Lighthouses Conjures More Oregon Coast Ghosts
- or what - haunts the Warren House in Cannon Beach?
– It's a hot topic this time of year, to be sure.
rolling around, a film about Oregon lighthouses ready for release,
two episodes of The Oregon Coast Show spotlighting the haunted lighthouse
legends, and talks on paranormal rumors of the coast approaching,
Oregon's lighthouse are, well, in the spotlight.
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
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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.
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.
The tale begins
in the future – into next week, that is.
to See More
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.
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
give two talks this coming weekend on paranormal tales and ghost
stories of the coast: at Newport’s Oregon Coast Aquarium on
Saturday, October 28, and in Seaside, at Beach Books, on October
here for more.
filming in Newport
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.”
took another three months, and still included a lot of exhausting
driving between the coast and Portland.
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.
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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.”
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.
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.”
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.
never heard the story about the ghost in Yaqunia Head’s lighthouse,”
Hagestedt said. “It enthralled me.”
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.
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
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
and clowning 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.
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Then the weird
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.
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 might’ve encountered a new species,” Hagestedt said.
“No one there, or my friends at Seaside Aquarium, had any
clue what this was.”
Ghosts and the Coast
shoots the Pacific panorama
hear about these horror movies being filmed where the subject matter
seems to bring up some sort of dark energy, and bad things happen.
filmed the haunted lighthouse segment for Oregon Coast Show recently,
he said the vibe got weird.
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
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and Hagestedt’s girlfriend Melissa Haines met at a secret
spot in Depoe Bay, with dramatic crashing waves.
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
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.
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.
a particularly chilling moment on that video,” Hagestedt said.
about the legend of the Oceanlake firehouse in Lincoln City, where
he had brought the ghost hunters to do some fake ghost shots.
St. ramp in Lincoln City
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.”
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,”
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.
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.”
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