Pittock Mansion: America's Happiest Haunted House?

Pittock Mansion: America’s Happiest Haunted House?

Pittock Mansion is unique among haunted houses. Although there have been numerous reports of paranormal activity there, no one has ever reported that the ghosts are malicious, hell-bent on revenge, or even scary—instead, they seem quite happy to be occupying such a gorgeous building.

The forty-six-room French Renaissance-style chateau sits high in the West Hills of Portland, Oregon and provides a breathtaking view of the gorgeous Pacific Northwestern city and its greater environs.

Its namesake, Henry Pittock, was a wealthy industrialist who first acquired his riches by purchasing the weekly Oregonian newspaper in 1860 and turning it into a daily publication that exists to this day.

Pittock met his soon-to-be wife Georgiana a year after moving to Portland. As the couple acquired wealth through Henry’s numerous business triumph, Georgiana became known as a philanthropist who aided working women. She was also very fond of roses and was a founding member of Portland’s annual Rose Festival, another tradition that exists to this day.

In 1909, Pittock laid out plans for the mansion to be built. It was not completed until 1914. Georgiana Pittock would die four years later at age 72; Henry died a year after that at age 85.

It is speculated that the ghosts of Henry and Georgiana returned to the building because they only were able to spend a few years there while alive. That’s right—the prevailing sentiment is that they came back to haunt their dream house. Similar phenomena—i.e., happy owners returning as ghosts to a place they once lived—have been reported at the Berkeley Mansion, the Custer House, and the Hartford Twain House.

Now refurbished as a tourist attraction, Pittock Mansion hosts 80,000 visitors annually.

The Happy Hauntings At Pittock Mansion

The only three apparitions that people have identified are those of Henry Pittock, Georgiana Pittock, and their head groundskeeper. As already stated, none of the ghosts seem threatening or malicious, and all seem quite happy to be occupying the grounds again.

Visitors have reported the following experiences at Pittock Mansion:

— The sudden and unmistakable smell of roses, which held a lifetime fascination for Georgina Pittock.

— The sudden sounds of heavy footsteps in the garden that sometimes enter the mansion through a side door. These are universally thought to be the footsteps of the head groundskeeper rather than of Henry Pittock.

— Footsteps have also been reported in every room of the house.

— Windows shutting, latching themselves, and then reopening on their own.

— A portrait of Henry Pittock moving around the house on its own.

— Tour guides have reported seeing ghosts upon entering the building for the morning’s business.

— Georgiana and Henry have appeared to several visitors; they appear entirely happy and content every time.

— Many visitors report they felt an unseen presence escorting them around the mansion.

— One visitor claims she saw a reflection of an older woman in a painting hanging on the mansion walls.

— People report seeing an older woman in the basement who keeps visitors company.

— One paranormal investigator claims to have captured an EVP (electronic voice phenomena) of a man saying, “I’M HEADING BACK.”

— Another investigator claims to have captured a friendly female voice in a smaller room saying, “Hello!”

— A female employee says that one night as she was closing up and she had turned off the last of the lights in the mansion, all of the lights suddenly turned back on.

— A tourist says that while looking at photographs in the basement, she felt a presence behind her. When she turned around, she saw an elderly woman, who instantly vanished.

— A self-described shaman who was touring the mansion with a group of native Hawaiians says that he could feel the Pittocks’ spirits in the mansion and that they were extremely happy.

Pittock Mansion Appears In Several Films

Due to its beauty and isolation, Pittock Mansion has served as a backdrop in several films. They include:

First Love (1970), a romance film starring Susan Dey (The Partridge Family) and William Katt.

Unhinged (1982), a very nasty slasher film that was banned in several countries. The mansion is featured throughout the film.

The Haunting of Sarah Hardy (1989), starring Morgan Fairchild and Sela Ward.

Body of Evidence (1993), starring Willem Dafoe and Madonna.

— Pittock Mansion was also the designated finish line for the 13th season of TV series The Amazing Race. Thought Catalog Logo Mark