A squeaky voice, a wet footprint, a figure appearing in the mist … (2014)
… these are all accounts of the ghosts that haunt Oregon’s historic places.
Missing tools and cupboard doors mysteriously opening and closing are trademark moves of “the Gray Lady,” the mischievous ghost said to haunt the keeper’s house next to the Heceta Head Lighthouse near Florence. The lady ghost – nicknamed Rue – tends to act out during times of construction, according to OregonCoast.com. She allegedly peers down from the attic and appears as a smoky mist. Residents of the house have reported unusual incidents since the 1950s.
The Sumpter Valley Dredge — which dug up and processed some $4 million worth in gold in the Sumpter Valley until 1954 — is allegedly home to a ghost named Joe Bush, charged with turning on faucets, turning off the power and leaving mysterious wet footprints, according to the Baker City Herald. The Joe Bush story is captured in the book series Skeleton Creek. Information is on the Friends of the Sumpter Valley Dredge website.
And then there is the ghost that haunts Thompson’s Mills State Heritage Site, the site of a water-powered flour mill that operated from 1858 to 2004. Two different paranormal research companies have investigated the mill (Emerald Valley Paranormal and Mid-Valley Paranormal), said Park Ranger Tom Parsons.
“Both have found strong evidence” of a ghost, he said.
Mid-Valley Paranormal recorded a man’s voice saying in a squeaky, high-pitched tone, “We gotta get the product out,” Parsons said. Ott Thompson – who ran the mill for over 60 years – was known for pushing his workers and had a squeaky, high-pitched voice.
“The Emerald Valley folks had no way of knowing that,” Parsons said.
He said staffers have glimpsed the fleeting image of a man dressed in clothing from the 1950s standing next to a machine. Some ranger assistants have had very strong “feelings” and even felt hands on their shoulders in the main bedroom of the house.
Parsons himself may have encountered a ghost when working late one night. “I walked into the mill from the office, not thinking anything about the darkness or night, not feeling creeped out at all,” he said. “Suddenly, I felt like ice water was pouring through my spine.”