Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Oregon: Haunted Hot Lake Resort

This hotel was originally built in 1864 in Union County, Oregon. It sits in a remote part of northeast Oregon 10 miles from Le Grande. In 1910 this resort ideally located next to a hot springs charged its’ guests $2.50 a night or $3.50 per week. Meals cost .25 cents. In the 1920’s it attracted thousands of Portlanders who road the train to take the resort’s soothing waters. It also attracted visitors from around the US and the world.

In 1917 the resort took on a duel purpose. Part of the hotel became a state-of-the art hospital. The building was used for these two enterprises until 1934 when a large portion of the hotel was destroyed by a fire. After this calamity the remaining brick part of the structure was used as a nursing home and asylum for the mentally ill. During World War ll the building was converted into a flight school and nurse’s training facility. By 1991 the building had fallen into major disrepair and then lay abandoned for 15 years.

Photo: Werewombat
By this time the old resort had a reputation as being haunted. Many witnesses over the years have reported hearing and seeing unexplained activity in and around the resort. Visitors often recount seeing spectral figures walking around the grounds. They also report hearing voices whispering and footsteps in various parts of the hotel.

Many see apparitions of people they feel must be former vacationers. Even more witnesses have seen an apparition of a man wearing work clothes. It is believed this ghost is probably a former gardener who committed suicide on the property. Yet other witnesses state they have seen apparitions of people who most likely were patients during the time the building was used as an asylum.

When the resort first opened a piano formally owned by Robert E. Lee’s wife was acquired and placed on the hotel’s third floor. To this day people hear this piano playing by itself. One time owner Donna Pattee, her husband and their caretaker Richard Owens had several strange experiences while they lived on the hotel’s second floor in the 1970s. They often heard screams and crying coming from what was once the hospitals surgery room. They also saw rocking chairs moving of their own accord.

Photo: Jamie Francis
The Oregonian
By 2003 the hotel was literally falling down, when David and Lee Manual bought it. This couple with the help of the surrounding community spent the next 7 years and millions of dollars restoring it to its’ formal glory. Today the Hot Lake Resort is a 22-room bed and breakfast with an art gallery, museum, bronze foundry, spa and restaurant. The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

Here is a link to a nice video about the restored resort, just click arrow to start it.

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