Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Bandage Man of Cannon Beach

On the roads outside of Cannon Beach, Oregon, and especially an old, now bypassed, section of Highway 101, a strange and disturbing creature stalks the night. Drivers have long reported seeing a man, clad from head-to-toe in bandages stained with blood and other less identifiable fluids. Those who have come close enough report that the ersatz mummy smells horribly, as if he is rotting. And those who slow down, or who are unlucky enough to be walking when the creature comes out towards the road, have been savagely attacked. Sometimes it is claimed that the bandage man can simply appear in passing vehicles, without any obvious entry. Oddly, the bandage man is also said to eat dogs. Sometimes the bandage man leaves behind bits of putrescent bandages that fell off during attacks.

Stories of the origins of this being are variable, some holding that this is the ghost or re-animated corpse of a logger who had been severely injured in a sawmill, and died while in bandages. Others hold that this is a vengeful spirit of no earthly origin. Whatever the story, the bandage man is said to be violent, malevolent, and to be avoided.

Commentary: Now that I am back home after seven months on a time-consuming project for work, Halloween seems like a great day to begin posting stories on this blog.

This is a beautiful urban legend, complete with claims of physical evidence left behind (the bandages are often said to mark the scenes of his attacks, much like the hook left behind by a serial killer in one popular urban legend. The story is pretty damn creepy (although the part about eating dogs, while probably intended to be horrifying, simply sounds rather silly), and as someone who has driven on California's forested coastal highways late at night, I can attest that it is easy to let one's imagination run away and start seeing all manner of evil creature out of the corner of your eyes. In addition, the presence of a specific location allows legend tripping for the youth of the Cannon Beach area. It is also delightful to note that one of the sources listed below even contains a "friend-of-a-friend" story that fits the urban legend perfectly.

What is somewhat unique is that, as far as I have been able to determine, the bandage man is a one-of-a-kind, location-specific urban legend. Although elements of the story are common in many wide-spread urban legends, I have not been able to find anything quite like the bandage man anywhere outside of Cannon Beach, Oregon. And that makes this a story worth remembering.

Sources: Published Book, Internet, Internet, Internet


  1. I live right next to where this happens, well in the area of Cannon Beach, and I camp a lot over there, My grandparents and I have driven on that road, and not once been attacked. Nor had my dog been ate. I believe in ghosts and such, with proof. Maybe I shall try going again.. I'm a very curious gal, and tend to do Idiotic things, then again, I am a teenager. haha

  2. It is a really goofy story, the sort of thing that makes for great folklore, but pretty much no chance of it being real.

    I would have been too timid to check it out as a teenager, but as an adult I'm much more likely to hang around in such places at much for adults knowing better.

  3. I saw that thing as a kid heading back home from canon beach. I remember thinking, those guys are stupid for picking up a hitchhiker and when I asked my parents why someone would do such a thing they said "what man are you talking about?"

  4. I saw it at the highway crossing two years
    before I ever heard the story. It was sitting
    on a tree stump within seeing distance of the highway. It was in bandages, so I thought it was a manequin to protest deforestation.
    I remember thinking that some group really went to alot of trouble to make it, since someone from town could just steal it if they didn't agree with there veiws. One thing is, it had a real mean look in it's eyes and they were blood red but with a mild red glow.
    I'm 58 years old and I'm not making this up.

    1. You said that it was within "seeing distance" of the highway, which seems to indicate it wasn't right up close. And yet you could see the "mean look" in its eyes and that they were "blood red?" Come on, lol

  5. I didnt make it entirely through the video but it was obscene and ridiculous. Many people strongly believe in this and should not be made fun of it for it.I personally do not know if it is true or not but i am intrigued and i plan on investigating it myself but whoever has the nerve to make such a video should be ashamed of themselves.

  6. So, let me get this straight...because there are people who believe in an urban legend/local ghost story, to make a satirical video about said story is "obscene and ridiculous."

    Okay, just to make sure we're clear: the story being satirized is about a FUCKING FOUL-SMELLING BLOODY MUMMY THAT EATS DOGS!

    Seriously. You think that someone should be ashamed for making fun of a story that really makes fun of itself? Really?

  7. Eats dogs, wrapped in bandages(aka rags), smells. this happens all the time in Oregon, hippies coming here and realizing their own dog is all that's left to eat after they can't get anymore handouts. Saw it today by CB, totally true.

  8. my Dad grew up in the area. One day when I was a kid I brought home a book about Oregon folklore that had a chapter about the Bandage Man and showed it to him. When he saw it he started laughing and told me that a friend of his started the legend when they were in their early 20's. I forget the specifics, but I do remember my dad getting a big laugh out of the fact that 20+ years later (at that point in time, now it's more like 40+ years later) that the legend lived on. I'll have to ask him about it again and see if I can get some more specifics from him

  9. Please do, I would love to hear more.

  10. I believe in the story. We travel w/ the Eagles (a fraternal organization) & once we went to Canon Beach. Believe u me, I held my figure of Michael Jackson a little tighter when we went thru bc it was dusk. I have not seen anything to disprove the story, so I have no reason to believe it is not real. I do have a rather skittish nature tho.