Bend Haunted History Tour a Fun Halloween Happening

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Des Chutes Historical Museum

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!

History on Display: 4 Can’t Miss Museums in Central Oregon

Central Oregon has a rich and interesting history dating back, oh, a few thousand years (see: Lava Lands). But beyond the geological beauty abound (see also: Smith Rock) there’s a great bit of human history that pre-dates settlers along the Oregon Trail. We’re lucky to have a handful of exceptional museums with carefully curated artifacts to help tell the story of Central Oregon.

Here are 4 museums you can’t miss during your Central Oregon visit.

Erickson Aircraft Collection

Erickson Aircraft Collection

The Erickson Aircraft Collection in Madras proudly displays a vintage aircraft collection started by Jack Erickson in 1983. The collection features over twenty rare aircraft, most of which are still in flying condition. The newly named Collection will feature rare aircraft that are still in flying condition such as the P-38 Lightning, P-51 Mustang, Ki43 Hayabusa, F4U Corsair, SBD Dauntless, Grumman Duck and B-17 Flying Fortress.

Des Chutes Historical Museum

The Deschutes Historical Museum features exhibits that allow you to explore Deschutes County prehistory; area Native American tribal history; early exploration and fur trapping; homesteading the High Desert; logging and Forest Service history; and life throughout Deschutes County over the years. The museum also hosts an annual Haunted History Tour in the weeks leading up to Halloween.

Hawk in flight during show at High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon

High Desert Museum

Whether you’re three or 93, there’s something for everyone at the High Desert Museum.

See birds of prey, the porcupine exhibit, a bobcat and more. Check out our collection of desert dwellers in the Desertarium. Visit with living history characters at the 1904 Miller Family Ranch. Explore High Desert history and culture in our permanent exhibits. Enjoy watching the river otters in their newly renovated Autzen Otter Exhibit. The Museum is set on 135 beautiful wooded acres just south of Bend. It’s no wonder the Museum is ranked the #1 thing to do in Bend by TripAdvisor.

Museum at Warm Springs

Visitors to The Museum at Warm Springs will experience firsthand the sounds of ancient songs and languages, the mastery of traditional craftsmen and the sights of rich and colorful cultures that make up the Confederated Tribes of The Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon.

The three Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation – Warm Springs, Wasco and Northern Paiute, created this museum to sustain their cultures and preserve their traditions for their children and visitors.  The museum is a vital part of the Warm Springs tribal community.  Once you are done indoors you can stroll the 1/4 mile Twanat Interpretive Trail to learn about the plants, animals, fish and geology.