Visions Paranormal Society Blog – Yaquina Bay Lighthouse – Newport, OR

As long as I can remember, I have always held a deep fascination for lighthouses. They remind me of silent sentinels standing watch over the fishing boats out to see. Unfortunately, growing up and living in rural Idaho doesn’t offer the opportunity to visit those historic treasure troves as often as I would like to. So, I make it a point to plan some of our family vacations to the beautiful Oregon coast. My favorite location to start at is bustling town of Newport, Oregon. There, the culture is so different from where I am from. The smell of the salt air, the sound of the ocean’s roar, the kind people, great sea food and the history that abounds there keeps me coming back for more. In a sense, it feels like a second home to me. High on a pine topped bluff over looking the ocean, sits the oldest building in Newport, the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse. This lighthouse was built in 1871 and had a brief operational period ending in 1874 when it was decommissioned. A new and bigger lighthouse was built just three miles north, Yaquina Head Lighthouse. According to officials, the new lighthouse offered better accessibility and a lamp that could be seen twice as far as the original lighthouse at 22 miles from off shore ships and boats. Following Yaquina Bay’s decommission in 1874, it was abandoned and fell into sad disrepair. As with most historical locations that are steeped in rich history, swirling around this location are numerous reports of a young female ghost believed to be named Muriel. In speaking with one of the volunteers at the lighthouse, the story of Muriel is a tragic one. Muriel and her father lived in the village, and as a restless teen, she would quite often take her sketch pad and travel up to the bluff where the lighthouse was. This was her time to herself.  One sunny August day, a group of sightseers arrived for a day outing when they happened upon Muriel sitting in the grass sketching the ocean. The group invited Muriel to join them for an outing, and although she was apprehensive, Muriel joined them. As they traveled along the narrow path along the bluff, they happened upon the abandoned lighthouse. Some of the kids in the group wanted to go inside the abandoned building, but Muriel remained apprehensive. She had a bad feeling.The boys in the group tried the doors and windows but they were locked, but then found an opening into the basement. Climbing in, they unlocked the door from the inside and the group ventured inside for a look. After they looked around, they all left the building. Standing out in front of the building, Muriel realized she had dropped her handkerchief inside and ran back inside while the rest of the group remained outside. In a short while, the group heard a series of three blood curdling screams from a female. The group went into every room they had previously been in, and in the last room on the top floor lay a pool of fresh blood on the floor with a delicate blood soaked handkerchief next to it. Leading out into the hallway was a blood trail and then it disappeared. Villagers from Newport searched the abandoned lighthouse and the area surrounding it to no avail. Muriel was never found. Still to this day, this beautiful historic location is over shadowed by the tragedy of Muriel. Over the years, many reports from staff and visitors tell of unexplained footsteps and the apparition of a young fair haired girl continue to be reported to this day. There are also reports of this same female peering out of a window on the top floor, reportedly the same room where the blood and handkerchief were found. Many believe that this young woman who is seen is the spirit of Muriel. On December 7,1996, the lighthouse was officially restored as a privately maintained aid to navigation. With the help from many business sponsors and local volunteers, the lighthouse became a nationally recognized historical site and is now open for public tours. The lighthouse is a warm, welcoming environment that is loved by the entire community of Newport, and the volunteers are wonderful. This beautiful location is truly a labor or love, and I look forward to visiting next summer. If you are planning a trip to Newport, be sure to check out this beautiful historic gem. You will not be disappointed. ~Debbie Frediani-Founder/Case Manager~

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