just this past weekend the husb and i spent the night at the white eagle saloon here in portland… it’s very close to home (just a couple of miles, in fact) so likely seems quite unexciting to most, but we’ve heard that it’s extremely haunted so i really wanted to go. couple close haunted place, with no child for the weekend, sprinkle some “we haven’t been getting along well and must remedy this” on top, pour some friends and good ol’ mcmenamins beer on it and you’ve got a pretty damn decent night. check our their site — all in all, this place rocks. you should definitely check it out next time you’re in portland — it’s super cheap too, which is another fantastic attribute.
both the interior art and exterior gardens are gorgeous — i’ll add a few photos i took (mostly shot not sober) to brighten the post a wee bit, but you should really check the gallery on their site…
after hearing heaps of stories and reading for years about the white eagle, i was certain we’d have this fantastically insane paranormal night. nope, not so much. i was bummed. BUT bear in mind that i spent a decade of my childhood in a very haunted house so what is minor to me may be quite spooky to others.
the very, very short version of the history of the white eagle is that it was built in the very late 1800s and began as a well respected establishment. as time went on, the russel street area became quite industrialized and this changed the type of clientele that was frequenting it. because it was close to the river, sailors and other people started spending more time there, and to please the boys, prostitution became a huge aspect of the white eagle’s revenue with a basement and an upstairs brothel. remember the book pages that i did for kim’s book in the pulp redux collaboration? the story behind my pages was based upon the portland underground and shanghai tunnels, etc. well this place was one of many that men were oftentimes shanghaied from. you can find those posts here and here. people were killed there too, blah, blah, blah… the place was supposedly so haunted that no one was able to stay there until recently, though it’s still haunted so i’m not sure what the reasoning was.
okay, so fast forward to this past weekend. i was hoping for exorcist-style schtuff (well, not really), but it wasn’t quite that intense. there was definitely evidence of activities of sorts, but all fairly mellow until late in the night. next time i’m going alone so i can experience it without distraction.
first, while downstairs, i felt a hand brush against my cheek twice. facial cheek, that is (debs though i meant my bum when i told her). the husb had his very first mini-paranormal experience of his life in that he heard a girl’s voice as if i were speaking to him, feeling “my” breath on his cheek white “i” spoke but it wasn’t me. i uttered not a word to him at that moment and was far enough away that he couldn’t have felt a thing from me. he’ll deny the whole thing, but i saw the disbelief and wonderment in his eyes. 😉
once we went back upstairs to our room around 2ish in the morning (room #4: mr. spaceman — all rooms have song title names and lyrics painted on the walls), things got a bit more fun. this place is loud! seriously — someone walks to the bathroom (it’s a european style place with shared toilets and showers) and you hear it. clop, clop, clop. it’s loud. however, at least 7 times during the night i heard banging, as if on the walls, a door slam, several doors creaking open (or closed?) but literally NO feet walking to said doors. this used to happen in the haunted house i lived in as a child, but with moving chairs and tables and cupboard doors slamming in plain site, etc., so this didn’t really phase me and i would just end up falling back asleep while trying to listen for… anything cool.
i’m not sure what time it was but at some point i felt very uncomfortable before realizing that someone was touching/rubbing my lower abdomen. i went to push away the husb’s hand but then realized it wasn’t his. he was snoring ever so quietly, back to me. i didn’t move for a moment, but it still felt like there was a hand on my abdomen. pressure and warmth. a bit of mental discomfort. finally i whispered “please stop” really quietly and dozed back off to sleep. i was later awoken by the feeling of what seemed to be a cold metal coin, maybe the size of a silver dollar, being pressed hard into my left palm. this happened twice. nothing was really there, but i felt it.
so… once we got home the next day, or perhaps the day after, i read this site: portland hauntings, white eagle pub and hotel. apparently i am not the first person to experience coins in that building — sometimes they appear on the floor of the upstairs rooms (where we were). if you’re at all interested in ghosts or paranormal activities, go read that page — there are some great historical facts and stories there, very much worth reading.
one of the whole main reasons i went was to hopefully get some good photos (just some orbs in one photo, so not worthy there) and some inspiration for another book — i’m going to do a portland/hauntings/shanghai tunnels/portland underground/etc. book for myself. this was good inspiration for sure. the coin thing is still a bit haunting to me, so i’m going to investigate what types and size(s) of coins were around then — felt large like a silver dollar. that will definitely be incorporated into my ghosty portland altered book.