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Real Ghost Stories

Pdx Punk Scene


When I was young and scrappy, I lived in a lovely, large home in North Portland's historically "redlined" Dekum neighborhood. I have no clue when the home was built, or who lived there before I shared the house in the early 2000's.

All six-eight housemates were artists or activists of some sort, and there were usually lots of people in and out of our place. The other roomies had lived there a couple of years before me. Now the whole neighborhood is gentrified beyond recognition. This home has been fixed up very posh, as well, but I am sure the backyard will always be full of bottle tops.

We often had travelers overnight, and hosted rock shows in our basement. It was mostly good fun, if crowded and noisy sometimes. Everyone was welcome. In fact, I am not sure if I ever had or needed a key. The housemates joked about a ghost which had said hello once, but I figured that they were fronting to prove who was toughest. I also felt that there was often enough partying involved to count on anyone having clearly recalled or experienced anything. Our many cats would fixate on walls, or seem to avoid a certain stairway, but cats are weird, so-meh. I had no incidents or issues, of my own, directly.

My friend "Max" came over one festive Rosh Hosana. We spent most of the evening downstairs, in my room, splitting a bottle with another pal. Although his Marine Corps training usually came through, Max was wobbling as he tried to get out the front door. So the friend and I decided to stagger several blocks to his home, one on each side. As I lifted up his arm over my shoulder, he looked at me all drunk and serious, and said "Who is the kid on the stairs, staring, with the curly hair?"

I looked and said, "No one is there now." The house was full of people I did not know, dancing and celebrating, so it could have been anyone.

Max sighed and said all matter-of-fact "I mean the ghost. The ghost of the kid, right there, staring." That night was one for the drunken fool record books so I dismissed what he said. In normal daylight, sober, he does not talk about "silly things" like ghosts, or answer my questions if he remembers.

When my biggest, toughest brother was 17 he came to visit. One day while I was at work he saw the cats "acting funny like a ghost came into the living room." Any hint of which I had specifically not mentioned to him, as he was himself a fraidycat and very likely not to visit. So I was not sure what to give his "cat experience" up to, although he at least was sober. I told him it was his imagination. I was never afraid or weirded out in that home, but afterward he refused to be alone there.

The house had three floors. The space I rented was one area of the basement. On principal, and as usual, when I moved in I "claimed" my little space and neutral intentions out loud. I also negotiated what I hoped was a truce with the enormous deadly spiders. "Mikey" had the opposite basement portion, and the larger open area was laundry and band staging for shows or practices.

Mikey was a drummer and had some things there, but lots of bands came through to practice or perform, and each brought their own gear and instruments. This involved getting everything down the basement steps, so for big drums or speakers a couple people would have to help, even with a handcart, on the steps.

One average grey Friday afternoon, a noisy band of fashionable roughs arrived from out of town. They said their hellos and began moving instruments and gear downstairs to set up. I was in the living room on the main floor, sitting on the sofa. The familiar smell of rainy leather and loose tobacco filled the house. I went on about my sitting. Mikey and his friend, Nacho, were helping the band maneuver a very large, expensive speaker into place downstairs.

Suddenly those six sturdy, armed, young punks came tripping and yelling over each other, running lickety split up the stairs like cartoons. One of them kept running right on out the front door. Nacho was just gibbering all wild-eyed. One dude (also fully tattooed, wearing spikes) kept saying "I don't even care if we dropped it- I don't even effing care" over and over. Mikey was actually bent with his hands on his knees, like he had run a race, glasses askew. They were all talking at once, freaked out, hands flapping like a church choir. It took a minute to sort what had actually happened. They had dropped the amp. Everyone had dashed pell mell upstairs, shouting and basically pissing themselves.

While downstairs, four of them were holding the largest speaker (which was off/unplugged) when all of them heard an amplified male voice come through it, saying calmly "I just wanted you to know, you're not alone down here."

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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, BettinaMarie, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Cups (7 stories) (159 posts)
6 years ago (2018-08-17)
Hi BettinaMarie! Thanks for circling back! No need to state the address. Ninja Parade doesn't ring a bell with me but I'm pretty certain we have friends in common. I looooved your stories & want more if you've got 'em. Thanks so much for the good reads. 😘
BettinaMarie (14 stories) (80 posts)
6 years ago (2018-08-17)
hello everyone and thanks for reading. I will try to answer you all.

