Shanghai tunnels are located underneath the streets of Portland, Oregon that run from the north to the south end. The tunnels provide access to many local downtown areas. They are made up of a series of catacombs (passageways to a religious place) and tunnels that wrap around to one level from the streets that come from the north side which is the historical downtown part of Portland. It is known to be a mysteriously haunting place.
This end consists of attractions such as Skidmore fountain and China town. The south end tunnels lead visitors to the riverfront, to look at different businesses such as dance halls, saloons, and brothels (house of prostitution) such as the White Eagle Saloon and Brothel, gambling parlors, and a couple hotels. The Merchant hotel has different services of providing sensual pleasure via a sex slave/ prostitute. It is said, that the act of shanghaiing occurred in these tunnels in the 1850’s and ended around the 1940’s. They would steal men that would wander around the tunnels, many hung around the bars above the tunnels, and would be taken then sold to ship owners. The owners would pick out “able-bodied men” as they were called and used them as slaves on the ships.
Studies showed in The Haunted Shanghai Tunnels in Portland, Oregon, not all of the people who were taken on these ships were men, some of them were females, that were sold as prostitutes to work on the ships. There was one well-known individual named Nina. She is said to haunt the tunnels underneath “Old Town Pizza.” Locals claimed that Nina was a prostitute who was drugged one night and thrown down the stairway to the tunnels. The fall was fatal, and it is said that her ghost haunts the tunnels and locals can smell the scent of her perfume in the air (The Haunted Shanghai Tunnels in Portland, Oregon). Also, there is a carving in the brick in one of the passageways said to have been there since the tunnels were first used for shanghaiing that says “Nina.” (Haunt in Shanghai Tunnels Portland). Nina isn’t the only ghost that is said to haunt these tunnels. Many people who go through the tunnels of Portland have heard moans, talking, screaming, and even crying. It's believed that many of those sounds may be a result of the energy in that specific area, and could be residual based hauntings. Most of these hauntings are caused because most don't know how they got into the tunnels to start with, they have a hard time finding their way out.
There are many different tours that visitors travel to Portland to come find out if these hauntings are real and the history behind the tunnels. The Shanghai tunnels heritage tour is the main tour that gives information about history of the shanghai trade in Portland. They offer evening, day-time, and private tours. The shanghai tunnels ghost tour accesses spirits that still work or are imprisoned there. Shanghai Tunnel Ethnic History tour shares historical stories of the Chinese, Japanese and the Gypsies relate to the activities that took place in the underground community. The Portland walking tour begins just outside of the Old Town Pizza, offers a more detailed tour of the tunnels. This tour shows visitors the physical remains underground as well as the subcultures, political, and immortal underground of the city’s history, and exposes the myths and legends of the so-called “Shanghai Tunnels.”
Mellema, Valerie. “Oregon Legends.” Portland Underground: Shanghai Tunnels. March.2008.www.legendsofAmerica.com/shanghai.
Whitley, Bryn. “Shanghai Tunnels.” Can of Mystery.2012.www.canofmystery.blogspot.com/shanghai_tunnels.
Owen, Rob. “Ghost Adventures: Drop in on Old Town Haunts.” 05 Mar. 2012. Updated 06 Mar.2012.www.oregonlive.com/movies/2012/03/ghost_adventures.
Haunted House Inc. “Portland’s Shanghai Tunnels.” Www.hauntedhouses.com/states/or/Portland_tunnels.2006-2016.
For further research:
This article provides information about where the tunnels are located and the destinations that they take visitors to. It also talks about the places that are located around the tunnels and their mysterious hauntings that have been said occur there.
This article discusses deeper about the history of the tunnels and where the word “shanghaiing” originally comes from. It gives information about what happened in the tunnels around the prohibition period. The purpose of this article is to give readers a greater understanding about the shanghai tunnels and why the hauntings occur there.