Basements That Are Scarier Than Any of the Ones You Remember From Childhood

Posted on 08/01/2010
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As a child it seems that everybody has many overlapping fears. We all had unwarranted fears of monsters under our beds or creatures hiding in our closets, but perhaps the most common irrational childhood fear is the fear of the rooms that lied beneath the first level of our homes. People have feared basements for decades and I imagine that you would be hard pressed finding someone who has never felt creeped out while in a basement. Most of us believe that these fears are irrational, but here a couple of basements that may prove that we absolutely should fear basements.

Shanghai Tunnels


The Shanghai Tunnels in Portland, Oregon is considered by many to be the most haunted site in the state. The tunnels connect several basements of local hotels and bars to the Willamette River. The tunnels run from Old Town to downtown Portland. They were originally constructed so business owners could quickly and efficiently send and receive goods from the shipyard in the Willamette River, but according to legend the tunnels also had a more sinister purpose.

From the 1850s to the early 1900s the tunnels were used in the atrocious practice of “shanghaiing”. What would occur is a drunk would come in for a drink at a bar. The drunk would eventually be forcefully taken from the bar and transported through the tunnels and placed on a ship. The ship’s captain would pay the men who brought the drunk to him and he would use the kidnapped drunk as slave labor aboard his ship. Many of these ships would be heading for Shanghai, China, which is where the term shanghaiing comes from. Many estimate that as many as 1500 men and women were kidnapped during this time period. The men used for slave labor and the women forced into prostitution.

Today it is said that the restless and angry spirits of those kidnapped and drug through the tunnels still remain there. People report hearing human moaning in pain, crying, and even screaming when they are in the tunnels. The most famous ghost is affectionately called Nina and is said to haunt the tunnels below a local pizzeria. People will often smell strong women’s perfume that has no source and this is often attributed to Nina. It is also said that she will often touch or tug on an individual.

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