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Heceta House was built 110 years ago below the Heceta Lighthouse, which is 13 miles north of Florence, Oregon. It sits on a spit of land known as Heceta Head, which is owned by the U.S. Forest Service.
92072 Hwy. 101 South
Yachats, Oregon 97498
Public tours of the light keeper's
House are given from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Heceta House is characterized as being a "picturesque, Queen Anne- style" home that was originally built as a duplex to house 2 families of the light keepers who worked in the lighthouse. It has been filmed in several movies. In 1978, when the house was added to the National Register of Historic Places, it was carefully renovated and restored to its original splendor, under the supervision of Lane Community College, who leased the house from the government. This community college hired a caretaker and was responsible for all the maintenance work, and in exchange, used the house itself as a classroom for its extension classes in coastal studies.
As of Feb. 21, 2002, Heceta House now serves as an Interpretive Center by day and a Bed and Breakfast by night. The B & B welcomes guests year around. All of the rooms have been renovated, and beautifully furnished with furniture of the period. A seven-course gourmet breakfast is served each morning in the dining room and is included in the price of the room.
Heceta House not only has hired, human caretakers/now innkeepers, but also has an unseen one as well, who likes to oversee everything that goes on in the house, and also carefully supervised any workman who is repairing and maintaining Heceta House. This infrequent, actual visual sighting of "RUE", the fussy, woman apparition, first started in the 1970s, when the house had some remodeling done, and the caretakers moved into the house.
1) The live-in caretakers heard the clicking sound of lights being turned on and off, footsteps coming up from the cellar, and the dishes rattling in the cupboard, but would stop when some human would come into the kitchen. 2) Cupboard doors that had been latched shut tightly the night before, would be found to be wide open the next morning. Was Rue trying to help out with the chores?
3) The caretakers would wake up sweating in the middle of the night because the house would be really warm. Rue likes a hot house.
4) During a card party, the caretakers and their friends, plus the two cats, were all scared when suddenly a high-pitched scream pierced the room, right in the middle of where the people were. Rue must not like the idea of card playing in her house.
5) When running up the stairs to get his keys, the caretaker was startled to see a long skirt float across the hallway, swishing all the way through a locked door into an unused room.
6) The caretaker's wife was treated to seeing a full apparition of Rue, who was going through a doorway to the kitchen with something in her hand, while the caretaker's wife was clearing the dishes to the kitchen after a dinner party. Rue was helping to clean up.
7) The most direct contact between Rue and the living took place when the carpenter, James, was hired to restore Recta House to it's original, 1893 appearance. While polishing a window in the large attic room, which one can enter only after climbing up a ladder through a trap door, James suddenly saw a reflection of something in the glass. He turned around and saw a stern, disapproving old lady, Rue, in a long, swishing skirt, coming right for him, not too pleased with his efforts. She was floating a few inches off the floor. The terrified James rushed through the apparition, dived through the trap door, landing feet first on the floor below, without use of the ladder.
8) While finishing repair work on a broken window on the outside of the attic, James happened to look inside and again saw Rue staring at him sternly from inside the attic. After blinking hard to be sure he wasn't seeing things, he packed up and left, having had enough of a critical, fussy old lady apparition. Caretakers later found the glass inside had been swept up in a pile by unseen hands.
WHO IS RUE, AND WHY IS SHE THERE?
The most plausible explanation is that she is Mrs. Frank DeRay, wife of an early lighthouse keeper. She was strong-willed, opinionated, and took charge of running the house, with very high housekeeping standards. She became active when the new caretakers moved in and all the renovation/repair work started. She probably wanted to keep a close eye on the running of her house, not quite sure how good a job all these new people would do as she had no say in their hiring. She was also uneasy with the renovation projects as she didn't plan or authorize them. However, she must be pleased now, because the house is now in glorious shape.
Yes, occasionally she makes her presence known or seen by the living.
All Photos from HecetaLightHouse.com