Portland Underground

It is amazing the secrets a city can keep underfoot, literally. Last night I explored the Shanghai Tunnels in Portland via a tour given on the events of the past and the (supposed) paranormal happenings of today.

For those who do not know, the Shanghai tunnels were used years ago as a way to kidnap or “shanghai” unsuspecting patrons of the city and place them on ships as part of the crew. The people that did this were shanghaiers or crimps and earned money for each person they brought in. 

In addition, women were taken below the streets and sold into prostitution. According to our guide, if you were a man sold to a captain you had a chance of returning home, but if you were a woman, you were never seen again. 

There are many more tales, available online and through the tour. I suggest anyone who is interested take a look, or better yet, see what secrets you can find about your own town. Every city has a past, and thus, stories that go along with it. Also, if you know anything about the Shanghai Tunnels, let me know. I would very much appreciate additional information on this part of Portland’s past.


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