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Featured Haunted Places Horror Mystery and Lore

The Ghost of McMenamin’s Grand Lodge in Forest Grove, Oregon

Other than perhaps the Shanghai Tunnels in Portland, Oregon—the Grand Lodge located in Forest Grove, Oregon is known as one of the most haunted places in the state.

History of the McMenamin’s Grand Lodge

The Grand Lodge sits on approximately thirteen acres of park-like land, which has an old school brick lodge sitting right in the center. The Grand Lodge was originally constructed as a Masonic Lodge in 1922, featuring the iconic white columns, marble accents, tons of natural light, hardwood floors, and fireplaces. When the McMenamin’s restored the building, they filled it with furniture, added stained glass, original ironwork, and artwork by local talent. This historical monument to rich splendor, it boasts more than just guest rooms and a very nice restaurant with bars; it also features a spa, a soaking pool, a billiards room, and a movie theater. Other than these lavish features, the main building has multiple parlor rooms with fireplaces, comfortable couches, and a table to play board games. Aside from the main building, there is a Children’s Cottage—which exists because the adult residents of the lodge preferred that the Mason’s orphans to live in separate quarters—and a Masonic Museum, for the days in which it was used as a Masonic Lodge.

The Haunting of the Grand Lodge

Every bedside table in the Grand Lodge comes with complimentary earplugs because there is no room in the entire lodge where people didn’t complain about unidentifiable noises in the night. One particular guest reports that they had a set of keys that inexplicably disappeared—at first believed it to be absent-mindedness—then they all-but turned over their entire room in search of them only to discover that they were still nowhere to be found. The keys reappeared miraculously on their bedside table, which only the night before was completely bare. They reported their experiences to the lodge’s staff, they were told they were one of several of such similar reports—they were even allowed to borrow a binder that was full of witness statements to learn more about all of the ghostly experiences that had occurred inside of those walls.

Over the years since renovation, staff and guests have both reported having seen a woman with white hair and wearing a patterned dress with slippers. This particular apparition has been described in such a way that it matches the large portrait of a woman that hangs on the premises. They believe that this ghost is the spirit of a woman who lived there for many years and died just before her hundredth birthday and that her name was Anna.

Another Haunted McMenamin’s Location

So it’s true that the McMenamin’s Grand Lodge in Forest Grove is supposedly haunted, but what you may not realize is that there is another McMenamin’s location that is haunted as well! The White Eagle Saloon—the other McMenamin’s location—is home to a couple of apparitions, the ghost of an old housekeeper and Rose, the prostitute that was killed by one of her lovers.

Categories
Featured Haunted Places Horror Mystery and Lore

The Haunted Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel – Alberta, CA

The second you pull up to the Fairmont Banff Springs resort in Alberta, you’ll feel the goosebumps. The “Castle in the Rockies” is surrounded by snow-covered mountains that give off major The Shining vibes, while the exterior is half castle, half Tower of Terror. You know the type – rustic and scary, yet extremely sophisticated. Now don’t get us wrong, this hotel is luxurious… going for up to $300 a night while hundreds of guests each day lounge in private suites, dine on fine cuisine, play golf and enjoy the beautiful sights of Alberta. But little do they know that there are other guests roaming the halls of this popular hotel, many of whom aren’t even human. 

Fairmont Banff Springs resort

With over 130 years in business, and 757 rooms hosting people from around the world… it’s safe to say that Fairmont Banff Springs has quite the history. Between the spa appointments and selfie moments, guests have also reported quite a few ghost sightings – some harmless, and some a bit more sinister. One of the most famous spirits? The Ghost Bride. Back in the 1930’s, the young woman was said to be walking down the marble staircase on her wedding day, only to abruptly fall down the stairs to her death. It was definitely not the wonderful day she had in mind, and her ghost has been sighted by countless guests and hotel employees – dancing in the ballroom, walking up and down the stairs, or crying in the bridal suite only for staff to find it empty. Besides the cold chill she leaves behind, most consider the Ghost Bride to be relatively harmless. She’s even famous enough to have her own Collector’s Coin from the Royal Canadian Mint!

There have been other friendly ghosts known to frequent like Fairmont Banff Springs, like Sam the Bellman. Sam McCauley took his job as bellman at the hotel very seriously – so much that he still hangs out around the hotel helping guests since his death in 1975. There have been many instances of his friendly nature, such as the two older women who claimed that an elderly gentleman in plaid had unlocked their room for them… only to be told by staff that a man of that description did not work at the hotel. Or just sightings of Sam strolling along the seventh and ninth floors of the hotel without a care in the world. Sam the Bellman is forever dedicated to providing assistance to the guests of the Fairmont Banff Springs, even in death. 

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We’ve told you about the happy haunts, but the Fairmont Banff Springs does have a dark side. In particular, the gruesome tales of room 873. The legends say that there was a horrifying murder-suicide that took place in the room many years ago, with a man killing his young daughter and wife before himself. And the ghost stories have continued ever since. Guests staying in the room have heard bloody shrieks and scream all throughout the night, while maids cleaning the room report bloody fingerprints that only reappear after being washed away. In fact, the paranormal activity was so common that the hotel was forced to board up the room altogether – which we know is bad news for the major thrill seekers. But the ghosts at this century-old hotel are thriving, and always ready to meet guests. If you’re lucky enough to visit the Fairmont Banff Springs, don’t forget to look out for spirits in between your fancy dinners and spa appointments!

