We all know the song. We all know how to complete the phrase, “Who ya gonna call?” Ghostbusters! Of course.
I always wanted to be a Ghostbuster. I mean, what eighties kid didn’t? I wanted to zap the giant marshmallow man with ectoplasm and turn him into some kind of supernatural ooze. But, alas, this dream is only a dream, and ghosts aren’t real.
Or are they?
It was a sunny Saturday, right on the cusp of winter and spring. A little nip was in the air, but it was “put-on-a-jacket-and-hat-and-go-out-and-enjoy-the-day” kind of weather. But I needed something to do. I could have gone to some fancy restaurant—I mean, there are tons of them to choose from in Portland and its outlying areas, or taken the dog to the park, or spent the day watching the Timbers or Hops play. Those were all good options, but they didn’t hit me. They didn’t connect. They were too—pedestrian. Portland, Oregon has so much to do. Surely there was something that sounded good.
Enter the Google Machine. Suggested results. Ghost Tours. Ghost Tours? This I had to see.
Ghost Tours take you to Portland’s creepiest localities, such as abandoned houses which are accused of being haunted and plain old regular houses full of strange people, strange animals, and strange trees.
So, at seven PM on that Saturday, I arrived at the location and boarded the shuttle to the supernatural. The two-hour guided shuttle and walking tour took me through some of Portland’s most haunted milieus, including White Eagle Brewery, Cathedral Park in St. John’s and the aptly named Witches Castle. The knowledgeable guide regaled and terrified me and my fellow ghostbusters with ghost stories about the city’s ignoble past (even offering a plug for the uber-creepy Shanghai Tunnels of Downtown Portland). But this was just a precursor: at two different stops, they let me use really expensive equipment to look for ghosts of my own.
I strapped on the gear, did my best Bill Murray impression and listened and looked. Surely, with all the tales bestowed upon me by the guide, I would find something. Before long, I was lost in a world of creepiness. The slightest creak meant certain doom, every rustle was a ghost from the recent or far past, every smell, and each whiff of acrimony was from undead cologne. I was terrified and I loved every minute.