Monday, July 8, 2019

Portland’s Haunted Old Town Pizza

For well over a century Portland, Oregon’s Old North End had a shady reputation at best.

Since the 1970s a restaurant, Old Town Pizza has been located in once was, the lobby of the Merchant Hotel. This popular restaurant inherited the hotel’s resident ghost.

The Merchant Hotel
The Merchant was built in 1880 by two successful lumber barons. It was built atop part of Portland’s infamous Shanghai Tunnels.

These tunnels were used to imprison unsuspecting men, from the 1870s until well into the 1900s. These men were either drunk or drugged and then forced to work on ships without pay.

I share the history and hauntings of these tunnels in my post entitled Portland’s Shanghai Tunnels.

Shanghai Tunnel under Old Town Pizza

Despite this nefarious beginning, the Merchant Hotel had a good reputation. But this hotel was also known to provide its elite clientele with “ladies of the night.”

One young lady, Nina (pronounced “Nigh-na”) was sold into prostitution by Portland’s thriving white slavery trade. She became a “working woman” at the Merchant.

Missionaries convinced Nina to share or “rat out” several of Portland’s powerful crime bosses in an attempt to clean up the neighborhood.

Nina agrees to give this information, in exchange for a chance to escape a life she had not chosen. But soon after she cooperated, she was found dead in the hotel.

She had been pushed down an elevator shaft to her death. Since her ghost has not left what was once the hotel.

One room in Old Town Pizza
Guests at Old Town Pizza report feeling someone is watching them, others mention smelling a floral scent without source, they are told, “Oh, that is just Nina.”

One secluded booth at the back of the restaurant sits next to a brick wall that once was the elevator shaft. Nina’s name often appears mysteriously, written on this wall.

Secluded booth at Old Town Pizza

She has been seen for over one hundred and fifty years at this location.

She is described as tall, wearing a long black dress, with a lovely smile. She is often seen walking down the stairs. She is also seen standing in the restaurant overlooking the diners as they eat.

Her apparition is sometimes spotted beneath this restaurant, in the basement, where one of the many Shanghai Tunnels is still located.

The following is a short video about this haunting. It includes a personal experience one Old Town Pizza employee had with Nina.

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