Old Tacoma City Hall

Date of Establishment

Finished in late April of 1893 Tacoma’s Old City Hall building was the seat for the city’s government until 1957. Now Placed on the National Registry of Historic Places the build was saved from demolition in 1974. The building originally housed a jail in its basement, however, after the 1959 renovations this space was modernized. Today the owners continue to fix it up while looking for more business and apartments to be leased.

Name & Location

The town of Tacoma, Washington is an urban port city on Washington’s Puget Sound, about 32 miles from Seattle. It adopted its name from the Mount Rainier, originally called Takhoma or Tahoma, but is locally known as the “City of Destiny”. In 1940 the city gained a new nickname of “Galloping Gertie” after the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. The town itself was founded in 1864 when a Civil War veteran built his cabinet; which served as the first post office in later years.

Tacoma’s Old City Hall is located in downtown Tacoma, Washington on in the heart of the business district. Designed by E. A Hatherton from San Francisco, the building proudly stood stately and ornate as the apple of civic pride for Tacoma residents. Today the Stratford Company actively owns and leases the spaces, while trying to maintain its historical look.

Physical Description

The building showcases Italian Renaissance-style architecture as it stands five-story high in the middle of downtown Tacoma. It also features a beautiful ten-story clock tower peering down with four massive bells inside. Inside the main building, it is described as “a unique blend of classic architectural details”. With 16-ft heigh ceilings, sweeping archways, and tall windows this building created a distinctive office environment.

Origin

Like most old buildings the true amount of spirits or manifestations to happen is unknown. Some believe the spirits are people who were wronged in the “political game” coming back for vengeance. While others may believe these entities are lonely, missing interaction, or are engaging in pranking for chuckles. Main believes no matter who these spirits are, they want to draw attention and help to their crumbling home, so they may live on with it.

One entity or spirit that stands out is that of Mr. Gus, he is known for talking to the living for attention. He’s reported to roam the 1st floor where the old Bar area would be. He engages new employees with tricks and disappears when they begin talking about him to others. The origin of the “bell” entity is unknown, mangers have slept in the tower overnight looking for practical jokers only to leave convinced its due to an entity. However, some believe it is the spirit of a young girl, who’s father donated them after her death. The claims from security guards have never been tracked to a specific spirit, nor the basic creepy residual energy.

Mythology and Lore

The Old City Hall is not unlike every old building, it has its share of haunting tales and urban legends. The bell tower is known to ring late-night or early-morning. Since the 70s police have responded to numerous disturbances within the building or bell tower. These include lights flashing, disturbing noises, voices and coughing, shadow figures/apparitions, fire and security alarms being triggered, and so forth. Upon investing the ground, however, the police never find signs of forced entry, tampering, or trespassing. Witnesses have even claimed to see objects flying across the room toward them. Security guards are often the targets of these “spirit’s” pranks, but now and then visitors experience the haunting as well., and even speaking to them.

Most reports from the Old City Hall suggest that “Gus” moves the building’s elevator up and down, and unlocks the door for visitors. Along with any electrical item you can think of being a target for Hall’s spirits. There are too many personal experiences to cover and match up over this building’s history. Up until now, most paranormal teams have been yet to investigate Tacoma’s, City Hall. The residence or businesses still leasing the building continue to report active from time to time, but little is published on the matter.

Tacoma as a troubled history that has 1000s of the reason a ghost may haunt this majestic and creepy old building. From battling Indians to settle the area, railroad misfortune, fires, flooding; this town and its residents have seen it all. As the Historic Society works to rebuild and restore this building, hopefully, the tails from the past will follow. Therefore, giving the spirits that roam here a story to share with the world as their own.

Modern Pop-Culture References
Books & Literature
Movies
  • Three Fugitives (1989) [Filmed on site]
Index
  • Washington Haunted Houses
  • Kiro 7
  • Haunted House.com
  • Northwest Military.com



Is there anything we missed about Old Tacoma City Hall? Let us know in the comments section below!

Old Town Pizza – Portland Oregon

Categories
Haunted Places

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.

Physical Description

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.

Haunted Merchant Hotel Portland Oregon

Origin

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.

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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

Books

Puzzle Box Horror’s “Atlas of Lore” July 2020 article Slice

Index

  1. https://pdx.eater.com/2016/10/27/13440764/haunted-portland-restaurants-and-bars-oregon
  2. Portland Historic Landmarks Commission (July 2014), Historic Landmarks — Portland, Oregon (XLS), retrieved February 1, 2015.
  3. 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.
  4. “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.