, Nov
Staying in Pacific City, Tierra Del Mar or Oceanside? Lodging Deals Emerge
Specials and discounts along the Three Capes Route, N. Oregon Coast
Lincoln City Lodgings, Central Oregon Coast: Latest Deals, Specials
Keep checking this page for excellent deals on places to stay in Lincoln City hotels, motels, vacation rentals
Lincoln City Oregon Coast Lodging Updates
Now with news updates for Lincoln City lodgings, attractions, beaches
Complete List of Lodgings, Motels, Hotels and Vacation Rentals in Manzanita, ...
Places to stay in Wheeler, Manzanita, Nehalem, Rockaway Beach - and nearby. On the ocean, pets, kitchens, groups

 

OR TAKE THE VIRTUAL TOUR

ASTORIA
Where the Columbia meets the Pacific, Land of Lewis & Clark and loads of atmosphere & history


SEASIDE
The Promenade, Tillamook Head, family fun & broad, sandy beaches

CANNON BEACH
A mysterious lighthouse, upscale yet earthy, a huge monolith, fine eateries & an art mecca


NEHALEM BAY
Manzanita's beaches, Nehalem and Wheeler's quirky beauty; laid back Rockaway


TILLAMOOK BAY
Garibaldi, Barview, Bay City, Tillamook & an oceanfront ghost town


THREE CAPES LOOP
The hidden secret of the coast: Cape Meares, a lighthouse, Oceanside, Netarts and Pacific City


LINCOLN CITY & THE CORRIDOR OF MYSTERY
Miles & miles of unbroken beaches, Cascade Head, Neskowin and many manmade attractions
DEPOE BAY
A spouting horn downtown, freaky hidden cliffs and whales, whales, whales
NEWPORT
Time-tripping Nye Beach, a bustling bayfront, marine science-central and two lighthouses

WALDPORT / SEAL ROCK
Pristine, even secretive sands and wild geologic landmarks

YACHATS
Constantly dramatic wave action, a mix of the rugged & upscale

UPPER LANE COUNTY
25 miles of deserted beaches & oodles of wonders

FLORENCE
A lighthouse, ancient bayfront and miles and miles of fluffy dunes

Secrets of the Season

 

Tradewinds Motel, Rockaway Beach. All rooms are immaculate and have TV’s, VCR’s and in-room phones w/ data ports. Oceanfronts have queen bed, a double hide-a-bed, kitchen, cozy firelog fireplace and private deck. Both types sleep up to four people. Others are appointed for a two-person romantic getaway, yet still perfect for those on a budget. Elaborate oceanfront Jacuzzi suite has two bedrooms, kitchen, double hide-a-bed, fireplace and private deck, sleeping as many as six. For family reunions or large gatherings such as weddings, some rooms can connect to create two-room and three-room suites. Some rooms pet friendly. 523 N. Pacific St., Rockaway Beach. (503) 355-2112 - 1-800-824-0938. www.tradewinds-motel.com


Inn at Cannon Beach. Beautifully wooded natural setting at quiet south end of Cannon Beach. Great during winter storms with a new book by the fireplace – or when the sun is out for family fun and beach strolling. Handsome beach cottage-style architecture. Lush flowering gardens and naturalized courtyard pond. Warm, inviting guest rooms. Continental buffet breakfast. Warm Cookies. Family and Pet Friendly. Welcome gifts. Smoke-free. Complimentary Wireless Connectivity. Wine and book signing events. 800-321-6304 or 503-436-9085. Hemlock At Surfcrest, Cannon Beach, Oregon. www.atcannonbeach.com.


The Ocean Lodge. There will not be another property built like this in Cannon Beach in our lifetimes. Rare, premiere ocean front location; handsome, dramatic architecture and tasteful, fun (nostalgic) beach interiors. Overlooks Haystack Rock. 100 percent smoke free. Imaginative special occasion packages. Massive wood burning lobby fireplace. Library w/ fireplace, stocked with impressive book collection. Pet and family friendly. Lavish continental buffet breakfast. In-room fireplaces, mini-kitchens. Jacuzzi tubs in select rooms. DVD players, complimentary movies. Morning paper. Warm cookies. 888-777-4047. 503-436-2241. 2864 Pacific Street. Cannon Beach, Oregon. www.theoceanlodge.com


Arch Cape Property Services. Dozens of homes in that dreamy, rugged stretch between Cannon Beach and Manzanita known as Arch Cape. Oceanfront and ocean view , or just a short walk from the sea.
All homes are immaculate and smoke free; some pet friendly (with a fee). Some with broadband, indoor or outdoor hot tubs, fireplaces, decks, and fire pits or barbecues. Call about tempting winter specials that go until March (not valid holidays, however). www.archcaperentals.com 866-436-1607.