PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon is no stranger to its ghost stories. Haunted hotels, shoreline specters and Gorge ghosts all reportedly wander the 98,466 square miles that make up this great state. But some places are apparently more haunted than others.
Here are some of the most haunted places in Oregon.
The Roseland Theater
Located on the corner of NW 6th and Burnside in Portland, The Roseland Theater as a music venue has been around since 1982.
However, back then it was known as the Starry Night, which was owned by Larry Hurwitz. Hurwitz was found to be running a counterfeiting operation inside the club, and in 1990 21-year-old Timothy Moreau, the club’s publicity agent found out about the operation.
To prevent Moreau from alerting the authorities, Hurwitz murdered Moreau in the theater. Hurwitz eventually went on to sell the theater a year later in 1991 and moved away to Vietnam.
However, in 1997 a grand jury indicted Hurwitz on charges of tax evasion related to his counterfeiting scam. This renewed interest in Hurwitz also brought new facts to light about Timothy Moreau’s murder and eventually he was charged with one count of murder in 2000.
It has been claimed that Moreau’s spirit still haunts the Roseland Theater.
According to Portland Ghosts, ghostly murmurs and talking have reportedly been heard around the ballroom when no one is there.
Although there haven’t been any reports of ghostly sightings, this is still one truly terrifying local haunt.
The Shanghai Tunnels
If you know anything about Portland’s ghosts, then you’ve definitely heard of the so-called Shanghai Tunnels. The tunnels were built in the late 19th century, according to the Oregon Historical Society’s Oregon Encyclopedia project.
According to the Oregon Historical Society, the tunnels were originally used as a quick way to bring food and goods to and from ships on the river. But many have claimed that something more nefarious was going on in the tunnels.
The term “shanghaiing” means to kidnap people to serve as sailors, using trickery or intimidation to keep them in line. It has been claimed that these tunnels were used to whisk away people who were out drinking by themselves.
Many restaurants, bars and hotels contain entrances to the tunnels and it would’ve been easy to sneak people through them and onboard a ship. Even though this is a common belief, no proof other than stories exists to back up these claims.
A series of stories appeared in newspapers in the 1960s and Portland historian Barney Blalock has traced these stories back to those newspaper stories.
In the 1970s tours began of the tunnels and that is also when the reported hauntings began. The tunnels were featured on an episode of the TV show Ghost Hunters, which reported stories about people going on tours feeling wet hands touching them.
There are also stories of ghostly whispers some believe to be of a ghost named “Sam.” Some people even claim to have seen spectral figures wandering the tight dark passages.
Currently, you can explore the Shanghai Tunnels on “Haunted Tours.”
Heceta Head Lighthouse
Far from the only haunted lighthouse on the Oregon coast, but certainly, the most reputed, the Heceta Head Lighthouse has sat on the cliffs above the ocean since 1894.
PBS reported that many lighthouse keepers have kept watch over the beacon since it was first built, but the focus of this phantasm is a lighthouse keeper’s wife who has been named “Rue.”
The story goes that a woman, the lighthouse assistant keeper’s wife, had two children while living in the house and that one of them drowned so now she haunts the house watching over it for eternity looking for her missing daughter, according to PBS and The Columbian, which added that an Ouija board was used once in the house and when asking for a name, the board spelled out Rue.
Based on people’s encounters, Rue is not an evil or vengeful spirit, but more just a watcher.
The Lighthouse housing is now a Bed & Breakfast, and guests staying there have reported items moving around their rooms and housekeepers have reported indents in beds that seem to have just been laid in when no one is there.
The Elsinore Theater
Located in downtown Salem, just blocks from the State Capitol and Willamette University sits the historic Elsinore Theater.
Originally opened in 1926, the Elsinore was a premiere location for live productions and silent films. After a few years, the theater would undergo a transition to a full-time movie theater for the newly-released sound films, or “talkies.”
The theater existed in this state until the 1980’s when after a general decline, the theater was slated to be demolished.
Through years of limbo amidst community protests trying to save the theater, the Elsinore switched hands until finally in 1989, using fundraised money, the Save the Elsinore Committee managed to purchase the theater, saving it from its demise.
Since then, the theater has become a historic location and has been renovated. It still exists as a venue to this day.
According to the Statesman Journal, reports from actors, directors, and other theater personnel over the many years of the theater’s existence have told of many shadows roaming around.
Shadow figures reportedly walk through the rows of seats, not just down the aisles, but literally through the seats. Shadows have reportedly been spotted roaming the scaffolding, and dust falls from the rafters when no one is there to disturb them.
There is also a legend of a cold spot on the stage which always remains colder than the area around it.
So next time you’re in Salem, maybe go see a show and find out for yourself if the theater is truly haunted.
Most famously known for its natural lithium oxide deposits in its spring water, Lithia Park is a gem inside the idyllic city of Ashland.
The park has been around since the 1890s and grew significantly over time, sitting at around 93 acres now. In 1982, the park was designated a National Historic Place. But even beautiful places aren’t free from tragedy.
Travel Oregon shared that according to legend, a girl was murdered in the park in the late 1800s.
Visitors to the park have reported seeing the “pulsating image” of a young woman, which has been attributed to this murder over 100 years ago.
Other specters reportedly seen in the area include a boy who disappeared from the area in the 1920s and a ghastly logger who can be heard whistling tunes in the park.