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Check-in at the Benson Hotel, and you may meet a few guests staying free of charge. A US Ghost Adventure tour in Portland reveals the haunting secret.
Simon Benson was a local entrepreneur whose legacy carries on today through Portland State University’s Simon Benson Philanthropy Award.
Benson’s contributions to Portland are legendary. From installing the first water fountains (or Benson Bubblers) to reinventing the logging industry, saving natural areas around waterfalls, and, of course, breaking ground on the stunning hotel with which he shares a name, he was a philanthropist of renown. And he did it all for a city he loved dearly.
In fact, Benson loved Portland so much that some say he could never leave—even after departing this life.
Born in Norway in 1851, Simon emigrated to America at 16. After a series of failed business ventures across the country, he eventually settled 4,690 miles away from home in Portland, Oregon.
Once nestled in this sleepy logging town, he bought timber and introduced the donkey steam engine, supercharging the logging industry. Finally, wealth streamed into Portland, with Simon Benson maintaining a large share of it.
In 1913, the Benson Hotel opened as a luxury stay that attracted tourists and business people from all over the world.
This extravagant hotel spared no expense. The floors shined with Italian marble; the rooms sparkled with the light of Austrian chandeliers, and panels gleamed with the finest Circassian walnut imported from Russia’s imperial forests.
This hotel brought prestige to Portland and cemented its mark as a major city.
Remember those Benson Bubblers? Well, he had those installed to discourage the locals from drinking alcohol on the streets!
He still holds animosity towards guests who drink at his hotel. Guests often feel a cold shove and spill their drinks seemingly out of nowhere. More than one dress has broken upon seeing Benson’s apparition.
Several guests have also refused to check out. The Lady In White usually appears at the end of a hallway in a long flowing white dress, rushing away. The Lady In Blue wears bright turquoise and appears in bathroom mirrors. She is still trying to adjust her makeup for the perfect night on the town.
But all reports confirm these are benevolent spirits stuck in their memories, reliving their final moments over and over again in an endless loop. They don’t mean to scare us, even if we end up with a fright.
This hotel remains as beautiful as the day it opened. A few wandering spirits won’t keep you away, will they?
Its doors have opened to early 20th-century visitors, logging barons, visiting dignitaries, and hardworking locals, all intermingling under one roof. Endless stories fill the halls, just waiting to add yours to the mix.
Spend the night in the Benson Hotel and meet the man who started it all.
The Benson Hotel is just one of many otherworldly sites in old Stumptown. Portland has mysteries hiding around every corner, even underground.
If you can brave it, take a Portland Ghost Tour with US Ghost Adventures and experience a view of this city most never see. Warning: only journey on this tour if you can face the unexpected.
Since 2013, US Ghost Adventures has offered entertaining, historic, and authentic ghost tours of America’s most haunted cities. We deliver fun yet honest accounts of hauntings across the nation for curious people of all ages. Our ghost stories are based on historical research, but that doesn’t mean they won’t send a chill down your spine.
This video gives you a small taste of what you might experience on your ghost tour — subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more.
US Ghost Adventures also offers virtual tours, a self-guided mobile app, and an Alexa voice app.
Benson Hotel Photo Credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/85/Bensonhotel.jpg