Haunted Yaquina Bay Oregon Lighthouse

Oct 14 2020, 10:54 am in

Are the stories true? 

               Yaquina Bay, Oregon. The charming two-story clapboard structure was deserted a mere three years after its light was first lit in 1871 and it remained empty for fourteen years. In 1889 The Army Corps of Engineers used it to house one of their engineers and his family. That is, until it was heavily damaged in a hail storm and struck by lightning. It’s had spotty off and on use until it was privately purchased and relit in December 1996 as an aid to civilian navigation.

     Deserted and in disrepair, it has ever since been the setting for many a ghostly tale. The most famous being about Muriel Travenard, born at the end of the 18th century to a sea captain and his wife. Her mother died when she was young, and for a time she sailed with her father. When she was a teen the captain decided to leave his daughter behind with friends in Newport. Weeks lengthened into months, and the captain didn’t return. Muriel and a group of friends decided to explore the abandoned and dilapidated lighthouse. They discovered an iron plate in the floor on the second level of the light opening to a deep hole. Nothing exciting there so they went off to explore. And you know teens they didn’t bother to put the iron plate over the hole. Muriel remembered she’s left her scarf inside and went to retrieve it.  

     She didn’t return. Friends went to look.  

     You know what’s coming.

     She was nowhere to be found. But…… they did find a pool of blood and a blood trail leading to the deep and mysterious hole which was now—mysteriously— closed. The teens tried to open the door, but couldn’t.  (Feel free to use your Rod Sterling voice reading that.)

     Help was summoned. A through search of the lighthouse and grounds made.

     No Muriel.  

     Are you saying, “look in the hole dummies?”

     Thing is, as the story goes, the plate was frozen in place and couldn’t be pried open.  I find that a little iffy. But anyhow, Muriel, or her body, was never found. Dark stains mark the floor where, what is believed to have been, her blood was found.

     Over the years there are claims Muriel’s ghost has been seen peering out of the lantern room or walking down the path behind the lighthouse.  

      Now here is where the story gets a little wonky. It may or may not be true. All this falderal could have originated from Lischen Miller’s story, “The Haunted Lighthouse,” published in an 1899 issue of Pacific Monthly. A fictional account of a girl named Muriel Trevenard, who mysteriously disappeared in the lighthouse after returning to retrieve her handkerchief. 

     Hmmm. So whatcha think? Fact or fiction? Did Ms. Miller hear the legend and write her story or, did the legend get legs from her story?

                                                   Rita

 

 

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