The thing about ghost stories is that they always seem to get more interesting over time. That might be because the folks who tell them like to add another spine-tingling detail every so often, or it could be that the people who claim to see the spirits have new horrors to tell. No matter what your take on ghosts and the supernatural, one thing’s for sure: ghost stories are fascinating bits of lore.
There’s one bar in Oregon that has a long history, and its ghost stories are almost as old as the property. Keep scrolling for all the creepy details, then visit to sip wine and mingle with the ghosts there.
Established in 1905, The White Eagle is one of Oregon's oldest bars, and it's said to be haunted.
Address: 836 North Russell Street, Portland, OR, 97227
The Hryszko brothers and Barney Soboleski were Polish immigrants who opened the bar in the blue-collar neighborhood of Albinia to provide a place for other Polish working men to gather to drink, play pool and poker, and engage in other not-so-legal activities.
Rumors of a brothel upstairs and an opium den in the basement are common stories surrounding the White Eagle Saloon, and both could conceivably have a bit of truth to them. The rooms upstairs may have been an organized brothel, or it may have been a place where working men took call girls on payday.
The opium den rumor involves the "Shanghaiing" of unsuspecting immigrants, who were first drugged, and then put on a ship, where they'd later wake up to find that they were now an unwilling member of the crew. Whether there was drug activity going on in the basement is unknown, but Shanghaiing was definitely happening in the blue-collar neighborhoods of Portland during the early 1900s.
The saloon earned the name "Bucket of Blood" because of its frequent brawls.
The men who frequented the White Eagle Saloon were the kind of guys who worked hard, played hard, and drank hard, and violent brawls were common. Streetcar conductors would pull up to the stop right outside the saloon and call out, "Bucket of Blood!" and the nickname stuck.
With its colorful history, the lore of paranormal activity isn't surprising. Most ghost stories have elements of crime, violence, and heartbreak, and the White Eagle had all three in its early days.
In the bar area, the ghost of a bouncer is said to wander, moving items around the bar and occasionally appearing in the hallway and bathroom. Kitchen staff has also reported cooking utensils flying around.
Some speculate that the bouncer, who worked in the bar in the early 1900s, was either murdered or Shanghaied.
It's said that a waitress was pushed down the stairs by an invisible entity a few years ago. Luckily, her injuries were only minor, but she was shaken up quite a bit by the experience.
Upstairs, the 11 original boardinghouse rooms are still welcoming guests, but there's paranormal activity here, too. The ghosts who inhabit the second floor, Sam and Rose, seem to be friendly, though they also like to play pranks on guests.
A man named Sam is the most commonly-seen ghost here. He was an orphan who was adopted by the owner, and grew up in the hotel. He worked and lived there his entire life, and died in room two. Guests report seeing him in the hallway and room, and feeling him touch them with cold hands. He's also been accused of flushing the toilet in the main floor restroom, and making the toilet paper fly around the women's room.
Room two is also supposedly the place where a prostitute died in the early days of the hotel.
The story is that Rose fell in love with one of her customers, and he wanted to marry her and whisk her away from the brothel. The brothel owner didn't like that idea, so he murdered her. Guests in room two report hearing cries and screams coming from the closet, and say that they experience profound feelings of sadness there.
Room three is said to be haunted as well. Guests say that coins have appeared on the floor in their rooms, and some have even claimed to see shadowy figures moving through the hall.
McMenamins once posed the question on its Facebook page of whether anyone had experienced paranormal activity, and a recent guest stated that she had stayed in room three and experienced a lot of activity. She commented that during the night, the bed started moving up and down, and she felt like someone was tickling her toes.
The basement is said to harbor more nefarious ghosts.
Employees say that the freezers open and close by themselves, and that they've felt hands shoving or pinching them. Sometimes music can be heard late at night after the place is closed. Pyschics who have visited the basement report that that the spirits there are unfriendly.
McMenamins White Eagle Saloon and Hotel is often used as a stop on ghost tours around Portland, and paranormal experts have visited many times.
Everyone seems to agree that the place is definitely haunted. What do you think?
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