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Tioga: Haunted Temple Of Coos Bay

Tioga: Haunted Temple Of Coos Bay

December 2019 · 5 min read


--I actually lived at the Tioga for about 4 months in 2018.

I snapped this photo driving past this aged, dilapidated building on the Oregon Coast. Rumored to be one of Oregon's most haunted places, this building is almost 100 years old and is the tallest standing, inhabitable structure on the Oregon Coast. It's construction began in 1925, but as a result of the Great Depression, it stood 3/4 of the way finished for almost 20 years. In it's unfinished state, the townspeople of Coos Bay had dubbed it, "The White Elephant," in lieu of it's unfinished nature and appearance.

In the aftermath of World War II, this unfinished building was purchased by a businessman from Portland, Oregon for a mere, $500 (obviously worth more today, but WHAT A DEAL!) It's doors opened on May 1st of the year 1948 and it had a new name: Tioga.

The new, Tioga, building functioned successfully for the next few years. It added a hair salon and various other shops to serve guests and even opened up a large banquet hall in which the towns gathering events were held.

Today, the building has been re-purposed as a low-income housing apartment complex. As I stated at the top of this article, I actually lived there last year for a few months. It sits right on top of an old biker bar called, "The Captain's Cabin," where I used to frequently gamble too much. The building is said to be full of secret passageways, walls behind walls, rooms that you can't get to.

The community college, Southwestern Oregon Community College (SOCC), runs a ghost hunting tour here, at this building, every year. There are many reports of a tall shadowy apparition in the basement, disembodied voices, among other things. All that, you can find on the internet, but you don't you want a little insider-knowledge from someone who actually lives in Coos Bay?


-Another photo from a little further away showing the Tioga building.

I'm going to give you a little insight on this place and tell you a few of the things that I have learned and experienced over the last three years of living here. I came from the streets up, so I know, more than some, about the dirty history in this town.

Coos Bay was a pirate town. Pirates ported here to plunder and get laid from the start of this towns history. As time progressed it became the home to the infamous, Gypsy Jokers, a dangerous and violent biker gang that dominated the area and even the legal system. It was considered, per-capita, to have the highest violent crime rate in the entire United States. The Jokers got their name because while they were beating or stabbing someone, they would say, "Just Kidding!" repeatedly until they were satisfied.

Beneath the city, are rumored to be an entire system of hidden tunnels. The Tioga building shown in the photograph, is rumored to have an access point to these tunnels, somewhere within. It is said, by some, to have been a busy brothel that helped to fuel the towns economy.

Maybe you have heard of the 'Shanghai Tunnels' in Portland, Oregon? This was a tunnel system used for smuggling prostitutes and selling them into slavery in Portland's, gritty history. I wonder, what if there was a correlation between the Shanghai Tunnels in Portland, and the rumored tunnels of Coos Bay? As I earlier had mentioned, the Tioga building was purchased by a Portland businessman in the mid 1900's. This is just speculation, but what if there was a connection between these two tunnel systems and their usage? It would not surprise me much if a building bought as a front for crime and human trafficking was haunted. Maybe, just a little?

As a former resident of this building I can personally attest to the presence of hidden passageways and structural abnormalities. However, I'm not going to tell you much about my own experiences of the paranormal. I'm not one who is easily sold to the idea of these things being "ghosts." I don't want to limit the experiences to the possibilities that I can devise and understand, solely because I do not understand them. What I can tell you, is that I did have some strange experiences there. Some, very strange, indeed. If you want to test the validity of this, however, you will just have to come here and visit, yourself!

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I hope that you enjoyed reading this article about the haunted Tioga. If you did, give me a follow and an upvote. I write all the time and am eager to share more things with this community! Thanks, and have a wonderful day!

-here is a photo in which you can see Tioga from the bayside, near the old railroad tracks.

-Article and photos by Jonathan Caleb Williams


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