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Heceta Head Lighthouse Holds Ghost Tours at Keepers Quarters: Florence, Oregon Coast

Published 10/03/23 at 3:37 p.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Heceta Head Lighthouse Holds Ghost Tours at Keepers Quarters Next to Oregon Coast Landmark

(Florence, Oregon) – You'll never think of one famous Florence-area attraction the same. A puff of smoke that appears and is gone, maybe something moves in the corner of your eye, or a faint noise somewhere in another room that you know is not occupied. (Photo Neil Elfrink)

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Or maybe there's broken glass that has mysteriously swept itself up.

It's a history lesson with a touch of the paranormal. These are some of the tales that surround one Oregon coast lighthouse area, and on October 28 and 29 you can tour the lighthouse keepers quarters and maybe spot the spirit yourself. Those two days are the 2023 Ghost Story Tour of the Keepers House at Heceta Head Lightstation, once the home of the men who took care of the lighthouse and their families.

The Keepers House at Heceta Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast is the only such former living quarters on the Oregon coast that is a BnB, boasting not just incredible views but insanely exquisite cuisine and some interesting tales.

The Ghost Story tours happen 11 a.m. through 2:30 p.m., allowing you to experience the history of the place as well as that which is not entirely tangible. You'll get to hear what past guests have said and what staff at the BnB have seen.

Each tour runs about 20 to 30 minutes and there's a limit of 15 people per session. Advance reservations of $10 per person are required: you won't get to just show up and pay a door cover, so to speak.

Heceta Head Lighthouse is the only one on the Oregon coast that still has its keepers quarters, and it's the only lighthouse where there's actual evidence of hauntings and not just marketing talk. Tales of ectoplasmic visitations go back decades here, with the family that runs the BnB saying it's a friendly ghost, and they even consider her part of the family.

She's known as the Gray Lady or Rue, often showing up as an elderly lady or a vague, smoke-like figure that quickly disappears. Some long-ago tales claim she's the remnant of a secret grave nearby while others have it she is the mother of a baby whose grave sits close to the lighthouse.

One infamous incident was a group of men working on the building, and one of them encountered the ghost and ran screaming from the house. Afterwards, he would not step foot in the famed Oregon coast construct.

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Oregon Coast Beach Connection interviewed a famous photographer way back in 2001 (when editor Andre' Hagestedt was working for another paper). Steve Terrill, who passed away in 2021, told the future Oregon Coast Beach Connection founder that he was staying at the BnB back in the '90s, along with another famed Oregon photographer, Larry Geddis.

He and Geddis both caught a glimpse of something in the shape of a woman in the attic of the keeper's quarters while on a shoot.

"We both saw it," Terrill said. "You could just barely make out the outline. And then it just disappeared. Steve got spooked and said, 'No, I don't want to think about it.' And later on, when we found out it was the attic we were looking at, I realized it was right above the room he was staying in."

Later on, Geddis was quite disturbed when the pair found out no one had been home when they had the sighting.

The Heceta Lighthouse Gift Shop is open 10 – 6 daily through September and 11 - 5 daily through October. The park is located off of Hwy 101 just 13 miles north. Parking is available at the Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic View Point and parking is $5 per vehicle. Get tickets here

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Coastal Spotlight

Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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