Haunted Oregon

From the Shanghai Tunnels to the high desert and the inexplicable Vortex, something spirited this way comes.

By Lee Lewis Husk

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Spirits of the past are present everywhere. They dwell in our lands, haunt our historic buildings and cemeteries, and inhabit our songs, literature, films and holy texts. From ancient Egypt to today’s pop culture, stories of ghosts, apparitions and spirits— whatever you call them—are found in nearly every society and every religion.

Photo by Leah Nash

“Ghosts are a desire to believe in the afterlife,” says Sharon Sherman, a folklorist and professor at University of Oregon. “None of us can conceptualize nothingness after death. We want to think that our spirit or life force will continue or go on in one form or another.” About one-fourth of Americans believe they’ve had contact with the dead, whether seeing an apparition or sensing the deceased through anomalous phenomena such as a clock stopping or an object falling, says Daniel Wojcik, professor and director of U of O’s Folklore Program. “These sorts of experiences reinforce widely held folk beliefs about ghosts, souls and life after death,” he explains.

“Everyone’s a skeptic until it happens to them,” says Jeff Davis, ghost hunter, archeologist, author of several books on ghosts of the Pacific Northwest and co-author of Weird Oregon: Your Travel Guide to Oregon’s Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets. Although paranormal activities have been reported throughout the state, in wild landscapes, small towns and even state parks, he advises recreational ghost hunters to visit Oregon’s larger cities, where spirits are easily unearthed.

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Apr 29, 2015

hauntedtennant said:

King Towers (now the Celio) is an interesting place to live. Ask the few tenants who will talk about the "vintage floor" with its beautiful gold and champagne color scheme and luxurious carpet, where the smell of cigarettes and pipe smoke permeates the gently incandescent lit hall. You only seem get out on that floor once, usually by accident, after a night of heavy drinking on 21st. Later, you can never quite seem to remember exactly which floor it was-maybe somewhere between 6 and 9. If you come in late enough you can catch the vague sound of a scratchy radio dial turning behind a door or two, and Barney Keep's unmistakable voice. The number of new tenants who come down to enjoy the complementary morning coffee and have heard and smelled a full service diner with rattling plates and a grill sizzling is fewer, or they just don't talk about it as much. Or perhaps you may notice the woman in a house dress and curlers in the laundry room who is ironing white shirts at 3 am, the man on the stairs with a briefcase, wingtip shoes and slicked back hair who is always in a hurry, yet after he rushes passed you there is never the sound of the downstairs door opening. Some folks here seem out of place in the land of skinny jeans and hipster beards. Time seems to have some holes in it at King towers.

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