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  • Haunted houses have a storied history across valley

  • Historians are well aware that many local houses have a reputation for being haunted, although they don't put much stock in the idea of ghosts.
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  • Historians are well aware that many local houses have a reputation for being haunted, although they don't put much stock in the idea of ghosts.
    "I don't know that I actually believe in ghosts," says George Kramer, an Ashland historic preservation consultant. "If there are such things as ghosts, they would be in older homes rather than new."
    Interest in ghosts has risen over the past 10 years, particularly among people looking to buy historical properties, he says.
    "People don't seem to be afraid of ghosts like you see in the movies," he says.
    A few weeks ago, when Kramer went to Mount Hood's historic Timberline Lodge, he noticed promotional materials that discussed ghosts. And in the conference room, "The Shining" was playing to help put guests in touch with the spirit world. Timberline Lodge was used as the exterior shots for the 1980 horror movie starring Jack Nicholson.
    "There is definitely a lot of interest in ghosts," Kramer says.
    State Rep. Sal Esquivel and his wife, Jan, have their own ghost in a historical house that Kramer is familiar with on Corning Court.
    "Who am I to dispute Sal and Jan Esquivel if they see ghosts?" Kramer says.
    Medford historian Ben Truwe says the idea of ghosts doesn't appeal to him.
    "I've got a haunted house, too, where weird things happen like the door swinging open," he says. "You shut the door when that happens."
    Truwe says his haunted house is a rental he owns on South Grape Street.
    "If the ghost would stop fooling around and give me his name, I would be a lot more interested," Truwe says. "It's tales to tell around the campfire."
    He says The Office, a strip club in downtown Medford, supposedly has the ghost of a scared little girl. People in Lawrence Jewelers on Main Street have heard the footsteps of a toddler ghost. For years, people have claimed to hear some kind of ghost in the upstairs of Mountain Christian Fellowship on Main Street, he says.
    Truwe's own ghost likes to turn dials up and down, which makes sense because the spirit was an electrical engineer in human form, Truwe says.
    "I kind of do and don't believe in ghosts," he says. "I would really like to have some good apparitions or a poltergeist."
    Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@mailtribune.com.
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