Monday, January 16, 2017

Wolf Creek Inn

Wolf Creek Inn
This inn was originally called the “Wolf Creek Tavern” when it opened in the 1880s. It is the oldest continuously operated inn in the Pacific Northwest.

In its heyday, it serviced weary travelers that made the 16-day journey north from San Francisco to Portland, Oregon.

Jack London is said to have finished his story Valley of the Moon while staying at Wolf Creek in the summer of 1911. He is one of the spirits that have been seen and heard in the inn since his death in 1916.



In later years, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks stayed at Wolf Creek. Clark Gable, his wife Carol Lombard and Orson Wells also stayed at the inn. John Wayne rented a room while he filmed Rooster Cogburn

The inn today has a variety of spirits that still make appearances. One favorite ghost story is about a stagecoach driver named, One-Eyed Charlie Parkhurst. During the Gold Rush years Charlie was known to be one of the toughest drivers along the northern route.

Stagecoach Drivers
Quotes about Charlie include: “He drove his team hard, cussed up a storm and spat tobacco juice harder than anyone else.”

Charlie had a reputation for never missing a day’s work—except the day after payday when he was too hung over to drive.

In 1868, Charlie registered to vote, he told friends so he could vote for Ulysses S. Grant.

When Charlie Parkhurst died at the age of 67, the mortician that tended his body was in for a shock. Charlie was actually “Charlotte” an orphan girl who escaped her life by hiding as a man.

When Charlie voted in the 1868 presidential election some believe she was the first woman in the U.S to cast a vote.

For years, people who have visited Wolf Creek claim to have seen the ghost of a rough dressed man on the main floor at the inn. This ghost’s voice has been picked up on EVPs. Many believe this is One-Eyed Charlie.

But the facts point to another conclusion. Charlie died four years before the Wolf Creek Tavern opened. So it is unlikely her ghost is the one seen. But this story was too good to pass up.

This inn is owned by the state of Oregon and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

One Wedding Tradition Wards off Evil Spirits

Today, when one thinks of weddings they don’t think of evil spirits. Weddings instead are seen as celebrations—happy events.

But one wedding tradition still observed today came about because of an ancient Roman belief. The Romans believed brides had to protect themselves from evil. They thought merriment attracted evil spirits—not to mention rejected grooms.

So a tradition began during this time to assure the bride and groom were protected from demons and angry ex-boyfriends.

All the females in the wedding party dressed the same as the bride. This was to confuse anyone or anything with ill will. It was a trick to keep the wedding couple safe—so they could get through their vows unhindered.

This belief of demonic wedding crashers persisted well into the Victorian era when it finally petered out. At this point brides began to dress more elaborately than the maids in their wedding parties.


What lingers from this protective ritual is the fact bride maids still dress in matching dresses—most of them unflattering.


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Johnny Morehouse and His Dog

Many claim that Woodlawn Cemetery * in Dayton, Ohio is haunted. The most popular story is about the ghosts of a five year old boy and his dog.

Woodlawn Cemetery
Like many ghost stories about young children this one is more charming than scary.

In the mid 1800s residents of Dayton used a series of man-made canals to transport goods and people.

Miami and Erie Canal
The Morehouse family lived in the back of their shoe-repair shop in downtown Dayton. Behind this shop ran the Miami and Erie canal. In August of 1860, the Morehouse’s youngest son Johnny was playing near the canal with his dog. The young boy lost his balance and fell into the water.

His dog jumped in after him. He was able to pull his master out of the water but it was too late—Johnny had drowned.

The Morehouse family buried Johnny at Woodlawn Cemetery. Within days of his funeral people began to see an unusual sight. Johnny’s dog was lying on his grave and would not leave.

As the days passed people worried this dog would starve to death so they began to bring him food. Because of this dog’s faithful vigil a new headstone was carved for Johnny’s grave. It has “Johnny Morehouse” inscribed on the front and “Sweet Slumber” inscribed on one side.

It depicts a large dog enfolding Johnny tenderly. Today, this gravesite is the most visited in the cemetery. People leave offerings of coins, stuffed animals, various toys and food—in fond remembrance of this child and his devoted companion.


Offerings in remembrance.


For three months in 2008 a rumor was spread that the gravestone was vandalized. These stories were false. The head on the statue of the dog did disappear –the reason for this was with age it had fallen off. It was repaired and placed back on the statue.

Over the years, witnesses have claimed to see the ghosts of Johnny and his dog throughout the cemetery. They are seen running and playing together.

Many have heard the sounds of Johnny’s laughter as his dog barks.

Most interesting are the reports that people have seen what appears to be the statue of the dog breathing. Some have put their hands directly under the dog’s stone nostrils and felt these breaths.

*  Woodlawn is the 5th oldest garden cemetery in the U.S. Orville and Wilbur Wright are buried here as well as Erma Bombeck.

Monday, October 31, 2016

An Unusual 911 Call

This is from a first-person account.

I used to work as a 911 operator in a large urban area. One night shift I worked, at around 3:00 a.m., I answered a call from an elderly woman.

She told me she didn’t feel well. I tried several times to illicit more information from her. Was she having chest pains, trouble breathing etc.?

The only response I got was her stating over and over again she was not feeling well. She did give her address and phone number. She also volunteered that she was alone and her front door was unlocked. 

She said when the paramedics arrived they should walk right in.

I put the call out as a “general illness” and continued to talk to her. After several minutes she told me in a weak voice, “ I don’t feel well.” She then stated, “She needed to go to the bathroom.”

I tried to encourage her to stay on the line but I heard her put the phone down. Every few minutes I called her name but received no response.

Eventually a firefighter whom had been dispatched to the callers’ home came on the line. He asked if the call had come in from a third party or family member. I replied “no.”


He sounded puzzled as he told me they had found an elderly lady in the bathroom. I told him that was the lady who had made the call. He slowly stated “no” and then informed me that the lady in the bathroom had been dead for at least 12 hours. That rigor had set in.

Afterwards my supervisor and I pulled the tapes on this call to see if I had missed something. We checked the timestamp, address and phone number. No one else was in the home.

My only explanation is I took a call from a dead woman.