The Witch’s Castle in Portland, Oregon is a mysterious and intriguing place surrounded by urban legends and an intriguing history [3]. It is a popular resting spot for hikers and a sight to behold, although it is periodically covered in graffiti [6].

The structure consists of steep steps leading to the stone ruins of a building, now covered in moss and degraded by graffiti [9].

The area was home to a slew of urban legends during the mid-1800s, with the most well-known being the love story between Mortimer Stump and Anna Balch [5]. The location is said to have a sinister feeling with overgrown vegetation surrounding the structure [8].

Reaching The Witch’s Castle is a slightly difficult half-mile hike from the Upper Macleay Parking lot near the Portland Audubon Society or a slightly longer three-quarter mile jaunt starting from another location.

The legend surrounding The Witch’s Castle involves a murder and haunting, with the story starting with Danford Balch, a man who came to Oregon with his family in 1850 [3]. The building is said to be haunted and cursed, with some believing the land to be cursed or haunted [4]. The Witch’s Castle is a magical place, albeit of the dark magic variety [7].

Before Your Visit:

  • The trail to the castle is popular and well-used, expect to see many hikers, families, and dogs along the way [8].
  • You can hike to the castle from two different starting points: the Upper Macleay Parking lot near the Portland Audubon Society, which is a half-mile hike, or the Lower Macleay Parking lot at NW 30th and Upshur, which is a slightly longer three-quarter mile hike
  • The trail can be strenuous, but not difficult to find.
  • The trail is located in the Macleay Park, part of Forest Park, and offers a variety of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding.
  • The Witch’s Castle, also known as the Stone House, is covered in moss and has graffiti, but it is still a great spot to sit and enjoy or take pictures.
  • Forest Park is a large park that is home to more than 112 species of birds and offers a peaceful escape from the city.
  • The Witch’s Castle was once a small family home, but is now a popular trail for hikers and dog walkers [9].

You can also check out a photographic journey to the Witch’s Castle on YouTube.