Just finished our tour tonight. Our guide, Michael, is awesome and loaded with historical info about the tunnels. I noticed other reviews on here complaining about the place. They must have not listened to any of the historical background of the tunnels and were only there to do some ghost hunting. Some areas of the tunnels were creepier than others. One of the lamps shut off out of nowhere while Michael was talking to the group. In the area with the wood sculpture some of the LED lights acted erratically and one lamp was swinging. Maybe it was just the draft from our large group. Ê(Small rant alert: only con tonight was the group size and the complete lack of consideration from the other people. A trio of ladies would take selfies while our guide was talking and people with flashlights/cellphone lights continued to blind us. Some people didn’t heed the kind warnings from the guides.)
While Portland does have a rich and creepy history of sailors being doped into indentured servitude AKA “shanghaiing”, this almost certainly has nothing to do with it. The tour consists of being led down into a basement, asked if you’d like to hear “ghost stories, history, or both” (a good first clue) and being told a bunch of tall tales while you look at some old (but not that old) junk that was obviously placed there for solely recreation purposes. The stories you will hear are well known folklore stories and have nothing to do with the real deal. After an hour and a half of the guide making things up as he goes along and avoiding answers to legitimate questions of obvious skeptics, you are led to a storefront “museum” full of, again, old (but not that old) junk presented as artifacts, accompanied by various Shanghai Tunnel souvenirs which include, I kid you not, pricey bags of Shanghai Tunnel coffee ..? If you’d like to know more of the real Portland shanghaiing scene, google Finn J.D. John’s ‘Wicked Portland’ site–he has a great podcast on the subject, rich in legit facts, in which he also happens to completely debunk this tour specifically.
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