COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. — Halloween is less than two weeks away, which means costumes are being picked over.
It's also prime time for those looking for a good scare. And Cottage Grove is home to a number of ghost stories.
You don't need to believe in ghosts to get into the Cottage Grove Museum, just know that you're being watched.
“We don't think anything's going to jump out at you,” Marie Longfellow said. Longfellow is the curator at the Cottage Grove Museum.
Lucy, as she's known, is the unofficial security at this Catholic church turned museum.
“But she does have a frazzled look today. Something happened overnight,” Longfellow said.
The museum's collection includes century-old items, including a coat worn by a Titanic survivor. But if your curiosity is a bit more morbid, then Longfellow will gladly show you the building next door.
“So he had this coffin built. But it was four years later before he died and he put on 80 pounds in between,” Longfellow said.
His loss was the museum's gain, along with this wagon, several military uniforms and a cooling table from 1881.
“If ice was available, they'd put ice under the table, so they could keep the body cool. You could not bury the person before all of the relatives got done visiting,” Longfellow said.
Lunch time means a busy time down here at Buster's Main Street Cafe. And not just with the living. This place has a ghost story of its own.
“In the fray of things, all of a sudden, something will just jump across and everybody's thinking, ‘Did I do that?’ But then they think about it later and go, 'I couldn't have done that,'” owner Paul Tocco said.
Though he's never personally witnessed the diner poltergeist, Tocco says it certainly hasn't kept away the hungry crowd.
“It's like the first focus, make sure everybody eats first, because then it could get really scary if I'm not feeding them,” Tocco said.
Finally, if you are looking to feed your need for a fright, then you'll want to wait until after sunset and head to the armory.
“It creaks. If you're in there at night and nobody else is in the building, it does make weird noises,” city manager Richard Meyers said.
This long-time relic is hosting the Severed Armory, a haunted house filled with all kinds of nightmares.
“People will come out and just sit on the steps, thinking 'OK, have to regroup here.'” Meyers said.
From the macabre to the genuinely terrifying, you can find all three of these ghostly tales all in a day's drive. The Severed Armory is open every evening from now until Halloween. A portion of the proceeds raised will benefit Cottage Grove High School.