Nestled in the Pacific Northwest, Oregon’s breathtaking landscapes are not just picturesque but also a backdrop for the most haunted places in Oregon. Beyond its scenic beauty, spectral figures and mysterious occurrences weave through historic landmarks, transforming them into epicenters for ghostly encounters.
From eerie hotels to abandoned asylums, each site is steeped in haunting stories, inviting the curious to delve into the darker side of Oregon’s history and uncover the mysteries of its most haunted places.
1. Oregon Caves Chateau, Cave Junction
Oregon Caves Chateau was built in 1932 and still has the same rustic atmosphere as it did back then.
Guests say they start feeling uneasy as soon as they see the building! This continues to build as you climb the narrow staircase to the upper floors.
It is said that a spirit named Elizabeth lingers in the sixth-floor hallway during the day before wandering the hotel at night. She is said to be the spirit of a young woman betrayed by her husband on their wedding night.
She jumped to her death from the window of Room 301 after seeing her husband in a compromising position with one of the chambermaids.
2. Highway 101, Cannon Beach
Highway 101 is a stunning stretch of highway along Oregon’s coast. It may look beautiful, but it has a darker side.
Since the early sixties, there have been reports of people seeing a man with a bandaged face appear at the side of the road.
Some say they have even glimpsed him sitting in their back seat through their rearview mirror, but when they turn around, he is gone!
3. Oregon Vortex, Gold Hill
The Oregon Vortex was originally known to Native Americans as ‘The Forbidden Ground’ largely because they believed that evil spirits roamed the land. It is said that their horses would shy away and refuse to enter the area.
A house was built on the land, but it has sunk into the ground at a diagonal. However, despite this, anyone inside the house stands perfectly upright!
It has also been said that people appear to change height inside what is believed to be a vortex!
There are also many ghost stories here, most of them revolving around the apparition of scientist John Lister, who originally discovered the unique properties of the area!
Is this a rift in space and/or time, or is there another explanation?
4. The Lodge at Hot Lake Springs, La Grande
The Hot Springs in La Grande, Oregon, has a long and colorful history. They were initially a place of healing for Native Americans until the settlers came along and built a hotel on the land in the 1840s.
By the 1920s, it had been converted into a medical facility and later an insane asylum and a retirement home. It began to fall into disrepair, and in 1991, it was closed temporarily. This was when the first reports of paranormal activity began to surface.
There is now a hotel on the land, and staff report hearing piano music even though there is no piano in the building.
There are also reports of the ghost of a gardener who hanged himself on the property, a strange mist that appears on the lake, and a higher than average number of car crashes outside of the property.
5. Oregon Institute of Technology, Klamath Falls
The Oregon Institute of Technology was used for many years and suddenly abandoned with little or no explanation for why! Some of the building was demolished, and the remains soon fell into disrepair.
However, there have been reports of strange activity around the area. The hill right next to the building is known to be a site where regular satanic ceremonies have been conducted.
There have also been odd rock formations with animal bones in the center found around the ruins of the institute, and some explorers have even found blood.
This is creepy enough, but there are also reports of shadow figures, loud, unexplained bangs, and an ominous presence.
6. Lafayette Pioneer Cemetery, Lafayette
In the 1800s, a woman was accused of witchcraft and was hanged for her supposed crimes. Immediately before her death, she cursed the town of Lafayette, saying that it would burn to the ground three times!
Since then, the entire town has burned down twice, so the curse is not yet broken! Her ghost has also been spotted roaming not only the location in which she was hanged but also Lafayette Cemetery, where she was buried.
She has been said to lurk in the shadows and scream at visitors, even going as far as to chase them out of the cemetery. Those who have been chased out often have razor-like cuts across their backs, perhaps from her fingernails as she grabs at them.
The attacks got so frequent that the cemetery has now been closed to the public and bears a no-trespassing sign for public safety!
7. Edgefield Hotel, Troutdale
In the early 1900s, Multnomah County Poor Farm (what is now the Edgefield Hotel) housed the unfortunate, the sick, the poor, and the homeless. They could live on the farm in exchange for working on it.
