If you are looking for a spooky adventure, look no further. A ruined stone house in the midst of a forest is bedecked in moss and clouded with mystery, following a hiking route through the middle of the woods. The Witch’s Castle of Portland, Oregon, is one of the weirdest sites in the city that celebrates the weird. Are you brave enough to visit?
Approximately a 5-minute drive from downtown, the Witch’s Castle is in Forest Park, just off of Skyline Boulevard. There are two options for getting there. The first is a 0.5-mile walk to the Upper Macleay Parking Lot near Portland Audubon Society. The second is a slightly longer 3/4-mile trek from the Lower Macleay Parking Lot (NW 30th and Upshur). Both are lovely treks through the forest that bring you to the Witch’s Castle.
The pathways are easy to walk. They are wide and flat, making them ideal for people of all abilities. You’ll see lovely streams, tiny waterfalls, and moss-covered branches on the journey. Don’t forget to take a camera for all the pictures, too!
Since the route is short and close to town, there will be a lot of people out for a run, walk, or hike with their dogs. The location is safe for hikers as this is a popular destination, so it would not be likely to find yourself on this trail by yourself.
Danford Balch and his family were among the first to settle in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, which is located about six miles from present-day Jacksonville. Danford, a pioneer who had traveled west on the Oregon Trail with his wife and children, claimed the land in 1850. He needed assistance clearing the area to build the home and Stump was employed to help with the job. Stump moved in with the Balch family, and Balch’s oldest daughter fell in love with him right away. The story ended in tragedy as Balch did not want his daughter to marry Stump.
The house itself was never truly a house at all. It was a public toilet for hikers on the forest path that had been built in the 1930s. A severe storm hit the place in 1962, badly damaging it. Moss and graffiti took over. The roof subsequently collapsed, leaving the little home abandoned and forgotten.
In the 1980s, a local high school student rediscovered it and utilized it as a place for secret parties on Fridays. They dubbed it the Witch’s Castle, and the name has stuck ever since.
The story of a Witch’s Castle in the chilling woods of Portland and stories of Balch’s and Stump’s ghosts have been remembered frequently. People have reported seeing flickering balls of light near the home, hearing youngsters’ voices, and terrifying screams throughout the night after that.
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