: Susan Seubert

Haunted Tales from Wolf Creek Inn

The historic Southern Oregon landmark takes Halloween seriously — just ask the ghosts.
September 27, 2018 (Updated September 25, 2023)

Ghostly apparitions. Flickering lights. Unexplained voices. Moving objects and other spine-tingling events. Whether or not you believe in ghost stories, many of Oregon’s historic buildings have been rumored to be haunted spots, with lingering spirits from a bygone era. 

Such is the case at the Historic Wolf Creek Inn in Southern Oregon, a state-owned property that has a long history of eerie tales from visitors and past owners. The unexplained activity in the 140-year-old building has continued into 2023 with visitors reporting all manner of odd events at the nine-room inn.

One guest heard a young lady’s voice when there was no one else in the building. Others have heard doors slamming and the sound of a piano playing. Chairs seemingly move on their own. Objects disappear from tabletops. In the kitchen, staff have allegedly seen a particular baking pan fly across the floor on multiple occasions.

“People come here and find stuff all the time,” says Jeremy Davis, the manager since his wife, Nancy, took over the concession from the state in 2021. “If you’re looking for it, you’ll find it.”

A sign reading "Wolf Creek Tavern" and "Tasty Cuisine" arches over the road entrance to the lodge.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Wolf Creek Inn was originally a refuge for early Oregon stagecoach pioneers heading north on the Applegate Trail. (Photo credit: Greg Vaughn)

Who You Gonna Call?

You don’t need to be staying here to become an amateur ghost hunter. Self-guided tours — no reservations necessary — are possible year-round (check the website for days and hours). Pro tip: These are the same days the restaurant is open, so grab lunch and stroll the rooms afterward. On weekends from late May through early September, you can join a free 50-minute guided tour of the inn’s history led by an Oregon State Parks ranger. Call ahead to confirm dates and times. 

The haunted tales have also caught the attention of the Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures” crew, as well as paranormal experts at the famed Pioneer Saloon in Nevada. Two of its mediums came to the same conclusion as so many guests: There was something “really heavy” going on throughout the building. The creepiest place might be room eight, where most of the ghostly vibes have been reported. “The whole house has activity,” Davis says.

While some past commentators have put an evil spin on the haunted happenings, the larger consensus holds a far less sinister view: that the shadowy deeds are friendly acts of mischief. Take comfort in that when something ghostly whispers in the hall.

A large skeleton decoration with a pumpkin head stands in the outdoor courtyard... menacingly.
Wolf Creek Inn leans into the spooky Halloween season with all out decor. (Courtesy of Wolf Creek Inn)

An Inn So Unique, It’s a State Park

The inn is known for much more than its ghostly reputation. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Wolf Creek Inn was originally a refuge for early Oregon stagecoach travelers heading north on the Applegate Trail. Men and women could rest and socialize in the inn’s two parlors, which remain furnished as authentically as possible — original flooring and bricks with actual bullet holes included. A state park ranger is sometimes on duty to answer questions about the inn’s storied history.

And storied it is: The inn is one of Oregon’s oldest, completed in 1883, a time when rooms cost all of 75 cents. Stars like John Wayne, President Rutherford B. Hayes and actor Orson Welles have all stayed here. Today modern amenities have marched in, including climate-controlled rooms, Wi-Fi and electric-vehicle charging stations. No need to leave Fido home, either; the inn is pet-friendly.

A handmade quilt sits atop a classic bed with dark wooden frame.
Wolf Creek Inn has five rooms to reserve, from a bunk room to the Clark Gable Suite. (Photo credit: Wolf Creek Inn)
The Wolf Creek Tavern dining room features classic decor, including a brick fireplace.
Wolf Creek Tavern serves three meals a day, often highlighting Oregon-made ingredients. (Photo credit: Wolf Creek Inn)

Eat, Stay and Play

Just as in days of old, the inn’s current restaurant is definitely worth a stop. Offering meals all day long, the inn’s tavern specializes in comfort food classics like meatloaf, chicken-fried steak, and fish and chips. Breakfasts are hearty, as well, with three-egg omelets; homemade biscuits and gravy; and burritos stuffed with eggs, potatoes and house-smoked brisket. No reservations are required at the cozy eatery, which is open Thursday through Sunday year-round.

Though the inn offers cozy guest rooms in all seasons, fall is particularly fun. In the weeks approaching Halloween, the inn transforms into a ghoulish haunt with cobwebs, skeletons and other spooky decorations consuming the property. Look for Halloween-themed bedspreads and other treats in the guest rooms. 

While stagecoaches no longer pull up to the inn’s doors, it remains a convenient stop for those traveling into the outdoors of Southern Oregon. Fishers, hikers and visitors planning to go skiing, golfing, snowmobiling or zip lining on a winter getaway all find the inn convenient. Wine lovers can sample the Rogue Valley’s world-class wines on a wine-tasting excursion just a handful of miles from the inn. 

It seems only fitting that the Golden State Heritage Site, a ghost town, sits just 3 miles east of the inn. The mining town grew out of a camp established around 1850 and eventually included two churches, no pubs, a schoolhouse and more for about 100 people. Today the entire property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

About The

Jen Anderson
Jen Anderson is a longtime journalist and travel writer/editor who is now Travel Oregon’s Content & Community Manager, helping to align content for visitors via social media, print and web. She’s called Oregon home for 25 years and loves finding the latest places to eat, drink and play around the state with her husband and two boys. Brewpubs, beaches and bike trails top the list.

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