There’s nothing better during the Halloween season than hearing ghost stories from haunted places right in your very own back yard.
To help fuel the fright, the Des Chutes Historical Museum each October leads guided tours of downtown Bend’s most haunted sites, telling terrifying tales of ghost sightings, unexplained sounds and more. (See: Blue orbs at Pilot Butte Cemetery.)
The hour-long walking tour starts at the Des Chutes Historical Museum, site of the old Reid School – Bend’s first modern school building and the place where contractor George Brosterhaus fell to his death during construction back in 1914. He’s been known to roam the halls of the museum – but you’ll have to take the tour to hear the full, super creepy story! More stories await about McMenamins Old St. Francis School, the O’Kane building and several other sites as well.
“Last year we stopped at one of the locations and were telling our story and a couple of people in the group said ‘Oh my gosh – the curtains just moved,'” Museum Manager Vanessa Ivey tells us. “I’m a skeptic, but I went back and asked if we had fans running and they said no.”
Ivey says most of the stories are from first person accounts from current community members. But some of the guides tell stories of paranormal experiences they’ve actually had themselves.
And the tours are hugely popular.
“Bend has a lively history. It was a rough and tumble kind of town and stuff happened and people are interested in that,” she said. “And there are people out there who just love a good ghost story. They like to know, I don’t know, that maybe there’s something out there after death.”
The tours cost $10 and this year happen Oct. 13th and 14th with 12 one-hour tours between 4:30 and 7:30. The admission fee also gives you access to the museum itself, where you can see some really cool historical artifacts and learn more about Bend’s interesting past. Ivey recommends reserving your spot on the tour by calling or stopping by the museum early on the day you want to attend.
For more information, visit the Des Chutes Historical Museum website. Got a ghost story of your own? Leave it in the comments below!