Portland >Arts & Entertainment > Shanghai Tunnel Ghost Tours
120 NW 3rd Ave, Portland, OR | Directions 9720945.524228 -122.673279
Fri-Sat by reservation only
Neighborhoods: Neighbors West - Northwest, Old Town - Chinatown
yea, definitely not as spooky as I had hoped, but it's halloween time, our tour was sold out, and they took down groups of like 34 people. It's a smaller tour than I thought, and didn't really like the fact that she didn't talk more about the "artifacts", looked mostly like rubble. The fact that children under 12 were with us kind of set the tone...definitely stuffy, not sure why it was so important to force everyone to stand together...that just made it worse. Some definitely lost interest and began talking in the background...a little distracting...and there was one area off limits...maybe unsafe? work area? Glad I went, I believe it's the only tour where you actually get to walk around part of the tunnels...but it definitely has it's drawbacks. I applaud Michael and his volunteers though, they've done some amazing work and this tour is definitely worth hearing the history...here's my tips:
1: bring your own small flashlight-they have some, but not enough for everyone
2:dress semi-warm...maybe a windbreaker, NOT a hoodie, sweater or large coat - the longest time you will be in the cold is the courtyard...once you go underground, it gets warmer than you would think, especially with 30 or so extra people standing close
3.If you're going with the expectation of something seriously paranormal happening, I will burst your bubble right here...it's possible, but with 30 plus people, it becomes very touristy and the spooky ambience kinda goes out the window.
So to sum up, I recommend this tour to history buffs and/or people who want to experience the tunnels, but just know what you're in for...it's not whispering in small groups, walking around recording EVP's, and extensive individual exploration of the tunnels. The Cascade Geographical Society has done a wonderful job restoring this small section of the tunnels, and keeping alive the oral history of portland's seedy underbelly. On a personal note, I DID have a good time, just looking for a little more of the paranormal than toned-down (probably for the children) personal (sometimes 3rd hand) stories of experiences from volunteers or employees of hobo's
If you paid $28.00 for a tour or went to only 1 room underground you did not take your tour with the Cascade Geographic Society. The tour group that leaves from Hobo's is with the Cascade Geographic Society. If you went down else where you didn't go with the right group.
RIP OFF CULT TOUR – This tour was so weak it's not even funny. First off, it is not worth $28. It's not even worth $5. I should have known it was going to be weird when I saw how serious the tour guides were in their creepy cloaks and top hats. Apparently laughing and having a good time is not allowed. One of the guides was watching my group the entire time like a stalker. I thought she was going to shank one of us and put us in a cell in the tunnel. The above ground part of the tour was worthless due to the loud surroundings and tour guide practically whispering his made up stories. The underground part wasn't scary at all and if u don't stay right by the tour guide he'll wig out on you. He considers the tunnels sacred. Which is so creepy because they were used to kidnap people and use them as slaves. We didn't even stay the whole time because the tour guides were douchers and we had enough. Bottom line, skip the tour and just drink at Hobo's or Boiler room. I definitely would have rather spent my $28 on drinks than hanging out with schizos. Dooooneee!!
DONT WASTE YOUR TIME!! JOKE OF A TOUR!! – Myself and 15 others thought it would be a GREAT to do something "different" for fun around halloween instead of a haunted house. First off we started off at the skidmore fountain. Which was creepy at 10pm at night. We were told to get there 10 mins early. The "tour guides" didn't show up till 5 mins AFTER 10. We were well over 20 mins early. STRIKE ONE.
His stories were ok but we relized the more and more we walked. It was hard to hear as well as the stories were nothing that great. I read more FACTS and interesting stories ONLINE. About ten mins into the "tour" his stories were a bit boring and one person in our group was laughing here and there.
He was told that they would call the cops if he disrupted again. REALLY? Was the tour THAT SERIOUS? It was about ghosts. At ten o'clock at night. With the tour guides dressed in ROBES and a top hat? One a 4th grade school teacher.(Which is how she treated you the whole way through!)
Once to the HOBO restaurant where you enter the "underground" part of the trip..as with others have mentioned. It was dusty, small and way to hot to talk for over 40 mins. There were THREE tour guides and they direct you here and there and its so dark that two of us went TOO FAR( in their words) into another room and you would have thought we STEPPED into some SACRED room.
The tour guide yells "in 19 yrs" NO one has ever gone ahead! I cant believe it! After being taken for over $50 a couple! Not hearing the guide half the time and being yelled at like we were kids. We were DONE! We asked to be let out and said we would definetly let people know what a SHAM this whole "tour" was.
DONT waste your time or money! GOOGLE the tunnels and you'll get your info there in the comfort of your OWN home and not get yelled at for laughing! This tour is a joke. Thats all thanks for reading!
Not exciting but glad I did it – As others have noted, the tour takes place in a very limited area of the tunnels -- really a dusty basement below Hobo's restaurant. It's not a walking tour and seriously not appropriate to take kids. However this part of Portland's history is interesting. The tour guide I had was informative and entertaining. If you like to listen to a good story or two it's worth going, but don't do it if you need a big dose of adrenaline to feel entertained.
