Personal experiences plus some hard evidence certainly point to spirits who are benign in nature, and protect the guests and owners from the odd spirit who visits as well.
Wolf Creek Inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Wolf Creek Inn today is a bed and breakfast, a restaurant, an event center for community and private activities, and a museum of early Wolf Creek, local attractions and the times of the famous guests who stayed at this authentic 1883 inn. This historic Wolf Creek Inn is a two story, 1883 Classic Revival style Inn made of white clapboard, and has the distinction of being the longest running inn and restaurant in Oregon history. Owned by the state of Oregon and run by Oregon Parks and Recreation, 5 year leases are granted to innkeepers who take care of the place, run the b and b inn and restaurant, and other events that take place in the inn and on the property.
The restored exterior was well done by area craftsmen and builders. The main original building has a “classic long, double veranda with multiple entrance doors”. The Classic Revival style was popular when inns and Taverns were being built in the 1900s, especially in the western states and territories. The slightly newer 1925 southern wing also was designed in the Classic Revival style.
Walking into the entry way, the visitor sees the central staircase that nicely separates the men’s and women’s parlors, and leads up to the second floor guest rooms.
The reception area is where the old wooden gentleman’s bar once stood, but was mysteriously taken out just before the state started to restore The Wolf Creek Inn. The Ladies and Gentleman’s parlors were each furnished with Victorian furniture, period pianos and large fireplaces.
The southern wing, rear wing is where the kitchen and dining room are located, with the ballroom directly upstairs on the second floor. The dining room has dark, wooden tables, with views of the landscaping. The ballroom on the second floor is large, and has been used for many past events, and present ones as well. People have rented this space for many different kinds of events and receptions. City of Wolf Creek used it as a council meeting room, etc. When motorists got stranded because of snow storms, the ballroom became a dormitory for 15 very tired people, who slept on cots.
Items, such as hand-made mining picks, and photo exhibits of its history and the history of Wolf Creek and surrounding areas of interest can be found throughout the inn, especially on the second floor. Many of the walls have photo galleries of yesteryear hanging for all to enjoy.
There are a total of 9 original guest rooms on both the first and second floor. The rooms on both floors have antiques from various eras, yet are made comfortable with modern amenities, such as heat, air conditioners, private bathrooms, comfortable mattresses, but no TV, or dvd player. It truly is like stepping back into the past. However, “WiFi is now available to our guests at no charge. Each guest will be served a full hot breakfast in our dinning room. Guest Room 3 is handicap-friendly with two twin beds and a walk-in shower.”
The Wolf Creek Inn offers four styles of room:
2 Rooms with 1 queen bed
4 Rooms with 1 double bed
2 Rooms with 2 twin beds
1 Suite with 1 queen bed
The modern guest needs to remember that inn rooms built in the 1900s were not as large as today’s modern hotel rooms, but if you are staying here, you wanted to stay in a historic inn!
Where the celebrities and authorswho have stayed is made known, and some even have rooms named in their honor. Mary Pickford stayed in a smaller room on the first floor. The queen bed suite on the second floor is the largest room, and has its own verandah. Clark Gable and Carol Lumbard stayed here when they came for a restful stay.
Another second floor room, named after Jack London, is where Jack and his second wife stayed many times. It is like a “museum quality exhibit”, portraying how the room was set up for Jack. In his honor, this room is presented much as it would have appeared when Jack found rest and inspiration here, plus a few modern amenities, like heat, air conditioning and a private bath. One guest mused, “It is like sleeping in a museum exhibit.”
The Wolf Creek Inn sponsors its own events as well, such as Winemaker’s Dinner Event, Live Music at the Inn, Oktoberfest, Actors, Authors and Antiques and Crawdad Festival. they also are chosen to be the venue for weddings, receptions and other special private events.
In the Siskiyou Mountains, right next to the bumpy, dusty Stage Coach Road, along the historic Applegate Trail, The Wolf Creek Inn’s original structure was built in 1883 to be a stage coach stop, by an enterprising farmer & merchant pioneer, Henry Smith. Originally called “The Wolf Creek Tavern”, Henry built his tavern and inn at a very choice spot, that insured it would be an inn with full occupancy, and with plenty of people stopping by to eat and drink as well.
Travelers going from San Francisco to Portland, a grueling 16 day trip, stayed at Wolf Creek Inn. It also served local traffic to area mines and stage travelers connecting between Roseburg and Redding prior to the completion of the Oregon and California railroad through the Siskiyou Mountains in 1887. Besides offering tired Stage Coach and buggy travelers a “first class traveler’s hotel”, in a restful location, the train connection that was completed at Wolf Creek also brought in more people, on their way to San Francisco, Portland, or other places; like local mines, and “Gold Rush Country”. It was known for it’s great hospitality and a place to rest and enjoy a great meal or two.
