Kid-friendly Trip Ideas

15 Haunted Spots in BC, Oregon and Washington

What’s that strange noise in the hotel? Hopefully it’s a ghost, not a blown-out water heater. Here are 15 goofy, ghastly spots in Cascadia to delight your easily-spooked big kids. At right, the Davenport Hotel’s lobby. Can you spot a spectre? (I can’t, either!)

Washington Haunted Spots

Mt. Baker Theatre, Bellingham

Judy didn’t want to leave, but she was evicted from her home to make way for the 1917 theater. So she’s supposedly returned, year after year, to haunt the theatre, showing up as gusts of cold air and the sound of old-timey skirts. Read more about Mt. Baker Theatre’s ghost stories.

Roche Harbor Resort, San Juan Island

The cemetery mausoleum (in the resort) hosts a ghost (or three), which you’ll hear on full-moon evenings. These specters are supposedly having a fine time – laughing and chatting. Makes sense, because it’s one of the most gorgeous resorts I’ve ever seen.

Hotel Andra, Seattle

Rumors of Prohibition-year partying swirl around this hotel (the former Claremont), what with the Jazzy tunes and smashing glasses. The ninth floor is the focus of most ghastly behavior.

Pike Place Market, Seattle

A Native American woman’s ghost supposedly walks the alleys and tunnels of Pike Place Market; she walks through crowds, arms heavy with baskets. Hungry for more? Check out the Ghost Tours in Pike Place Market.

Davenport Hotel and Tower, Spokane*

What’s that knocking at the door? Ghostly room service, perhaps? A flapperesque 1920s-era woman is said to haunt this historic hotel’s restored mezzanine and stairwells. And hey, if you’ve ever slept at the Davenport (I have), you might want to stay forever too. *Thanks to Washington State Tourism Office for reminding me of this one.

Oregon Haunted Spots

Heceta Head Lighthouse, Yachats.

“The Lady in Gray” – possibly a former lightkeeper’s wife – peeks around corners, cleans up broken glass and bustles about in the kitchen. She certainly picked a picturesque spot to haunt, right on the Oregon Coast. There’s a bed and breakfast here, but it’s only open to adults.

Pendleton Public Library, Pendleton

Say, does that librarian look a bit pallid? A librarian that passed away suddenly during the 1950s reenacts the Ghostbusters movie – opening and shutting windows, knocking books off the shelf, flipping lights on and off. Rabble rouser.

Oaks Park, Portland.

This amusement park – one of the oldest in the Pacific Northwest – is home to a groovy 70’s-dressed kid apparition, dressed in bell-bottoms and stylin’ lapels. Even if you don’t see the superstar, Oaks Park is a fantastic way to roll away a Saturday.

McMenanamin’s Edgefield, Troutdale

This hotel/brewery/restaurant/music venue can add “ghost hotel” to its repertoire. Stay a night and ask to see the ghost logs to find out which rooms have had the most paranormal activity. If no one’s in those rooms (well, no one visible), book a night’s stay.

Oregon Vortex, Gold Hill

At this sideshow destination, people and buildings list northward, objects roll up hills and there may even be an appearance from the ghost of John Lister, who once lived here. Spirits aren’t to blame for all the toppling and rolling, according to current owners — but supposedly an incomprehensibly strong magnetic force, which causes people to list northward.

British Columbia Haunted Spots

Old Spaghetti Factory, Vancouver

Kids always want to dine in the OSF’s train car. Ghosts seem to call “FIRST” and jump into the Gastown restaurant’s trolley car, rattling plates and talking quietly. This chain restaurant is always a family favorite in the region.

University of British Columbia, Vancouver

A ghost hitchhiker asks for rides outside the museum, and the university’s library is haunted by an elderly lady in a white dress, walking among the stacks and tipping a book now and then. And even if you don’t see a ghost, you can always visit the past at the Museum of Anthropology.

Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria

This landmark mansion’s home to a ghostly woman dressed in all-white. She walks up and down the building’s stairs (good thing, because the staff hate to see anyone running). The piano sometimes plays vintage tunes – but no human is tinkling the keys.

James Bay Inn, Victoria

At this haunted budget hotel in Victoria’s bustling Inner Harbour, phones ring (with no one on the other line), lights flicker for no reason and chilly spots crop up in rooms. Who is this spectre? It’s rumored to be the spirit of artist Emily Carr.

O’Keefe Ranch and Mansion, Vernon.

Visitors and staff tell of a non-paying customer ghost who walks the halls and peeks outdoors from upstairs windows at this Okanagan Lake heritage site. The building was constructed in 1867, so there’s a long history of residents — human and otherwise.

Do you have a favorite haunted destination?

Lora Shinn writes about family travel, Pacific NW travel, grown-up travel...and travel in general. Her travel-related articles and essays have appeared in Family Fun, Parenting, AFAR, National Geographic Traveler, AAA magazines and Redbook, among others.


  • Lorie Milbank

    Hi, great list. Thought you might like to know of one more.
    My daughter and I bought 117 yr old Bordello in Cumberland BC. There are two spirits here. We are leaving as most events happen around my daughter and we are opening the house to the public to stay for those who would like the experience. We have had 3 solid years of it and we are leaving.


  • Debbie Ferm

    These sound like interesting places to visit. My kids are turning into teenagers (11-13-15) and the things we look for when traveling have changed over the past few years. Fun to find some things that appeal to older kids.

    The pacific northwest is the one part of the US that I have not visited yet, and I’m enjoying your site gathering info for a possible visit next summer.


  • Lora

    Yes, it does change. With teens, I would highly recommend Seattle (great shopping, museums and hands-on activities, including the Experience Music Project) and Portland (quirky activities, like pirate putt-putt golf; movie theaters where you can dine like McMenamin’s and Living Room Theaters; Portland Saturday Market). And yeah, a haunted destination or two!

  • Maggie Tasseron

    To Lorie Milbank: I just came across your posting about the old house being haunted and am fascinated. I grew up in Cumberland and lived in a house even older than yours just around the corner on Maryport Avenue from 1952-1962. You may know your house was then owned by the Columbo family, whose son and daughter were in the same class as my oldest sister. I have never heard this story and wonder if you knew anything about it before you bought the house? Please feel free to write back if you would like to and I wish you and your daughter well in the future. Regards, Maggie (