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

Covering 180 miles of Oregon coast travel: Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City, Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Wadport, Yachats & Florence.


It's Fall on the Coast: Summer is Here Again.

Digging Into Oregon Coast Sentinels Brings More Ghosts to Light

Heceta Head Lightouse

(Oregon Coast) – Halloween may be over, but interest in the chilling tales of Oregon's lighthouses remains high.

Oregon's lighthouse are, well, still in the spotlight, with a film about Oregon lighthouses ready for release and two episodes of The Oregon Coast Show spotlighting the haunted lighthouse legends.

Yet there’s more to these stories than meets the eye, say staff at BeachConnection.net and locally produced TV show The Oregon Coast Show. In the midst of preparing for projects of their own and collaborations on others, both camps have discovered much about lighthouses, their ghosts and other paranormal stories of the coast – and they’ve found all these elements and experiences have weaved the two crews together in some interesting ways.

It’s a massive tale of discovery that stretches over time: from the beginnings of the lighthouses, through to their creepy tales and other oddball bits of history, to the background behind the research that went into the various projects.

Warren House in Cannon Beach: Keep reading to find out what haunts this watering hole

And then there’s the spooky ending to the story, where BeachConnection.net again learns about more creepy ghost tales on the coast from an Oregon Coast Show cameraman.

Seeing Ghosts on TV

The Oregon Coast Show (Channel 22, KPXG), will spotlight these haunted tales the following two Thursdays – Nov. 2 and Nov. 16 – at 7:30 p.m. on channel 22, or on Comcast cable ch. 5. It will also air Thursdays and Fridays on Nov. 2 - 3, and Nov. 16 – 17, in Tillamook County and Lincoln County, on Charter cable ch. 18.

The episodes are partially footage from Oregon Coast Show producer Scott Gibson’s DVD “Oregon Lights,” which will be released soon for purchase. Other parts of the Oregon Coast Show segments on haunted lighthouses come from BeachConnection.net editor Andre’ Hagestedt, who acts as the on-air reporter, transitioning sections of the show segments and sharing his own knowledge about the subject. See the story on Oregon coast haunted lighthouses

The Filming of “Oregon Lights”

Sometimes the storytellers can be the storymakers as well.

Such is the case with Scott Gibson, cameraman and producer with Oregon Coast Show, who produced “Oregon Lights” around 2000, which then aired on OPB a couple times. The film will soon be released on DVD for purchase.

It takes the viewer on a tour of all the lighthouses up and down the coast, through their history, and touches upon the legends of hauntings as well. It even features interviews with author Jim Gibbs, who not only served aboard the crazed Tillamook Rock Lighthouse until it was shut down in 1957, but he created his own small lighthouse with his home in Yachats.

It was a labor of love for Gibson, who thought about the documentary for years. “Ever since I was a kid I had a fascination with lighthouses,” Gibson said. “So I was happy to blend my skills as a producer with a fascination of mine. I really loved making this documentary.”

The film took about a year to make, with Gibson having to rent equipment for $300 a day at the time, since he didn’t have his own broadcast quality gear. “It became a real ‘magical act’ for me to coordinate interviews and days that were available to shoot at the various lighthouses,” he said. “Plus, I had to coordinate with the ever-changing Oregon coast weather.”

Postproduction took another three months, and still included a lot of exhausting driving between the coast and Portland.

Lighthouse at Yaquina Head

The making of the film had its perks, however. Most lighthouse officials gave Gibson exclusive access to areas not normally permitted to the public. He got to see a lot of things most people don’t.

But one hurdle was the officials at Cape Arago’s lighthouse, on the south coast. “The Coast Guard Chief from Coos Bay at that time would not allow me to cross the footbridge to get right up to the lighthouse,” Gibson said. “He said it was a liability issue, and I explained that I would sign any necessary waivers, etc. But he wouldn't budge. It seemed to me like he just wanted to throw his weight around. I saw the footbridge myself and it would have been safe for me to walk across it.”

Gibson learned much from his documentary work, including the revelation that the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse’s ghost was from a work of fiction. In the DVD, he’s careful to point that out, and to dispel the myth that Yaquina Head’s lighthouse was accidentally built in the wrong place.

