As sociologist Margee Kerr says, haunted places are “just a thrill factor for many people”. Oregon is a place where you don’t have to be a ghost hunter or part of a ghost hunting team to find a ghost. Rumor has it that even the Oregon State University has ghosts. You can dine, camp, taste your wine and sightseeing besides looking out for ghosts in Oregon. Haunted places in Oregon include haunted hotels, museums, movie theaters and, of course, cemeteries.
The largest city of Oregon, Portland was once considered to be the most dangerous port city around the whole world. Portland has a gritty history of holding many famous and obscure haunted places. The city also got featured in the USA Today of 2012 as being one of the ten most haunted cities in the US.
America’s Tendency to Get to a Haunted Place
The Americans don’t confine themselves with the horror flicks but they want to get the optimum horror experience. This is where commercial haunting places come to aid them. They are designed with the sheer use of ambivalence where there’s no guarantee what the visitors are about to experience in the haunted places. It’s this evocation of dread inside our brain that gives us the thrill of visiting a haunted place.
America now holds more than 5,000 of such haunted attractions throughout the entire country. These places are really old that have the aura of history passing before it. The doors, the floors, the rooftops, the old plumbing and almost all the other things in these houses make creaking sounds. The sound adds to the possibility of seeing a ghost.
Some houses have ghosts and some don’t. But the ghost has to be appealing to the visitors. They have to be good and not serial killers. Americans not only visit the haunted houses but also buy them for having a haunting sensation 24/7. Americans are thrill-seekers who love to have a good haunting experience and the wide celebration of Halloween is just a proof of that.
Top Haunted Places in Oregon’s 7 Regions
Oregon has a long history of harboring haunted places in all over the state. Among the hundreds, these are the top 7 places in Oregon that have the best haunted places:
- Central Oregon: Deschutes Historical Museum, Bend
- Eastern Oregon: Candy Cane Park, La Grande
- Mount Hood & Columbia River Gorge: Columbia Gorge Hotel
- Oregon Coast: The Egyptian Theatre, Coos Bay
- Portland Region: The Shanghai Tunnels
- Southern Oregon: Galesville Hotel, Douglas County
- Willamette Valley: Lafayette Pioneer Cemetery
01Central Oregon: Deschutes Historical Museum, Bend
1918 marks the most devastating tragedy in the history of Oregon. A devastating outbreak of the Spanish influenza almost killed 4,000 Oregonians in a matter of six months. In that outbreak, a little girl of 9-10 year old and a businessman died who still haunt the Deschutes Historical Museum. Many museum guests and staff have reported to have seen them.
There are shreds of evidence of hearing the little girl giggling and running around the museum. The staff says that the girl removes documents from desks when nobody’s looking and then puts them back later. The male apparition is known as “George” who moves objects around the building or makes them disappear.
Where to stay?
If you want to have a full haunting experience, you might as well choose a spooky hotel or a hotel for reenergizing while you’re on your way to Deschutes Historical Museum. Following are some hotels in Bend that you can stay in for the night and go to the museum the next day.
Riverhouse on the Deschutes
The hotel is situated in the most accessible location. It comes with a bar, a restaurant, great food and a calm atmosphere.
- Costs $153.30 for two adults
- The river can be heard all night
- Great food, service and parking
Lara House Lodge
This hotel is one of the haunting places to stay in Oregon. If you wish for adding an extra dosage of horror to your experience, this is just the place for you to stay. The hotel reportedly has a ghost that moves objects and makes whispering sounds.
- You can rent the whole lodge
- Always offers discounts for national heroes
- Awarded several times for excellence
La Quinta Inn Bend
The hotel comes with great staff, an accessible 24/7 pool, is very dog-friendly and is close to Walmart and other necessary facilities.
- Offers full breakfast
- Costs only $82.64 for two adults
- Very accessible location
DoubleTree by Hilton Bend
The hotel has a great location from where you can practically walk to all the places you’re going to visit on Bend. The staffs are popular for their welcoming attitude and hospitality.
- The rooms are large and the beds are comfortable
- The rooms only cost $117 for two adults
- Some rooms have mountain view
Hampton Inn & Suites Bend
This inn comes with great room and bathroom facilities. The staffs are trained to make their customers feel like home.
