There’s nothing like a good ghost story, especially when it involves your own state. Urban legends are especially interesting because in a way they have a life of their own and tend to change slightly each time the tale is told. The Beaver State has quite a few of its own unique urban legends, and they’re nothing short of terrifying. From hauntings to witchcraft, these 12 urban legends are sure to keep you awake tonight.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
12. The accused witch who cursed Lafayette
The town of Lafayette is said to have had a curse over it since the 1800s, when a woman accused of witchcraft was hanged for her supposed crimes. Before she died, she placed a curse on the town that it would burn down three times. Since then, it has burnt down twice. Freaky! Her ghost is said to roam the cemetery where she was killed to this day.
11. The strange and haunted history of the Hot Lake Hotel in La Grande
This hotel is located at a hot springs in La Grande. The hotel was originally built in the mid 19th-century and then was converted into a hospital that was destroyed in a fire. After that it was rebuilt into an insane asylum before it was closed down, seemingly for good. Years later, the decrepit building was renovated and turned into the Hot Lake Hotel. With a history like that, it seems natural that guests have reported various ghost stories, including hearing fleeting, sourceless piano music, ghost sightings and strange clouds of fog that will suddenly appear.
10. The Geiser Grand Hotel Haunting
This historic hotel and Baker City landmark is also a site of paranormal activity. People have reported seeing ghosts on many occasions (the hotel even offers ghosts tours on Halloween). The most famous ghost who lives here is called Lady in Blue, who supposedly has been sighted walking up and down the main staircase dressed in a turn of the century gown.
9. Dark magic at Malheur Butte
Malheur Butte is a dead volcano in Eastern Oregon with a shadowy past full of dark magic. It's said that witches used to meet here, and that strange imp-like creatures appear in the night and keep visitors away.
8. The McMinnville UFO sighting
In 1950, one of the most famous UFO photographs was taken on a farm near McMinnville. The controversial photograph shows what looks to be a flying saucer in the sky, and was printed in newspapers and magazines (including Life Magazine) all across the country. To this day, no one knows the truth - could it really have been a UFO?
7. Portland's creepy Shanghai Tunnels
Said to be one of the most haunted places in America, the Shanghai Tunnels in Portland are bone-chillingly creepy. Located underneath the streets of old town, these tunnels were used between 1850-1941 for illegal activity including human trafficking. Many people died in the dark, dingy tunnels, leaving their ghosts behind. You can now tour these tunnels, and many have heard phantom voices talking, moaning, and screaming.
6. The ghost of Kuhn Theater
Located in Lebanon and built in 1932, this theater is reportedly haunted by the ghost of a young girl in a white dress who fell from theater's balcony to her death. Visitors and staff of the theater claim to experience strange activity like doors opening and closing by themselves and the disembodied laughter of children.
5. Anna, the ghost who roams the halls of McMenamins Grand Lodge
The Grand Lodge, located in Forest Grove, is known as one of the most haunted places in Oregon. Staff and guests alike have reported seeing a woman with white hair, slippers, and a patterned dress. The descriptions of the ghost match the large portrait of a woman hanging on the premises. One common explanation is that the apparition is the ghost of a woman named Anna, who lived there for many years and died just before she turned 100 years old.
4. The creepy history of Oregon State Hospital
Years ago, this hospital in Salem was an insane asylum where terrible malpractices were said to occur. Built in the 1800s, this place had secret underground tunnels connecting the buildings, where terrible experiments were rumored to have been conducted on patients. Part of the hospital was preserved as a museum, and to this day visitors claim to experience paranormal activity here as well as the eerie feeling that they're being watched.
3. Battery Russel's ghost soldier
The historic Fort Stevens State Park is haunted by the ghost of a soldier who patrols the area at night holding a flashlight. There are many stories recounting encounters with the man, who, when approached, disappears into thin air.
2. The family that never left their home
The Flavel House is a mansion-turned-museum in Astoria, and it's said to be haunted by the ghosts of the family that once lived there. The Flavels have made their phantom presence known by speaking amongst themselves and practicing music in empty rooms. A woman's ghost has been sighted in the hallway, and Mr. Flavel has been seen in his bedroom, before vanishing.
1. The haunting of Heceta Head Lighthouse
The ghost of an old woman and her daughter haunt this beautiful lighthouse. According to PBS 'Legendary Lighthouses', nearly everyone who has stayed at the lighthouse since the 1950s has experienced paranormal activity, including things like disembodied screams, items moving or disappearing, and the reflection of a old woman's ghost in an attic window.