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Spooky to Kooky Paranormal Tales of Oregon Coast

Published 05/26/21 at 2:45 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Spooky to Kooky Paranormal Tales of Oregon Coast

(Oregon Coast) – Nothing like a chilly, windswept eve on the Oregon coast to bring out the chill in your bones sometimes. Maybe it's just the darkness lurking out beyond your oceanfront hotel room that fires up the imagination – maybe it's something truly lurking out there.

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Ghostie and paranormal tales are hands down the best beach bonfire form of entertainment, unless you've got a guitar player in tow the caliber of Allan Holdsworth. The chances of that are downright astronomical, so you might as well figure out a good little spooky story from whatever area you're in to tell and then watch the goosebumps erupt.

Here's a sampling of coastal legends:

The highways to and from the Oregon coast have their own X-Files-like rumors, going back decades. UFO chatter about the Van Duzer Corridor was going on a lot in the ‘90s and 2000s, as well as Highway 34 near Waldport.

On the southern coast, purportedly there's a secret “haunted” graveyard at Bandon, somewhere within Bullards Beach State Park. Whether or not it's got actual spooks is – well, up in the air. But ghostie websites have claimants on the subject, and one in particular talks of a zombie there.

The story goes there are only 13 graves in the graveyard – at least those that are easily found. Somewhere deep in the brush there's a 14th grave, and that's the haunt of the zombie.

In Coos Bay, things get pretty chill-inducing at the towering Tioga Building, apparently. Those that have been in the basement have sometimes talked of a tall, shadow-like figure that follows them.

At the very northern tip of Oregon, Astoria is full of major ghost stories of one sort or another. That's no surprise, considering it's just about the oldest settlement west of the Mississippi.

Among the legendary spooky spots are the Liberty Theatre (various poltergeists and a guy dressed in white) and the firefighter museum.

The purported hauntings in Seaside are varied but a bit hard to pin down. Some of the restaurants along Broadway have talked about presences from beyond, including one restaurant (when it was Girtles) that claimed ectoplasmic former employees of the old Seasider hotel had moved there in the ‘80's after the big hotel was torn down. It's now called Twisted Fish and there have been no ghost reports from them.

There are plenty of tales of smoky specters from some retails spaces in the Gilbert District as well as a Native American presence that haunts a porch swing on the north end of town.

Unbeknownst to many, there's a top floor to the Seaside Aquarium where there used to be apartments. Some remnants of them still exist. In the early 2000s, some employees swore they'd been hearing unexplained noises from up there.

Cannon Beach has a fair amount of hair-raising encounters coming out of the Warren House restaurant and bar. Then there's always the long-standing spook known as Bandage Man.


Some north coast locals have relayed plenty of talk of the ghost of a soldier that has been seen wandering not only the Promenade but Fort Stevens State Park.

In Nehalem Bay – which includes Wheeler, Nehalem and Manzanita – weird stories abound. Various paranormal investigators have sworn certain buildings in town are haunted, such as the winery and the Old Wheeler Hotel. There is also the freaky legend of a woman who had her house legally burned to the ground in the ‘90's because it was purportedly haunted by spirits of burned native children, and that property has been prohibited from being built on since.

Lincoln City is chalk full of the paranormal in some circles, such as the truly weird sight of a ghost ship that shows up now and then in Siletz Bay – and this has more than one credible witness. The North Lincoln Fire Station is said to have an apparition lounging in the recreation area.

Just south of there, back when Depoe Bay's Spouting Horn restaurant was in operation years ago, a film crew came up with some truly spooky footage of a ghost getting angry at a couple of psychics.

In Newport, don't look to the lighthouses there for scary presences – as those legends have been debunked long ago. Yet the town has some claims of the ghost of a lighthouse keeper and his daughter still wandering the beaches of Newport on stormy nights looking for each other.

Down near Florence, the famed Heceta Head Lighthouse has a long-standing story about a ghost that haunts the BnB that was made out of the keeper's quarters. She's supposedly a sweetheart though - just lacking in substance. You're welcome, for the pun.

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