Lady-Glow: I only remember it was a punk "Noise" Band, from out of town, who were worried that Mikey and Nacho would drop their fancy amplifier. So they insisted on moving it themselves. I am not sure the one kid ever came back in, or if they played our spot again.

Cups-I don't want to say the address cuz people live there still, but you may have been to a show there. Or one of the Ninja Parades.

Jubelee-to reduce loss or theft nothing like amps was stored downstairs, just old bits of drum kit. None of the Noise Bands' soundboards or whatnot was set up or plugged in yet.
After everyone came trampling over Mikey, screaming up the stairs, I thought Nacho was hojng to piss himself he was so freaked out. Mikey took it better, but he was pretty shook up and surprised that the other housemates' were telling thruth about the ghost saying hello through a radio (boombox) once. They were both sweating, hollering, all scared and red in the face. Neither ine of them was touching the amp when the voice "spoke" out of it.
Cups (7 stories) (159 posts)
6 years ago (2018-08-09)
Hi BettinaMarie! I'm a little late to the game - just came across this story. I so know the Dekum neighborhood, and it's quite possible we've crossed paths... Good friends of mine have lived just up from GN Pizza for a number of years in a house similar to what you've described. I can completely envision the type of tough-guys that got a good scare. My experience is though - the more spikes, tattoos & piercings, the softer they are! 😆

I loved this account - I hope you'll be back with more soon! Off to read your other stories!
_hedge_witch (1 posts)
6 years ago (2018-05-07)
This was a great story, thanks for sharing! It's been about ten years since I've last visited this site but it's nice to be back.
About eight or nine years ago I lived in an old punk house in San Diego called the ninja lair and there were always a few spooky stories and rumors that circulated. I remember just before I moved in to that house there was a rumor that someone fell off the roof during a show and died in my friends bed but I have no idea if that was true or not (although people did fall off the roof a lot). We had so many people who passed through that place and a lot of them didn't know that our parrot would whisper at night and it always spooked people out haha.
It's so nice to hear ghost stories that take place at punk houses, thanks again!
GraveArchitecture (1 stories) (7 posts)
6 years ago (2018-05-04)
This is an awesome story. From one punk rocker to another, stay safe out there!
sherm784 (19 stories) (27 posts)
6 years ago (2018-05-03)
Crazy story and very well told. Guess this ghost kid wasn't a punk fan.
CuriousDee (8 stories) (631 posts)
6 years ago (2018-04-28)
Hahahaha! "Sturdy armed young punks running up the stairs like a cartoon" I can't stop laughing 😆 Great job on the details, I can see it in my head. It goes to show you; it doesn't matter how tough you are, a good paranormal incident turns the best of us into a quivering mess.

Thanks for a great story 😊
AugustaM (7 stories) (996 posts)
6 years ago (2018-04-28)
Too bad they all got freaked and skedattled - they could have had quite a session down there! The old boy sounds quite sociable.

I'll always have a soft spot for punks ❤
Jubeele (26 stories) (897 posts)
6 years ago (2018-04-27)
Hahaha - Bettina, you had me laughing out loud! "Sturdy, armed, young punks", were they? My heroes. 😜

What other sort of equipment was lying around in the basement? Do you think someone could already be down there and thought it'd be funny to mess with the boys? The punks were punked...!

I do like the idea that your "other" roomie was just being sociable. Didn't the housemates mention the ghost said "hello" once? Wonder what would have happened if one of them had replied: "Hello there; who are you?" It didn't sound as if it meant any harm.

What a fascinating place. I'd have liked to drop by with a few bottles of good spirits to share around. 🍾
lady-glow (16 stories) (3158 posts)
6 years ago (2018-04-27)
Bettina - this is such an interesting experience, by the way you describe the house, it seems like a place where no one, eather dead or alive, would ever get bored.

Do you know if that was the only time that particular band went to practice (try to?) to the basement?
I had a chuckle imagining the punks running up the stairs almost without touching the steps with their feet! 😁

Thanks for sharing.

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