Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Haunted Places: Ebenezer Chapel of Dayton, OR

Ebenezer Chapel, located next to the Odell Cemetery

The Myth

Ebenezer Chapel is supposed to be one of the most haunted places in Oregon. According to local legend, the Preacher Ebenezer, who founded the Ebenezer Chapel, was a polygamist cult leader with seven wives. In a violent rampage, he murdered his thirteen children (aged 9 mo-13 years) then burned their bodies in the chapel’s fireplace.

 The remains of the corpses were buried in the cemetery attached to the Chapel.In recent years, a man was supposedly hit by a car next to the cemetery and was abandoned there to die.
 For years the chapel has been haunted by glowing lights, voices, and scratching sounds in the walls. 

The facts

As romantic and chilling as the above story sounds, I have found no historical data to back the legend. According to historical documents, the  chapel was built in 1860’s. It was rebuilt in 1926 using the original fireplace and much of the building's materials.
There was no proof of a preacher named Ebenezer. No one is sure how the chapel got its name. There was a man named John Odell who had thirteen children. Like most families from the time period, some of them died, and some lived to have their own families.
The Odell cemetery has 48 people buried there, eighteen don’t have headstones.
side view of the chapel

Inside the Chapel

a large hole in the fireplace wall
Inside view of the chapel

Yes, I brought Edgar.

Oldest Headstone in the Odell Cemetery. It belongs to Samuel Angel who died in 1856. What an appropriate last name.

Civil War Veteran, William J Carpenter

I loved this cross

Most of the headstones are broken off, leaning against the trees. Everything is covered in ivy.

Willard Coovert  1855-1882. I loved the rose on the headstone.

The day was beautiful and I got my first sunburn for the year. It was wonderful to get out with my friend, Adrienne, for another bike ride. In total we biked about 15 miles. Expect my rides to get longer to prepare for the Cycle the Lakes ride of 100 miles!