In 1920, plans and construction commenced to build a series of grand complexes called the Masonic Home and Children’s Cottage. Throughout the years, these buildings were a combination poorhouse, elder care, and orphanage for Master Masons and their families, before being bought and renovated by the McMenamins in the fall of 1999.
Following its renovations, legends and stories began to circulate regarding the Grand Lodge being plagued by strange apparitions and occurrences. Staff and clientele have noted particular locations that have shown to have a consistent amount of paranormal or unexplained activity. Among these “hotspots” are a couple of the guest rooms in the main lodge— especially room 211, the second and third floor hallways, the Gift Shop, the Doctor’s Office Bar, the Equinox Meeting Room, the Billy Scott Meeting Room, and the Children’s Cottage.
Some of the more frequent paranormal complaints from staff and visitors alike have been the appearance of odd smells, locked doors unlocking themselves from the inside, cold spots, disembodied footsteps, the playful movement of objects from one location to another, knocking, whispering, laughing, and the distinct, uneasy feeling of being stalked by “presences.” Also witnessed by numerous people is the apparition of an elderly woman on the second floor, as well as an elderly man on the third. Other apparitions include fleeting glimpses of children shaped shadows darting in and out of rooms in the Children’s Cottage.
An official investigation was held here in October of 2003. Pacific Paranormal Research Society did receive electromagnetic as well as a few photographic anomalies on our visit to the Equinox Room, the second floor hallway, and in the Children’s Cottage. In our visit to the main lodge, we experienced a few cold spots in the hallways and the distinct feeling that we were being watched or followed. However, the most profound evidence was collected during our investigation of the Children’s Cottage. One photograph, taken outside the Cottage following this investigation, showed an oddly pink, bright orb.
In this building, we all heard the distinct sound of footsteps upstairs when we were downstairs. Then, investigating upstairs, we heard running that simulated that of children’s small, bare feet, coming from the downstairs hallways. Later that evening, a previously closed door at the end of the downstairs hallway was found to have mysteriously opened and then later closed again of its own accord.
At the end of our investigation, one person in our group abruptly left the building after hearing tittering and giggles from inside one of the rooms that he swears were from a little girl.
Written by — Todd and Martina Baker Pacific Paranormal Research Society
MCMENAMIN’S GRAND LODGE
3505 PACIFIC AVENUE
FOREST GROVE, OREGON 97116
TEL: 1 (503) 992-9533