High On Adventure - Featuring Photojournalist Larry Turner

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Wolf Creek Inn - A Friendly Haunting

Wolf Creek Inn

A friendly haunting

Story by Loran Taylor

Photography provided by Wolf Creek Inn


“Good morning, Wolf Creek!”

Those are the words that ring out every morning when Andrew Shroyer arrives for work at Wolf Creek Inn. It’s his way of letting all the haunting spirits of the place know he is aware of their presence. 

“They’ve been here a lot longer than I have,” Andrew admits, “and they’re quite a friendly group, but I would rather not startle them.” He talks of a cooking pan that often flies across the kitchen just as he walks out of the door. Whether the spirit wants him to stay or is simply playing a prank, no one knows for sure, but Andrew has had several encounters and finds the spirit world rather interesting. Perhaps it’s the ghost of the stagecoach driver who died within these very rooms. It wasn’t until he died that it was discovered that he was actually a she! She had posed herself as a man to do the thing she loved most.

It’s also possible the spirits of Clark Gable and his wife Carol Lombard may be walking these halls reliving some of their favorite and numerous adventures while staying here. Jack London loved to hike the paths through nearby old-growth forests and found the atmosphere of the Inn conducive to writing. Perhaps it’s his spirit walking these halls. He spent an entire summer here with his second wife and wrote, “The End of the Story,” and finished Valley of the Moon,a 1913 novel. Other well-known guests during the twentieth century were Orson Wells, Sir Anthony Hopkins, President Rutherford B. Hayes, Sinclair Lewis, Douglas Fairbanks and silent screen star, Mary Pickford. John Wayne stayed here during the filming of Rooster Cogburnand True Grit.The cast of “Gunsmoke” stayed here many times during the filming of the popular western TV show from 1955-1975. The show was shot at the nearby ghost town of Golden, which is a mere three miles away and is still open for exploration.

Several paranormal groups have visited Wolf Creek Inn. On April 12, 2012, Madonna Merced (Ghost Tracker) walked around various rooms and hallways with a digital camera, inviting spirits to talk into the mike. Several spirits took her up on her offer. Paranormal group, P.R.E.Y. also recorded experiences with several spirits.

But don’t let the spirits keep you away. There’s only one who seems to be bent on trouble, a vampire-type creature with mental issues. He is not to be feared, however, as the other spirits all keep him in line. It seems most of the ghosts like to keep guests happy and returning.

October is a great time to witness the friendly haunting of Wolf Creek Inn. You can sign up for a three-hour, paranormal night tour early in the month or bring your children to a not-so-scary haunted house on October 26 and 27 at 6:00 p.m. Return without the children at 6:30 p.m. for Haunted House of Screams! Halloween night promises an unforgettable paranormal experience with professional mediums from Star Journey Tours.

Not into hauntings or spirits? Wolf Creek Inn is still a great place to come for an overnight stay, especially in the Clark Gable Room. Call ahead to make reservations for a mouth-watering lunch or dinner in the historic dining room or to schedule a free tour led by Tony, an Oregon Parks and Recreation employee and Marine veteran. Tony, who is skeptical of the spirits, will lead you through the rich history of the inn beginning with its birth in 1883 as a stagecoach stop along the historic Applegate Trail. Travelers going from San Francisco to Portland in those days had to endure a grueling, 16-day trip and found Wolf Creek Inn to be the perfect respite. 

Today Wolf Creek Inn is a place to step into the past and enjoy a few moments of peace and pick an apple off the 125-year-old tree in the inviting yard. Check out their event schedule for unique dinner theater experiences or Saturday music on the patio. Seems there’s always something fun being planned, but be sure to make reservations.

Perhaps, like Gesi Shroyer, you might hear the piano playing downstairs while you’re staying here and run down to find no one there. And like Gesi, you may hear footsteps behind you as you climb back up to your room. If so, count yourself fortunate to have met one of the friendly haunters of Wolf Creek Inn. Be sure to say hello and offer your best smile, or simply write it off as coincidence. Perhaps it was a tiny mouse who ran across the piano keys and up the steps. The walls tell stories, but only you can tell the true tale.


Wolf Creek Inn

100 Front St., Wolf Creek



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