The Gray Lady of Heceta Head
|Lightkeepers house from the lighthouse|
One of the interesting things we have learned about our lighthouse is the story of the Gray Lady who is the resident ghost of the lightkeeper’s house that is now a bed and breakfast. The ranger in our orientation didn’t mention it and I think they would rather not bring it up but we began getting questions about it right away and of course we were clueless so we did some asking around and some research.
There is some conflicting information but it is thought that the ghost was the wife of one of the assistant lightkeepers here by the name of Rue. Rue was an older mother when one of her daughters died. Now this is where the conflicting information comes in. Some say it was an infant daughter who died and others a somewhat older daughter (yet still young). Some sources say she fell off the cliff, some say she fell into a cistern, some sources say she was ill. There is rumor that there is a grave on the property of an infant girl that was tended for many years but now no one seems to know its location. What is consistent is that this mother is still inhabiting the house looking for her daughter. Many tales of tools moved, cabinets and doors mysteriously shutting, noises of crying, screaming and even laughter. They do tend to think she is a benevolent ghost and is mischievous but never dangerous.
One of the stories about her is from a worker on the property. He was working in the attic and she appeared across the room as a gray wispy figure (so the name Gray Lady). He was so frightened that he didn’t want to return to work. They did get him to return by promising he would not have to go into the attic again. One day an attic window broke so he decided to fix it from the outside since he was never going in the attic again. Once again as he looks in the attic there she is looking out at him. He left and never went back to the job. Since the window was repaired from the outside the worker just left the broken glass in the attic. That night others heard sounds coming from the attic and in the morning one of the other workers went up to clean up the glass and it had already been swept up into a nice little pile for them. Since then there have been many reports by those staying in the bed and breakfast of hearing her or seeing her and of things getting moved around.
The Heceta Head lightkeeper’s house is listed as one of the ten most haunted places in America. I did a google search for the info, if you are interested in that sort of thing I encourage you to do that. There are other tales of hauntings in other lighthouses too. There is photo in our oil house displays of the lightkeepers and their families. One of the local volunteers showed us which lady they think is Rue. There are also several young girls in the photos. It sure makes us wonder.