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As It Was: It’s That Time of Year Again; Ghost Stories Abound

Poltergeists are said to be mischievous ghosts with a variety of tricks, ranging from making loud noises, moving furniture, and knocking on doors to pinching, biting, hitting and tripping people.

In 1970, local historian Marjorie O’Hara told this story about newlyweds Dale and Ruth Flowers of Medford, Ore.

They said that right after moving into Dale’s house, things began to disappear, including a box of Christmas decorations that later mysteriously appeared in the middle of the living room.  The couple reported hearing footsteps, pots and pans clattering in the kitchen, and a cold wind blowing through the tightly shuttered house.  The ghost seemed fond of Ruth’s lipstick, hair brush and her books on roses.

Convinced someone was playing tricks on them, the couple checked the locks on their doors, but Ruth still felt a presence when she was the only one home. 

They first determined to outlast the ghost, but finally decided the house was haunted and the poltergeist hated them, so they moved out.

Like most ghost stories, we’re left with a lot of questions, but no answers. 

Sources:  O'Hara, Marjorie. "Ghost Drives Newly-Married Couple From Hated Home." The Oregonian, 2 Nov. 1970, p. 14. Claflin, Terrie. "Floating around Rogue Valley's 'haunted' houses are.ghosts of a tale." The Mail Tribune, 31 Oct. 1982 [Medford, Oregon], lifestyles ed., p. B1.

Sharon Bywater of Ashland, Oregon grew up in Southern California. She taught English literature and writing at Syracuse University in New York, where she also wrote and edited adult literacy books and published freelance articles in local media. Later, she lived in Washington, D.C., where she worked as an international telecommunications policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Commerce. She has Master’s degrees in English and Communications Management.