Sunday, November 3, 2013

Portland's Haunted White Eagle Saloon and Hotel

Haunted White Eagle Bar and Former Hotel
I snapped this picture days before Halloween. I bet the spirits were getting
active. The next time I'm out this way, I will have to book a haunted room.
In the shadow of Portland's Fremont Bridge, just off the Willamette River, stands the White Eagle Saloon and Hotel. This historic 2-story brick structure has 11 modestly furnished rooms that share a bathroom. More known for the bar downstairs (and the bands that play there), this hotel has a long history that includes more than a few ghosts. The saloon and hotel first opened its doors in 1905 to serve a large population of Polish workers in the area. It was even the early home to St. Stanislaus, the West Coast's first Polish Catholic church.

As the neighborhood industrialized further, new workers arrived in the area and the Saloon's clientele broadened as its reputation floundered. It soon became a notorious spot for inebriated workers to either pick up a prostitute or succumb to the sinister tradition of slavery known as Shanghaiing. Legend has it that an underground tunnel ran from the hotel's basement to the river nearby where unconscious men were loaded onto ships and forced into a long, miserable stint working at sea.

At one time, Latino, Black, and Asian prostitutes worked out of the basement; the rooms above were reserved for their White counterparts. The ladies below had often been kidnapped or purchased as slaves and subsequently had a less enjoyable time. It is said that more than one of these girls haunts the subterranean spaces beneath the White Eagle. Doors will open and shut on their own; faint traces of dance hall music can be heard; witnesses have reported feeling unseen hands grope them; and apports such as coins have been spotted falling from the ceiling.

The rooms upstairs are home to two ghosts referred to as Rose and Same. Rose was a prostitute who fell in love with a client. However, when the man proposed she refused in fear of reprisal from her boss. The client was angered by this dismissal and, feeling led on, killed Rose in a fit of rage. Her mournful sobs can still be heard by guests.

Sam the housekeeper had lived in the upper rooms since he was a boy and stayed on as a worker until his death. Many say he still lingers, going about his chores.

A bouncer who worked the Saloon disappeared one day without explanation. Some believed him to have been Shanghaied. His spirit is said to still show up for work as well.

A waitress was once pushed down the basement stairs.

A phantom patron walks from the bar to the bathroom and most courteously remembers to flush each time.

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