Ghosts

Here’s that article I wanted to share with you.

But then I got sucked back to memories of sailing!!

Oregon’s lighthouses as recently published over on Mother Nature Network!

ooOOoo

The tallest lighthouse in Oregon has a haunted history

Yet there is more to Yaquina Head Lighthouse in Newport than these ghostly stories.


JAYMI HEIMBUCH   February 16, 2018

The Yaquina Head Lighthouse in Newport, Oregon has a long history, which of course means rumors of ghosts and hauntings. (Photo: P Meybruck/Shutterstock)

On a scenic basalt rock headland that juts almost a mile into the Pacific Ocean stands a beautiful white lighthouse. At 93 feet tall, the Yaquina Head Lighthouse, located in Newport, Oregon, is the state’s tallest lighthouse. It’s been guiding ships for 145 years.

First lit on August 20, 1873, the lighthouse has gained quite the storied history. And that includes two ghost stories.

The Yaquina Head Lighthouse is one of two in Newport, Oregon. (Photo: Dee Browning/Shutterstock)

One tale tells of a construction worker helping to build the tower who fell to his death. His body lodged between the double walls, never to be retrieved. He — and his ghost — have been sealed in ever since.

The second story is that in the 1920s, Keeper Smith went into town and left Keeper Higgins in charge. But Higgins fell sick and asked Keeper Story to take over. When Smith saw from Newport that the lighthouse beacon wasn’t lit, he rushed back to find Higgins dead and Story drunk. Story, overtaken with guilt, feared the ghost of Higgins and from then on would take his bulldog up the tower with him.

A view from the northern side of the Yaquina Head Lighthouse. (Photo: Jeremy Klager/Shutterstock)

As with most ghost stories, the authenticity of these is highly doubted. The first story is unauthenticated, and the second story is impossible. As Lighthouse Friends clarifies:

A great tale, but unfortunately not supported by the facts that Story and Higgins didn’t serve at the same time at Yaquina Head and Higgins didn’t meet his demise in the tower. Rather, Higgins left the Lighthouse Service before 1920 and returned to live with his mother in Portland. Second Assistant Keeper did die of a heart attack in the watchroom atop the tower in March 1921, but he too served before the arrival of Frank Story.

aquina Head Lighthouse stands tall under big cloudy skies. (Photo: haveseen/Shutterstock)

Fortunately, much more than ghosts can be seen at Yaquina Head Lighthouse. The lighthouse stands on what is now the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, one of the most spectacular

spots on the coast for viewing ocean wildlife such as sea birds and harbor seals at close range, as well as traipsing through tide pools at low tide. An interpretive center highlights information about these wild inhabitants and features exhibits on the historical details of the lighthouse.

Yaquina Head lighthouse by the Oregon Coast during a beautiful sunset. (Photo: RuthChoi/Shutterstock)

The original oil-powered light has given way to an automated first-order Fresnel lens and a 1,000-watt globe. It flashes with its own specific pattern: two seconds on, two off, two on, and 14 off. The pattern is repeated around the clock.

May the lighthouse stand tall for generations to come. (Photo: Tomas Nevesely/Shutterstock)

While a little illumination causes the ghost stories to fade, visitors can still see a lot with a visit to Yaquina Head. Whether it’s grey whales at close range during their migration, or the sun setting over the ocean and silhouetting the tall structure, visitors are always happy they stopped to take in both the scene and the history of this special place.

ooOOoo

I really hope that despite the advance of digital GPS navigation systems it will still be a very long time before these magnificent lighthouses are turned off!

24 thoughts on “Ghosts

    1. Yes, there’s something about lighthouses that really stirs up our memories of older times. Times when being at sea was not ‘a walk in the park’ and being connected to civilization via the light beam from a lighthouse must have been very special.

  1. I have always dreamed of living in a lighthouse. Seems like it would be so peaceful. Thanks for sharing that. 🙂 Beautiful pics

    1. Would that dream be living in a functional lighthouse? Because if so I would imagine the sound of the revolving machinery would take some getting used to! But love your enjoyment of today’s post! 😍

  2. Didn’t get the chance to visit either of these when my daughter lived in Eugene. We did however go to Heceta Head Lighthouse one evening and it left me with a deep fondness for these structures and the Oregon rocky coast.

    1. We are 80 miles inland of Oregon’s Pacific coast and that’s just too far to visit on the spur of the moment. Shame! For it is a spectacular coastline and looking out over the ocean from a vantage point on a headland is pretty precious! I sense you sharing that in your words of your lovely response above! 😍

      1. My couple of trips to your beautiful state seriously had me consider relocating. And then my daughter moved to a state I would not consider moving to so here I stay for now. I’ll just have to content myself with short visits. *Sigh*

      2. We never planned to move to Oregon. But our previous home in Payson, AZ, some 80 miles NE of Phoenix, was in an area where the rainfall trend was troubling. Despite Payson being up at 5,000 feet, surrounded by forest, the city drew water essentially from one underground aquifer. We had a good well but a few homes were starting to see signs of trouble with their wells. Came up to Oregon for the rain, found a property that had been empty for years, Bank owned, put in a silly offer that was accepted, sold our Payson home and moved here, with 12 dogs and 6 cats, in October, 2012! Love the place. Will share some pictures of here next Sunday!

      3. Thank you. Yes, for an Englishman to own, with his wife, 13 acres of beautiful country, including a creek that flows through the land, and offering incredible views of Mt. Sexton to the Northeast from our bedroom windows, is a dream that I haven’t tired of. Back in the old country Mr. and Mrs. Average would be lucky to own a nice home with a quarter acre plot size!

      4. Should have added and that is from an old fart who still has a soul drifting somewhere out in the Atlantic Ocean! Don’t know where it comes from but my roots are very much in the sea!

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