"Death is no more than passing from one room into another." – HELEN KELLER

Reader Submission - Photo of a Banshee

The following photo was sent in by Elizabeth. Do you think it's a Banshee?

This is a photo snapped of what I believe to be a Banshee? It was taken, via cell-phone camera approximately 1 week before my step-father’s cousin died. His mother was on her way up to his room to check on him, as she turned the corner, only to see this! Having her cell-phone in hand she quickly snapped the shot, interestingly enough the cell-phone would no longer work after taken the photo, she could not shut it off or move the pic in any way? I recently decided to do some research on the subject and came upon your web-site, any feedback you can provide would be interesting to our family.

The White Eagle Cafe & Saloon

The White Eagle Saloon was considered the place to be for men from all over the world who worked on the docks. It wasn't just the thirst of alcohol that kept them coming back. The White Eagle Saloon depicted much of the seedier side of frontier life in the 1900s.

Two Polish immigrants, Barney Soboleski and William Hryszko, opened the White Eagle in 1905 to offer other Polish immigrants a place of after-work recreation: pool, cigars, poker, liquor, beer and for the right price patrons could indulge in a brothel upstairs or an opium den downstairs. It earned the nickname "Bucket of Blood" from frequent brawls that erupted in and around the saloon. However, it didn't stop the trolley from dumping men at its doorstep until 1916 when Prohibition put a stop to legal drinking. Then, The White Eagle became the "it" place to get ice cream cones and those wanting a good stiff pop could still get the goods down in the basement, below the "soda shop."

Once Prohibition was lifted, The Eagle served hard-working, blue-collar clientele for over 35 years until the 70s and 80s when bands such as Pete Karnes Blooz Band, Driving Sideways, Paul DeLay, Terry Robb, Steve Bradley, Robert Cray and the Razorbacks began playing there. It achieved legendary status in Portland much like CBGBs once was (and always will be).

Now, The Eagle attracts more than just music lovers or potential hotel guests. Many who once worked there have never left. A "working girl" named Rose still wanders the upstairs rooms where the "white" brothel once was, weeping. She was the personal property of the saloon manager until one paying customer fell in love with her and wanted to take her away from her dangerous life. Rose wanted to go but was fearful of the saloon manager's reaction. So, she refused. Instead, her young lover confronted him and was nearly beaten to death. He again pleaded with Rose to run away with him, but she refused. In a fit of rage, he stabbed his beloved to death in one of the upstairs bedrooms. However, she didn't let death stop her. Many have reported being propositioned by a woman who could only be the ghost of the dead prostitute. Rose is not the only ghost still seen at The Eagle.

Spirits of black and Chinese women who disposed of their babies in the basement are said to clog the atmosphere. Men who were shanghaied in the underground tunnels still hang around after being dead for so long. The image of a man named Sam who worked at the saloon the length of his life has been seen, gazing from the second floor window. Perhaps he's watching over the establishment.

Sources: McMenamins and Ether Scribe's Famous Hauntings

Sneak Peek Tuesday - Ghost Hunters/Paranormal Witness

Watch a sneak peek of the next all-new episode of Ghost Hunters, Wednesday at 9/8c.

Watch a sneak peek of the next all-new episode of Paranormal Witness, Wednesday at 10/9c.

Old Charleston Jail

Tonight is the premiere of Ghost Hunters 2nd half of Season 8. Their first investigation without co-founder Grant Wilson will take place in the Old Charleston Jail located in Charleston, South Carolina.

In 1680, the city of Charleston set aside four square acres of land for public use. Over the years it was a hospital, poor house, and workhouse for runaway slaves before being turned in to a jail in 1802. The original building consisted of four stories with a two-story octagonal tower. Robert Mills, America's first native-born architect, designed a fireproof wing with individual cells in 1822 which was replaced in 1855 by a rear octagonal wing by Charleston architects Barbot & Seyle. The 1886 earthquake damaged the tower and top story of the main building so severely they had to be removed. The gallows remained in the courtyard until being destroyed by Hurricane Hugo. The jail never received indoor plumbing, electricity, running water, or glass in the windows (the guards quarters being the only exception).

The jail remained operational until 1939. During these 137 years, it house Confederate and Federal prisoners of war including the 54th Massachusetts Regime (known as the first black unit to fight in the Civil War) upon their capture and Charleston's most infamous criminals such as John and Lavinia Fisher (also known as America's first female serial killer) were convicted and executed for robbery and murder 30 or 300 people (reports vary). They were imprisoned in the jail from 1819 to 1820, maintaining their innocence until the day they were publicly hanged.

While they awaited hanging, the last of the 19th-century high-sea pirates were jailed there in 1822. Denmark Vesey plotted a slave revolt in 1822 to take over Charleston. Before the plan could be carried out he was imprisoned and later hanged in the Old Charleston Jail along with over 170 free blacks and slaves and four white men for their involvement and support. Because of the Vesey plot, increased restrictions were placed on slaves and free blacks including a law requiring all black seaman to be kept at the jail while they were in port. The jail also saw bootleggers, gangsters and debtors.

The jail remained vacant for 61 years after it closed. The American College of the Building Arts acquired it in 2000 and began the preservation efforts. Today, the Old City Jail is an official "Save America's Treasures" project of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the White House Millennium Council. It also hosts the Bulldog Tours' Haunted Jail Tour.

The jail is reportedly haunted by the spirits of deceased prisoners that died in the jail. One of the spirits is believed to be Lavinia Fisher who is often seen in the white wedding dress she wore to court. Cell doors move on their own. Doors slam shut. Shadow people are often seen. Many visitors have been touched, grabbed and scratched.


National Park Service

Haunted Hamilton
(an extended history of the Old City Jail and the story of Lavinia and John Fisher's story)
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