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Jacksonville, Ore., Ghost Screams on Windy Nights


When the wind blew from the southwest and the clouds scudded across a new moon, she screamed!

“She” was the ghost of a woman haunting the front bedroom on the south end of the B.F. Dowell house in Jacksonville, Ore. At least that was the story told around 1900.

The scary story went this way: A traveling salesman stayed in the room one night after a long ride by horseback. He had a good supper and retired to his room.  About midnight, he awoke to the sound of a woman screaming.  She screamed again and again. Terrified, the salesman dressed and left immediately. No one else in the house heard anything but the hoof beats of his horse galloping away. But no one wanted to stay in that room again.

Sometime later a chimney sweep cleaned the chimneys and said he had solved the mystery of the ghost. It seems there was a piece of tin stuck in the chimney in such a way that it would act as a reed when the wind blew from the southwest.

But the ghost story stuck and no one would stay in that room.

Source: L. R. E. "Wind from the Southwest." The Jacksonville Sentinel 17 Aug. 1962. Print.

Alice Mullaly is a graduate of Oregon State and Stanford University, and taught mathematics for 42 years in high schools in Nyack, New York; Mill Valley, California; and Hedrick Junior High School in Medford. Alice has been an Southern Oregon Historical Society volunteer for nearly 30 years, the source of many of her “As It Was” stories.