Henry Smith did very well for himself, and became a large landholder, planting a lot of orchards. The apple and pear trees next to the Wolf Creek Inn, north of the dining room are part of one of his orchards, planted in 1885. Being 125 years old, they must have been well taken care of over the many years.
In 1925, owners John and Dinky Dougal did a lot to improve the establishment, motivated by the increased number of travelers wanting a place to eat and spend the night, because of the arrival of Pacific Coast Highway to Wolf Creek, in 1922. They expanded the “L-shaped” inn, by adding the southern wing, being careful to use the original Classic Revival style architecture. The southern wing was home to the new guest rooms, that would accommodate more guests, and a bigger kitchen that was needed to handle the demand for meals.
To catch the eye of hungry travelers and make it easier to arrive up to the Wolf Creek Inn, Dougal constructed a semi-circular driveway, and put up promotional gateway signs on eye-catching arches, announcing the name of the inn and that they had “tasty cuisine.” The Dougals became well known for their warm hospitality and fantastic chicken dinners, complete with all the trimmings.
The Dougals started their family here as well. Dinky Dougal gave birth to their daughter, Jane, in the Mary Pickford Room. As an elderly woman, Jane came back and visited The Wolf Creek Inn, sometime after the Oregon State Parks Dept. began running it. She enjoyed and remembered some of the pictures on display, and told some stories of her own. Wolf Creek got its name from the number of wolves who lived around the area at the time. Jane recalled that the aroma from her mother Dinky’s cooking in the kitchen brought the wolves into their yard, perhaps hoping for a snack. Because of the large wolf population in the forest, guests were given chamber pots to use during the night, as using the outhouses wasn’t a great idea, because the company of wolves would be bit too adventuresome for the average guest. The last wolf that was encountered near Wolf Creek Inn was in 1956.
The Dougals ran their inn and restaurant until 1935, when they sold the property to the next owner, who also did his or her best to keep up the inn’s fabulous reputation. New kinds of guests discovered The Wolf Creek Inn throughout the years, keeping it’s business lively and profitable.
Besides weary travelers, artists and writers also discovered The Wolf Creek Inn, starting at the turn-of-the-century, as a great place to relax, get inspired and enjoy the local outdoor sports. Jack London loved the Wolf Creek Inn, which became a favorite retreat for him. He loved to hike on the paths through the old-growth forests that surround the inn, and found the atmosphere of the inn conducive to writing. He and his second wife spent a whole summer here, when he wrote a short story, entitled, “The End of the Story,” and finished a novel, entitled “Valley of the Moon”, that was published in 1913; three years before he died too young because of kidney disease.
During the ’20s,’30s and up to 1975, actors and actresses loved to escape the pressures of the Hollywood rat race, and enjoy a mini-vacation at The Wolf Creek Inn. Orson Wells, an outgoing soul, kept the other guests entertained by telling them stories of his own travels. Clark Gable made friends with the innkeeper, and stayed there many times with his wife Carol Lombard. Clark liked to fish from the near by Rogue River. Besides Clark and his wife Carol Lumbard, other well-known guests were Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Orson Wells, Sir Anthony Hopkins, President Rutherford B. Hayes, and Sinclair Lewis.
Many other people involved with television and making a movie also stayed at The Wolf Creek Inn, from the ’40s through 1975. John Wayne stayed here during the filming of ROOSTER COGBURN, in 1973; a sequel to the film, TRUE GRIT. The cast of a western TV show, “Gunsmoke”; (1955-1975), also stayed there many times during the shooting season, as “Gunsmoke” was shot at a ghost town called “Golden”, that was only 3 miles from the town of Wolf Creek.
By 1975, Wolf Creek Inn was really showing its age, and was in need of a boatload of restoration money; a lot more financial investment than the average inn owner could afford. The state of Oregon came to the rescue, and bought this property. Aided by a federal grant, the Oregon State Historical Preservation Office experts in historic architecture, construction and furnishings worked enthusiastically on this historical fixer upper opportunity. These dedicated folks studied such things as the original floor plans, furniture and wall coverings, getting the details correct. Local skilled craftsmen and carpenters spent 4 years restoring the inn to how it looked in the 1920s, “repairing roofs and rebuilding brick chimneys complemented long-forgotten crafts such as combing—a decorative painting technique—used to simulate a red oak finish on some of the interior trim and doors.”
The final touches included selecting original period and reproduction furniture, and arranging the vast amount of photographs and items of interest from Wolf Creek’s past throughout the inn. Everyone involved did a fabulous job, restoring and presenting The Wolf Creek Inn as a piece of history; a historical museum/inn/restaurant; three in one! Henry Smith and John and Dinky Dougal would be very pleased at the outcome; so are apparently some other folks as well that are in spirit form.
