February 04, 2020 at 11:48am | Suzanne Clark
Did it suddenly get colder in here?

What about that rapping at the window? Or do you hear those footsteps off in the distance?
These unexplained noises and shifts in room temperature are sometimes cited as evidence of spirits roaming the halls and auditoriums of Oregon's haunted places. Sometimes they're even accompanied by the sight of a child, young man or old woman with spiritual ties to places such as Multnomah Falls and a handful of McMenamins locations.

Many of these stories have been debunked. After all, plenty of the following sites feature incredibly old buildings. They are bound to creak and croak when it's otherwise silent... right?
The Benson Hotel
The place: Portland
The story: The Benson is reportedly home to multiple ghosts, the most prominent of which is the building's namesake. USA Today reports that Benson's ghost is sometimes seen in meeting rooms but is mostly known by his penchant for knocking over visitors' drinks — the guy was as pro-prohibition as they came. A 3-year-old boy and woman wearing a turquoise dress also reportedly haunt the building.

"Inside the Benson" by johnkoetsieris licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0  

Cathedral Park
The place: Portland
The story: The 1949 murder of a Roosevelt High School student serves as the basis for the myths that visitors to Cathedral Park hear a woman's screams at night. The legend is featured in "Ghostland," a book of hauntings by Pacific University graduate Colin Dickey.

"DSC_6025"by Team Tanenbaumis licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0  

Dammasch State Hospital
The place: Wilsonville
The story: Before its demolition in 2005, the hospital — a former mental institution — was reportedly a site fraught with strange noises such as disembodied footsteps and keys jangling throughout its halls. The hospital even had a series of underground tunnels, making for an even creepier legacy.

Oregonian file photo

McMenamins Edgefield
The place: Troutdale
The story: If you've been to a handful of McMenamins, chances are you've heard of at least one that's haunted. That's certainly the case for anyone who's been to Edgefield, which was once the site of the Multnomah County Poor Farm.

After World War II, it was used as a rehabilitation center before being abandoned and falling into disrepair. Some guests have reportedly heard a young mother singing nursery rhymes while others claim they’ve seen the apparition of a woman dressed in white walking the grounds.

"Edgefield" by Los Paseos is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0  

McMenamins Grand Lodge
The place: Forest Grove
The story: According to various comments on the official McMenamins blog entry about the company's so-called "ghost logs," visitors at the Grand Lodge have seen doors open and close on their own and claim a woman named "Virginia" stalks the facility's second floor.

Oregonian file photo
McMenamins Hotel Oregon
The place: McMinnville
The story: McMinnville may be known for its many wine tasting rooms these days, but there was a time when downtown was well-known for a pair of haunted locales. Hotel Oregon was one of them.

Visitors and former hotel staffers swear they’ve seen doors open and close and heard voices emitting from rooms without residents. A ghost named John also reportedly stalks the halls — you can tell he’s close when the room suddenly goes cold.

Oregonian file photo 

McMenamins White Eagle Saloon
The place: Portland
The story: A member of the housekeeping crew once claimed that something grabbed her ankle as she cleaned and would "not let go until I jumped away." McMenamins management claims it can “neither confirm nor deny these reports,” but the restaurant chain has included the above story on its official blog.

Multnomah Falls
Where: East of Portland
The story: 
It's one of the most photographed places in Oregon, but the oft-visited waterfall was reportedly the site of a Native American woman's sacrifice. According to Portland Monthly, she jumped to her death in order to spare her tribe from a coming illness. Some say they can see her apparition in the water, while others claim she returns every winter to visit the site of her death.

"Multnomah Falls" by lakewentworth is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0  
Pittock Mansion
The place: Portland
The story: The iconic mansion may have been made famous the nation over when it starred as the ending location for the sixth season of "The Amazing Race," but Portlanders know it as the forever home of Henry and Georgiana Pittock.
Specters of the building’s two original owners, who built the house from top to bottom, reportedly roam the grounds to this day.

"Pittock Mansion" by dtpancio is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0  

The Roseland Theater
The place: Portland
The story: When the venue we know as the Roseland was called Starry Nights, Tim Moreau, one of the theater's former promoters, went missing in the late '80s. His body believed to have been dumped in the Willamette River tied down by microphone stands. The ghost Moreau still reportedly haunts the venue, angry at the theater's former owner Larry Hurwitz, who allegedly ran a counterfeiting scam.

An altercation between Moreau and Hurwitz led to Moreau's untimely demise. Hurwitz served a 12-year sentence for the murder.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr user Adam Jones
Shanghai Tunnels
The place: Portland
The story: If you had a K-12 education in or around Portland, you've heard of the Shanghai Tunnels, where sailors, loggers and other blue-collar workers were taken under Old Town and sold off to sea captains in search of a crew. Local historian Michael P. Jones often leads tours underneath Old Town. And even though plenty of historians say visitors were almost definitely abducted and shipped from Portland, the tunnels likely weren’t used for that purpose.

"Ghost Adventures" on the Travel Channel once featured the tunnels in an episode. They’ve also been used in episodes of “Grimm” and “Leverage.”

Old Town Pizza & Brewing
The place: Portland
The story: Old Town/Chinatown’s history as a former hotbed of prostitution, gambling, opium dens, and other such corruption is well-known. Employees of Old Town Pizza and Brewing sits atop the Shanghai Tunnels and employees and guests say there’s a residual energy lurking downstairs: feeling a tap on the shoulder from time to time when nobody is behind them or a whiff of perfume with no one else around.

Nina is the most famous haunt at Old Town Pizza — and likely in all of Portland, too. More than 100 years ago, when the Merchant Hotel operated in the building, Nina was a lady of the night who was thrown down an elevator shaft and allegedly never left. She’s been seen in the dining room and basement wearing a black dress.

Excerpts of “Oregon Ghost Stories: 31 Famous Haunted Places by Eder Campuzano | The Oregonian/OregonLive


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