- Located by the Deschutes River
- Gym, pool and laundry are open 24/7
- The hotel costs $112.48 for two adults per night
02 Eastern Oregon: Candy Cane Park, La Grande
Located in the Union county of La Grande, Oregon, Candy Cane Park also goes by Hatchet Park. The park consists of a small playground, a half basketball court, a ballfield, picnic tables and benches.
In 1983, a woman got killed in the park. She got chopped off on the head by a hatchet. After the killer attacked her, she was still alive for a few moments while lying in the grass. The woman, Dana, was a bar waitress. There was a merry-go-round on the park that she used to haunt until it got closed in 2003. Rumor says that she used to push people off the merry-go-round.
The ghost now haunts the park benches and swing sets. Some people have reported that they have the ghost sitting in the benches and the swings.
Where to stay?
Since you’re not just going to be visiting the Candy Cane Park and will likely visit other places in La Grande, you’ll need a place to stay. Some hotels are described briefly that you could look out for a while you’re in La Grande.
Hot Lake Hotel & Hot Springs, La Grande
This hotel was once a resort and then an asylum. The hotel is notoriously famous for its haunting activities. People have reported numerous ghosts of the persons who killed themselves on the land and the former patients. People have also specified a ghost of a gardener who supposedly killed himself there. People also hear the mutterings of patients.
The Landing Hotel
This is most possibly the best hotel in La Grande. This is a really comfortable hotel with all the amenities that a hotel could provide for. The building of this hotel is actually a remodeled version of an old apartment building which gives the hotel a historical aura. There’s a simple problemwhich is the hotel is near the railroad tracks and many people complain of the noise.
- The cost of a room for two adults is $119.90
- The bedrooms and the bathrooms are huge
- The staff are very friendly
- Has a wine bar with appetizers
Rodeway Inn La Grande
This is a very cheap hotel for those who want to get into a hotel for a meal and a nap. The exterior of the hotel looks very 60’s style but the interior has a surprisingly modern furnishing. The staffs are very professional and polite in nature. A hotel room for two adults requires $60.44.
La Grande Inn
This is another low costing hotel. Even with a low price, the hotel has satisfied its customers with its services and amenities. The hotel is popular for serving “continental breakfast” that includes fruit, cereal, coffee, yogurt, pastries, etc. The staffs are friendly and polite.
Travelodge by Wyndham La Grande
Wyndham group is typically good in hotel management and Travelodge is no exception. The hotel is clean, tidy and comfortable. There’s no problem with noise. Several restaurants are just outside the hotel premise. A single room for two adults in this hotel costs $58.20 and the pennies are worth it.
03 Mount Hood & Columbia River Gorge: Columbia Gorge Hotel
This was built in 1911 and was known as the Multnomah County Poor Farm. The farm was a mixture of people who not only did the farm works but also worked at the laundry facilities, jail, and hospitals. In the 1950s, it went through renovation again and took in all the different sorts of patients: patients with tuberculosis, children with mental health issues, the aging and the fragile.
The building got closed down for some time. In 1990, it was opened again as Edgefield Winery. Then the movie, the brewery, the golf course, etc. were added. Still, some people feel the paranormal presence of the people who died there. People believe these are the spirits that were not buried in marked graves.
04 Oregon Coast: The Egyptian Theatre, Coos Bay
Located in Coos Bay, Oregon, the Egyptian Theater has historical significance. It was a garage when it was built and later turned into a theater in 1925. The design of the theater follows Egyptian Revival structures. The Egyptian symbols, architecture and colors are meant to have secret meanings. This particular theater has numerous occurrences of paranormal phenomena.
The objects in the theater have been reported several times to move on their own. Doors open on their own, people feel an invisible tap on shoulders and echoes of footsteps are heard in the hallways. Occasionally, investigation for the paranormal is arranged by the hotel management where hosts take the hotel patrons on a ghost investigating mission.
Where to stay?
Some of the hotels in Coos Bay near the Egyptian Theater are described below.
Red Lion Hotel
Everyone who stays in the Red Lion Hotel comes out with big smiles on their faces. The hotel doesn’t claim to be a luxurious hotel but offers the facilities as one. The clean and big rooms, the large bathrooms, nice linens, great parking space, etc. give the hotel its prominence. A single room for two adults will cost $119.13.
