Haunts of Western Oregon

Haunts of Western Oregon

Author: Kent Goodman
Schiffer Books
ISBN #978-0-7643-3224-1

There is a great deal of history that is really not in the history books. The past remains with us in many different ways – the stories we tell, the symbols surrounding us, even the buildings that we live in. Interwoven into all of this is our energetic past – energies that were created by decisions made and actions taken. Here we enter into the world of the paranormal – ghosts, unexplained activity, and hauntings.

There are people and organizations out there that make it their business to “debunk” the stories, the ghostly energy, and the alleged haunting. And then there are people who simply report on the same, leaving it to the reader to decide for themselves. Kent Goodman, in “Haunts of Western Oregon”, is an individual who has had paranormal experiences, but who also takes the position of impartial reporter.

The “wild west” can indeed be wild! Goodman takes us on a tour of Western Oregon, location by location, talking about things like skeletons sitting at the dinner table, the ghost of a young man, dressed in a leather jacket, walking his dog late at night on a dark Eugene street, and a civil war era seen in the mirror of a local house. Schools, hospital, private homes … they all have their own stories to tell!

In his introduction, Goodman talks about the Willamette Valley as being the destination of choice for many pioneers in the 1840’s. He also made the astute observation that most people in western Oregon simply consider themselves “Oregonians”, as opposed to being tied to one specific locale. This is a theme that he carried over into this book (although specific areas are talked about, many of the happenings are seen (in some version) in more than one place.

Goodman defines the spirit world as existing in the same timeline as the physical world, yet separate from it. He indicates that ghosts are most often seen at night, and likens connecting with them as a form of telepathic communication. They certainly make themselves known in physical ways – sometimes by the movement of physical objects when here is no one around, sometimes by sound (again, when no physical presence can be noted), and sometimes by literal cold areas in a building or specific outdoor area. Bottom line – there is another world, and we need to honor its presence.

Goodman talks about many things – bats turning themselves into vampires, a man dressed as a janitor who visits a college dorm, the actor Charles Laughton seen walking around in Ashland’s renowned Shakespeare Theater, a séance done in Southern Oregon University’s Plunkett Center, rock features that act to protect mountains, and much, much more!

This is an entertaining book, but also one that can be readily used for reference, as Goodman has arranged the stories alphabetically by city/town/area. The mists of the Willamette valley to the coastal waters – they all have their own stories to tell.

There are some very scary “footsteps in the night” in this book! A great read, and a valuable history of this part of our country.

© September 2009