The Darker Side of Oregon

Like anywhere else, we have some interesting ghost stories. My favorites are the ones on the coast. Heceta Head lighthouse is said to be one of the most photographed lighthouses in the United States, and of course it’s rumored to be haunted by an apparition named simply, the Gray Lady. In fact, most of our lighthouses are rumored to be haunted. Another one of my favorite ghost stories is that of Bandage Man. Up near Cannon Beach, people have claimed to find him in the back of their cars, smelling of “rotting flesh,” while traveling along HWY 101. Creepy. Reminds me of something you’d see in one of those Urban Legend movies.

Then there’s the tale of the Spanish pirates in Lincoln County who were massacred. Legend has it they guard a buried chest of treasure. It has been reported that five people have died while on the hunt for the chest—all unrelated incidents which happened at different times. Double creepy.

If tall tales and legends don’t tickle your fancy, maybe history will.

The Shanghai Tunnels in Portland, also known as the Portland Underground, are a piece of Oregon’s dark history. Back in the 1800’s, men and women were often drugged and dropped into these tunnels through hidden trapdoors of the saloons above, where they were held in wait of transport. The men were sold as slave labor, while the women were sold into prostitution. Now the tunnels are a profitable fascination for people year round. There are different tours to choose from, and during Halloween the haunted tours are popular. The fact that it’s history only adds to the morbid appeal. Triple Creepy.


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