Exploring Portland's most haunted spots

Touring the spookiest spots around Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. -- If you like ghost stories, you may be happy to hear that Portland has a number of places that are believed to be popular paranormal hangouts.

In the spirit of Halloween, here are a few of Portland’s haunted spots.

White Eagle Saloon & Hotel

White Eagle Saloon & Hotel has got some charm. It was built in 1905 and it's got an old feel to it. But spend a night upstairs and the creepy factor might just go up.

“This is room three and this is one of the rooms with the most activity,” said Karen Vleeshouwer, the housekeeper for White Eagle Saloon & Hotel.

She said a psychic once went into room three.

“She came in and she says ‘Oh I can’t breathe in this room.’ She says she thinks it’s a male spirit,” Vleeshouwer said.

“Apparently there’s something strange in the closet. One guest said they saw a spirit in the closet,” she continued as she motioned to the closet door.

Staff say guests report thumping under the bed, sinks turning on and off, and other off-putting occurrences. Next door, room four is said to be haunted too. Legend has it that a prostitute named Rose roams the room and hallways. She was pushed down the stairs by a client, so the story goes.

Whoever stayed the night in rooms three and four on Monday night apparently heard the stories.

“They have put salt all around the bed to protect themselves,” said Vleeshouwer as she pointed out the salt granules.

Old Town Pizza & Brewing

Over in Old Town, another woman by the name of Nina is said to haunt Old Town Pizza & Brewing. The eatery is located in the lobby of the old Merchant Hotel that was built in the 1880s. It's one of the oldest buildings in Portland.

“Legend has it that Nina, who is our resident ghost, was murdered in this very elevator shaft,” said Adam Milne, owner of Old Town Pizza & Brewing as he motioned to the walls of the elevator shaft that’s now been converted to a seating area.

Kevin Moore, a Portland historian and guide with Portland Walking Tours said Nina was a “Lady of the Evening,” another term for a prostitute.

“She had a young daughter of 12 and she was very, very worried that her daughter would be pulled into the same trade as her unless she did something about it,” said Moore.

So Moore said she made a deal to support missionaries who were trying to eradicate prostitution, in exchange for safe passage out of Portland for both her and her daughter.

But things didn’t turn out the way she had hoped.

“The very next day she was found dead in the [Merchant] hotel, thrown down an elevator shaft,” Moore said.

Her name is now carved into the brick at the bottom of the elevator shaft.

Near the elevator shaft, people have reported seeing a whisk fly across the room, and apparitions.

Milne said just about a year ago, something strange happened when a delivery man was transporting wine into the basement.

“He said, 'I saw the ghost' and ran out of there, and he asked to be taken off the delivery route here,” said Milne.

Shanghai Tunnels

Underneath Old Town Pizza & Brewing are the Shanghai Tunnels. They’re believed to be another haunted hangout in Portland. The tunnels stretch all over the city.

The rumor is that bars across Portland had trap doors. People would fall through, get knocked out, and be carried unconscious through the tunnels to a waiting ship. Then they would be forced to work on ships at sea. That’s where the term “shanghaied” came from. But Moore said that's not really what happened.

“Not every bar in Portland had a trap door in it,” Moore said.

He said the majority of people who were taken to work on ships were not dropped into the tunnel via a trap door.

“[There were] guys that would pretty much entrap guys into signing these contracts that would pretty much get them on the boats. Most of these guys couldn’t read or write,” said Moore.

He said men were moved through the tunnels to ships on the Willamette River, in secrecy, so that other men wouldn’t see the people who had just been duped into working on a ship. Mainly, Moore said the tunnels were more for moving goods, or draining floodwater. Still, he said the tunnels and other places in Portland are haunted. Moore said he’s even had experiences in the basement of the Merchant Hotel.

“Many believe that there’s an Asian man by the name of Sam that often haunts these downstairs areas down here,” said Moore.

He said Sam is a mischievous spirit, and has often been credited for turning the lights off when they were previously on, as well as moving furniture.

There are a number of other places in Portland and the surrounding areas that are considered haunted.

If you’re interested in the supernatural stuff, Portland Walking Tours does a Bizarre Walking Tour that highlights Portland’s happening haunts.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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