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A Spirit


In 2000, I was working in the basement at a place called William Temple House in Portland, Oregon. It was built in the Romanesque style in the 1940's and went through several owners and was once used as a speak easy and boarding house. This agency is in the NW sector of Portland and the building helps people who are in transition.

My job was to receive, sort and put together food boxes and put all different types of donations out so they could get clothing, toiletries, bedding, etc.

I worked alone most days. One time, as I was putting socks in the bin, I started smelling a very strong woman's perfume and I could feel the hair on my arms and neck raise. I felt dizzy and it got cold. I just froze... This spirit was behind me and patted me on the back. It was comforting and reassuring. I felt it was a mother or grandmother. I was trying to stay calm this lasted for approximately 20-25 seconds then I felt her go... The rest of that day I continued to get whiffs of her lingering perfume.

I know sometimes spirits are attached to their personal objects and the items would come in from all over Portland on a daily basis. Sometimes people who passed away and had no family so we would get there belonging.

I didn't feel scared working there after this experience. I'm Native American and I've been told not to be afraid of the spirit world. I offered tobacco and prayer that day, feeling I was not in harm's way. But I sure would smudge up with sage before going in and when I got back home.

Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, solitarysunrisewoman, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

rookdygin (24 stories) (4458 posts)
6 years ago (2016-10-18)
It sounds as if a spirit was 'happy' with the job you were doing. I wonder if this spirit was attached to the home OR if it may have been attached to some of the items you were handling.

Odd question... Other than "...smelling a very strong woman's perfume...", is there anything else you can remember about that smell... Was it floral? If so what kind? Was it more like a 'heavy soap' smell? The smallest details, if you remember them, could help place this spirit in a 'time period'... (1940's perfumes/soaps compared to more 'modern' smells...

Enjoyed this experience, thanks for sharing.


MysteryResearch (23 posts)
6 years ago (2016-10-14)
I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your account. Thank you for sharing it.

Your response reminded me of something I heard, several years ago, when a Tibetan lama was interviewed on the radio station in my old college town. This was community radio, and one of the hosts asked him if Tibetan lamas believe in UFO's and aliens (you can't make this stuff up). He replied 'there might be aliens in the room with us now.' Your reaction to the experience reminded me of that - unflappable and wise. You deserve a pat on the back.

BeagleMom (3 stories) (84 posts)
6 years ago (2016-09-27)
I just had to Google that house! I must say that it is certainly the kind of house I would haunt if I needed to haunt one! Lol!

Seriously, I loved your tale. Back in 1966-67 I used to get creeped out in the main library on F street in Eureka, Ca. Didn't work there, but I spent a portion of every day there since it was such a beautiful building. I was just married, no job but I looked for one every day while my husband was in classes at HSU Arcata. I would just sort of end up there on my way home. When I was in the stacks, I would hear soft swishing sounds and sometimes I would feel a tickling sort of sensation on my arm as if someone passed and their garment brushed lightly against me. I got used to it, as it happened to me many times because I visited frequently. It would occur as I poured over the English lit and history section looking for a juicy read about England. A few times, I even felt a whoosh of chilly air along with the feeling of being passed by. I chalked it up to my imagination and the atmosphere in the old building. Of course there were cooler temperatures in Northern California, since I was from Southern California where the air is mostly warmer and dryer. A cold draft was not out of the realm of possibility.
I hope your experience has not scared you off from your important contributions to society!

Wishing you the Best,
Mother of Beagles ❤
lady-glow (13 stories) (2930 posts)
6 years ago (2016-09-26)
Thanks for sharing this fascinating story.

I guess the old lady was happy to see that her material possessions were put into a good use.

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