Oregon is known for many things. It is the only state that has an official state nut (hazelnut), the deepest river gorge in North America, one city named Sisters and another called Brothers, the deepest lake in the United States (Crater Lake), and an abundance of food trucks.
Additionally, it also has lakes, forests, plenty of greenery, and hiking trails. Yet, what is lesser known about the “Beaver State” is it has quite a few haunted hiking trails. You don’t want to visit these trails after dark, and even a stroll along these paths during the day will send a chill down your spine. Take a walk along the state’s most haunted trails, if you dare.
Scaponia Park | Vernonia
This tale involves a horse thief and his dog. The man was a drifter, who made his living stealing horses with his small dog as his companion. It didn’t take long for locals to realize how the man was making his living. A lynch mob was formed and killed the horse thief and his dog, burying their remains on the banks of the river under an oak tree. On certain nights, the shadowy figure of a man and his dog can be seen wandering along the banks of the Nehalem River. Many campers have claimed to see the duo, perhaps looking for a horse to steal. Or maybe just to seek revenge.
Witches Castle | Forest Park, Portland
It is every child’s dream to see a witch. It is every adult’s fear of running into one. The hike to Witch’s Castle takes you through the seemingly peaceful hills and valleys of the Pacific Northwest, until you reach a creepy stone house in the middle of the forest. Legend has it that back in 1850, Danford Balch, Mortimer Stump, and Stump’s family took up residence in this house. Danford fell in love with Stump’s 15-year-old daughter Anna who eventually ran off to Vancouver to elope against Stump’s wishes. Love didn’t last long with claims that Stump’s wife “bewitched” Balch. Balch ended up shooting Mortimer Stump in the head and subsequently was hanged for his actions. The “witch” continued to live in their home, long after both their deaths. Unexplained paranormal activity at the Witch’s House is now blamed on the ghosts of Danford, Mortimer, Anna, and the witch. Hike here if you dare.
Lithia Park | Ashland
This park is anything but serene. In fact, the 93-acre Lithia Park is said to be haunted by multiple ghosts. One of these ghosts is a young girl who was brutally raped and murdered near the duck pond in 1875. Since the murder, people have witnessed a blue mist forming above the pond at night. Some have claimed this mist has followed them through the park, past the trees and over large rocks. Another ghost that haunts Lithia Park is a disfigured train robber. It is said the man retreated to the park after robbing a train. However, a group of vigilantes took revenge into their own hands and drowned the thief. Today, people say they see the apparition of the disfigured man roaming through the park.
Pendleton Underground | Pendleton
Pendleton Underground was booming with business in the early 1900s. It is located in the downtown business district and many of the tunnels have since been filled, but some are still available for exploring. Rooms were used by Chinese workers, prohibitionists, and opium addicts. One story claims that a pair of train robbers who used the tunnels to store their ill-gotten goods died in the dark passages under an old house during a gun battle It is said the ghosts from the robbers still haunt this area and can sometimes be heard screaming “It’s my gold! Mine!” In an old living quarters for Chinese immigrants, a ghost is said to haunt this room and sit’s in the far left corner.
Tillamook Head | Ecola State Park
The 6.3-mile roundtrip hike along the Tillamook Head Trail is beautiful on warm, sunny days. But when the fogs creeps in, the forest changes from terrific to terrifying. The World War II-era bunkers add an additional element of fear. But nothing is creepier than the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, a decommissioned lighthouse nicknamed “Terrible Tilly” due to the horrendous weather conditions that plagued it for nearly 150 years. The old lighthouse has been used on and off as a columbarium—a place where cremeated remains are stored.
Multnomah Falls | Columbia River Gorge
Multnomah Falls is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the United States. The natural wonder attracts approximately 2.5 million visitors each year, ranking it as Oregon’s number one visited natural attraction. But Multnomah Falls has a well kept secret, a suicide from the top of the falls. It has been told that an old Native American maiden leapt to her death to save her village from sickness. Some have claimed to feel her presence. Others say they’ve seen her face appear within the white water. She is commonly seen in winter when she returns to see the place where she sacrificed her life for her people.
Shanghai Tunnels | Portland’s Chinatown
Portland’s Chinatown is home to one of the most mysterious spots in the country: the old Shanghai Tunnels. Beneath the streets of Old Town Chinatown in Portland, these dark catacombs are rumored to have been used for smuggling alcohol during the prohibition era and slave trade.. There are stories of people encountering strange lights and voices while walking through these dark tunnels. One of the most famous ghosts in these tunnels stalks the basement of the Lotus Cafe and Cardroom, attached to the Shanghai tunnels.
North Rim Trail | Tyson Creek State Park
The North Rim Trail may seem like your typical walk in the park but it is much more than that. Right before a major storm, it has been said you will hear the sound of horses in harness and smell fresh cut limber. The fresh cut limber may seem normal, especially for Oregon, however the last time the area was logged was in the late 1800’s. But logging can’t be done without manpower. It is also said that down by the creek, the sound of men getting ready for a long day of work can be heard.
Fanmo Creek Trail | Tigard
It all happened one day as an investigator was walking along the trail, Digital Voice Recorder in hand. He got an EVP right where the path began. The EVP yelled “Shut Up!” A week later he tried walking the same path again, and got to the same point on the trail where he claims he felt a fist punching him in the stomach. Only no one was around to punch him. EVPs of growls have also reportedly been recorded on that same part of the trail.
Oregon Caves | Siskiyou Mountains
Oregon Caves is celebrated as a haunted destination. In fact, rangers at Oregon Caves National Monument get into the Halloween spirit each year by offering haunted candlelight tours of the park’s signature formations. Hikers are encouraged to wear costumes and share the caves with the bats and spiders who dwell here. The Caves Chateau is also said to be haunted with people reporting hearing human footsteps above their rooms. The only problem is they were on the top floor. Others report seeing bloody towels and slime-filled bathtubs. If you are visiting the Oregon Caves, it may be best to find a different hotel.