Haunted Lighthouses keep screaming in the night, guiding the way for ghostly delights

The Golightly Gourmet

Dana Zia

We recently took a two week camping trip down the Oregon coast at a slow and ambling pace to discover lighthouses.


I had no idea that lighthouses are so cool! When you visit them, the history is palpable and you can almost see the ghosts of the past fading in and out of the walls. Come to find out, in some of the lighthouses, you can see ghosts as Oregon has haunted lighthouses.

One of the most notorious of these is Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, was also known as Terrible Tilly. It was built on a rock 1.2 miles off of Cannon Beach in the tempestuous Pacific to give sailors a guiding light around Tillamook Head. She was fated to see many deaths and drive men mad. It all started in 1879 when surveyor John Trewavas, set foot on the rock to inspect it for the lighthouse and was instantly swept out to sea, the first victim of Terrible Tilly.

Many others perished during her construction, and just weeks before the lighthouse was lit, a ship called the Lupatia sank near there, and 16 bodies of the crew washed up on the rock. Soon after that, lighthouse keepers reported hearing low bone chilling moans in the stairwell to the lantern. It quickly earned a notorious reputation of being a haunted and dreadful place to be where lightkeepers would go mad from the months marooned out there.

Yaquina Bay lighthouse near Newport is also known to have hauntings going on. This lighthouse was only in commission for three years till Yaquina Head Lighthouse (a most beautiful thing to behold) was built. In 1874, the crew of the whaling ship, Monkton, went mutinous and set their Captain adrift in a small boat off the coastline. He was finally found on land…….. in the form of a ghostly sea captain with a red beard and skeleton face.

He drifted among taverns and homes, “looking for a place to stay and someone to join him in death” as he moaned to one terrified observer. He eventually came to haunt the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse after it was decommissioned. Supposedly a young lady disappeared at the lighthouse soon after that, never to be seen alive again, and now haunts the grounds of the lighthouse with the ghostly captain in a flowing dress screaming in anguish.

One of the most famous haunted lighthouses is the Heceta Head lighthouse near Florence, Oregon. This is the home to the “Grey Lady” AKA “Rue” who haunts the lightkeeper’s house that is now a bed and breakfast. Supposedly she was the wife to an assistant lightkeeper when their child drown in the waters near there in the 1890s. In despair, the young mother committed suicide by throwing herself off a cliff. She now haunts Heceta Head Bed and Breakfast, ever searching for her child. Guests to this day have gentle encounters with the grey lady and the chefs of the bed and breakfast consider her family.

The Heceta Head Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast is also known for their cozy (haunted) rooms and spooktacular 7 course breakfasts that people die for! The place is run by the frighteningly talented duo of Michelle Korgan and her husband Steven Bursey. Their cookbook; “The Lighthouse Breakfast Cookbook, recipes from Heceta Head lighthouse” was materialized in 2009 so that more than ghosts and guests can enjoy their excellent fare. This recipe from the cookbook, “Sailor’s Bread” seemed like the perfect potion to sweeten even the sourest of ghosts. This magic bread begins the night before when you start your brew on the stove so build that into your plans…..before it’s too late!

Haunted Sailor’s Bread


This vegan bread contains no eggs or dairy so it can be taken on long ghostly voyages. (Or at least keeps well in the freezer wrapped up like a mummy) Adapted from “The Lighthouse Breakfast Cookbook, recipes from Heceta Head lighthouse”.

3/4 cup of organic sugar

2 TBLS of cocoa powder

2 tsp of cinnamon

1 tsp of ground ginger

1 tsp of nutmeg

1/2 tsp of allspice

1/2 tsp of cloves

1/2 tsp of cardamom

1 tsp of salt

1 cup of water

1 cup of raisins

1/4 cup of dark rum

1 cup of light tasting olive oil or avocado oil

2 TBLS of molasses

1 cup of walnuts, coarsely chopped

2.5 cups of unbleached organic flour

1.5 tsps of baking soda

3/4 tsp of baking powder


The night before you want to bake this magic bread, take out a small saucepan and add sugar, spices and salt then stir till well blended. Slowly add the water while stirring making sure everything is becoming a good potion then stir in the raisins. Heat up the concoction on the stove over a medium heat till it just.about.boils. Turn off and add the rum, (take a swig like a good sea captain) cover and go to bed and allow the magic to happen.


The next morning, (yawn and stretch) make some tea and turn on the oven to 350 degrees and oil a large glass bread pan or two small ones. To the magic brew, add the oil, molasses and the nuts then mix a little bit. (No worries, it won’t blend in well with that ooey gooey mess of yumminess) In a medium-large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, soda and baking powder then with the mixer going slowly add the flour mixture till just blended.


Pour into your bread pan(s) and sprinkle the top with coarse sugar and tuck in the oven for the transformation for 50-60 minutes for the big loaf and 35-45 mins for the small ones or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 20-30 minutes then turn out on a wire rack to cool the rest of the way. We couldn’t resist and fed on it before it cooled. I imagine if you let it cool all the way it won’t crumble when cut but I don’t really know cause it dematerialized.