It’s October and jack-o-lanterns, cackling witches and white-sheet ghosts are peeping up everywhere (not to mention the candy corn). But in Oregon we don’t need to create a haunted house or makeshift phantom spirit—we’ve got the real thing. With abandoned desert towns, haunted historic hotels, unsettled spirits and mysterious and unexplainable incidents, this state is teeming with the paranormal! (Cue deep-throated screech here).
Eastern Oregon’s spattering of retired gold mining settlements makes it ripe for ghost towns, where deserted saloons and bordered buildings are all that’s left of these once thriving towns. There are 13 documented ghost towns in this area to explore. Check out Granite, where the once-booming town had a population of 5000 and today only a dozen or so residents call it home. While you’re in Eastern Oregon, check out the historic Union Hotel, which is rumored to be haunted.
In Greater Portland, take a tour of the Shanghai Tunnels. They were once used as hideouts by unscrupulous folks nicknamed “Shanghaiers” and slave traders who captured and sold people, transporting them through these underground channels. Tour these catacombs where rumor has it, the unsettled souls still roam.
Out at the beach lighthouses dot the coastline from Cannon Beach to Port Orford. Built in the 19th century by hand, these romantic structures hold dark and stormy tales. Tour all the historic lighthouses. At Yaquina Head visitors swear they can hear the footsteps of a lighthouse keeper who fell to his death attempting to light the beacon. At Tillamook Rock lighthouse numerous lightkeepers would tell of hearing ghostly cries from far below as they climbed the stairs to the tower, and mainlanders still claim to see a ghostly glow from the tower even though it has been discontinued since 1957.
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