Are you planning on grabbing a bite to eat this Halloween? At Old Town Pizza, there’s a chance that you’ll get a side of paranormal activity with your pepperoni pie. That’s right, the West Side location is notorious for being haunted by a resident ghost named Nina. In 1880, before Portlanders could grab a slice of pizza at Old Town, Portland’s “finest patrons” would stay at the Merchant Hotel. Enter Nina; a, ahem, prostitute who frequented the hotel often. Nina was approached by traveling missionaries who promised her freedom from her dirty work in exchange for information about the questionable behavior that was taking place at the Merchant. After Nina told all, she was thrown down the elevator shaft, and was later found dead. Supposedly, since then, Nina has continued to haunt the lobby of the Merchant Hotel (now Old Town Pizza). There have been countless stories of
employees and customers seeing Nina or feeling her presence. If you want to experience it for yourself, take a seat in the back corner booth, where her named is eerily carved in the brick wall. If you’re lucky (unlucky?), you may catch a glimpse of her in a black dress, or you may feel her presence behind you. The Shanghai Tunnels, underground pathways that used to claim unsuspecting men to work on ships, are also below the pizza parlor’s floors. Go to Old Town for the delicious pizza, stay for the spooky atmosphere steeped in history.
If you want a more hands-on approach to finding Nina, you can sign up with Portland Walking Tours, and go down to the basement of Old Town Pizza with electromagnetic field readers. Word has it that sometimes Nina spells out messages with the bowl of scrabble letters that the guides leave out for her!
Old Town Pizza, Haunted Location
226 NW Davis
Portland, OR 97209
Written by: Lauren Kodiak
Photo courtesy of Old Town Pizza