“Basically, there's no reason a lighthouse as tall as Yaquina Head would need to be placed high atop Cape Foulweather where it would be in the fog line much of the time,” he said.

The ghost stories didn’t faze him at all. Gibson is a realist – but one who knows first the sad truth about Oregon’s lighthouses. The DVD ends with a poignant statement about what won’t ever happen again with these wonderful icons.

“I don't know if any of the other ghost stories have any credibility, but lighthouses are truly remarkable structures,” Gibson said. “It’s sad to think another one will never be built.”

The Connection to Beach Connection

It was about 2001 when BeachConnection.net editor Andre’ Hagestedt saw Gibson’s film, “Oregon Lights” – some five years before they actually met. This, like anything about the coast, grabbed his attention, Hagestedt said. He watched it intently, and even took notes.

“I’d never heard the story about the ghost in Yaqunia Head’s lighthouse,” Hagestedt said. “It enthralled me.”

Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, on the north coast

Not long after, Hagestedt was assigned a story on coastal ghosts for the Salem Statesman Journal. He called up the Bureau of Land Management to find out more about the ghost story, and got an interesting surprise.

“They told me they had just gotten a letter from a descendant of the guy who was supposedly the ghost, and she said the guy had actually moved to Portland and passed away there in the 30’s,” Hagestedt said. “There was no ghost there.”

In the summer of 2005, Gibson and Hagestedt met, as part of a shoot for the Oregon Coast Show.

“I remember babbling on about coastal ghost stories to the crew, including that experience where that ghost story was ghost busted,” Hagestedt. “It was kind’a funny the odd looks of recognition on our faces. I was talking about having seen the ghost story on HIS video, but didn’t totally realize who had done it until that moment.”

A Real Life X-File in Neskowin

Filming in Neskowin

That shoot took place in Neskowin, with the crew interviewing Hagestedt about what is called the “ghost forest” there – nearly petrified stumps from a forest about two thousand years old.

At one point, with Hagestedt’s feet submerged in wet sand during the shoot, he felt something sting his foot. He pulled it out, finding what looked like a bug or wood chip in that spot. He brushed it off him and let his foot sink back in again.

Then the weird stuff happened.

“It kept stinging,” he said. “But I ignored it for ten minutes, thinking this has got to be my imagination. But after awhile I looked at it again, and the same black object was there. It was a bug of some sort, and it kind of looked like a leech – somewhere between that and a potato bug.

“And the crew actually filmed this: there was a little bloody spot there. Whatever it was, it actually drew blood. So there’s proof.”

Part of the crew included on-air personality Cindy Hanson, also the PR person for the Oregon Coast Aquarium. She said she was pretty well versed in aquatic life and species, but had no clue what could act a bit like a leech.

“I swear I might’ve encountered a new species,” Hagestedt said. “No one there, or my friends at Seaside Aquarium, had any clue what this was.”

More Ghosts and the Coast

Kusz shoots the Pacific panorama

Sometimes you hear about these horror movies being filmed where the subject matter seems to bring up some sort of dark energy, and bad things happen.

When Hagestedt filmed the haunted lighthouse segment for Oregon Coast Show recently, he said the vibe got weird.

The cameraman was Lincoln City resident Jim Kusz, who does a lot of video work for various news agencies, commercials and for Oregon Coast Show. It turned out that Kusz had a lot of new ghost stories – and new angles on old ones – that Hagestedt hadn’t heard before.

Lincoln City Vacation Homes There’s something for everyone among this selection of wondrous homes: smaller homes with a view to a large house that sleeps 15. All the homes are either oceanfront or just a few steps away from the sand – 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, depending on the home: 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 are allowed in some homes – ask ahead. Each comes with complete kitchens so you’ll have a home away from home. Most have the seventh night free. Prices range from winter $85 to summer $230 per night. www.getaway2thecoast.com. 541-994-8778.

Hagestedt, Kusz and Hagestedt’s girlfriend Melissa Haines met at a secret spot in Depoe Bay, with dramatic crashing waves.

