Happy Halloween: Portland's Scariest Spaces
GHID wishes you a safe and Happy Halloween! Today we are going to take a quick tour of three haunted places here in Portland, Oregon. Although today's blog isn't heavily focused on the interiors of these scary spaces, there are some great photos of the interiors. Let's start our tour of some of Portland's scariest places that are truly haunted. We will get to know the ghosts that reside in these places, so if you're up for a real scare, we encourage you to check them out for yourself!
The Restaurant Old Town Pizza Is One Of Portland’s Favorite Haunts
Read more on Old Town Pizza's website.
Don’t be surprised if an unexpected guest joins you for a slice of pizza. A constant presence at Old Town Pizza is Nina (pronounced Nigh-na), their resident ghost. If you feel a presence behind you, or smell a faint waft of perfume, you may have just received a visit. Nina is often seen in a black dress observing diners and wandering the basement below.
Nina’s been here for more than 100 years. It was in 1880 that two successful lumber barons built the Merchant Hotel on this block, catering to Portland’s finest patrons. Old Town Pizza sits in the original hotel lobby. In fact the window where you place your pizza order is the original hotel’s reception desk and is flanked by the lobby’s original decorative cast iron beam posts. Underneath the floor boards are the Shanghai Tunnels connecting Portland via underground pathways, that used to nab unsuspecting sailors and transport them to ships docked on the river, and can be viewed during private tours.
A Haunted Antique Store In Portland
Another famous Portland haunt is Hoodoo Antiques, and it's a good example of an “object” haunting. “You may have heard stories of pianos playing themselves or wedding rings that are haunted—well, Hoodoo Antiques actually has a haunted object that’s been documented in police reports. That lends some legitimacy to it,” says Schargel.
Well-known paranormal expert Jeff Davis, author of Portland's Rose City Ghosts and co-author of Weird Oregon, says the haunted object in question at Hoodoo is a 19th century pen and ink drawing of a woman with a lace head scarf that the owner received as a present from his mother-in-law.
"She had had a small workshop in what was Barracuda [Barracuda closed in April 2012] which was once originally Erikson's Old Saloon [a notorious old-time saloon], and had found the drawing hidden in the floorboards and gave it to the antique store," says Davis.
On several occasions, particularly New Year's, the burglar alarm—which is motion-sensored—has gone off and people have reported seeing a woman standing in the back of the shop either wearing a laced hat or some kind of lace around her hair. "Objects from the antique store have gone missing for a couple of weeks—which you kind of expect in an antique store. But then these same missing objects will reappear in a very common obvious place as if by magic weeks later." says Davis.
Friendly Ghosts Make Haunting Less Scary
The Benson opened in 1913 at Southwest Broadway and Oak Streets, as the New Oregon Hotel, an "annex" to the Oregon Hotel next door: Heavy doorknobs engraved "OH" can still be found in the hotel, harkening back to its gala grand opening. The Benson was equipped with the latest innovations of the day, including automatic door switches and circulating ice water. The ceilings were covered with plaster molds, and the closets in the guestrooms were equipped with electric lights. Guests of the hotel were greeted each morning with a complimentary cup of hot clam nectar, a tradition eventually usurped by coffee.
While management doesn't officially endorse ghost stories, it has had guests tell them of "friendly experiences." There are three known hauntings. The first is the lobby area staircase leading up to the mezzanine where guests have seen a ghostly man walking down the grand staircase. Another ghost hangs out on the ninth floor and is well documented on sites such as Yelp, while the third is in a downstairs meeting room in one of the restaurants. There's also a story that a spirit helped a slightly disabled guest into bed one night. "The guest thought the ghost was the night porter. How's that for service?" says Davis.
Read more about The Benson ghosts here.
Be safe and have a great day!