Megan Borchert

Built in 1934, the Oregon Caves Chateau is like stepping into a time machine.  Located adjacent to the Oregon Caves National Monument, the six story chateau has ten sides and twentieth century architecture.  The Chateau retains most of its original features.  It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987.  Living up to the times, there are no phones, televisions, or air conditioning.  Heating is done by steam radiator heating.  Travelers feel like they are right back in the 1930s when staying in one of the Chateau’s twenty three rooms.

One guest had such an experience with the Oregon Caves Chateau that she decided never to leave.  A woman, Elizabeth, and her new husband were honeymooning at the Chateau.  On the night of their wedding, as she was freshening up for their special evening, she noticed he had disappeared.  She called out to him from the room and found no response.

(images:brenda_starr/flickr)

(images:brenda_starr/flickr)

Elizabeth took it upon herself to search for her missing mate.  Unfortunately, when she found him, he was not alone.  After finding him curled up with a Chateau chambermaid, Elizabeth fled back to her room.  As she slammed the door to her room, 310, two different stories attempt to explain the sad fate she met that night.

The first recount of her tragic evening was that her angered husband ran upstairs after Elizabeth.  They argued and she shoved her.  As the window opened over the bed, she fell backwards and to her death.  The second story suggests that Elizabeth returned to her room alone and devastated.  After sleeping alone, she could take it no longer.  She opened the window, and standing on the bed, leapt to her death on the rocky creek bed below.

Despite whichever story accurately describes the events of that evening, one thing is for certain.  Elizabeth’s ghost continues to haunt the Oregon Caves Chateau.  Guests hear her moaning and crying from her third floor linen closet.  They hear doors open and close.  Dresser drawers open and close.  They hear walking on the wooden floors and have a feeling of being watched.  Certain areas have a sudden chill, even with the doors and windows closed.  They report objects flying off the shelves or furniture being rearranged or removed completely, even when no one was in the room.

Guests brave enough to stay in room 310 report that Elizabeth seems to leave upon their checking in.  They instead hear her roaming in the hallway, crying and creaking.  Some guests have reported that after unpacking their luggage, they leave and return to find that their luggage has been packed again, as if Elizabeth is helping them with a hasty exit.

Staff at the Oregon Caves Chateau will make no comment regarding the occurrences at their hotel.  They almost pretend not to even hear when the piano begins to play by itself or when Elizabeth drops things or hits staff with items.  They smile and carry on, business as usual.

(images:oregoncavesnps/flickr)

(images:oregoncavesnps/flickr)

Whether its the 1930s architecture that causes the floors to creak and the eerie noises, or its the ghost of Elizabeth, doomed forever to haunt the hallways, one thing is for certain.  Guests at the Oregon Caves Chateau may find themselves without commodities like the phone and the internet but will find the interesting company of a stranger.

 

June 2, 2016
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