Haunted Cemetery Tours in Portland, OR

by Peter Forsythe
There are several haunted tours throughout Portland, Oregon.

There are several haunted tours throughout Portland, Oregon.

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The city of Portland, Oregon, has a rich history dating back to its founding in 1843. As such, there are a number of a purportedly haunted landscapes there inhabited by ghosts' of Oregon's past. From cemeteries to haunted walking tours of mansions and beneath the city streets, there are several options for Portlandians to get their fright on.

Tour of Untimely Departures

Every Halloween, the Friends of Lone Fir Cemetery (friendsoflonefircemetery.org), a community group dedicated to the restoration and preservation of the cemetery, offers its annual Tour of Untimely Departures. In two separate 45-minute sessions going throughout the night, "ghostly guides" take visitors throughout the cemetery on a path lit only with candles. This tour not only highlights the spooky and creepy thrills, but also a look at the history of Lone Fir. Tickets go one sale every October, with a price of $10 for adults and $15 for families.

River View Cemetery

The River View Cemetery (riverviewcemetery.org) on SW Taylors Ferry Road offers self-guided tours of its picturesque grounds. Replete with an array of vibrant dogwood trees more than 100 years old, River View offers plenty in the way historical monuments and expert craftsmanship from nearly a century ago. The cemetery also houses such famous Portland residents as Simon Benson, the city's wealthiest lumberman in the early 1900s who was responsible for installing Portland's iconic drinking fountains throughout the city.

Beyond Bizarre

While not taking place in a graveyard exclusively, Portland Walking Tours' (portlandwalkingtours.com) "Beyond Bizarre Ghost Tour" is an evening-long walking tour that explores not only the city's history, but also real-world paranormal investigation. Before the tour begins, the guides hand out ghost hunting equipment and set off to such locations as the basement of Old Town Pizza, where a ghost named Nina is said to haunt the 1888 Merchant Hotel. Guides offer a family-friendly all-ages tour that begins at 7 p.m., as well as spookier over-18 tour that begins at 10 p.m.

Shanghai Tunnels Tour

While not a cemetery per-say, a vast network of underground tunnels and cells known as "The Underground City" were where scores of Portland residents -- victims of "Shanghaiing" -- met their end. Between 1850 and 1941, able workers were often kidnapped and forced to work on ships without pay, but not before being forced through trap doors into the Portland Underground and held until their ship set sail. A special ghost tour of this area is offered throughout the month of October, as well as on Friday the 13th and Saturday the 14th (shanghaitunnels.info).

About the Author

Peter Forsythe has been writing about arts and entertainment since 2001. His work has been published in "The Oklahoma Daily," "The Norman Transcript," "The Edmond Sun" and "The Scene" magazine. In 2007 Forsythe received the C. Clay Withrow Award for screenwriting from the Film and Video Studies program at the University of Oklahoma. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism.

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