Often named one of the most haunted cities in America, Portland, Oregon, is spilling over with spirits and haunts that could sway even the most skeptical minds.
Even those non-believers who try to rationalize late night footsteps in their apartment and TVs that turn on by themselves may be stirred by Portland’s spooky spirits and spine-tingling stories. Here are some of the most haunted places in Portland:
Old Hood Residence
A private home in North Portland was the scene of a murder/suicide two days before Christmas in 1973. Billy Hood violently attacked his wife, Marles Ann, who had fled to the Hood Residence to escape her abusive husband. He killed Marles and himself in the house, sparing their five children.
In 1985 a new family, unaware of the home’s haunted history, moved in with their two young daughters. Eventually the ghosts of the deceased couple made their presence known by moving objects and turning appliances on and off. Marles seemed to enjoy caring for the young girls by tucking them in at night. While few people seek out real haunted houses as a place to raise their families, the newest homeowners seem to have found peaceful cohabitation with the spirits by accepting their ghostly presence.
Old Town Pizza
Formerly the Merchant Hotel, today’s visitors can stop by for a slice of pizza served in a joint that also hosts one of Portland’s most notorious spirits, Nina. A former saloon character and lady of the evening who hung around with shady underworld figures, Nina eventually ratted some of them out.
Double-crossing a gangster is never a good idea, and shortly afterward, Nina was pushed to her death down an elevator shaft, according to the local legend. Pizzeria patrons report sightings of Nina in a black dress, and some even get a whiff of her perfume. Those feeling brave can search out the booth that now features the elevator shaft with a brick bearing her name. Did she carve it or did someone else? Maybe you can ask her yourself.
The history of the Shanghai Tunnels is scary enough, as they served as underground routes to capture and move men and women into human trafficking. Men were often sold cheaply to ship captains for labor, and the ladies were forced into a life like Nina’s. This spooky setting is home to many ghosts who suffered in the tunnels and even died there.
Among their number is the shanghaied crew of the Jennifer Jo, all of whom died as the ship sunk. Visitors to the tunnel have reported being touched by a wet hand. Mobsters, barmen, and the trafficked souls are all said to be lurking here in despair or as a punishment for their evil ways, depending on which ghost story you believe.
What is it about ghost stories and hotels that seem to go hand-in-hand? A good scare in a hotel, or the mention of ghosts roaming its halls, seems to provide instant street cred and lure in curious guests anxious to explore the haunts up close.
Portland’s Benson Hotel is unique in that all of its ghost sightings seem to be friendly spirits. The original owner, Simon Benson, is often seen descending the staircase, checking in on service, and even intentionally spilling the alcoholic drinks he disapproved of.
Other ghostly residents include a lady dressed in white roaming the halls, and another lady in a turquoise dress wearing red rings who is often reflected in the mirror. Perhaps checking in and ordering a few drinks will lure Mr. Benson out to put an end to your happy hour.
Surely an antiques shop gets a few odd items from time to time, but Hoodoo Antiques seems to have established a particularly spooky reputation. A certain ink drawing of a lady with a lace head piece seems to be creating an eerie atmosphere in the antique shop.
Customers have noticed a lady with a lace hat or lace scarf near the back of the store, and this ghastly apparition is even said to have set off motion sensors. Others have seen her reflection appear in photos taken of the store. It certainly sounds like a tall tale, but some of these incidents have been included in police reports, adding a bit of credibility to the paranormal activity.
Visited any real haunted houses or live in a spooky city? We’d love to hear about it! Share your favorite haunts in the comments below or tag @AptGuide on Twitter.
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