Have you ever walked into a place and felt you went back in time instantly, almost as if you were greeted by a forgotten time yet still alive and well? As each footstep takes you further down the hall, unseen eyes with a whispered greeting welcome you. You turn right and then left but there’s no one there except other guests and passers. Maybe a gentle hand caresses the side of your head making you feel light-headed or within the blink of an eye, you glimpse a shadow walking by. Well, this is how a multitude of people feel when they walk through the front doors of McMenamin’s Edgefield Hotel in Troutdale, Oregon.
The interesting thing here is, most of those whispered hellos and wispy silhouettes are seemingly friendly even if you can’t see or touch them. From astonishingly beautiful paintings on walls to an ambiance of old-time charm, there is so much to do. Think of a ghost adventure where all the modern conveniences are at your fingertips such as small bars, edible gardens, and an expresso bar. I think of it as ghostbusting at your leisure.
The charm keeps coming as you choose from, a day at the spa at Ruby’s Spa and Soaking pool, or an evening of live music and if that doesn’t float your boat, you can enjoy a movie after dinner. The best part is there are so many wonderful places to go, you’ll never get bored. But let’s not forget the best part of Edgefield, at least for me, is its history and its lively ghosts.
Edgefield back in the day was built in 1911 becoming the Multnomah County poor farm which eventually progressed into a nursing home. Today, it is a 74-acre hot spot for its own brewery, vineyards, and distillery. My favorite is their hard cider!
As an Empath, I find these kinds of locations are the catchup to my fries. You can’t get any better than this outside of literally living in a haunted house. I’m not talking about the spooky kind but those old beloved Victorian or turn of the century homes that kept all the residual memories of all the families that lived within their walls. Edgefield’s energy reminds me of multiple bubbles bobbing up and down with old memories that linger, occasionally touching the living as they move along.
Are there haunted rooms, you may ask? Of course! The most requested room at Edgefield is room 215, called the Amazing Grace room. Supposedly when they were renovating the property they found animal bones and a pentagram on the ground within the area. I can only assume they did a cleansing of sorts, hence the name. In addition, room 214 also supposedly has paranormal activity in it especially with it being in close proximity to room 215.
Walking around, I found that it didn’t take much prodding on my part when I asked some of the Edgefield staff who worked there if they had any ghostly experiences. Here are a few that I want to share with you that I feel are great testaments because not everybody who experiences ghostly activity is a believer … at first.
Imagine, there you are, playing golf on one of Edgefield’s 2 golf courses and you catch a glimpse of a shadowy figure walking by. Perhaps, late at night, you are strolling along the path with snow coming down, footsteps appear out of nowhere. Where they begin or end is anybody’s guess.
Here is Ryan’s story. He is one of the shift managers at the Black Rabbit Restuarant.
This happened two winters ago on the property. He and his wife were walking past one of the golf courses and stopped by the distillery to have a drink to make sure their boss saw them so he wouldn’t call them in to work on their day off because it was snowing. He remembered walking around with their coffee drinks and then walking through the golf course meandering back towards their home.
Ryan said, “Not that we were following footsteps but we realized there were like footsteps in the snow and within 10 to 15 steps, they just stopped, like into the nothing. They didn’t fade out they didn’t go around the corner. They just stopped.
“Were they human size? Like a man or a woman?”
“They were like a woman or adolescent child. They seemed as fresh as could be. And it was actively snowing at the time. We stood there for about 10 to 15 minutes trying to figure stuff out or trying to make sure nobody was stepping backward, trying to play a prank on us. We couldn’t come up with any other explanation other than something weird was going on.”
‘Is there anything else?’
‘There have been situations in the distillery where the broom will stand up on its own, like unsupported. I can’t imagine that being done without somebody manipulating it first but just the fact that it stands there for a number of minutes on end without falling over is strange.
There is somebody who took a video of it and walked all the way around it. The first time I remember it happening recently, whoever came into open the bar that particular day found it already standing. The only logical explanation is the person the night before left it that way and it stayed that way all night. He was a little weirded out and went and did some other stuff after that.”
Clara is a bartender who has been working at the Black Rabbit for 4 years. Here is her story:
“One morning, it’s 6 am when I first started working here, I was walking down the hallway here and this door was cracked open and there should have been no one in the bar and I turn and I look and standing in the archway over there is a very tall man. We made ghostly eye contact and then I shuffled off and was freaked out.”
“Was it a shadow or full-body apparition?”
“No, it was a full apparition. And then I’ve seen another one on the other side of the bar, It almost looked like an Asian woman peeking her head around the pole and back and then I never saw her again. I even went around to make sure no one was hiding from me and there was no one there.
I have also heard twice now, bagpipes off in the distance when we haven’t had any events happening here. One time it was the opening line of Amazing Grace. I was thinking, we shouldn’t have any bagpipers here now. The second time, I heard it and one of our skeptics heard it at the same time so I know it wasn’t just me.
Christina is a bartender and has been working at the Black Rabbit for 7 years.
“My husband used to work here and he was the bar manager. And a part of his duties was to come in here, once a month and do the inventory which required him to be here at 4 o’clock in the morning. So we just thought let’s spend the night. He could go downstairs to do his thing and then come back up to bed.”
“I told you I’m a bit of a skeptic We have a ghost Logue that you can check out at the front desk and read people’s stories. I was always like, people are drunk, whatever, of course, they’re going to see things.”
“ So, there wasn’t much drinking, a little bit but we weren’t drunk and went to bed like normal, everything was good. He got up and went to do his thing and I remember him leaving and I fell back asleep. We were on the second floor in room 214. It’s right next to the room that’s suppose to be really haunted, the Amazing Grace room which is 215. So I remember waking up and looking and seeing a grey cat walking towards my bed. Of course, I’m going through my brain, how a cat got into my room, justifying the purpose and the meaning of this cat being in my room. I feel the cat jump up on the bed. I pet the cat, I feel the cat, I interact with this cat. This is weird. I thought it probably came in through some air vent or something. And then the cat jumps off the bed and I see it walk away.”
“I fall back asleep. The door opens, my husband comes in, sits on the bed. I feel the bed sink in. I feel him move over towards me and put the blanket up over my shoulder like he usually does. I start to tell him about this cat. I turn around and there’s nobody there. I never felt scared or anything like that. So my husband comes back and I ask him, “Have you been to this room? There was a cat in this room.” He said, “No, no.” So I said, “Cool, listen to my story!”
“I came to work the next day and I’ve been working in this department for 7 years. So I go to one of the night bartenders who have been working here a while too and told him my story. I said, “A little grey cat was in my room and he went, ‘That cat?” He pointed to painting here on the wall. Well, I never noticed ever but there is a little grey cat in the woman’s arms that’s in the tub. You have to actually get up close to see it. There has been a grey cat in the painting the whole time I’ve been working here and yes, that is the grey cat.”
After hearing everyone’s stories, I decided to walk around the grounds of the hotel, when one thought came to my mind, I could stay here forever! I guess that explains why Edgefield attracts the living as well as the dead. Everybody has a good time and nobody wants to leave!
McMenamins Edgefield is just 15 minutes from the airport and 20 minutes to downtown Portland. It’s become one of my most favorite haunted locations but then, McMenamins does have other supposedly haunted locations that I have yet to visit. You know what that means, I’m going to have a lot of favorites!