Trolley of Terror

Photo by Michelle Gehlman-Teeter

Walk up to the oldest house in Albany, Oregon, the Monteith House Museum, to sign in by candlelight. Receiving a plastic spider ring as your ticket, you board the Trolley of Terror. The conductor and tour guide look dapper in all black and fedoras to welcome you as you board the antique-style trolley, properly decked out in spiderwebs and other spooky decor.

The Trolley of Terror event is the Monteith House Museum’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Running on weekends in October, every seat fills up on this popular tour of Albany’s historic districts. What makes this tour special is that it explores the town’s paranormal past, with fun ghost stories mixed in with a bit of history. Guests hear about the woman in white in the Queen Anne Apartments, the dancing old man ghost in the Conn House and even a pack of wild ghost dogs that have been seen running down the streets in the middle of the night.

The vintage trolley is a local icon and is used for all kind of activities throughout the year, from tours to shuttling people to summer concerts at Monteith River Park.

After the open-air trolley ride, everyone gets a candlelight tour of the Monteith House. Docents in period costume tell more ghost stories about the house and the findings of past paranormal investigations. This house-museum from 1849 is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is said to be the most authentically restored pioneer-era home in Oregon. You feel like you have stepped 150 years in the past, walking the shadowy, candlelit halls and surrounded by the original owners’ spirits.

If you’ve ever wanted to participate in a paranormal investigation, the VIP Ghost-Hunting Experience is an extra event after the last trolley ride of the night. Join an investigator and a small group to try to get your own paranormal evidence. Ghost hunting equipment like laser grids, a BooBuddy ghostdetecting stuffed bear and EMF detectors are provided. Just remember to drink some coffee beforehand—three hours in the dark can equal sleepy ghost hunters!

Visit the Albany Visitors Association website albanyvisitors.com for the registration. Spaces fill up fast. Learn more about the Monteith House Museum at monteithhouse.org.

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