Famous for its captivating natural beauty and rich historical background, Oregon is home to both haunting and enigmatic sites. Golden, an abandoned mining town in Josephine County that is tucked away along Coyote Creek, is one such location. Golden used to be a thriving town full of families and gold miners, but it is now a ghost town.
The Ascent and Decline of Golden
Golden was named for one of the miners, Henry Golden, and was established in the 1840s by a group of prospectors who found gold nearby. With over 200 residents, the town was thriving in the 1890s and had a general shop, saloon, post office, school, church, and lots of cottages. The neighborhood even welcomed religious variety, including Catholic and Methodist churches.
But Golden’s wealth did not last long. Natural disasters including landslides, floods, and fires combined with the town’s exhaustion of gold reserves caused the miners to leave and the community to gradually deteriorate. Golden was almost abandoned by the 1920s and died of desertion by the 1950s.
Echoes of the Past in Golden
Today, Golden is preserved by Oregon State Parks as a historic site, and tourists are welcome to explore the ruins of this once-bustling town, which include a schoolhouse, two churches, a cemetery, and a few cottages. However, some tourists claim to have encountered ghosts of past occupants who continue to stay and haunt the abandoned streets.
Reported paranormal occurrences in Golden include:
- Audible footsteps, voices, laughter, and music echoing through empty buildings
- Apparitions of miners, children, and women in period clothing
- Sensations of cold spots, breezes, and ethereal touches in the air
- Fragrances of smoke, perfume, and food wafting through the atmosphere
- Objects seemingly moved, misplaced, or missing
- Technical malfunctions in equipment like cameras, phones, and flashlights
The two cathedrals are particularly notable for being among the most haunted locations; guests have reported seeing light orbs, dark figures, and faces in the windows. Those who are daring enough to travel into the cemetery have reported hearing whispers, cries, and moans, indicating that it is still a hub for paranormal activity. Pentagrams, crosses, and circles are among the enigmatic markings seen on certain tombs.
Unraveling the Enigma of Golden
Golden beckons with a mesmerizing mix of mystery and history, despite its chill. The identity of its spectral occupants and the reasons for its abandonment are still unknown. The ghosts are thought to be the terrible vestiges of a town plagued by murder, disease, and crime, or by Native Americans who were driven from their land and left behind curses.
For those with the courage to explore, Golden remains a fascinating place despite the unknowns. Take a ghost tour led by residents or visit the Golden State Heritage Site to learn more about the area’s history, but be prepared to visit some of Oregon’s most eerie and haunted locations.