As the dense coastal fog rolls in to blanket the shoreline in gloomy silence, one thing becomes very clear. Oregon is a state in which ghosts roam. Not only here on the coast but in the lush green inland regions as well. Oregon is the ninth largest state in the US, and is one of contrasts. From the fertile Willamette Valley with its hundreds of wineries to its rugged coastline; from its twenty-two feet tall Pioneer statue, known affectionately as Gold Man, sitting atop the state capital in Salem to its ghost towns, Oregon is a state of stark beauty, hauntings, and history. Ghosts linger for any number of reasons. Those who’ve stayed in Oregon range from millionaires who refuse to move from their mansions, lonely cemetery inhabitants, those attached to local theaters, saloons and hotels to ladies of the evening who made the wrong life and death decisions. Their reasons for staying put are as varied as there are rose bushes in the state.
Janice Oberding is a Nevada-based writer who enjoys traveling and researching history, true crime, and the paranormal. She is one of only a few people who have spent an entire night at Alcatraz—aside from those who were incarcerated there. She worked as consultant and historian for the Alcatraz episode of SyFy’s Ghost Hunters (with Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson).