Foggy days and long, damp nights—either you’re stuck on the set of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” or it’s autumn in the Pacific Northwest. If you’re a scaredy-cat when this time of year rolls around, what better way to celebrate Halloween than by visiting some places that just sound scary?
Forget about ghosts and graveyards. Instead, check out these hauntingly gorgeous Pacific Northwest locations with creepy names. From Devils Punch Bowl on the Oregon Coast to Possession Point on Whidbey Island, these places may not be haunted, but they sure sound like they are!
Get ready for a scary good getaway.
Neskowin Ghost Forest – Neskowin
The Neskowin Ghost Forest is not, as it may sound, a haunted forest. It is rather the ghostly remains of a 2,000-year-old forest of sitka spruce, buried under the sand on Neskowin Beach for centuries and uncovered in the winter of 1997-98 by a series of turbulent storms. Scientists believe the trees were destroyed by an earthquake or a tsunami, which buried and preserved the stumps. Today, this mysterious site can be seen daily at low tide.
Torso Lake, Bone Lake, and Hand Lake – Deschutes County
About 13 miles from Black Butte Ranch and 20 miles from Sisters, you’ll find this cluster of intriguingly named lakes. Not all of the lakes in the area are named after body parts (others include Suttle Lake, Meadow Lake, and Peewee Lake), leaving one to wonder what sequence of events led to the naming of Torso Lake, Bone Lake, and Hand Lake.
Skull Hollow – Terrebonne
Although Skull Hollow sounds a bit inhospitable (to put it lightly), this hilly area 30 miles north of Bend is a lovely spot to hike or ride horses. It’s also 53 miles from Torso Lake, if you’re interested in planning an anatomy-themed road trip!
Devil’s Cauldron – Manzanita
“Fire burn and cauldron bubble,” chant the witches in Shakespeare’s Macbeth—and Devil’s Cauldron, located just north of Manzanita, bubbles indeed. Two sheer cliff faces border this semi-secluded cove, and the surging waves and churning water look just like a bubbling cauldron.
Devils Punch Bowl – Otter Rock
Not to be confused with Devil’s Cauldron, Devils Punchbowl is a collapsed sea cave just outside of Otter Rock where visitors are treated to a magnificent show as waves slam into the bowl-shaped rock formation. When you’re done admiring the frothing waves of the Punch Bowl, head north to the tide pools to get a glimpse of creepy-crawly ocean-dwellers.
Hells Canyon Wilderness – McCall
Stumped for Halloween ideas? Why not spend it with the Seven Devils of the Hells Canyon Wilderness? This mountain range sits east of the Idaho-Oregon border, about 60 miles from McCall. Notable peaks include He Devil, She Devil, Devils Throne, Mount Baal, and the Twin Imps.
The Devil’s Bedstead – Sun Valley
If you’re looking for rock climbing or backcountry skiing in the Sun Valley area, consider paying a visit to The Devil’s Bedstead. The fifth-highest mountain in the Pioneer Range, The Devil’s Bedstead has a summit of 11,865 feet and sits just 23 miles from Sun Valley.
Dead Man’s Cove – Long Beach
Dead Man’s Cove is part of Cape Disappointment, but don’t let the name fool you—Cape Disappointment State Park is nothing short of beautiful. This little cove is particularly picturesque and can be easily reached from Long Beach, WA or Warrenton, OR.
Deception Pass – Fidalgo Island
The difficult-to-navigate Deception Pass originally led explorers to believe that Fidalgo Island and Whidbey Island formed a peninsula attached to the mainland, hence the name. These days, Deception Pass is a popular state park offering boating, fishing, horseback riding, and 38 miles of hiking trails.
Possession Point – Whidbey Island
From the Salem Witch Trials to Annabelle, demonic possession has a solid place in American pop culture. Demons probably weren’t involved in the naming of Possession Point, but if you visit this charming area on the southernmost tip of Whidbey Island, you might want to bring some salt—just in case.
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