White Eagle Saloon & Hotel

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McMenamins White Eagle Cafe & Hotel Image Courtesy of TripAdvisor.com

Location:

836 N. Russell St.
Portland, OR 97227

The History:

Opened in 1905, the White Eagle Saloon was constructed in what was once central to a thriving Polish community, but soon became an industrial area.  Originally run by Polish immigrants, the White Eagle Saloon’s clientele changed as the area in which it was located evolved.  Being near the docks, the saloon regularly received business from sailors as as from the factory and rail-yard workers who were local to the tavern.  For a portion of it’s years in operation, the saloon operated as a brothel.  The second floor of the building housed the “white” brothel, while the basement housed the brothel of color, which offered the services of Black, Chinese and South American women.

The White Eagle is a piece of Portland’s dark history and although there is no concrete proof, it is rumored to have been connected to the shanghai tunnels through which it  participated in the kidnapping and selling of young men to ships who needed sailors.  It is also believed that many of the women who provided “services” in the brothel of color had been kidnapped or purchased from their respective countries and forced into sexual slavery upon their arrival in Portland.

The Haunting:

The White Eagle Saloon is considered by some to be the most haunted building in Portland.  There are rumors of  a prostitute named Rose who was murdered on the top floor of the building (which is now the hotel) by a jealous lover when she refused to leave the brothel for him.  Many have claimed to have encountered Rose in the upstairs portion of the building.  There are often sounds of a woman crying, cold spots as well as the scent of old fashioned perfume.

On the main floor of the building, patrons have witnessed toilet paper flying around one of the restrooms, have found old coins and employee have noticed chairs and kitchen utensils being moved around the premises.

The most sinister activity comes from the basement where psychics report encountering the dark energy of violence, sadness, and pain.  It is believed that this comes from the tragic lives and deaths of the sexual slaves which were held in this basement and possibly from the young men who may have been shanghai’d from this saloon.  In the basement area visitors claim to have been groped by spirits, coins fall from the ceiling and an employee reported being pushed down the stairs.

Today, the Saloon is a Cafe and Hotel, where you can stay in the upstairs rooms which were once part of the white brothel where you can possibly run into the spirit of Rose yourself, or just grab a bite in the cafe and perhaps encounter a spirit of an long gone patron of the saloon.  Their website even contains first hand reports of paranormal activity which has been experienced by guests on the property.

Resources:

 Northwest Hauntings

Wee Ghosties – White Eagle Saloon

White Eagle Saloon & Hotel

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