Tales of ghosts on the Oregon coast run wild. In surroundings as romantic and mysterious as the Oregon Coast, it doesn't surprise me that ghost stories would abound. It's the perfect setting for these types of things. The stormy weather, fog, and ruggedness all lend a hand in making the beginning of a book that starts, "It was a dark and stormy night....."
Let me make it clear that I take these stories as just for fun and am in no way endorsing the paranormal. I do not necessarily doubt the supernatural happenings and hauntings that people have experienced, but simply question the origins of the activity. I have my own opinions and that's all I have to say about it. ;)
Have your own Oregon Coast ghostly tale to tell? Click here to share your story!
Now, without further adieu, here are the stories of haunted hotels and ghostly happenings that surround the Pacific Northwest coastline and the ghosts of the Oregon Coast.
Astoria: Lights, Camera, BOO!
The Liberty Theater in Astoria, which opened in 1925, was a perfect example of a 1920s vaudeville-motion picture palace. It is also widely regarded as haunted. Many of the rich and famous had been known to pass through it's doors, such as Duke Ellington, Jack Benny, Guy Lombardo and supposedly even gangster Al Capone. The ghost of a man named Paul also roams the premises. A employee who has seen the spirit reported him as being "quite handsome." The nickname "Handsome Paul" stuck. According to the Clatsop County Historical Society, Paul is seen haunting the Liberty Theater, dressed in "a white tuxedo and a panama hat."
Cast and crews over the years have talked about spotting this ghost of the Oregon coast and witnessing his exploits, such as slamming doors and making hair-raising noises. Objects have been seen gliding through the air and knobs unscrewing themselves from appliances and utilities. Two or three other inhabitants from beyond have been noticed.
After it's restoration in 2002, the Liberty is now a venue for live entertainment and the performing arts.
The local Astoria firehouse is also famous for having a spook or two roaming the building.
Seaside: Some THING's In The Kitchen with Dina
Where the Shilo Inn now sits in Seaside, there once stood a luxurious hotel namethe Hotel Seaside (later re-named to the Seasider), positioned at the Seaside Turnaround. Being there for a good 100 years, there were often heard supernatural tales of ghosts and other spooks making themselves known there. After the Hotel Seaside was torn down, the homeless apparitions relocated to Girtle's Restaurant, just a short jog down the street on Broadway.
Owner Bob Girtle and other employees, past and present, report seeing a continual haunting in the restaurant. There is a door to a closed-off area of their kitchen where the shadows of a set of feet are seen walking around the room. This occurs when they know for certain that no one is in there, says Bob and the rest of the crew. They refuse to even check the room any longer when the shadows come.
If you're lucky (or unlucky, depending on how you see it), you may catch a glimpse of the infamous flying coffee pot that resides in the gallery, between the kitchen and main dining room. Sometimes it moves just a bit, while other times it's been seen flying across the hallway. A few of the older employees working for Bob, who were once employed at the old Searider, say that some of these ghosts once haunted down the street.
The owner of the New Orleans-style eatery Lil' Bayou, John Sowa, tells of moving objects in his kitchen and the eerie, hair-standing-on-your-neck feeling that someone is watching him while in his office, alone. Utensils disappear from where a employee left it, only to reappear somewhere else. Things also tend to fall off the walls without warning.
Cannon Beach's Bandage Man Lives!
The story of the Bandage Man goes clear back to the 60's. Said to be the ghost of an Oregon logger, cut to shreds in a sawmill accident, the Cannon Beach Bandage Man, wrapped head to toe in old, smelly bandages and gauze, roams the roadways outside of town, searching relentlessly for passing vehicles to invade.
No matter the make or model of your vehicle (Bandage Man shows no partiality! I heard he hijacked a Pinto!), this Oregon coast ghost makes no bones about smashing windows, hammering rooftops, and even jumping into passenger seats and leaving bloody bits of bandage behind as his calling card.
If you're cruising nearby the town of Cannon Beach, I suggest you keep the car doors locked! MUHAHAHAHA! ;)
Manzanita: Pirate Legends?
13 miles south of Cannon Beach, in the small town of Manzanita, legends of galleons and buried treasure keep the town folk talking. There are reports of chests of gold and bullion hidden beneath the town, where African slaves were killed and buried on top of to protect. On the beaches, there have been piles of stones mysteriously appearing and disappearing, sometimes stacks, sometimes single piles. No one knows where they come from, but the artist has been said not to be of this world.
Wheeler: Hotel Hauntings
In nearby Wheeler, owner Winston Laszlo and his wife began a reconstruction of the Old Wheeler Hotel that seemed to be doomed from the get-go. Whenever a move was made to improve, small disasters and unexplained happenings occurred. The couple say that they have had a feeling that something or someone did not approve of the changes being made. Ghostly specters have been seen as well as mysterious orbs floating about outside the basement area.
The Laszlos even had a team of ghost hunters come to investigate. After a while, though, things began to settle down, almost as if the ghosts began to approve the renovation. Ghost hunter, Martina DeLude, even told Winston that it made perfect sense because, like people, spirits do not like changes in their surroundings. More than likely, once they determined that those changes were being made for the betterment of their home, they relaxed and let it proceed, undeterred.
Lincoln City: Haunted Tales
In Lincoln City, a haunted ship has been seen sailing up Schooner Creek, on the (now) silted up Siletz Bay. The local fire station is said to be haunted by the ghost of a long-dead firefighter, who suffered a life-ending heart attack in the 1950s. He has been seen wandering hopelessly around the station.
Newport: Sea Life and Specters
Traveling south into Newport, the Newport Aquarium has some of it's own stories. The building was once a natatorium about 80 years ago with a few apartments taking up the upper floor. According to Wikipedia, a natatorium "is, strictly speaking, a structurally separate building containing a swimming pool." Although the upstairs portion is rarely used now, manager Keith Chandler claims that there are whispers and other things that go bump in the night around those areas.
Do you have a terrifying tale to tale? An encounter with a real Oregon coast ghost? Tell us all the scary details!
See what supernatural tales others have shared.
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There you go. Enough haunted Oregon Coast stories to keep you looking over your shoulder when you're in the house by yourself. When you head down to the Oregon Coast, you may want to stop in some of these places and see them for yourselves. You may also want to stop in to read about the haunted lighthouses before you turn out the lights.
And just remember that if you don't happen to catch any of the spooks making your visit eventful, at least you can tell people, "you know that haunted place in (insert city here)? I've been there!" ;)