Best Western Holiday Hotel
The hotel is in a tranquil location and comes with all the facilities. The rooms are clean and comfortable. The bed comes with a lot of pillows. The staffs will help you with anything you need. A room in this fine hotel will cost $117.12.
The inn comes with nice rooms and courteous staffs. There are reports of paranormal activities in the hotel. The most common occurrence is the disappearing of the Wi-Fi network.
05 Portland Region: The Shanghai Tunnels
In downtown Portland, there’s a series of secret passages that were built a 100 years ago. The passages start from the Chinatown/Old Town and go to the Willamette River. Kidnapped sailors were kidnapped and locked in these passages. Later the passages were used for opium parlors, gambling, and different clandestine activities. Whether or not the tunnels are haunted is still debated.
Where to stay?
The hotels in this region are highly comfortable, expensive and have the best of the staffs.
Embassy Suites by Hilton Portland – Downtown
Known for its excellent services, Embassy attracts people with its excellence in being the top hotel in the region. The hotel costs $126.72 per room for two people. The stay in the hotel is worth the price. The features of the hotel:
- Large and comfortable rooms and beds
- The water is drinkable
- Comes with large pool, hot tubs, steam room
- Complimentary breakfast
- Great staff
Courtyard Portland City Center
This is an excellent commercial hotel at a relatively reasonable price. The hotel costs $127.33 for a room of two people. Special features of the hotel:
- Very nice location
- Great parking system
- Very modern facilities throughout the whole hotel
- Great customer response as to hotel service and management
Hampton Inn & Suites Portland-Pearl District
This hotel has been claimed by many as the best hotel in Portland. This is a modern, elegant and highly functional hotel with a restaurant attached to it. Every haunted sight, places for shopping and other necessities can be done with a 10-minute walk. The best features of the hotel include:
- Warm cookies in the afternoon
- Great staff
- Free breakfast with great quality
06 Southern Oregon: Galesville Hotel, Douglas County
There are several featured books on the topic “Galesville Phantoms”. In 1931, the Galesville hotel was burned to the ground. It was built in 1882. There’s a northbound stagecoach that has been stopping in the hotel premise since the 1880s. Later, the Van Vlake family built a home on the burned land in 1973. They reported multiple occurrences of paranormal activities.
The sound of two women talking as if they’re visiting the house was the most commonly reported event. But none of the family ever saw a body in sight. It was all sound. The windows never remained closed and got open each time someone left the room. There were also sounds heard from the upstairs. It sounded like someone turning the pages of books or magazines. There were also hearings of slamming stagecoach doors and people talking but no physical bodies could be seen.
7. Willamette Valley: Lafayette Pioneer Cemetery
The land of Lafayette was once beautifully flourished but then started a series of unfortunate events. As the locals still believe, a gypsy named Anna Marple cursed the land after her son got executed for the killing of a local shop owner. Marple screamed out during the execution that the land of Lafayette would be ravaged by fire and the town actually faced two fatal fires after that. People still believe that there are more fires to come.
The main attraction for the paranormal enthusiasts on this land is the Lafayette Pioneer Cemetery. In the cemetery, there are countless reports of a woman roaming the land and there are loud sounds of laughter. The place has an eerie aura that everyone who goes there feels.
Oregon’s Top Haunted Places
Oregon has the highest number of haunted sightings, places, and experiences in all of America. Following is a discussion on the 15 best haunted places in Oregon.
This section needs to contain the list of top 15 haunted places in Oregon. This list does not focus on the regional categorization or anything else. The places include in this list has been selected according to their attractions for paranormal enthusiasts. You can consider it as the top haunted places in Oregon, irrespective of regions/places. Keep the list.
Croisan Creek Road, Salem
This is a spooky little road in Salem. The road is believed to be haunted by a little girl’s ghost. Rumor has it that the girl was crossing the street while a car coming with a high speed hit her.
Still today, the drivers who pass through that road can see a boy and a little girl on the roadside. When a car comes, the girl goes to chase a ball that has rolled into the middle of the road. When the driver stops or slows his vehicle, the girl vanishes into nothing.
Oregon State Hospital, Salem
Established in the 1880s as a general hospital, Oregon State Hospital has gone through several changes and finally turned into an asylum. The hospital was never managed well. Many prohibited medical practices used to go on there. There were harshly abusive experimentations on the vulnerable patients. These incidents of horrible medical practices have stained the core of the hospital.
