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That Which Stalks Cannon Beach and Bandon: Oregon Coast Halloween Series

Published 10/28/20 at 5:54 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

That Which Stalks Cannon Beach and Bandon: Oregon Coast Halloween Series

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(Cannon Beach, Oregon) – With those howling winds at night and the woods around Highway 101 swaying after dark in ways that can make you think you saw something, the region is ripe for things that go bump, crackle and pop in the night.

Any self-respecting dive into the wilds of Oregon coast ghostie tales has to discuss the crusty, creepster of Cannon Beach known as Bandage Man. Then farther south around Bandon, there’s whispers of a zombie and a secret graveyard.

Cannon Beach’s Bandage Man is a sort of lo-fi version of the mummy. The gist is that he’s a stinky fellow (smelling of rotting flesh), covered in blood-soaked bandages and mostly harassing teens who are making out.

The tales go all the way back to the ‘30s, but most versions have him popping up on the north Oregon coast in the ‘50s. His origin story is (usually) that he was a logger or working in a mill in Cannon Beach and severely cut up by his equipment. The most common telling is that he was covered in bandages while riding in an ambulance around Arch Cape when a landslide hit and crushed the vehicle. Recovery attempts only made the horrifying discovery that the patient had disappeared.


After that, Bandage Man haunted the area around Arch Cape – or depending on the version – he puttered around a dark section of road that was once part of 101 north of Cannon Beach.

There are tales of him showing up in lightning storms, and one where he smashed the window of the old Bill’s Tavern on a stormy night and grabbed a man’s dog. Most sightings have him popping up in the back of teens’ pickup trucks when they’re parked, and the handsy couple doesn’t know he’s there until the stench of rotting flesh hits them. One common incarnation of this tale is that a young couple looked up from smooching and suddenly saw a bloodied face squished up against the windshield and – you guessed it – a hook for a hand.

You can read even more about Bandage Man here.

Speaking of hands, at least on the southern Oregon coast:

Apparently there’s an actual 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 tale 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. One tale has a woman proclaiming she and her husband found it, and according to legends they had heard they began chanting the name of the person on the headstone. Suddenly, a hand came up out of the grab, grabbed her husband and sucked him in. It’s said he was never heard from again.

Either there's a zombie or somebody’s headed for the show Dateline…. More spooky Oregon coast below

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