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A Haunting at Silver Falls: A Ghostly Analysis

Updated: Aug 29, 2023


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“There’s a lot of dead people in Silver Falls. Didn’t anyone tell you? It’s Ghost City U.S.A.”


- Larry, A Haunting at Silver Falls



Okay, so here it is – the analysis I’m mainly doing because of my soft spot for the place I’ve called home for a lot of my life. The 2013 movie, “A Haunting at Silver Falls,” to me is the sort of ghost movie you put on when you aren’t sure what to watch. At least, that’s what I did. The name caught my attention purely because I know the locations in the movie. While the town in the movie is fictitious, anyone from the area can watch it and know exactly where each scene shot on location in the fake town is.


Directed by Brett Donowho, “A Haunting at Silver Falls” is about a teenage girl, Jordan (Alix Elizabeth Gitter), who moves from Los Angeles to the small town of Silver Falls, Oregon, after the death of both of her parents. Jordan moves in with her aunt Anne (Tara Westwood) and uncle Kevin (Steve Bacic) and quickly makes herself at home in the dreary atmosphere of the town. She even strikes up a relationship with classmate Larry (James Cavlo), who tells her about the legends of ghosts at Silver Falls.



“I’m being followed by a dead girl.”


- Jordan, A Haunting at Silver Falls


After finding a ring in the woods, all sorts of strange and unusual things begin happening to Jordan. Her bedroom door opens on its own, even when it's locked. The ring she found won't come off her finger no matter how hard she tries, and she's plagued by nightmares. Oh, and there's a ghastly corpse-ghost-type young girl following her everywhere she goes – just girly things.


The movie is sort of a guessing game of who-dun-it and several plot holes, but after a while, it's clear that the ghost is trying to communicate with Jordan and expose Silver Falls' ugly secret. After visiting the town therapist to be cured of seeing ghosts, Jordan is taken to visit the father of the dead girl who's been haunting her. The girl's father waits on death row after being wrongfully accused of murdering both of his twin daughters. He gives Jordan another ring, and the visit prompts her to begin seeing the other corpse-ghost-type twin. Eventually, the girls get their point across and what's hidden not very far beneath the town's surface comes to light.




“They want something from us.”


- Jordan, A Haunting at Silver Falls



I'd like to think that if I ever needed to come back as an angry spirit ready to warn people of dangerous situations and expose evildoers, I'd be pretty good at it. In "A Haunting at Silver Falls," the twins Heather and Holly (played by Jade Ramsey and Nikita Ramsey) seem to be pretty good at getting their point across, at least to Jordan anyway. Unfortunately, the same can't be said about the several girls who saw the ghosts before she did (RIP).


The twins' tragic deaths and their desire to not only prevent the same fate from befalling Jordan but to ultimately take down the murderers who've been killing girls for decades make them a pretty strong contender for multiple ghostly categories.


Mental Imprint Manifestation. Heather and Holly's deaths in "A Hunting at Silver Falls" were not only tragic but brutal, and the extreme emotions they must have felt in their last moments would have left a lasting mark on their environment. The movie never actually shows Silver Falls, but it does say that multiple girls, including the twins, were murdered there. This intense negative energy clearly envelops Silver Falls in the movie and has the whole town walking on eggshells while trapped in a web of deceit.


Traditional or Historical Ghosts. Although Heather and Holly seem only to be able to interact with whoever is wearing the ring Jordan found in the woods, they're still very aware of the living.


Poltergeist. I was iffy on this one at first, but honestly, these ghosts are angry. Rightfully so. As soon as Jordan put on that ring, she had a ghost attached to her, moving objects, opening doors, and so on. Poltergeists tend to be associated with negative energies or emotions, and given the twins' tragic ends and Jordan still grieving the death of her parents, the negativity is ripe for the poltergeist in this situation.



BONUS



Yup. Another one, but I couldn't leave it out. Haunted Inanimate Object. These ghosts seem to only appear to those who put on their old rings. So, if Jordan never put that ring on, would she even be seeing these ghosts? Or would she go on blissfully unaware of the entire situation? Eventually, she might meet the same fate as the twins. So in hindsight, putting on the ring was a good thing, but she still had to put on the ring. For much of the movie, only one ghost is attached to Jordan, and it isn't until the twins' father gives her the other ring that Jordan sees ghostly girl number two. So it seems like the rings themselves are what contain a lot of supernatural energy. Not really something you'd want to accidentally purchase at an antique store – depending on who you are.



“The people in Silverton were just great to us.”


- Brian McElroy, Location Manager for A Haunting at Silver Falls, Statesman Journal



As mentioned earlier, Silver Falls is a real place – and a pretty dang cool one too. The fake town of Silver Falls in the movie? Not so much. Much of the filming was done in Silverton, Oregon, with a few sprinkles of nearby areas tossed in (looking at you, Stayton).




“Are there legends about Silver Falls?”


- Jordan, A Haunting at Silver Falls


"A Haunting at Silver Falls" opens by saying, "based on a true story," which means it could be based on anything. I definitely couldn't find any stories in the area that matched up to really any part of the movie, but that doesn't mean there aren't any spooky stories worth knowing about in the area.


The historic Adolf Wolf building in Silverton, Oregon, is said to be the home to the apparition of an older man. There have also apparently been claims of cold spots and a disembodied voice, according to Oregon Haunted Houses.


The building was constructed in 1891 and is one of very few buildings in Oregon in which the front is made with iron details. Adolf Wolf owned the building until 1899 and ran it as a general store. The building then went through several owners before sitting empty until 2004, when it underwent renovations. These renovations are said to be what's stirred up paranormal activity.


Currently, the Adolf Wolf building is home to Main Street Bistro and Coffee, where visitors can grab a warm bite to eat on a rainy Oregon day and possibly experience a disembodied voice or two. Which seems like a much more pleasant ghost story than the alternative one that takes place in "A Haunting at Silver Falls."







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