There were tunnels/passages under the hospital infrastructure. The hospital management said to have built it for the purpose of moving the dangerous patients. But they tortured and abused the patients in the tunnels so they can’t be heard when they scream.
Now the visitors to this hospital are paranormal enthusiasts. They have all reported that they can still hear the patient’s scream for help, wailing, footsteps and all the different kind of noises.
Pittock Mansion, Portland
This is a huge building spanning over 16,000 square feet. The publisher of the daily newspaper “The Oregonian”, Henry Pittock has built the house in 1909. The Pittock family continued to live in the house after the couple died in 1909. In 1964, the house was transformed into a museum. But not many know that the house is haunted.
The ghostly nature of the house has been deliberately kept down but the stories got out anyway. It’s said that the Pittock couple still lives there as spirits. Their apparitions can sometimes be seen but most of the time the spirits just move around furniture in the house and make noises.
Cathedral Park in the St. Johns neighborhood of Portland
Cathedral Park is under the suspension bridge- the St. Johns Bridge. The park got its name “cathedral” from the bridge’s support structures that look like gothic arches. But the gothic look isn’t why this place is considered haunted.
One summer afternoon in 1949, a teenager named Thelma Taylor jumped on a berry picking truck so she could pick berries to earn some money. Some days later, Thelma was found brutally beaten and murdered under the bridge. She’s turned into a horror legend ever since.
Now people can hear her screams in the Cathedral Park during the night. The police regularly go there after hearing the screams but fail to find anything each time.
The Wolf Creek Inn in Josephine County
The inn was built in 1883 and was once the favorite place for many celebrities’ hangout. Jack London and Clark Gable were the most prominent among them. But it’s literally one of the most haunted places on earth.
Everything that can be brought under the umbrella of “haunted” if found here. There are ghastly apparitions, noises, flickering lights, moving objects, a lady’s voice, etc. are some of the most repeated haunted activities that go around in the building. There’s even an incident where a tourist was attacked by some ghostly spirit and thought that it was a vampire.
Battery Russell, Fort Stevens, Warrenton
This landmark was built during the Civil War and was active even in the World War 2. In WW2, the Japanese fired on it. The reports say that the ghost of a fallen soldier is still seen roaming around and patrolling the place.
This soldier wears a 1940s uniform and is seen as far as the Seaside Promenade. When encountered, he simply disappears into thin air.
Bush House Museum, Salem
Asahel Bush wanted to make a house where he could live with his four children after his wife’s death. So, he built the house. However, one of the children, Eugenia developed a mental condition when she was in school. There are two stories as to what Bush actually did with his daughter. One story goes like this: her father felt ashamed of her and locked her in the basement so she can’t go out. Another story is: she got shipped away to Boston and was enrolled in a mental institution where only the wealthiest patients with mental issues stayed.
Now there are ghostly appearances in the house. Many people have seen objects moving, a figure of a man in the shadows who resemble Bush Sr., etc. Many have heard a woman sobbing and crying, and many have heard cries, whispers, and conversations.
Dammasch State Hospital, Wilsonville
What was once an asylum and a mental hospital in Wilsonville, Oregon is now a place in ruins, abandoned and haunted. The main hospital was built in 1961 and was named after Dr. Ferdinand H. Dammasch. The hospital ran for 34 years. In 1993, five deaths were reported and investigated in the hospital. It’s also said that many of the patients were turned loose in 1992. There were numerous brutal experiments going on in the hospital.
The hospital contained blood and writings on the walls. Even in 2000, the beds seemed like they’re in use. However, the place got entirely demolished and the Villebois homes were built upon its land. Although people are living there, there are multiple reports of the whole area still being haunted. People say that it’s the patients from the hospitals who were abused and the ghosts want to “say something” to them.
McMenamins Edgefield, Troutdale
McMenamins Edgefield is a hotel and a popular concert venue. Previously it was an abode for the poor, the sick and the homeless where they could work and live to keep themselves. Then the McMenamins bought the land in the 90s and transformed it into a hotel.
The guests in the hotel have reported several times that they hear a mother who sings nursery rhymes and a woman’s apparition in a white gown walks the hallways of the hotel.
