Ghost town

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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In this Oregon Story

These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit tripcheck.com, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

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  1. Nancy says…

    Talking Tombstones is our favorite haunt. Put on by the Clatsop Country Historical Society, staged in a cemetery in the Astoria area, it is a very unique yearly event. http://www.cumtux.org/
    October 31, 2010

    Written on October 7th, 2010 / Flag this Comment
  2. CIndy English says…

    Settlers and Pioneers come alive at the annual Graveyard Tour of the historic IOOF/Masonic Cemetery in Grants Pass in Southern Oregon. Tours are Saturday, Oct. 23rd. First tour is at 4pm and the second at 6pm. Tickets are $5 at the Josephine County Research Library, 512 SW Fifth Street, Grants Pass, or $6 at the gate. Call 541-479-7827, e-mail: josephinehistorical@charter.net or go to http://www.josephinehistorical.org

    Written on October 7th, 2010 / Flag this Comment
  3. Linda says…

    In KFalls our favorite haunt is the 4th annual “Night at the Cemetery” hosted by the Klamath County Museum on October 8 & 9 at the Linkville Cemetery

    Written on October 7th, 2010 / Flag this Comment
  4. Jae says…

    In your continuing spirited quest, you will be interested in Oregon City’s two ghost tours (http://www.nwghosttours.com/2010schedule.html). As the official end of the Oregon Trail, you can imagine the stories there are to tell! Special Seasonal Events include seances and graveyard walks.

    Just minutes from historic Oregon City you will find the Davis Graveyard in Milwaukie. This “haunted” attraction runs throughout October, with tombstone workshops and “Thriller” dancers. Fun, though, much more than truly spooky.

    Written on October 11th, 2010 / Flag this Comment
  5. Armand Smith says…

    Very good, But I would like a list of gost towns with no one in them & how to get to them, I would like that a lot, Thank you, Armand

    Written on January 5th, 2014 / Flag this Comment
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