“First, there were some weird noises where we were,” Hagestedt said. “It was just birds, I guess, but it was broad daylight and they sounded like kooky moans. Jim and I laughed and made scary noises.”

At one point, Kusz was filming Melissa in the distance, looking out over the sea in a wistful, slightly moody moment, possibly for use in the ghost segment. Kusz made a joke about “Oooo, and there’s the ghost girl…” – a reference to the teen ghost story about the Yaquina Bay Ligthouse.

Just then, said Hagestedt, another unseen bird made one of those weird noises.

“The part that really freaked us out, however, was his ghost stories,” Hagestedt. “And, it turned out, he was the guy who had filmed the footage they use in the ‘Oregon Coast Ghosts’ videotape that the Lincoln City Visitor’s Center sells.”

Kusz told firsthand stories about filming the ghost hunters in the video who were checking out the ghost at the Spouting Horn in Depoe Bay. He talked about witnessing the two ghost hunters telling the third to be still, as the ghost was screaming and yelling at him.

“It’s a particularly chilling moment on that video,” Hagestedt said.

Kusz talked about the legend of the Oceanlake firehouse in Lincoln City, where he had brought the ghost hunters to do some fake ghost shots.

Apparently, Kusz hadn’t told them this place was supposedly haunted. He told them to just relax while he set up. They soon came up to him and said, “There’s a presence here.”

They told Kusz something to the effect that “there’s pain in his chest.”

That freaked him out, Kusz said, who later did some research on the firehouse. There was a 1940’s fire truck still in the firehouse for show. Kusz said he discovered it was the same one that carried away a firefighter who suddenly had a heart attack while on a call. “The man died on the way to the hospital – in that very fire truck,” Kusz said.

A Final Paranormal Thought

From Andre’ Hagestedt, BeachConnection.net
In preparation for these talks on the paranormal on the coast, I did some more digging around. I found some more interesting ghostie tidbits about Cannon Beach.

Spooky something at Warren House

While goofing around the Warren House, I heard some hair-curling tales about a supposed ghost there. Some employees talk about a presence that spooks people every once in a while, including the tale of a specter that creeped out a repairman so bad he ran out, ashen faced, refusing to come back in.

One of the chefs talks about something that freaked him out so bad he started crying. Some employees there say they’ve encountered something otherworldly, while others say “no way.”

Meanwhile, all this inspired me to play around with fake ghost shots at the Warren House, which you’ll see here. See the story on Oregon coast haunted lighthouses


calendar of events  | lewis & clark guide
beach news | weather
editor's adventure blog
columnists: guy ditorrice (general) | peg miller (shopping)
coastal pubcrawl | Important Links
coastal science | kooky coast
oregon coast mileage chart & map | day trips, suggested itineraries
Search This Site's Over 800 pages
In Awe of AstoriaASTORIA
Where the Columbia meets the Pacific, Land of Lewis & Clark and loads of atmosphere & history
Serenity in SeasideSEASIDE
The Promenade, Tillamook Head, family fun & broad, sandy beaches
Cavort in Cannon BeachCANNON BEACH
A mysterious lighthouse, upscale yet earthy, a huge monolith, fine eateries & an art mecca
Annihilating  Beauty of Nehalem BayNEHALEM BAY
Manzanita's beaches, Nehalem and Wheeler's quirky beauty; laid back Rockaway
Time Trip Around Tillamook BayTILLAMOOK BAY
Garibaldi, Barview, Bay City, Tillamook & an oceanfront ghost town
Triple the Pleasure in 3 CapesTHREE CAPES LOOP
The hidden secret of the coast: Cape Meares, a lighthouse, Oceanside, Netarts and Pacific City
Miles & miles of unbroken beaches, Cascade Head, Neskowin and many manmade attractions
Divine Depoe BayDEPOE BAY
A spouting horn downtown, freaky hidden cliffs and whales, whales, whales
Nature in NewportNEWPORT
Time-tripping Nye Beach, a bustling bayfront, marine science-central and two lighthouses
Staggering Seal RockWALDPORT / SEAL ROCK
Pristine, even secretive sands and wild geologic landmarks
Aargh, there's no alliteration with Yachats - but it IS unbelievableYACHATS
Constantly dramatic wave action, a mix of the rugged & upscale
Unsurpassable Upper LaneUPPER LANE COUNTY
25 miles of deserted beaches & oodles of wonders
Fine Times in FlorenceFLORENCE
A lighthouse, ancient bayfront and miles and miles of fluffy dunes