McMenamins Grand Lodge, Forest Grove
The hotel was establsihed in the early 20th century. The guests in the hotel have reported on multiple occasions about the opening and shutting of many doors and voices from the unoccupied rooms.
However, the most prominent paranormal appearance is the appearance of a woman named “Virginia” who walks on the second floor. She appears in white dress and slippers. There’s also a painting of the woman in the hotel. One guest even complained once that she felt the ghost pulling her hair upwards.
The Heceta Head Lighthouse keeper’s house, Near Florence
During the 1890s, an assistant lighthouse keeper’s daughter died in the lighthouse. Since then, there have emerged many ghost stories around the death. People often encounter Rue, the supposed ghostly presence of the dead child. Many say that it’s not the child but rather the mother whose ghost people see.
People visiting the place have reported flower scents and rose perfume purely out of the blue. They also see imprints on their beds even when no one was there. It is one of the most notorious haunted lighthouses in the U.S.
A holiday in an extraordinary place like a lighthouse is always enjoyable, more so for some who like the thrill of being haunted. Heceta Head Lighthouse has a bed and breakfast service which offers to stay there for two nights and food.
Highway 101 near Cannon Beach
In the idyllic coastal town of Cannon Beach, there’s a highway which is raided regularly since the 1960s by the “Bandage Man”. Many local myths have grown around this figure for a long time. Some say he raids the pickup cars of teenagers and others have said that they’ve seen him eating dogs.
This man is a ghost wrapped in bandages and is only seen in this particular area. Some say that they see him sitting in their car through mirrors but they turn back only to find out there’s no one. The man is described as smelling like a rotting fish. Sometimes he even breaks the windows of cars. Whenever he intrudes, he apparently leaves his foul-smelling bandages. It is a popular belief that he was once the dead logger who got cut into pieces in an accident in the sawmill he worked for.
Oregon Caves Chateau, Cave Junction
The Chateau in the Oregon Caves was originally built in 1932 with a rustic feel. The very establishment itself has an eerie vibe to it from the very outset. Since the entirety of the building is wooden, it always makes creaking noises and the sound of wind whistles is always prevalent.
As one goes more to the upper floors, the feeling of a certain kind of chill only enhances. People believe a ghostly presence whose name was once Elizabeth lingers in the passage of the sixth floor. She’s the ghost of a woman who was once betrayed by her husband on their wedding night. She jumped off of her top-floor room when she found her husband passionately embracing a chambermaid.
South Eugene High School, Eugene
In 1958, a student named Robert Granke of the South Eugene High School fell 55 feet while changing the lights in the auditorium. He died instantly by breaking his neck. Since then the teachers and the students have reported several times that the lights in the school go on and off, especially in the theater classroom.
There are varieties of experiences people had with the ghost. Some say that they hear mysterious noises like sounds of disembodied footsteps and creaking, invisible piano playing, hearing their own names by some spooky voice, etc.
In 1994, the same story almost got repeated with a workman dying by falling through the ceiling of the auditorium. The man, unlike Granke, survived with a broken foot. People believe the ghost was the reason the workman is still alive.
Wolf Creek Inn, Wolf Creek
This inn once used to host Orson Wells, John Wayne and many people of this stature. It’s also rumored that Jack London’s apparition was seen in the room where he finished his novel, Valley of the Moon. It’s said that he loved the room so much that he came back. While London is clearly the most famous ghost haunting the inn, he’s not the only one.
Many paranormal researchers have come to dig deep into the mysteries of the inn and they’ve claimed that there are multiple “entities” living in the Wolf Creek Inn. One of the most distinguished ghostly presences is a female stagecoach driver who died in the place.
There’s yet another interesting pre-eminent ghostly presence in the inn. A “vampire-like” creature is often seen lurking around with fangs and blood on the mouth. This has been interpreted as being a spirit, a mythological beast or the ghost of someone who used to think he was a monster.
The haunted places in Oregon will definitely give you the scare you’ve been trying to experience all your life. It’s not important whether you believe in ghosts or not but it’s the aura of the place that really connects you with the stories. Lots of people have been going to Oregon for these haunted places and they come back with a lifetime of experience. The experiences and stories shared in the article are thoroughly researched so you can take a look at all of them and decide for yourself where you want to go for your haunted adventure.