People came and went with some frequency, so it is difficult to say how many of them died here, but there were certainly a fair few. The labor was hard, and some of the people just were not up to it and ended up dying.
A hotel, brewery, and venue were built on the property in 1990, and around that time, paranormal activity was first reported.
Room 215, in particular, seems to be a bit of a hotspot, and the hotel keeps a log book where guests can note their paranormal experiences while staying there!
8. The Witch’s Castle, Portland
Even the name of this property is enough to send a shiver up your spine, so it is hardly surprising that The Witch’s Castle in Portland is considered one of the most haunted places in Oregon.
It was purchased in 1850 by the Balch family as a sanctuary for the family, but soon it became more like a prisoner. When their daughter fell in love with the hired help, Danford Balch ended up killing the man.
Related: The Most Haunted Places in Portland
He then claimed he did so because his wife had bewitched him with a spell! However, he was still hanged for his crime. His death holds the distinction of being the first legal hanging in Oregon.
Anna was returned to the house where she had lost both her love and her father and lived out the rest of her life there. Now, it is said that she haunts the building with her father and her lost love.
People have reported seeing ghostly figures fighting around midnight.
9. Shanghai Tunnels, Portland
Portland’s Shanghai Tunnels are world-famous. They run under this infamously haunted city as a reminder that this was a dark and dangerous city in its early years. Men and women alike were tricked or drugged in the bars and brothels all over town and dragged into the tunnels before being bundled onto boats to serve as slaves.
Many were physically and/or sexually abused, and several did not make it out of the tunnels alive. The hidden rooms were also used as opium dens, and many people overdosed in the tunnels.
See also: The Most Haunted Hotels in Oregon
All of this death and torment has made the Shanghai Tunnels the ideal breeding ground for paranormal activity, and there are countless reports of strange noises, shadows, and disembodied voices as well as a malevolent spirit who takes pleasure in tormenting the tour guides.
10. Croisan Creek Road, Salem
Croisan Creek Road is a creepy little spot in Salem that is said to be haunted by the spirit of a little girl who was hit by a speeding car while crossing the street.
It is said that drivers often see a little girl and a boy at the side of the road. Sometimes, they see a ball roll into the road and the little girl chasing it. If they stop or slow down, she will simply vanish.
11. Oregon State Hospital, Salem
Oregon State Hospital originally opened in the 1800s as a general hospital. Still, over the years, it got more and more crowded, and eventually, it was largely being used for the insane and mentally handicapped.
Conditions in the hospital were not good. A combination of questionable medical practices and the constant abuse of vulnerable patients has left a dark stain on this building, and it is no wonder it is considered to be one of the most haunted buildings in Oregon.
There are also tunnels under the hospital that were intended to be used for transporting the more dangerous patients but were rumored to be used to conduct experiments on patients since nobody could hear them scream.
Visitors have said that they can still hear patients calling for help, and there have also been reports of footsteps, wailing, and other strange noises.
12. Pittock Mansion, Portland
Pittock Mansion is a huge 16,000-square-foot building built in 1909 by Henry Pittock, the publisher of The Oregonian, and his wife, Georgina. The couple died in 1918 and 1919, but the family lived in the mansion until 1964.
The house was then turned into a museum, but few people know it is one of the most haunted places in Oregon.
The haunted nature of the property is more or less kept on the down low, but that hasn’t stopped tales of the ghosts slipping out! Apparently, the Pittocks are still there and often tidy up or move the furniture around!
13. Geiser Grand Hotel, Baker City
Situated in Baker City, OR, the Geiser Grand Hotel once stood as a premier lodging destination, bridging Salt Lake City, Utah, and Portland.
However, it’s not just the hotel’s luxurious history that captivates guests; the third floor harbors a more spirited reputation. Here, flickering lights are the norm, hinting at the mischievous antics of not one but several spectral residents. Known for their rowdy, ethereal revelries, these spirited inhabitants have led some staff members to steer clear of the third floor after midnight, a respectful nod to the hotel’s unseen and lively guests.