Tradewinds Motel, Rockaway Beach. All rooms at the Tradewinds Motel are immaculate and have TV’s, VCR’s and in-room phones with data ports. The oceanfronts all have a queen bed, a double hide-a-bed, kitchen, cozy firelog fireplace and a private deck. Some oceanfront units come with all those amenities but the kitchens. Both types sleep up to four people. Others are appointed with a queen bed, small fridge, and coffee maker – sizable for a two-person romantic getaway, yet still perfect for those on a budget. There is an elaborate oceanfront Jacuzzi suite that has two bedrooms, coming with a kitchen, double hide-a-bed, fireplace and private deck, sleeping as many as six. For those wanting bigger accommodations for family reunions or large gatherings such as weddings, some rooms can connect to create two-room and three-room suites. Some rooms are pet friendly.523 N. Pacific St., Rockaway Beach. (503) 355-2112 - 1-800-824-0938. www.tradewinds-motel.com


D Sands Condominium Motel, Lincoln City. Fresh baked cookie upon check-in is just the beginning. All rooms beachfront. Each 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; movie rentals come with free popcorn. Heated indoor pool, a spa, and this fabulous beach is lit at night. Rooms sleep two, four to six - including a deluxe fireplace suite. Gift certificates are available, and they offer special occasion packages as well. ww.dsandsmotel.com. 171 S.W. Highway 101. 800-527-3925.




STARFISH POINT is located on the Central Oregon Coast - in Newport - and offers only the finest in luxury condominium lodging. At Starfish Point, every unit is focused on the beauty of the sea and the beach.
All of the units boast two bedrooms, two bathrooms, designer kitchens, wireless broadband Internet, fireplaces, Jacuzzi’s and private decks - surrounding you in soothing relaxation. We have a friendly staff dedicated to high quality and superb customer service. 140 NW 48th Street, Newport. (541) 265-3751. (800) 870-7795. www.starfishpoint.com


Weiss' Paradise Suites & Vacation Rentals - Seaside

Unique Luxury Accommodations in Seaside. 1BR Suites, 1BR & 2BR Duplex Units and 3BR Houses, units for 2-8 people. Rent our entire property for 20-26. All units close to beach, river and Broadway St.
Suites are designed for two adults; vacation rental units for families. All units have kitchen and many have fireplace, deck and jetted tub. Enjoy comfy robes & slippers, luxury bath amenities, quality linens and more. See us on The Travel Channel's "Great Escapes" show in August 2006. 741 S. Downing St., Seaside. 800-738-6691. www.SeasideSuites.com



THE TIDES BY THE SEA, Seaside. For over 80 years, The Tides has been a favorite of Seaside visitors. History meets modern luxury here. 51 oceanfront condos, individually owned and decorated. Find suites for couples, small apartments with fireplaces and kitchenettes, one or two bedroom family units with fireplaces, kitchens and dining rooms. There are wonderful oceanview cottages that sleep anywhere from two to eight people, with two bedrooms, some with lofts, fireplaces and kitchens.
Meanwhile, the heated outdoor pool, enormous grounds with picnic tables and location at the quiet southern end of Seaside make for some memorable means of play and repose. 2316 Beach Drive. 800-548-2846. www.thetidesbythesea.com



Tales of Haunted Oregon Coast Lighthouses Four Oregon lights have weird tales, and even stranger truths

More Oregon Coast Ghosts: Upstairs in the Seaside Aquarium A collection of spooky shots and weird history behind the landmark

Oregon Coast Ghosts and Other Paranormal Legends Tales of ghosts, UFO's, spiritual spots and more abound on these beaches

Oregon Coastal Village Wows with Mystic Vibe, Ghost Forest Neskowin is different in many ways, including its geologic features

Coast Abuzz Over Photos of Green Flash, Glowing Sand Coastal residents caught photos of glowing sands and the green flash