Everyone loves a good ghost story, especially around Halloween. Coos Bay is a historic region that dates back to 1853 when settlers formed “Empire City”, and we have learned there is no shortage of local paranormal reports and stories that would raise the eyebrows of even the most skeptical among us.
So is Coos County haunted? To get answers, we asked Donna Stewart, Co-Founder/Lead Investigator at PSI of Oregon – Paranormal Studies and Investigations. “Most (haunted places) I know of are private residences…but there are a few (places) we can confirm activity, and a few other that have had ‘reported’ activity,” says Stewart.
Among the sites with confirmed paranormal activity she says are
- Marshfield Pioneer Cemetery - This reportedly haunted place dates back to the late 1800’s as a community burying ground for citizens of Empire, Marshfield, and North Bend. Stewart says that PSI of Oregon has obtained some interesting pictures and electronic voice phenomena aka EVPs (sounds recorded on portable digital voice recorders that are believed to be paranormal in nature). If you try to visit this historic place, please note that the cemetery is locked due to incidents of vandalism. The cemetery is unlocked and open for both Veterans’ Day and Memorial Day weekend. At all other times, courteous visitors are invited to visit after obtaining an access code from the Coos Bay City Hall, Coos Bay Visitor Center, Marshfield High School Registrar, or by contacting volunteer coordinators.
- Coos Bay’s Old City Hall- located in the old downtown district. This haunted places was built in the 1920’s and served until about 1998 when a new city hall was built. Stewart says the group has seen high levels of paranormal activity occur in the building; most especially in the basement where the old jail and the “women’s jail” were located (still intact at the time of investigation).
- The Tioga- Located at 275 N. Broadway in Coos Bay. This landmark building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Marshfield Hotel. Construction on the building began in 1925 as the tallest building on the Oregon coast, but the Great Depression halted it three years later and it wasn’t completed until 1948. PSI of Oregon recorded some significant activity when the team investigated the maze of a basement a few years ago as reported in The World Link. Stewart also says she has received reports of dark shadowed figured, knocks and voices in the apartments.
- Green Spot- Located at 181 Anderson Avenue in Coos Bay. While working in Coos County’s Warming Center at The Green Spot last year, Stewart says she experienced some mysterious activity. “I have to say that I saw and heard some weird things,” she told us. “Even had someone bang on the bathroom stall door while I was the only person there, then had the door itself slam closed as I left. It take a lot of pressure to close that particular door, and a few of us saw some very clear dark figures moving about”.
In addition to the above, there have been reported ghost sightings and sounds in the following locations:
- The Egyptian Theatre in Coos Bay
- North Bend Hotel-Reports of voices and footsteps
- The Old Coast Guard Housing in Airport Heights North Bend – “MANY reports of children voices and running in halls, voices, knocks on doors and windows, voices, cold spots”.
- The Auction Barn Coos Bay – the owners claim there are ghosts upstairs many people will not go into the upstairs area anymore. “We have gotten a few EVPs there, just while walking around and shopping, footsteps, many have reported seeing an older woman,” says Stewart.
- Strawberry Hill Cave in Bandon- There have been reports of a female disembodied voice singing Gaelic Lullaby’s in that cave.
Creepy? You be the judge and investigate for yourself (if you dare)!
To learn more about PSI of Oregon, a non-profit organization, and other “haunted” places on Oregon’s Adventure Coast, visit them online or in person at 530 N Broadway in Coos Bay, OR. You can also follow them on Facebook.