The Bandage Man is known to haunt a stretch of highway 101 just south of Cannon Beach, Oregon. Tales of the Bandage Man go back to the early 1950s and 1960s, where he was first sighted haunting highway 101 and wooded areas nearby. At the time of his death, the highway actually took a bend into the wooded area and was later re-designed to be a more straight path as it is today. That change does appear to validate the possibility of a landslide on the old 101 Highway. This older highway was also called “Bandage Man Highway”.
The legend varies as to who he was but most consistently the story states he was a logger in the 1930s who was badly injured on the job. He was wrapped in bandages and sent away in an ambulance. However, that ambulance fell victim to a landslide en route to the hospital on the old Highway 101. When the rescue crew arrived at the landslide location he was reportedly gone.
The Bandage Man is known to appear in vehicles traveling the highway, often first noticed due to his scent of rotting flesh. As quickly as he is noticed he disappears or, as some have witnessed, he will disappear right before the town of Cannon Beach. He is described as being heavily wrapped in bandages and almost zombie-like, with a horrid stench of rotting flesh. He has been blamed for worse activities than simply scaring people though. It has been told that he once smashed the windows at Bill’s Tavern in Cannon Beach and even reportedly ate someone’s dog. These are the local tales though with very little to back them up.
The tale we hear the most about the Bandage Man dates back to the 1960’s when the highway was still routed towards the East. That road was a popular destination for teenagers to park and make out. In 1960, a couple was being intimate when they noticed the car was rocking. When they peered out the window the Bandage Man was slamming his fist against the window of their truck. They drove off to try and shake loose their attacker. Not long after leaving the spot, he simply disappeared. The Bandage Man has consistently been known to jump into open bed trucks or convertible cars almost as if those are an invitation for a ride.
One remaining question though – Is the Bandage Man a Ghost or Zombie? Based on the tales and the way he disappears and appears to haunt an area it is our conclusion that he is a ghost, not a zombie. If the tale of the dog being eaten were true that might be evidence otherwise, but based on what is largely reported he fits the bill as a tormented spirit that is stuck here haunting the area where he suffered and ultimately died a tragic death.
The most recent story about Bandage man was reported here on Reddit where the victim at first thinks she is dreaming only to later discover the terror of her dream might have been the Bandage Man https://www.reddit.com/r/oregon/comments/agtscb/has_anyone_encountered_the_bandage_man/
Is there anything we missed about the Bandage Man? Let us know in the comments section below!
Tritone’s love of horror and mystery began at a young age. Growing up in the 80’s he got to see some of the greatest horror movies play out in the best of venues, the drive-in theater. That’s when his obsession with the genre really began—but it wasn’t just the movies, it was the games, the books, the comics, and the lore behind it all that really ignited his obsession. Tritone is a published author and continues to write and write about horror whenever possible.