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS
Only two of the entities that are staying at The Wolf Creek Inn have been positively identified. Below are some possible reasons why the known entities and the other unknown ones like to stay here.
Sometimes the entities of people in the arts and writing like to visit or stay in a place where they felt the most productive, or have happy memories creating something of value.
Entity of Jack London has decided to spend his after-life in The Wolf Creek Inn, and perhaps visits the forest he loved.
People who love special places where they go to relax, be entertained, enjoy great food with friends and family, while alive, like to go to these places after they pass over.
Entities of Past owners and employees who enjoyed their years at their establishment or place of work like to stay or visit, keeping an eye on the living.
Sometimes entities like to visit a variety of places in small towns that they enjoyed while alive. Three entities were probably local residents or frequent visitors when alive.
People who die expectantly often don’t want to admit their death, and want to continue on with their plans, as they loved what they were doing in life. A stage coach driver died here at the Wolf Creek Inn.
Entity of Female Stage Coach Driver
Her identity was a surprise, because she pretended to be a man in order to be allowed to drive the stage coach.
Her apparition has been seen, walking around the main floor, perhaps helping to keep an eye on the living, and readying herself for driving her next stage coach run.
Her voice has been caught on EVPs as well.
Entity of Jack London
His apparition has been seen in the room named for him, probably honored and pleased that he is being remembered in this way.
His voice has also been heard here as well.
These three entities listed below have been seen around the village of Wolf Creek too, especially in the Wolf Creek City Park.
Entity of a young woman
Could be a guest, an employee or part of the owner’s family.
She has been seen in the Clark Gable Room, and her voice has been caught on EVPs.
Entity of an older man
Could be a former owner who loved the place.
He has been seen as well within the Wolf Creek Inn, and has been caught on EVPs as well.
Entity of a Vampire-like creature
Perhaps a woodland entity, or a male entity with mental issues, who wants to be seen as a creature.
This creepy entity has been seen on occasion walking around the inside of the hotel by guests and owners alike.
It has fangs, with blood around its mouth.
It is believed to have bitten a guest, but this wasn’t authenticated.
It has been basically well-behaved, as the other spirits probably do their best to kick him out.
A BIG YES INDEED! At least 3 spirits and probably a beastie of sorts;(or a mentally ill entity who wants to appear that way) visit or stay at The Wolf Creek Inn.
Personal experiences plus some hard evidence certainly point to spirits who love The Wolf Creek Inn, and are benign in nature, and protect the guests and owners from the odd spirit who visits as well. Besides the many personal experiences reported by guests and owners throughout the years, many investigators have caught EVPs, backing up some of the experiences of the living.
On April 12, 2012, an investigator, Madonna Merced; Ghost Tracker, walked around various rooms and hallways of the Wolf Creek Inn, with a digital movie camera, inviting spirits to talk into the mike as she took her tour. She caught several intelligent EVPs as the spirits followed her around. One of them was “YESSS!” Another was an answer to a statement: Madonna said, “I am at The Wolf Creek Inn.” The spirit voice responded in an EVP: “Yes, you are!” YouTube link
Paranormal group, P.R.E.Y. also investigated The Wolf Creek Inn, and covered the place with equipment.
They had personal experiences and caught 5 EVPs. “BEULA” – Perhaps, this could be the name of stage coach driver?
“IT HAPPENS!” – High female voice, different than the Beula voice. Perhaps a younger female? “YESSS!” Sounds like an older female or male.
Woman singing a few bars….
“CONVERSATION” – You need a good set of earphones to hear this one. They also caught three ghost box voices: “DON’T LEAVE”, and a cheery older man’s voice saying, “GOOD MORNIN’!” 3rd EVP was an intelligent answer to a question: “NO”.
100 Front Street
Wolf Creek, OR
Wolf Creek Inn/State Heritage Site
P.O. Box 6
Wolf Creek, OR 97497
Wolf Creek Inn is located 20 miles north of Grant’s Pass Oregon, 1/4 mile off I5 at exit #76, in the little village of Wolf Creek.
- “The Ghost Hunter’s Field Guide” by Rich Newman
pg. 279, Llewellyn Publications, 2011
- Wolf Creek Inn web site * Wolf Creek Inn page at RogueWeb.com * Wolf Creek Inn page at Historical Marker Database
- Wolf Creek page at SouthernOregon.com
- “The Haunting of Wolf Creek Inn” at hauntin.gs * Wolf Creek Inn page at Ghosts of America
- “Exploring Haunted Oregon” at Unexplainable.net
- Wolf Creek Inn EVPs on YouTube
- Wolf Creek Inn investigation at P.R.E.Y. (Paranormal Researchers of the Evidence of Yesteryear)
- Wolf Creek Inn page on Oregon Parks and Recreation Department: State Parks Site
Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr