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Beneath the vibrant canopy of Portland’s cultural and natural wonders lies a darker tapestry of mystery and the paranormal. Thrill-seekers and ghost hunters alike flock to the city’s haunted places, each with its own spine-chilling stories and spectral inhabitants. As the shadows lengthen, these eerie sites beckon the curious to explore the hidden haunts of Portland, Oregon.
If you are doing any kind of paranormal investigation here, you might want to take a look at our ghost hunting equipment list. Locations like this get a reputation because they are high activity and you don’t need much to see for yourself.
White Eagle Saloon
The White Eagle Saloon in Portland, Oregon, holds a reputation as a spirited haunt, steeped in tales that send shivers down the spine. Established in 1905 by Polish immigrants William Hryszko and Barney Soboleski, the establishment originally bore the name B. Soboleski & Company Saloon. Nestled near the bustling Willamette river, this two-story building beckons the curious with its enigmatic charm and hints of spectral encounters.
From its inception, the White Eagle Saloon became the watering hole for a motley crew of patrons, ranging from hardworking laborers to the more shadowy figures lurking at the edges of Portland’s society. As the years rolled on, the saloon’s walls absorbed the echoes of raucous laughter and hushed conspiracies, earning it a place in the local lore.
The saloon’s namesake, a white eagle, proudly represents the Polish flag, a nod to the founders’ heritage. However, the eagle also seems to oversee a flock of ghostly tales that have taken flight over the years. Whispers of mysterious apparitions and unexplained phenomena have turned the White Eagle Saloon into a magnet for ghost hunters and thrill-seekers.
One such tale speaks of a man who met his untimely end at the hands of a nefarious lover, his spirit now tethered to the very spot where his heart took its final beat. Patrons and employees alike report sightings of a phantom figure, lurking in the shadows and vanishing into thin air.
Another story tells of a woman, her life cut short by tragedy, who now wanders the rooms above the saloon. Guests often report hearing the soft sobs of the weeping woman, her presence an eerie reminder of the building’s checkered past.
The White Eagle Saloon’s haunted reputation is not just a feather in its cap; it is the entire wing. The establishment revels in its ghostly fame, offering haunted pub crawls that promise a brush with the otherworldly. Those brave enough to cross the threshold might just encounter the restless souls that call the saloon home.
With every creaking floorboard and flickering light, the White Eagle Saloon solidifies its place in Portland’s pantheon of haunted places. It’s a must-visit for anyone looking to lift the veil between the living and the dead. Whether seeking a pint of ale or a glimpse of the afterlife, this historic saloon delivers a chilling experience that echoes through time.
I once felt an eerie chill brush past me in the White Eagle, like a ghostly whisper, even though no one was there. They say spirits from the old days still linger, sharing their untold stories with the living.
Beneath the bustling streets of downtown Portland, a web of secret passageways known as the Shanghai Tunnels stretches out, whispering tales from its shadowy depths. Constructed over 150 years ago, these hidden corridors once connected the basements of the city’s venerable buildings to the Willamette River and the heart of old Chinatown. Crafted by the hands of Chinese laborers, the tunnels initially served a practical purpose, providing a conduit for merchants to ferry goods directly from moored cargo ships to their basement storerooms, skirting the snarl of street-level traffic.
However, the Shanghai Tunnels harbor a dark and sinister past. While the surface thrived with legitimate trade, an insidious practice flourished in the subterranean world. These tunnels became the stage for “shanghaiing,” a grim trade in human lives. Unscrupulous men, known as “crimps,” would prey on the unsuspecting—often targeting sailors exhausted from their long voyages or patrons stumbling out of local bars. These unfortunate souls would be drugged or knocked out, only to wake up aboard a ship, pressed into service with no escape.
The air down below still echoes with the chilling stories of those who vanished into the night, their fates sealed by the city’s underground. Whispered rumors tell of ghostly apparitions and eerie voices that linger, the restless spirits of the shanghaied who never made it back home. The Shanghai Tunnels have become a staple of local lore, a haunting reminder of Portland’s murky history. Today, the tunnels draw the curious and the brave, eager to catch a glimpse of the phantoms that walk the corridors where the city’s underbelly once thrived.
One time, I was walking through the Shanghai Tunnels, and out of the corner of my eye, I swear I saw a shadowy figure, just standing there, watching me, before it vanished into thin air. It gave me the chills, like some poor soul from the old shanghaiing days was still down there, lost and lingering.
Nestled amidst the verdant landscape of Macleay Park and the Cumberland Trail Head, the Pittock Mansion stands as a grand testament to Portland’s past. However, its splendor belies a spine-chilling reputation: numerous visitors whisper of eerie encounters within its walls, branding it a haunted haven.
Constructed upon the behest of Henry Pittock, a prominent Oregonian publisher, and his wife Georgiana, the mansion came to life in the form of a French Renaissance masterpiece in 1914. This 46-room estate, cradled in the West Hills of Portland, is the fruit of Edward Foulkes’ architectural genius and Pittock’s lavish desires. From the get-go, Pittock aimed for the stars, insisting on the latest technological marvels of the time. His demands included a central vacuum system and intercoms throughout the mansion, features that stretched the construction timeline considerably.
The Pittock Mansion‘s haunted tales are not just whispers in the wind. Visitors often report sightings and sensations that raise the hair on the back of their necks. Ghostly apparitions, inexplicable cold spots, and the feeling of being watched are just the tip of the iceberg. Some say the spirits of Henry and Georgiana Pittock themselves roam the halls, perhaps too attached to their earthly abode to move on.
The mansion’s spectral allure turns it into a magnet for those who seek encounters with the other side. It’s as if the mansion holds onto its past with a ghostly grip, reluctant to let the stories of yesteryear fade away. The Pittock Mansion, with its opulent history and eerie present, beckons the brave and the bold, challenging them to peer beyond the veil and come face-to-face with the echoes of its haunted past.
I swear, as I wandered through the halls of the Pittock Mansion, I felt a sudden chill and heard soft footsteps behind me, even though no one else was around. Some locals say it’s the ghosts of the Pittocks, still roaming their beloved home.
Lone Fir Cemetery
Lone Fir Cemetery in Portland, Oregon, stands as a testament to the city’s past, with its roots stretching back to the mid-19th century. The cemetery’s haunting aura is not just a figment of fanciful ghost stories; it is a place where history and the supernatural appear to walk hand in hand. With its lush canopy of trees and well-kept grass, the cemetery exudes an eerie beauty, especially when shrouded in the Pacific Northwest’s signature mist.
The first soul to be laid to rest on this land was in 1846, marking the beginning of what would become a vast final resting place for over 25,000 individuals. Officially established as a cemetery in 1855, Lone Fir has since become a mosaic of Portland’s history, with politicians, mayors, and notable figures from the city’s yesteryears among its eternal residents.
However, beneath the serene exterior lies a more troubled past. A staggering number of the graves, reaching up to 10,000, have become unidentifiable, their stories lost to time due to neglect and the relentless march of time—a stark reminder that even in death, many are forgotten.
The cemetery’s origin story is closely tied to the Stephens family, whose patriarch, James Stephens, acquired the land beside the Willamette River. Tragedy struck the family when James’ father, Emmor Stephens, passed away, becoming the seed from which the cemetery would grow. Emmor had poured his heart and soul into tilling and nurturing the land, making his burial there a poignant homage to his life’s work.
Over the years, Lone Fir Cemetery has earned its place on the National Register of Historic Places, a recognition granted in 2007. Yet, the whispers of unsettled spirits and the chill of unseen presences have given the cemetery a reputation for being haunted. Visitors often report feeling watched or hearing inexplicable sounds, and some claim to have seen apparitions wandering among the tombstones, perhaps echoes of the unidentifiable souls who rest in anonymity.
The Lone Fir Cemetery is more than a collection of graves; it is a mirror reflecting the city’s evolution, its triumphs, and its tragedies. It stands as a leafy sentinel, guarding the tales of Portland’s pioneers and the secrets of those who have crossed the veil, making it a magnet for those drawn to the mysteries of the afterlife and the allure of the unknown.
I once heard that if you wander through Lone Fir Cemetery at night, you might just catch whispers of the forgotten, their names lost to time but their spirits lingering, restless among the shadowy trees. They say some visitors feel a chill, not from the cool Oregon air, but from the gentle brush of an unseen hand searching for recognition in the world of the living.
The Bagdad Theater in Portland, Oregon, has been a beacon of entertainment since its grand opening in 1927. With its Art-Deco Mediterranean aesthetic and neon flair, the theater has long been a jewel in the city’s crown. However, it’s not just the living that are captivated by its splendor; the Bagdad Theater harbors echoes from the past, with spirits that refuse to let the curtain fall on their eternal performance.
Among the ghostly cast, one spirit in particular has been known to throw a wrench in the works. Said to be the soul of an individual who took their own life, this restless entity has made a habit of playing tricks on the living, often meddling with the theater’s operations and startling both staff and patrons alike.
In addition to this mischievous specter, there’s talk of a spectral supervisor who keeps a watchful eye over the theater’s employees. This ghostly overseer ensures that the show goes on, maintaining an eternal vigil from beyond the grave. Employees often feel as though they’re being watched like a hawk, especially when they’re alone in the theater after hours.
The Bagdad Theater’s walls, if they could talk, would tell tales of unexplained occurrences and eerie happenings that have become the stuff of local legend. Whispers of cold spots, strange noises, and sudden gusts of wind are as much a part of the theater’s story as the films projected onto its screen.
The Bagdad’s haunting history is not just a flash in the pan; it’s an enduring part of Portland’s paranormal fabric, drawing ghost hunters and thrill-seekers alike. Whether it’s the allure of the otherworldly or simply the charm of a bygone era, the Bagdad Theater remains a place where the past is never truly gone, and some characters never say goodbye.
I once heard that a ghost at the Bagdad Theater likes to mess with the lights and sound during shows, kinda like it’s pulling pranks from the other side. There’s also this other spirit that’s said to look out for the staff, making sure everything runs smooth even though it’s, you know, not exactly alive.
The Heathman Hotel
Nestled in the bustling heart of downtown Portland, the Heathman Hotel stands as a beacon of history and elegance on SW Broadway Street. Since its grand opening in 1927, the hotel has not only been a luxurious destination for travelers but also a hotbed for supernatural occurrences, earning it a reputation as one of Portland’s most haunted locales.
The Heathman’s haunted history is as rich as its architectural beauty. Guests and staff alike have reported a myriad of ghostly experiences that send shivers down the spine. Most notably, the hotel’s rooms ending in the number ‘03‘ seem to harbor a mysterious presence. Guests staying in these rooms have often reported feeling an eerie, unseen companion sharing their space. Many have awakened to the sensation of an ethereal gaze, only to find their room empty and the feeling of being watched lingering in the air.
Whispers in the hallways, inexplicable chills, and sudden drops in temperature add to the spine-tingling atmosphere, leading many to believe that the Heathman is home to more than just the living. The fourth floor, in particular, has gained notoriety as the epicenter of paranormal activity within the hotel, with guests and staff recounting unexplained noises and spectral sightings that defy logical explanation.
The Heathman’s storied past weaves a tapestry of ghostly encounters, with one of the most chilling tales involving a guest who plummeted to their demise from a high-story window. Since that fateful day, reports have surfaced of a figure standing at the precipice of the same window, only to vanish when onlookers take a second glance.
In the heart of the hotel, the library, with its walls lined with books, is said to be haunted by the phantom of a former guest who left an indelible mark—a specter that leafs through the pages of history, ever-present but never seen.
The Heathman Hotel’s ghostly residents have become an integral part of its charm, with the echoes of the past lingering in every corner. The hotel embraces its haunted heritage, offering guests not only a luxurious stay but also a brush with the otherworldly. Its ghosts have become as much a part of the hotel as the bricks and mortar that house them—a synecdoche for the intertwining of history and mystery.
For those brave enough to seek an encounter with the supernatural, the Heathman Hotel awaits, its doors open to reveal the secrets held within its historic walls. Whether seeking the thrill of the paranormal or simply a night’s stay steeped in glamour and history, the Heathman delivers an experience that is anything but ordinary.
I stayed in room 1003 at the Heathman, and man, the whole night it felt like someone else was there, even though I was the only one checked in. Woke up to this super cold chill and, swear to you, it was like someone was watching me the whole time.
Cathedral Park in Portland, Oregon, whispers tales of the supernatural, sending shivers down the spines of locals and visitors alike. This park, nestled under the St. Johns Bridge, has long been the stage for ghostly encounters and eerie experiences. The haunting history of Cathedral Park stems from the legend of Thelma Taylor, a young girl who met her tragic end in the area in the 1940s.
According to local lore, Thelma Taylor was waiting for a bus when she was abducted and later murdered, her screams said to echo through the park to this day. Visitors have reported hearing her desperate cries, as if the very air around the park is still replaying the chilling events.
The St. Johns Bridge, a towering presence over the park, serves as a steel-and-cable sentinel, watching over the grounds where the specter of Thelma is rumored to roam. Some say her spirit is tethered to the earth beneath the Gothic arches of the bridge, which cast long shadows and create an almost cathedral-like atmosphere—giving the park its name.
Those brave enough to venture into Cathedral Park at twilight say the ambiance shifts; what was once merely picturesque becomes a tableau of suspense, with every rustle of the leaves and ripple in the water potentially heralding an otherworldly presence.
As Halloween approaches, the tales of Cathedral Park’s haunted history resurface, a reminder of the thin veil between the living and the dead. Thelma’s story is not just a ghost tale but a chilling chapter in Portland’s past, reminding those who walk the paths of Cathedral Park to tread lightly, for they may not be alone.
I was chilling at Cathedral Park one evening when I heard this super creepy wailing sound—it was like someone was in real trouble. Folks say it’s the ghost of Thelma Taylor, a girl who was killed here long ago, and man, it sure gave me the heebie-jeebies.
The Crystal Ballroom in Portland, Oregon, echoes with the whispers of yesteryear, its walls holding secrets from over a century of gatherings, music, and festivities. This legendary venue, originally christened Cotillion Hall, has a haunted history that is as captivating as the diverse performances it has hosted since its inception in 1914.
As the Great Depression cast a shadow over the nation, the once-thriving Cotillion Hall, under the ownership of Montrose Rigler, faced the music when the jazz tunes it played fell out of favor. The venue’s prosperity waned, leaving Rigler with no other option but to sell the building. The Crystal Ballroom, however, was not ready for its final curtain call. A new chapter began when Dad Watson took over, filling the space with the twangs of country music until his death in the late 1930s.
The building lay dormant until Ralph Farrier breathed new life into it, keeping the square dance tradition alive and the music playing into the 1950s. But as the years rolled by, the Crystal Ballroom became more than just a venue for dances and debutantes; it transformed into a nexus of the supernatural.
Whispers of ghostly apparitions and unexplained occurrences began to stir among patrons and staff. It’s said that the spirits of the past still waltz through the ballroom, their ethereal steps a reminder of the bygone eras that the walls of the Crystal Ballroom have seen. Some visitors report a sense of being watched, while others recount sudden chills or the feeling of invisible presences brushing past them in the dimly lit corridors.
The stories of hauntings at the Crystal Ballroom have seeped into Portland’s cultural fabric, making it a magnet for those who seek to touch the intangible and experience the shivers of the supernatural. Whether these tales are mere echoes of the past or something more spectral, the Crystal Ballroom remains an iconic landmark, its allure only heightened by the ghostly rumors that cling to it like cobwebs to an old chandelier.
In the heart of the Pearl District, the Crystal Ballroom continues to stand tall, its haunted history a testament to the notion that every creak of the floorboards and flicker of the lights could be the dance of spirits lingering in the shadows, forever part of Portland’s paranormal panorama.
I heard that back in the day, some folks dancing at the Crystal Ballroom never really left; their spirits are still swinging around, making the chandeliers shake when the music gets going. It’s pretty spooky when the lights flicker, like they’re winking at you from the past.
The Benson Hotel in Portland, Oregon, stands as a grand testament to the city’s past, its walls echoing with stories from a bygone era. With its inception rooted in the vision of Simon Benson, a prominent businessman and philanthropist, the hotel opened its doors to a wave of eager guests on March 5, 1913. Crafted in the opulent French Empire style, the Benson quickly cemented its status as a jewel in Portland’s crown, drawing in a mix of artists and authors who sought both refuge and inspiration within its luxurious confines.
However, the Benson’s rich tapestry is woven with threads of the supernatural. The hotel’s haunted history has become as much a part of its identity as its grandiose architecture and upscale accommodations. Guests and staff alike have reported eerie occurrences that send shivers down the spine. Whispers of Simon Benson himself, unable to part with his beloved creation, suggest that his spirit still roams the corridors, keeping a watchful eye over the comings and goings within the hotel’s hallowed halls.
The air of mystery deepens with tales of phantom scents of perfume wafting through empty rooms and ghostly apparitions that vanish as quickly as they appear. The chilling sensation of being watched, or the unexpected cool draft in an otherwise warm room, often leaves guests with a story to tell—a story that adds another layer to the Benson’s spectral reputation.
While the Benson Hotel continues to bask in the limelight of luxury, it’s the whispers of the unknown that truly ignite the imagination. The hotel’s haunted history is a siren’s call to those intrigued by the paranormal, inviting them to explore its storied past and perhaps encounter a lingering guest from another era. As a monument that has stood the test of time, the Benson Hotel remains a place where the past and present collide, with a few ghostly residents ensuring its legends never fade.
So, I was walking down the hallway at the Benson Hotel late one night when I felt this sudden chill, and out of nowhere, I swear I saw the ghost of old Simon Benson himself, just floating by with that stern look on his face like he’s still running the place. It totally freaked me out, but it was also kinda cool to think he might be hanging around his favorite spot after all these years.
The Hollywood Theatre in Portland, Oregon, stands as a beacon of cinematic history, its marquee lighting up the Northeast Sandy Boulevard since its inception in 1926. While it serves as a hub for film enthusiasts and a cornerstone for the city’s cultural landscape, the theater also harbors a spine-tingling reputation for being haunted.
Legend has it that over the years, both staff and patrons have reported eerie occurrences that raise the hair on the back of one’s neck. From ghostly apparitions to unexplained noises, the Hollywood Theatre seems to house more than just moviegoers.
One of the most talked-about specters is that of a former projectionist, who allegedly loved the theater so much that he decided to stick around post-mortem. Some say he’s still up in the projection booth, ensuring the films roll without a hitch. Visitors have reported seeing a shadowy figure moving through the walls, a sight that could make even the bravest soul’s blood run cold.
The theater’s ladies’ restroom also seems to be a hotspot for paranormal activity. Women have come out in a hurry, their faces white as sheets, whispering about a ghostly woman in vintage attire who vanishes into thin air. The experience is enough to send shivers down one’s spine and make even skeptics think twice.
But it’s not just visual encounters that have staff and guests on edge; the sounds of the theater tell their own haunting tales. The clatter of unseen footsteps echoes through the empty auditorium, as if a phantom audience is perpetually shuffling in and out of their seats. The disembodied sound of laughter or applause occasionally fills the air, suggesting that the spirits are enjoying a show of their own.
Despite these chilling tales, the Hollywood Theatre remains a beloved landmark. The expression “if walls could talk” rings true here, as every creak and whisper in the theater seems to be infused with the rich history of the silver screen. For some, the ghostly legends are merely part of the theater’s charm—a nod to the past that keeps the spirit of Old Hollywood alive.
Whether these hauntings are the work of overactive imaginations or evidence of the supernatural, the Hollywood Theatre continues to captivate and intrigue, serving as a home to movie magic and mystery alike.
I was chilling at the Hollywood Theatre one night when I totally saw this weird shadow dude lurking up by the old projectors, like he was still trying to play the movies or something. Gave me the heebie-jeebies big time!