Now Playing:

News

News | local | OPB News Blog

Oregon's Most Haunted Places


Oregon’s rich history has its fair share of ghost stories. Just in time for Halloween, here are some of the state’s most haunted places and the spirits that live there.

Geiser Grand Hotel in Baker City was recently listed as the scariest place in Oregon by Mapquest. But the regular paranormal activity seems to be in good fun.

The hotel was built in 1889 as a luxury hotel, and has undergone many transformations. The hotel was restored by its current owners in the mid 1990s. There are a number of known haunts in the hotel. Annabelle or “the Lady in Blue” is a favorite, spending much of her time in Room 302 where she once lived. She’s also been known to pinch a man’s behind if he sits at her bar stool in the hotel saloon, according to hotel owner Barbara Sidway. Party ghosts hang out in the the formal dining room, the former Swan Room, late at night. Hotel staff have heard laughing, clinking of glasses and talking, but when they open the doors no one is there.

The Geiser Grand Hotel was hardly grand for its first 105 years. Opened in 1889, it went through many incarnations as a place for bawdy, wild times well into the 1980s. A major renovation turned the Geiser Grand Hotel from a dilapidated eyesore into Baker City's most recognizable landmark.

The Geiser Grand Hotel was hardly grand for its first 105 years. Opened in 1889, it went through many incarnations as a place for bawdy, wild times well into the 1980s. A major renovation turned the Geiser Grand Hotel from a dilapidated eyesore into Baker City’s most recognizable landmark.

Vince Patton/OPB

McMenamins’ White Eagle Saloon in Portland has been named one of the most haunted buildings in the city, and has been featured on the Travel Channel. The bar was originally built in 1905 by Polish immigrants, Bronislaw Soboleski and William Hryszko. It was a popular watering hole and brothel in the early 20th Century.

There are two known haunts: Sam, an old housekeeper, who’s been seen peeking through the window, and Rose, a prostitute, who was supposedly killed at the hotel. Hotel patrons have reported feeling cold hands touch them, being physically unable to get out of bed and having items move around. Employees say they have fallen down the stairs, feeling as though they had been pushed.

Other McMenamins throughout the state have been known to be haunted as well, including the Grand Lodge in Forest Grove where many have seen a female apparition; Hotel Oregon in McMinnville where people have reportedly heard children playing; and Edgefield’s Poor Farm in Troutdale where many people who were down on their luck had died.

Hot Lake Springs in La Grande was originally built in 1864 as the Hot Lake Hotel. The third floor was converted into the Hot Lake Sanatorium in 1910, also known as “The Mayo Clinic of the West.”

The building changed hands a few times before it became an abandoned building in the 1990s. The property was bought in 2003 and converted into the present-day hotel. The current owner hasn’t experienced any paranormal activity herself, but there are rumors that the building is haunted by old vacationers, a gardener and former patients, according to the book “Oregon’s Ghosts & Monsters”.

Hot Lake Springs is now undergoing a sale, and its new owners plan to take guests on ghost tours and uncover the history of the area. The hotel has been featured on Sci-Fi Channel’s “Scariest Places on Earth.”

Hot Lake Springs in the 1990s.

Hot Lake Springs in the 1990s.

Courtesy of Jeri Mackley

Hot Lake Springs today.

Hot Lake Springs today.

Courtesy of Jeri Mackley

Heceta Head Keeper’s House near Florence was built in the 1890s with the Heceta Lighthouse. It’s rumored that a woman killed herself after her daughter drowned sometime between 1894 and 1904. She’s known as the Gray Lady or Rue — a name she gave herself when communicating with college students on a Ouija board in the 1970s, according to innkeeper Steven Bursey. Guests have reported that the haunt will sit on their legs when lying in bed. They’ve also seen the bed depress as Rue sits beside them. She’s allegedly most active during construction and has been known to harass workers and move their tools.

Steve Lenz/Courtesy of Heceta Head Lighthouse

Oregon State University’s Waldo Hall in Corvallis has been known to house a ghost named Ida Kidder who lived on the top floor of the former women’s dormitory. She died in 1920 and was beloved by the students. Ida has been heard moving around furniture and also peeking out the window while the floor was sealed off for decades, according to school archivist Tia Edmonds-Morton. The building has since been renovated, and Ida hasn’t made an appearance since. At least not yet.

There’s also an unidentified haunt in the women’s second floor restroom on the northside of the building that flushes toilets and turns on sinks. Anthropology professor David Brauner, who’s been there for 40 years, says women who have used the second stall feel an overwhelming sense of dread. Two report seeing a young woman in old-style clothing and dark hair.

Linkville Playhouse in Klamath Falls is home to a resident ghost who’s been identified as Ralph McCormic. He didn’t die in the playhouse, but it’s suspected that he loved theater so much that he stuck around after his death in 1992. He’s been seen watching shows in rows 22 or 23. There is also a more mischievous spirit who moves props and has broken cables, according to Jeff Gardner, who works at the playhouse.

What are your favorite ghost stories around Oregon? Have you had your own experience at any of these places?

Halloween Portland Baker City La Grande Klamath Falls Florence Corvallis Oregon State University

More From OPB News Blog

More News

More OPB