Saturday, June 13, 2009

Shanghai Tunnels - Portland Oregon - Scores 6/6

The Portland Underground aka "Shanghai Tunnels" connected many downtown businesses in Portland, Oregon. From the 1850s to the early 1900s, laborers were kidnapped and sold as slaves. During prohibition, drinking went underground into these tunnels.

Here's how this historic site rates on my haunted formula (as it stands in the early stages of creating the formula):

1. The land is marine sediment and volcanic.
2. They are made of stone.
3. There is a train track not far.
4. There is a waterway not far.
5. It is older than 50 years (1850s).
6. There is a history of trauma/death.

It always intrigues me once you go underground in any site. Basements of houses, though murky dark and damp places, often do have more reported activity. I'm reminded of a "Ghost Hunter's" episode in which the TAPS team investigated a house with three generations living in it. They found the focus of activity in the basement with what appeared to be an intelligent haunting of an elderly man who tried to make himself appear to them, played with the ceiling fan and closet door, and made a few fantastic EVPs. I will continue studying the subtle commonalities in haunted places and let you know as my research unfolds.


  1. Autumnforest I give you a 6/6 rating!!! (great) believe it or not I have actually heard of these tunnels somewhere-of course i have no idea where or when now! I put absolutely for buying a haunted house-i would gladly take the risk of a mean poltergeist or ghost to maybe learn something from a "nice" departed spirit! best to you as always and thanks so much for the hard work you do here!!

  2. Perhaps I should pay a visit to those tunnels sometime...I live in Oregon not to far from Portland...

  3. Devin;
    Thanks so much! You're always so supportive. I agree about a haunted house. I prefer to cohabitate.

    You lucky person! Oregon is my favorite place in the world! I desperately want to move there. I think it's nirvana and I would never leave the state if I moved there, everything I'd want is there. I've never felt more at home than I did the first time I went there. I'm excited because my second erotic horror novel (after "The Thicket") is going to take place in Oregon City--that place is the most seriously energetic place I've ever been and I've never gotten over how I felt there. I know with the hydroelectric plant--it's dying to have a story written about it. I get shivers just thinking about that place! I can't wait to go there and spend some time to be able to describe it better for the novel.

  4. Lol! Everyone loves Oregon! There is definitely some interesting stuff here.

    You know there is a possibility that there is actually some pirate treasure on the coast here? I did a search on it one day after watching The Goonies not expecting to find anything. Bizarrely I did however. It even involves a possible ghost according to one site I came across.

  5. Naveed;
    That pirate stuff is so exciting! When I was a kid, I heard about Braddock's Gold. General Braddock had gold to pay the troops and apparently they stored it in cannons and buried it in the ground before going to battle or something like that. Anyways, I found the diary of a young soldier who told about the location. I spent an entire summer trying to find it. Now that I'm in the SW, I got a metal detector like I used to use as a kid to dig up relics, only I'd like to go gold panning. That'll be my new kick. I love a mystery--that's probably why I work on ghost hunting theories...

  6. Unfortunately, there actually isn't even any historical evidence that the tunnels in Portland where even used for anything but the storing and moving of goods. Not one single piece of evidence to suggest that they were used for Shanghai-ing. The tour is pretty pathetic and the guides' stories don't really add up. It's hot, dark, and confining but really not that creepy and very very staged.

    1. actually there are several first person accounts of the tunnels being shanghai tunnels, one of these being from a man "Bunco" Kelly who personally shanghai'd people, only confessing to it after he was already in jail for a seperate crime.

  7. I visited these tunnels On Halloween 2006. We have lots of shots of orbs, but it was dusty, so not sure. One group of orbs seem to have formed a "woman in white old style clothing". It was very interesting. They would drug bar patrons, mostly lumberjacks and cowboys who had no local connections, and drop them in trapdoors, sometimes 4-5 wide. An old mattress broke the fall and they were then crammed in a small cell with no facilities until they could be taken to ships and sold as slaves abroad. The shoes to victims are still there...removed while the tunnels were layed with broked glass so they could not escape. There is even a "breaking room" for the women where they broke their spirit before sending off to slave ships. Something weird oozes from the wall there..I tasted it..its not pitch. Definitely worth going to see.