Get Spooked on the Central Coast

By Gretchen Ammerman | Tuesday, October 8, 2019

More than 50 years ago, a Lincoln City volunteer firefighter had a heart attack while on duty. The city still owns the picturesque classic vehicle that was the site of the unfortunate incident, and stories persist to this day about creepy occurrences that follow the engine wherever it’s parked. 

I was tasked with taking pictures of this beautiful old vehicle one year when it was drafted back into temporary service as a prop for the then-new Haunted Taft tours.

As I clicked away on a misty morning, enjoying the way the morning light complemented the classic red paint and shiny well-maintained chrome, I suddenly noticed something that made a chill go up my spine. On the front windshield, a single handprint had appeared in the fog on the inside of the cabin. I quickly scanned my earlier photos – the print wasn’t there.

Hopefully, this story helps get you in the mood for the pre-Halloween season; these October events can keep it going. 

Haunted Taft tours are lantern-lit excursions along the shore of Siletz Bay, packed with encounters that shed new light on ghostly goings on and uncanny occurrences in the historic Taft District. Tours on Friday, October 11, and Sunday, October 13, are walking tours, covering just under a mile of walking on flat, wheelchair-accessible surfaces. Rain ponchos are available to borrow.

For tours on Fridays and Saturdays from October 18 through October 26, guests will travel on a mini-bus provided by Chinook Winds Casino Resort.

Tickets are $10 for kids and $20 for adults.

Let your kids help create the holiday decorations at your house at a Halloween-themed Make and Take event at the Lincoln City Cultural Center. Artist Krista Eddy will lead this FREE family workshop to create a dancing skeleton wall poster. Drop in from 1 to 3 p.m. All materials are provided, and no reservations are required.

Author Caitlin Starling will visit the Driftwood Library on Halloween 

Driftwood Public Library hosts mystery writers for an annual Dark & Stormy Night series every October. Now in its 16th year, the series takes place at the library at 4 p.m. on Thursday afternoons in October, and it is a great way to spend a rainy afternoon. The series continues on October 10 with a visit from Christa Yelich-Koth, whose most recent book is The Jade Castle, the first book in the Land of Iyah series. October 17 visitor Valerie Davisson's books include the title Devil's Claw. On October 24 Alexandra Mason will talk about her novels, including The Lighthouse Ghost of Yaquina Bay, a bestselling book that can be found at lighthouse gift shops all over the country. The series concludes on October 31 with a visit from Caitlin Starling, author of horror-tinged speculative fiction of all flavors, including The Luminous Dead.

What are some of your favorite things to do on the Central Coast in October? Share stories of this weird and wonderful season with me in the comments section. For other things to do on the Central Coast, check out our Daytime Events calendar. For evening entertainment our Nightlife page steers you to the top happenings on the Central Coast.

About the Author Gretchen Ammerman
Gretchen Ammerman received an Environmental Science degree from Humboldt State University and was soon running a state environmental agency in Hawaii. She gave it up for the glamorous life of the freelance writer. This led to steady employment as a newspaper editor in Lincoln City, OR, where she knew she was doing well when the paper was threatened with a lawsuit within a week. Though the work was rewarding, she returned to freelance writing to have more freedom to explore the beautiful state of Oregon with her adopted dog, Scout.