5 Spooky Places to Visit in Oregon

5 Spooky Places to Visit in Oregon

Chris Pauly

As Halloween draws nearer, having a chill run down one’s spine from the spooky supernatural can be a fun and unforgettable experience. Oregon, for those brave enough, has an abundance of places where one can feel first-hand the ghostly presence of ages past. BD narrowed it down to five of the creepiest and most storied haunted places here in Oregon.

Lafayette Cemetery – Lafayette, Oregon

There is a legend that sometime in the 1800’s a woman was hung in the town of Lafayette, OR for the crime of witchcraft. With her parting words, she laid a curse upon the town that it should burn to the ground three times. Unfortunately, this tale has been proven false by historians at the Yamhill County Historical Society, saying that it was the mother, a “gypsy”, of a convicted killer who had cursed the town after her son was hung for his crimes in 1887. However, whoever it was that supposedly put the curse on the town, Lafayette has suffered two massively destructive fires since the hanging and witnesses have claimed to see a ghostly woman wandering the graveyard at night.

Hot Lake Springs – La Grande, Oregon

The Hot Lake Springs have been in use long before Oregon was settled by western travelers in the 1800’s. Used originally by the Nez Perce tribe as a place of healing, the hot springs transitioned into a resort in 1864 and then into a hospital and sanatorium around 1910. The modern resort/hospital was very popular with an astounding 124 new guests daily and could house over 1000 guests at a time. However, the success was short lived when a fire devastated the business in 1934. It is now a wonderfully restored vacation spot for those looking to soaking the great geothermal waters. However, some have claimed that the grounds are haunted by former patients and the ghost of a former caretaker who committed suicide on the property. Guests have reported slamming doors and piano music playing throughout the hotel.

McMenamin’s Edgefield (a.k.a. Multnomah County Poor Farm) – Troutdale, Oregon

McMenamin’s Edgefield is a well-known concert venue and vacation spot for many Oregonians, but its rich history lends itself to the eerie tales that surround it. Originally founded as the Multnomah County Poor Farm, the land was a 300 acre farm that housed many unemployed, homeless and inmates for the price of their labor before and during the Great Depression. During its busiest time, over 600 people lived and worked on the farm grounds. The grounds even had their own hospital to care for the workers. Today, the hotel has a great reputation as being a site of many ghostly experiences by both staff and visitors. Some have claimed to be grabbed by ghostly hands, others have said they awoken to see human figures standing over them, who disappear in an instant.

Pittock Mansion – Portland, Oregon

Sitting on 46 acres of beautiful Oregon landscape, the Pittock Mansion is a wonderful reminder of times long ago. Originally built in 1914 to house Henry Pittock, once owner of the Oregonian, and his wife Georgiana, the building sports lavish architecture and glorious views of the surrounding area. However, after the passing of Georgiana in 1918 and Henry in 1919, the Pittock family had trouble maintaining the grounds and eventually left the house in 1958. Since then the house has been renovated and become a museum run by the non-profit Pittock Mansion Society. Though the place has been kept in immaculate condition, visitors and staff claim strange occurrences throughout the property. Windows shutting and latching without anyone touching them and pictures being moved from room to room in an instant. Some have even claimed to see the late Georgiana wandering the halls. Pittock Mansion is open year round to the public and maybe you too can catch a glimpse of the bizarre happenings on the grounds!

The Shanghai Tunnels – Portland, Oregon

Probably the most frightening of all the places on this list is the infamous Shanghai Tunnels. Located beneath the city streets of Portland, the tunnels have a sorted history of smuggling, drugs, and human trafficking. Starting in the 1870’s, unsuspecting people were often drugged, taken through these darkened passaged and forced into slavery aboard ships by individuals known as “crimps”. Some died from the drugs and their bodies were left in the tunnels. That’s what the stories say anyways, though many historians dispute as unfounded, even though Portland does have a very lurid past of forcing men into service on ships. Regardless of fact or fiction, many people have said they experience ominous presences in the tunnels and dark figures coming out of the shadows only to disappear once more. The tunnels are a popular destination for any ghost seekers and tours can be scheduled at shanghaitunnels.org.


Lafayette Cemetery:



Hot Lake Springs:



McMenamins Edgefield:



Pittock Mansion:


Shanghai Tunnels:




Alborn, Denise M. “Crimping and Shanghaiing on the Columbia River.” Oregon Historical Quarterly 93.3, The Columbia River in History (1992): 262-91. JSTOR. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.

Photography by Andrea Boldizsar (via unsplash.com)

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