Tour of a basement – It is obvious that all of the people not close friends or part of this tour operation have a clear unified unbiased opinion of this tour. You cannot have a shanghai tunnel tour without tunnels. Was it really necessary to take us into a stuffy basement to tell us the history of Portland. I would have been just as content reading a book or watching a documentary.
I am not saying this as a personal attack on the people who run this tour. i know they are passionate about what they do and have the best intentions. They claim this is not a business, but they were willing to take our money and should feel obligated to provide some value for it. Create a museum of artifacts, and or a documentary. This tour really does nothing to help there cause and the sooner they realize it and change it the better off they wil be.
If you go, don't say you weren't warned and enjoy! – I was introduced to the Shanghai Tunnel Tour by my mother. A group of her coworkers were going on a tour and she invited me along. All I knew going into it was that it was supposed to be a walking tour of Portland's underground.
We started off the evening at Hobo's. The courtyard was awesome and we got a laugh when one of the girls game out of the restroom with toilet paper on BOTH feet. The wait for the tour to begin took a little longer than expected. But with a drink in hand it was alright.
The tour itself was lacking. As many reviews have said the walking tour takes place in the basement of two adjoining restaurants. There isn't much walking to be done, more of a shuffling tour for 40 people. The place was miserably hot and with all the shuffling it was hard to breath because of the dirt circulating around. The stories were long winded for being so hot and uncomfortable. It was hard to pay attention to the story teller because of people losing interest and talking amongst themselves. The one cool part that I remember was sticking my hand through the...optical illusion bars.
All in all I would not recommend the tour for somebody who is just looking for something different to do. This tour is more for the history buff. I feel my money would have been better spent buying a book from Powell's on the subject.
The operators of the Tour might get better reviews if they spend their time making a mini-documentary or slide show and presenting it in the comfort of Hobo's where participants can eat drink and be merry. Then follow it up with a much shorter tour of the tunnels to see the sites in person.
The Tour is not something that I am going to be shouting about from the rooftops but it is something that is going to be interesting to some people. If you go, don't say your weren't warned and enjoy!
Average – I went on the tunnel tour before Halloween this year. I was expecting a longer walk, but we ended up only shuffling around under Boiler Room and Hobos. It would've been more fun if we had climbed into a short bus and drove around the city to other tunnels and Haunted places. The Shanghai tour was very interesting and entailed a lot of information. Mike and the other volunteer did a GREAT job, but it was just too boring to only walk around in 1 block.
Shanghai Surprise? Not! – We booked this tour with a group of 12 people. We waited for the group to assemble at Hobo's where we had a fabulous time with a cocktail in the company of Darcelle and some of her beauties. As directed, we dressed warmly in comfortable shoes expecting to explore hallways and rooms of Portland's underground and to gain knowledge of the history of the Shanghai tunnels and crimes that occurred therein. I would guess that we went in with a total of 40 people with at least 8 children under the age of 10 in attendance (always a bad sign in my opinion.) It was boiling hot and we walked a total of 50 feet. Basically we got a great tour of a basement. The host of the tour was a very good speaker and knowledgeable, however, for a person who admittedly "doesn?t believe in ghosts", he spoke endlessly about the ghosts he and others had seen in the tunnel. So much so that, in addition to the lack of ground covered, the disappointment among the entire group was palpable. In fact, 1/3 of the group left after the first 15 minutes. There was absolutely no sign of the paranormal and very little substance to the information presented. We could have walked through the basement, then gone back up to Hobo's to listen to stories with a cocktail or two and had a much more satisfactory experience!
Portland Underground "I was Shanghia'd" Tour – The Underground Tour was the absolute worst thing I have ever paid money to do. The staff involved are clearly a bunch of ghost hunters using the "Shanghia Tunnels" as a way to fund their pastime. By the way, there are no "Shanghia tunnels". The whole tour takes place under Hobo's restaurant in their basement which is no larger than 1500 sq/ft. The temperature in the basement ranged from 100-140 degrees and that is the honest truth! If you take the time to look behind all the canvas curtains they have hanging off the beams you will see all of the hot water heaters and duct work running everywhere for the restaurant above.
The information given on the tour is actually somewhat interesting, however, it is hard to determine if the information is true or if it is coming from the mind of the tour guide (which could be compromised due to the heat). He has to be the most long winded individual I have ever met and I challenge them to come up with hard proof to back up some of the stories he is telling.
I went on the "Paranormal tour" which was $16.00 for 2 hours. They advertised that ghost hunters would be on the tour with us. When they said ghost hunters I didn't figure it ment some guy standing with his arms out and palms in the air saying "I can't believe it, there are orbs all around me, I can feel the cold." Let me just say, there is no way in the world that he felt anything that resembled cold. After just over an hour our group left do to the extreme hot air produced by the hot water heaters behind the curtains and the tour guides mouth. At one point they tried to tell us we could not leave until the tour was over, which could have been a very big mistake on their part because 40 hot, angry, sweaty people would have trampled them.
Just so my review is clear and there is no way the other good reviews (which were clearly posted by the tour staff) will cloud anyones judgment, DO NOT GO!. It is TERRIBLE and a crime for them to accept money!!!
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