836 N Russell, 282-6810
The White Eagle is easily considered one of the more haunted hotel/restaurant/bars in Portland. This saloon is purported to be the most active of all the haunted McMenamin Brothers' properties, with a very long history of paranormal occurrences. The ghost inhabiting the White Eagle is said to be the spirit of a prostitute who was killed there back when the North Portland building held a brothel and opium den during the
turn of the century late eighteen-hundreds.
"A woman came in the other day and said she was locked [in the bathroom] for 15 minutes," says bartender Michael Strack, noting the women's bathroom is said to be one of the most active areas. "There's no lock on the door, period," he notes. "She still comes in here, but she won't go to the bathroom." PATRICK ALAN COLEMAN
226 NW Davis, 222-9999
Back when Portland was still a scrappy port town in the 1880s, the Merchant Motel on NW Davis was one of many to offer gentlemen the comfort of a woman's graces, for a price. No matter that the women were often abducted and forced into the lifestyle. After attempting to escape, one prostitute named Nina was unceremoniously tossed down the hotel's elevator shaft.
Since 1974 the site has been home to Old Town Pizza, and it seems that the spirit of Nina has made itself at home. She's said to be seen in her black garb, watching customers munch on pizza and garlicky Caesar salads. She may join you for dinner if you happen to be sitting in the intimate booth that was once the elevator shaft. PAC
932 SW 3rd, 227-6185
Dan Lenzen, owner of the Lotus Cardroom and Café, says he's never heard of anyone seeing spirits or faint figures lurking in the halls. But that doesn't mean parts of the building are less inviting than others. The basement is dank and dark, and that's not to mention the old hotel rooms on the second and third floors.
"Every time I go up there, it feels weird, just a little creepy," Lenzen says. As for those who say they've seen something haunting the halls, Lenzen says they may have let imagination get the best of them: "I think they've embellished on the feeling." SEAN BRESLIN
3244 SE Belmont, 230-4866
At the Pied Cow, the pie shop/hookah bar/dispensary of all-around-delicious eats, the owner declined to comment on the restaurant's alleged haunting. But in the kitchen, the wait staff buzzes with talk of the creepy basement.
Erin, a server who's been at the Pied Cow for three years, said there's a sink down there where workers clean the hookahs after each use. That's where she's felt creeped out, she says. "I've semi-frequently had the feeling of seeing someone come down the stairs and go into the office," Erin says. The feeling's been so strong that she's actually checked the office to see if anyone was there. (There wasn't.) SB
707 SE 12th Ave, 232-2640
The Rimsky-Korsakoffee House feels like it should be haunted by friendly ghosts that play little pranks on you, like switching your tea from jasmine to Darjeeling. But long-time employee Gillian Nance said she's gotten a fright or two from the Eastside coffee shop.
"I believe in ghosts because of this place," Nance says. Though she hasn't seen anything, there's something that makes quite a racket upstairs when no one else is around. "I don't think anyone has seen anything, but the loud footsteps and slamming doors and windows have been enough for me." She says she's been so scared at times that she's had to go next door to the Plaid Pantry and wait for the ghosts (and herself) to calm down. SB
112 SW 2nd, 227-4057
In addition to its Gaelic-influenced pub fare, Kells also boasts a cigar room in the basement where some have claimed to see an actual, definable form.
"I've heard there's a fireman in our building," says manager Brad Yoast. He says one of the first firemen killed in Portland died in the building Kells now occupies. But recently, sightings of the mysterious fireman don't seem to be popping up. Yoast says the restaurant actually had a ghost-hunting company spend the night there, and found some "unusual anomalies," but nothing substantial. SB
439 SW 2nd, 295-6464
"For the longest time we'd been believing the place was haunted," says Lisa Schroeder of her restaurant Mama Mia Trattoria. Schroeder, who also owns Mother's Bistro, has done what she can to quell the activity, which seems to center around the restaurant's upstairs offices. She's burned sage, brought in mediums, and has finally set up an altar to those who've passed. "I have a feeling that things may have been shifted," she says.
It's better than dealing with a spirit who wants to besmirch the paperwork. The building had at one time been an Asian gambling den, and a medium once told Schroeder she could hear a woman saying, "It's not me, it wasn't me," as if being accused of tampering with the numbers. Could that same spirit have been responsible for the mysteriously disorganized files and an equally mysterious office fire? Maybe. But since the erection of the altar, sightings have slowed. PAC