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11 Creepy Stories And Urban Legends From Oregon

Though most associate the state of Oregon with year-round rain, that famous trail, Portland hipsters, and the great outdoors, for every natural wonder and historic landmark, Oregon has creepy tales and eerie legends lurking just below the surface. There are fiery town curses, inactive volcanoes haunted by imps, and even a few famous ghosts lurking around the state. Whether you find yourself out at sea or grabbing a slice of pizza in downtown Portland, no corner of Oregon is undeserving of a good haunting.

Some of these tales are pure urban legends and hand-me-down stories based on strange coincidences. Yet many of these incidents are rooted in historical fact, with strange and unexplainable details that even the greatest skeptic couldn’t just explain away. These spooky Oregon stories are quite unlike anything you’ve heard before - take a look at the list and you’ll find a truly haunted past and present.

  • Once An Asylum, Hot Lake Hotel Is Haunted By Former Patients

    Photo: Image courtesy of the Oregon State Library / Wikimedia Commons

    This luxury hotel in La Grande wasn't always a relaxation destination for wealthy guests. After being built in its lakeside location in the late 1800s and opening in the early 20th century, the building was called "Hot Lake Sanitorium," and served as a resort and medical treatment center. All was well until 1934 when a fire wiped out the majority of the structure. After the blaze, the property struggled to stabilize, with ownership and businesses changing constantly; between 1931 and 1991, the Hot Lake Hotel acted as a WWII flight school, a storage place for typhoid-infected remains, a nursing home, and an insane asylum, among other things. In the early 1990s, the property was abandoned altogether, and reports of hauntings began to circulate. Visitors reported hearing the sound of footsteps and crying.

    Today, the hotel is up and running once more - but the spooky stories haven't ceased. Many report seeing the ghost of a gardener - who took his on the property - tending to his work, even in the afterlife.

  • The Conser Lake Monster, AKA Flix? AKA Bigfoot? AKA An Alien?!

    Photo: Gnashes30 / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    Back in the day, Conser Lake was a beautiful, relaxing spot for nature lovers and families. In the 1960s, the lake became a place of terror, as visitors began sighting a Bigfoot-esque, seven-foot-tall creature with white shaggy fur and pointed ears. Though locals called him by many names, a journalist and her psychic friend came across him one morning while walking in the woods near the lake and he telepathically revealed his name: Flix. Also, he might have been an alien, as a "flying saucer" reportedly crashed around the same time near the lake.

    Over the years, there have been similar sightings with only slight differences. Locals banded together on a monster hunt, hoping to capture the Conser Lake Monster - but with no success. Today, Conser Lake is privately owned and inaccessible, meaning the monster's whereabouts may forever remain a mystery.

  • The Witch Who Burned Lafayette To The Ground

    Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    In the 1880s, the small, peaceful town of Lafayette, OR, was rattled by the vicious slaying of a local carpenter and shopkeeper. The culprit, Richard Marple, was convicted and sentenced to hang. At Marple's execution, his mother, Anna, a suspected witch or "gypsy," was heard proclaiming curses on Lafayette and its citizens, including threats to burn the town to the ground. Soon after, Lafayette suffered multiple disastrous fires - with one in 1904 that wiped out the entire business district.

    As if incinerating the town wasn't enough, the ghost of Anna Marple is said to haunt Lafayette Cemetery, with visitors reporting the sounds of laughter and moaning following them.

  • The Bloody Bandage Man Seeks Revenge On Cannon Beach

    According to an old Oregon legend, the Bandage Man is the ghost of a logger who perished in a grisly saw mill mishap. Now, he appears as a ghost wrapped from head to toe in bloody bandages, seeking revenge for his untimely demise. He's known for going after cars driving through the Cannon Beach area - sometimes even breaking windows to get inside.

    You'll know the Bandage Man is approaching when the smell of rotting flesh fills the air.