Date of Establishment & Haunting
Old Town pizza resides where the lobby was in the original Merchant Hotel which was built in 1880 by wealthy lumber barons. The haunting began between the late 1800s and early 1900s, but the exact date of the original sighting is unknown.
Name & Location
Old Town Pizza, Merchant Hotel. The building is located in Portland, Oregon’s Old Town District also known as Chinatown in the Northwest part of the city.
An ornate stone building is one of Portland most beautiful pieces of architecture. The Merchant Hotel sits on the corner of NW 3rd and Davis St in Portland, Oregon and takes up half of the city block. The four story building has been wonderfully maintained and the spooky nature of it’s past is evident as soon as you approach.
The Merchant Hotel was built in the late 1800s (1880) by Brothers Louis, Adolph, and Theodore Nicolai and it was originally a luxury hotel in what is now known as Portland’s Old Town district and Chinatown. The building is built atop Portland’s Shanghai Tunnels which connected businesses to the docks to move goods. Later the tunnels were allegedly used to shanghai sailors thus the mysterious name.
Mythology and Lore
Nina (pronounced “Nigh-na”) is the most notorious ghost and has been frequently sighted at the Old Town Pizza restaurant. Nina was forced into prostitution and worked at the upscale hotel. When she had the chance to escape the life she was forced into with support from local missionaries she took it. However, she never made it out of the hotel. She was found dead at the bottom of an elevator shaft not too long after planning her escape.
She reportedly will tap employees on the shoulder when they are in the basement. She has been seen wearing a white or black dress and will observe patrons eating.
Owner Adam Milne said an employee once saw a woman in a white dress go downstairs during closing time. When he went down to tell her they were closed, no one was there – Portland Eater Oct 27, 2016
Modern Pop-Culture References
Puzzle Box Horror’s “Atlas of Lore” July 2020 article Slice
- Portland Historic Landmarks Commission (July 2014), Historic Landmarks — Portland, Oregon (XLS), retrieved February 1, 2015.
- Portland Bureau of Planning (April 4, 2008). “National Historic Landmark Nomination (Revised Documentation): Skidmore/Old Town Historic District” (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved February 26, 2016.
- “Merchants Hotel”. Historic Resource Inventory, City of Portland. Oregon Historic Sites Database. Retrieved January 26, 2015. “Old Hotel Remodeled For New Role” (December 7, 1968). The Oregonian, Section 1, p. 15.
Have more information or a story of the haunting, post it in the comments below.
Tritone’s love of horror and mystery began at a young age. Growing up in the 80’s he got to see some of the greatest horror movies play out in the best of venues, the drive-in theater. That’s when his obsession with the genre really began—but it wasn’t just the movies, it was the games, the books, the comics, and the lore behind it all that really ignited his obsession. Tritone is a published author and continues to write and write about horror whenever possible.