Want to read more about haunted hotels? We’ve got you covered.

Categories
Featured Haunted Places Horror Mystery and Lore

The Haunted Heceta Head Lighthouse of Florence, OR

Heceta Head Lighthouse in Florence, Oregon
Heceta Head Lighthouse in Florence, Oregon

In a PBS special called Legendary Lighthouses, the Heceta Head Lighthouse is referred to as a haunted lighthouse—stating that nearly everyone who has stayed at the lighthouse since the 1950s has experienced paranormal activity. These experiences include things like disembodied screams, items moving or disappear and the reappearing on their own, as well as the shadow of an old woman’s ghost in an attic window. Along with the older woman, it is said that her daughter also haunts this scenic lighthouse.

The History of the Heceta Head Lighthouse

This Queen Anne styled cottage with a red roof overlooks the rocky cliffs and violent waves of the Pacific Ocean and has done so for more than a century. Originally built in 1894, when the lamp was first lit, to the early 1960s, the men who kept the lighthouse running, and their families called this cottage home. During World War II it served as military barracks and was used as a satellite campus for Lane Community College in Eugene from 1970 to 1995. Since 1995, it has been run as a bed and breakfast with room enough to fit fifteen guests comfortably.

Ghostly Experiences at the Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage

Heceta Head Lighthouse Keepers Cottage
Photography by Jrozwado

Some of the experiences that have occurred on the premises have been the apparition of a gray-haired woman who appears wearing a late Victorian-era dress; a wispy gray figure has also appeared floating down the hallway. The sounds of sweeping and furniture being moved occur at night and they come from the locked and otherwise unoccupied attic. These occurrences in the lighthouse keeper’s cottage have given this location the reputation of being one of the most haunted places on the West Coast.

For the last four decades, the main apparition—or presence—has been known as Rue, ever since a group of the Lane Community College students broke out their Ouija Board and began to ask questions. Apparently the board spelled out, “R-U-E,” and the name stuck. While “[Rue] doesn’t ever do anything scary or harmful or threatening,” current manager Anderson reports, “it’s more like she’s watching over the place. Watching the house and looking for her daughter.”

Anderson has heard many versions of many stories over the years that she has managed the property, to the point where she wonders if they even know the truth, and says that “it’s just [their] version [of the story].” The only story that they do endorse as the truth is the theory that Rue was the wife of one of the lighthouse keepers, but records can’t confirm that due to the fact that the wives and children of the keepers were never documented. Anderson believes that Rue had two daughters and that one of them had drowned—they are uncertain whether she drowned in the ocean or in a cistern, but that there is an unmarked grave up on the hillside that had been long left undisturbed and consequently was overgrown.

Although Rue left the Heceta Head Cottage after her daughter died, it is said that she came back after her own death to look for her daughter. When checking into the bed and breakfast, there are many guests that request the Victoria room, where the keepers of the lighthouse and their wives were said to have slept. Others are drawn to the Cape Cove Room, which contains a closet that houses the stairs leading up to the locked attic. Still other guests prefer not to know at all.

Possibly the most frightening encounter with Rue that was ever reported appeared in the Siuslaw News in 1975—a workman was cleaning one of the windows in the attic when he noticed an odd reflection in the glass. When she turned to see what was behind him, he saw the apparition of an elderly woman wearing a late-Victorian style gown—he fled the house and didn’t return to the cottage for several days and refused to ever go into the attic again. Even when he accidentally broke one of the attic windows, he opted instead to repair the window from the outside and the broken glass was left on the attic floor. That same night, the caretakers of the house were woken up to the sounds of scraping sounds in the attic and reported that it sounded as if someone was sweeping up broken glass, but they had not yet been told about the broken window. The next morning when they went to investigate, they found that the glass had been swept into a neat pile.

Other stories include one from a guest when sleeping in the Cape Cove room, she was awakened at 4:30 in the morning to what felt like a presence climbing into bed beside her and staying for a couple of hours. She said she felt concerned about the experience, but she was unharmed and in an odd way felt honored that she had the opportunity to experience it. Despite the lack of truly negative experiences, the manager of the bed and breakfast, Anderson, refuses to spend the night there anymore.

One of her employees, a housekeeper and food server named Beth Mozzachio, said she often feels a presence while she’s working and specifically reported making the bed and then noticing a depression has formed, as if someone recently sat there. Mazzachio knows that if she ever saw an apparition of Rue that she would be terrified, but believes that because she takes care of the inn and makes it look nice that Rue doesn’t bother her much.

The Anna Byrne Chronicles: Chapter 01 – The Haunting of Heceta Head

We’ve discussed the Heceta Head Lighthouse before in our Encyclopedia of Supernatural Horror, where we aimed to discuss the facts of the location–in this article we’ve tried to go a bit further with witness experiences. We have even created an original horror fiction where our character visits Heceta Head–so check out The Anna Byrne Chronicles: Chapter 01 – The Haunting of Heceta Head.