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Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday Spotlight: Minnette Meador

by Minnette Meador

“No.” The sudden calm in his voice actually soothed Keenan a bit. “I’ve seen lots of things in my lifetime,” the cop stated slowly. “Fought in Afghanistan and Iraq. Saw some stuff that’d curl a sane man into a ball they’d roll right into the nut house. Seen stuff in this neighborhood too. It’s old, you know, really old. One of the first Portland neighborhoods around. I’ve investigated… some pretty strange things over the years. Sometimes there’s a logical explanation, sometimes not.” He shrugged and flexed his right hand. “But these… events seem to stick to certain folks. You know what I mean?” He stopped at a red light and leveled experienced eyes at Keenan. “Folks like you. What I saw last night…” He shook his head. “It’s been making me crazy. I pulled a second shift to ask you about it.” – A GHOST OF A CHANCE (Resplendence Publishing - June 2011)

A Ghost of a Chance takes place in my hometown: Portland, Oregon, and one of the things I’ve known all my life is that Portland is no stranger to hauntings. It has a very colorful and bawdy background that is seldom advertised. Below are just a few examples:

THE UNDERGROUND: Beneath the pristine outer exterior of downtown Portland, is a secret that has haunted the city for generations. A series of tunnels called the Portland Underground, originally dug to channel floodwater under the downtown area so the shops would not be flooded every spring. Most other times the tunnels were a convenient place to bring in goods and materials from the dock… and take out good, materials, and Shanghaied men back to the ships. Many men in the late 1800’s woke up after a bender to find themselves miles from the Portland Port, ordered to work on the ship to earn their fare back. There were other sinister acts carried out in the tunnels as well; criminals would live in the tunnels and pry on anyone who wandered too far into their depths. A prostitute named Nina turned many criminals into the police for gold, but they found her at the bottom of an elevator shaft a tavern now called Old Town Pizza. Her spirit still wanders through the old tavern.

Before the eight bridges were built to join west Portland to east Portland, there was a ferry built between the two called the Stark Street Ferry. Since the largest graveyards were located on the east side of Portland, the ferry was the only way to get bodies to them, thus the name the dead man’s ferry. Stark Street has a varied history for hauntings, including unexplained photos and registration on some very advanced ghost hunter equipment.

Three different hauntings have been documented at this very old hotel once called The New Oregon Hotel. On the staircase leading up to the mezzanine guests have seen a man walking down the grand staircase who suddenly disappears. On the ninth floor of the establishment, people have reported ghostly figures walking down that hall, and one old woman reported that someone helped her into her bed the night before and then vanished into thin air. I used to work at the Benson when I was a teenager in what was then the Piccadilly Room and I can attest to the fact that this building is a very strange place.

I promised the proprietors that I would not reveal the name of their bed and breakfast, as they did not want a reputation for hauntings. We had a lovely room up on the second floor, but the first time I went into the bathroom to put our stuff away, I noticed that the shower head was pointing straight up. I thought the maids had done it, so I turned it down. Keep in mind, there were no springs or any kind of catch; it was a standard wide shower head attached to a pipe coming out of the wall. When my husband went in later, the head was turned up again and he commented to me when he came out that he was glad he looked because it would have made a very interesting shower. It was only then that I told him what I had seen and done. We both went into the bathroom to look and sure enough, the shower head pointed straight up again. When we tried to report it to the owners, they looked embarrassed and tried to just brush it under the table as a fluke. That night, I actually heard it turn twice and we both heard voices coming from the bathroom. So much for taking a shower!

So what about your town? Do you have ghost stories of famous places to share? Have you ever stayed at a hotel and seen something? Share your experience and I will post the top three on my blog this week! I’ll have a drawing for a very special prize between all the entries that I add to my blog.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll check out my new book A Ghost of a Chance. It’s full of ghosts, angels, demons, and one slightly used psychic who goes through a comedy of disasters to find his heart’s desire.

a paranormal romantic comedy
(Book I in the Ghost Series)
by Minnette Meador
Resplendence Publishing

Keenan Swanson is your typical, everyday graphic designer. Well, except for the hundreds of pesky, prank-loving poltergeists that make his life interesting (in a Chinese curse sort of way). He finds his situation precarious yet manageable—until witty, smoking-hot coworker Isabella enters the scene and Keenan decides he wants her all for himself. With a horny succubus who has other ideas, a burly city cop determined to lock Keenan away, and an evil entity who’s hell-bent on using Keenan’s seed to create a living demon, the reluctant psychic realizes he just might not come out of this alive—or with heart intact.

“Hysterical and very original!”
2-Time Rita Winner Wendy Warren


Na said...

Wow, I never considered Portland to have such a great place for haunts. I want to visit Portland just for all the hauntings in town. I have no ghost story...I think. There was one incident that I couldn't quite explain though.

Once when I was around twelve I was making instant noodles. I had the boiling water in the pot with noodles on the counter nearby reading to go. There was no one around me. As far as I was aware, my mom was taking a shower and my sister was in her room way down the hall. So there I was cooking and holding the pot higher up to swirl the water around and then I felt "someone" put both hands on my shoulder and push down. That's how it felt anyways and the force was strong enough, "real" enough that I slumped down a little and the pot I was holding because clattered to the stove. As a normal reaction I turned around, angry because I could have spilled the hot water on myself or dropped it on the floor and there was no one there. I assumed it was a family member playing a trick...except my mom came rushing out of the washroom because of all the commotion and was mad at ME for not being careful. I know it wasn't my imagination because it wasn't a whisper of a touch, it was a push on my shoulders. To this day I'm still not sure what the heck happened. Ghost?

It is classified an unexplained incident.

Anonymous said...

I've never stayed at a haunted hotel. I've always wondered if I would have the guts to if I had the choice.

User1123 AT comcast DOT net

heather said...

Don't have any haunted stories in my town or stayed in a haunted hotel but I would love to :) My sister stayed in a small town in Georgia and I was visiting her and got really bored one night and went to investigate 2 ghost sighting around the neighbor hood but they turmed out to be flukes. I think why nobody believes in ghost is b/c there is so many false accusations.

Minnette Meador said...

Creepy, Na! I think I would have rushed to my room and put the covers over my head! LOL :o)

Hi, Stacie! I think it would be fun to stay in Lizzie Bordon's house just once... :o)

I think you're right, Heather. I've been on a few tours and there really wasn't much to them, but everyone loves a good ghost story, so they were at least fun. The underground tour of Portland was really creepy. :o)