The Tillamook Rock Lighthouse Has A Haunting History
In 1881, just over a mile off the coast of Oregon, the government decided to build a lighthouse to help guide ships around Tillamook Head. Meant as a safety measure, the lighthouse ended up being anything but safe.
Horrific storms, isolation, madness, and major safety issues plagued the lighthouse from its inception.
The large piece of basalt rock that became home of the Tillamook Lighthouse had a reputation. Perhaps the government wasn’t aware of its history with the Indigenous peoples. Or maybe they just didn’t care.
The reputation of Tillamook was fraught. The Indigenous groups believed the tiny island was cursed by their gods. To take it further, they also believed that it was haunted by evil spirits. Because of this, generations of Natives to the land never approached the rock.
The rumours that the rock was filled with tunnels occupied by spirits flew around local communities, eventually spreading to the construction crews. The first surveyor of the rock, a master mason named John Trewavas, was hit by a huge wave and swept out to sea. His remains were never found.
The local men refused to work on the lighthouse. Officials had to remove them from the area so they could then bring in a crew from outside the area who didn’t know what was up. The outsiders, as a result, could perform their work more effectively without being scared for their lives.
Ghosts In The Lighthouse
Getting to the lighthouse was extremely dangerous. Huge winds seemed to work with the rock to keep the crews from doing their work. Stranded and alone, one crew nearly starved to death. The problem was simple: help could not access them to help them or bring them food.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more creepy, the attendants to the lighthouse started going mad. Some said it was because they men didn’t have their families. Others say it was because of the haunting of the rock.
One night, all four lighthouse keepers on shift saw a ghost ship. They’d hear whispering moans, and think that the other attendees were playing tricks… but they were not. Shared stories across the world of isolated lighthouse keepers tell of similar accounts. Sounds of ghosts. Things moving in the night. Strange visions. They had to remove one of the managers in a straight jacket.
You know, standard lighthouse stuff.
Can You Visit The Tillamook Lighthouse?
A terrible storm broke the lighthouse lens in 1934. They didn’t replace the lens, and Terrible Tilly started to deteriorate from here. In 1957, they inactivated the lighthouse. Because of this, they abandoned the lighthouse too. Left to break down on its own, you can still view it today.
You cannot, however, visit the Tillamook Lighthouse; it’s on private property and it’s super dangerous. However, you can see it from Seaside, Cannon Beach, or Ecola State Park.
The Tillamook Head Trail
The Tillamook Head Trail is a stunning and supernatural area of hiking on the Oregon Coast Trail. The trailhead is just south of Seaside, and the hike takes you up over a thousands feet above the ocean.
The old-growth Sitka trees are breathtaking; they add so much to the hike’s beauty and therapy. The total distance is 6.3 miles each way. If you decide to do this glorious hike to go and check out Terrible Tilly for yourself, prepare yourself for the challenge!
We don’t need to add injuries and accidents to the already frightening history of this area, do we?