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Explore These 5 Spooky Abandoned Places in Oregon

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An abandoned stone building in the forest in Oregon has been given the name "Witch's Castle."

Are you looking to take a break from your everyday adventures? We’ve found some abandoned places in Oregon that are a bit spooky.

These unique adventurous opportunities are a great way to learn history and experience a bit of what Oregon has to offer. They may not be for everyone, but you can’t overlook these abandoned places if you’re looking for a chilling time in Oregon.

Today, we’re sharing five spooky abandoned places in Oregon that we think you should explore.

When Is the Best Time to Visit Oregon?

If you’re looking to explore Oregon, you want to go when there’s the best chance the weather will cooperate. The state typically experiences a rainy season from November to January.

Some areas can experience over 10 inches of rain each month during this season. This can make it challenging to enjoy outdoor activities.

Typically, July and August are dry and sunny for most of the state. This is also a great time as the vegetation has had time to grow and thicken in the forests.

However, these months are often the busiest because schools are out and families take vacations. This can make trails and other popular tourist locations very busy.

Another great time to visit Oregon is in the fall months of September and October. You’ll find fog, mist, and cloud formations across the state that can provide a unique view.

The advantage of visiting in the fall is that there are fewer crowds, and the weather isn’t nearly as intense as it can be during the summer months.

Traveler’s Tip: The terrifying Devil’s Churn in Oregon is a must-see.

Explore These 5 Spooky Abandoned Places in Oregon

If you’re passionate about history or enjoy spooky experiences, these five abandoned places in Oregon are must-see locations. You may even be able to make an entire road trip out of visiting just these locations! 

1. Fort Stevens State Park

About Fort Stevens State Park: This 4,300-acre park offers tremendous opportunities for outdoor recreation. You’ll find options for camping, beach-combing, swimming, or fishing in the freshwater lake.

You’ll also enjoy miles of trails and a disc golf course at Fort Stevens State Park. While this may sound like a rather typical state park, where it gets spooky is a historic military post used from the Civil War until World War II.

Inside the abandoned white stone Fort Stevens military post in Oregon.

The fort was decommissioned in 1947 and became a unit under the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department. The various buildings and structures provide a glimpse into what life would have been like on a military post in the early 1900s.

Many visitors to the post have experienced paranormal activity and orbs in photos taken at the site. There are even reports of guests seeing soldiers dressed in 1940s military uniforms around the fort.

2. Peter Iredale Shipwreck

About Peter Iredale Shipwreck: After visiting Fort Stevens State Park, you head down to the coast and check out an abandoned shipwreck. This provides an incredible view of the Pacific Ocean, but it’s a unique setting that few people get to experience. If you enjoy photography, this shipwreck site can be a great spot to capture sunsets. 

In October 1906, a 275-foot-long steel sailing vessel from Liverpool, England, struggled through a storm. The ship’s crew was able to reach shore safely, so paranormal activity isn’t something you should expect.

The abandoned Peter Iredale shipwreck along the Oregon coast with ocean waves in the distance

However, the ship was embedded in the sand and thus stripped down to the bare bones and used for scrap metal. The remains create a rather spooky atmosphere for guests that visit the coast.

3. The Old Mill in Vernonia

About the Old Mill in Vernonia: The old mill in Vernonia is a former mill part of the Oregon-American Lumber Company. The mill may have shut down in 1957, but today you can still find the concrete foundation covered in leaves and inches of moss. The vegetation taking over the remains in conjunction with the graffiti creates a rather spooky and edgy environment.

You can find this mill in Vernonia Lake Park. Inside the park, you’ll also find several other ruins that tell the story of more prosperous days in the town of Vernonia. If you want a peek inside the old mill, Chris Whitlow shares a look inside the ruins in the video below.

4. Witch’s Castle in Forest Park

About Witch’s Castle in Forest Park: If you read stories growing up of an evil witch’s castle, you may want to visit this castle about 20 minutes outside of Portland, Ore. It all starts with a man named Danford Balch who found his way to Oregon via the Oregon Trail in the 1850s.

Balch hired Mortimer Stump to clear the land and build a house for him and his nine children. He invited Mortimer to live with them, eventually leading to a romantic relationship with Balch’s oldest daughter, Anna.

Danford Balch thought Mortimer Stump wasn’t good enough for Anna. However, like any good love story, the couple went on the lamb and eloped without Danford Balch’s blessing.

Old stone ruins of the Witch's House in an Oregon forest.

When the couple returned home, Balch shot Mortimer Stump on the spot. He was later found guilty of murder and hanged. To this day, visitors to the area believe the spirits of both Stump and Balch haunt the forest.

Presently, it’s a relatively short and easy hike whether you park at the Upper or Lower Macleay parking lots. The trail to the Witch’s Castle is very popular, especially on lovely days. Park management built the house in 1930 to serve as a restroom and ranger station. A storm in 1962 rendered the building useless, and Mother Nature took its course. 

Thick vegetation covered the structure for several decades until local high school students discovered it and used it as a spot to gather on Friday nights. Portland Parks and Recreation manages Forest Park and refers to the structure as “The Stone House” on all signage and documentation.

5. Power Plant (White River Falls State Park)

About Power Plant (White River Falls State Park): White River Falls State Park holds the unfortunate title of the most fatalities of any Oregon State Park.

The park is home to a former power plant that was constructed in 1901 at the bottom of the waterfall. In 1963 officials shut down the power plant due to more efficient hydroelectric plants along the Columbia River.

Take a peak inside the abandoned power plant at White River Falls

Nowadays, a short 0.3-mile moderate hike is all it takes to reach the beach that houses the remains of the former power plant. While you cannot access the building, the generators that created the tremendous power are still inside the powerhouse.

Due to the swift currents, swimming and kayaking are not possible. If the ghostly remains of the powerplant don’t spook you, the fact that it has three-and-a-half times more deaths than any other Oregon state park should do the trick.

Which Spooky Adventure Should You Take Next?

Whether you’re obsessed with paranormal activity or think ghosts are nothing more than a Halloween decoration, plenty of spooky adventures await you. These abandoned places in Oregon are an excellent opportunity for you to make some memories and learn a bit about the area’s unique history. Depending on when you visit, you might find yourself on edge when visiting these spooky sites.

What has been your favorite spooky adventure during your travels?

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