Yaquina Bay Lighthouse. Haunted Lighthouse Series.

Oct 11 2018, 9:27 am

     Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, is located on a hill overlooking the northern side of the entrance to 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 scene 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 he decided to leave his daughter behind with friends in Newport. Weeks lengthened into months, and the captain didn’t return. Muriel was unhappy but made friends with other teens, which helped to assuage her grief. Her group decided to explore the abandoned lighthouse. It was a mess, dilapidated, and not as much fun as they’d hoped, but they did find a strange iron plate in the floor on the second level. It was a door to a compartment that had a deep hole cut into it. They looked inside, but left the door open, and went off to explore the rest of the area. In the late afternoon, as they were preparing to leave, Muriel remembered she’d left her scarf inside and went back to get it. Her friends waited, but she didn’t return. Several went back in to look for her. After searching without success, one of the kids noticed a pool of blood on the floor, with a trail of drops leading to the iron plate, which was now—mysteriously— closed. The teens tried to open the door, but couldn’t. After coming back with help, a complete search of the lighthouse and grounds was made, and the plate was frozen in place and couldn’t be pried open.  Muriel, or her body, was never found, and a dark stain marks the floor where, what is believed to have been, her blood was found. No one knows what happened that fateful day. 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 get 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?

 

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