Best Places for a Ghost Encounter
This Halloween, discover eight haunted places from the Oregon Coast to the mountains. Ghost hunters will love visiting these spooky Lane County locations. Just don't go alone.
Heceta Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast
The most well-known haunted place in the region, the Heceta Head Lighthouse, was built in 1894. The former assistant lightkeeper's house (now a bed and breakfast) and the lighthouse itself are said to be haunted by Rue, a friendly ghost in search of her child. Sit by the fire on a stormy night on the coast and read all previous guests' accounts of Rue's presence. Then snuggle up in Victoria's Room - the room with the most paranormal activity as reported by visitors. Sleep tight!
Bijou Art Cinema
If the works of cinematic art don't give you the chills here, then the ghosts in the walls sure will. The Bijou Art Cinema plays award-winning foreign and independent films in a converted mission-style church which once was a mortuary. When the lights go down and the films begin, patrons have reported feeling a strange presence. The ghosts here seem to be friendly and interested more in enjoying the entertainment than frightening guests. (2020 UPDATE: Bijou Art Cinema is temporarily closed — leaving the spirits to wander the halls alone!)
Eugene Masonic Cemetery
Some of Eugene's well-known figures such as Eugene Skinner were laid to rest in this cemetery on the National Register of Historic Places. Locals visiting the cemetery to pay their respects have reported visions that appear and quickly disappear. The most haunted location on the grounds is the Hope Abbey Mausoleum. Entrance to Hope Abbey is limited to special occasions such as the Music To Die For concert series each summer until October.
Eugene Pioneer Cemetery
More than 4,000 are buried at the Eugene Pioneer Cemetery – some of whom are rumored to make appearances above ground. Students taking a shortcut to class have famously seen a woman floating in a fog dressed in white and a man playing the bagpipes in full regalia who dissolves behind trees or old monuments. The large, old-growth trees in the cemetery keep the grounds dark and cool while their roots fracture old headstones. For the best chance at a spooky sighting, visit when the church bells across the street strike 10 p.m.
Luper Pioneer Cemetery located just outside of Eugene is one of the oldest in the area. Seventeen of those buried here were pioneers on the Oregon Trail. The isolation of this cemetery adds to the scare factor: it's hidden by trees, surrounded by open fields. The area has been repeatedly vandalized and now has increased security. Only visit this cemetery during the day in your attempt to connect with the dead or you might get reported for trespassing.
Shelton McMurphy Johnson House
Although the folks who run the museum claim the Victorian-era house is not haunted, we included it in this list because it has the classic features one expects of a haunted house. And then there are the rumors — people working and living here over the years have reported flickering lights and the sound of footsteps or laughter even when no one else was there. The "doll room" feels spooky on its own even before you hear the story that one of the dolls toppled over on its face, without a breeze or for any reason when a visitor stepped into the room. (2020 UPDATE: The SMJ House may have limited open hours starting this fall. Please check before planning your visit.)
Cottage Grove, Oregon
Mount David in Cottage Grove is a local treasure, loved by residents for being a beautiful piece of nature in the middle of town. But true locals know to leave before dark. There is said to be a spirit that will chase away any visitor as soon as the sun sets. There is a family cemetery of colonists from the 1850s on the hill which is named after the settler David McFarland. Before that, Kalapuya peoples are said to have held ceremonies in this sacred place. And in the 1920s, a swindler named Reverend Olson claimed Mt David was full of oil — but after the initial well was dug, he disappeared along with all the investors' money. No oil was ever found but the hole remains today.
Cottage Grove, Oregon
Deep in the Umpqua National Forest is Bohemia Mountain – full of abandoned mines and a ghost town left behind by the rugged men who spent their days working here. Exploring the ghost town on the trail is immediately spooky. Bones of old structures and rusty tools left behind make it feel as though the people living and working here disappeared in the middle of some task. Many men died hauling out the modern equivalent of more than $30 million worth of gold and silver. Visitors today might encounter the ghost of a prospector or two who lost their lives to the treacherous mines or a greedy fellow gold hunter.