Built in 1913 by local lumber magnate, Simon Benson, the Benson offer the finest in luxury and comfort that Portland has to offer.

It’s also believed to be haunted by a number of ghosts, including Simon Benson himself, with many believing it’s in fact, one of the most haunted places in Oregon!

The Benson Hauntings

Simon Benson

The 12th, 9th, and 7th floors seem to experience the majority of the paranormal activity at the Benson Hotel in Portland, Oregon. Many of the reports seem to be that of apparitions witnessed by both guests and staff alike.

See Also: The Most Haunted Hotels in Oregon

One of the most well-known ghosts is that of the past owner, Simon Benson. He is often seen descending the staircase wearing a formal suit. His upper body apparition has also been witnessed roaming around the common area of the hotel, scowling at guests because he doesn’t like them drinking in his hotel. He’s also been known to knock the odd drink over too!

He has been witnessed wearing lumberjack clothing by one employee in the dining room. She was getting tables ready for a banquet, when all of a sudden a man appeared to walk into the room, and out into the wine storage area, disappearing into thin air!

His ghost has been witnessed in the meeting rooms too, often standing in the back of the room during important meetings. Is he still keeping a watchful eye over decision making at the hotel he saved all those years ago?

Helpful Porter

On one particular occasion, a disabled guest was struggling to get into bed, when a porter appeared and gave them a hand. To the persons’ surprise, after helping, the porter suddenly vanished in front of their eyes.

Lady in White

On many occasion, the apparition of a woman dressed in white has been seen walking in various corridors of the hotel.

Lady in Blue

The apparition of a woman wearing a turquoise dress and red rings has been seen as a reflection in the mirror in the lobby of the hotel.

Little Boy

On the 9th floor, an apparition of a boy appeared to a woman at her bedside looking down at her. A mother herself of a 3 yr old child, she said her immediate reaction was to reach out to him to get him back in bed. As she touched his arm, she said it felt solid for a moment, and warm to the touch. He then jumped towards her pulling his face to try and scare her.

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The woman hid under the cover for a second, thinking the boy was playing. She looked out and reached to him again, and he jumped in her face again. She kept the cover over her face, then began to feel movement at the bottom of the bed! Finally, she looked out again and the little boy had vanished!

Although there have been many paranormal reports at the Benson Hotel, not one guest or employee has ever reported being frightened by the spirits. All reports, in fact, seem rather friendly!

Brief History

Simon Benson, a local businessman, commissioned the build of the hotel in 1913, as an annex to the Oregon Hotel. Struggling with finances, the management of the hotel, renaming it to the Benson Hotel. He turned the hotel to profit and sold the business by 1919.

The Benson has changed hands several times since then. In 1959 the hotel was extended, building an additional 175 guestrooms where the Oregon Hotel once stood. In 1980 the hotel underwent a multi-million dollar renovation, and again in 1990 when 17 million dollars was invested for a major overhaul, making sure the Benson Hotel stayed the premier hotel in Portland.


One of Portland’s most treasured landmarks, The Benson features the most elegant of European designs, as well as a host of modern amenities. Voted as the Best Portland Hotel in 2012, Benson’s superb location luxurious and yet comfortable feel, is why U.S. presidents and CEO’s have called the Benson Hotel their home away from home for 100 years!

The staff are exceptional and are willing to go above and beyond for their guests, which is why it’s often given maximum star ratings in reviews of the hotel. The hotel also boasts two of the finest ballrooms in all of Portland, perfect for events such as weddings, conferences, and other gatherings. The Palm Court Restaurant and Lounge serves the finest in Northwest food and beverages.

The hotel also features an executive exercise room, free high-speed internet throughout, and pet-friendly rooms. Pillow-top and Tempur-Pedic luxury beds, flat-screen TVs, windows that open, mini-bars, plush bathrobes and slippers made from bamboo, and in-room Starbucks are just some of the nice finishing touches in the guestrooms.


  • Tempur-Pedic luxury beds (Classic rooms only)
  • Bamboo bathrobes and slippers
  • Fully stocked mini-bar
  • 37″ LCD TV
  • iHome clock/radio with docking station
  • Starbucks coffee in-room
  • Pet friendly
  • Air conditioning
  • 24-hour exercise room
  • Palm court restaurant and lobby
  • El Gaucho (steakhouse)
  • The London Grill
  • 24-hour concierge
  • In-room dining
  • Private dining
  • In-room massage
  • Vallet service
  • Free hi-speed internet throughout

Things to Do

Ideally located on the doorstep of the vibrant Pearl District, you can experience some of Portland’s very best galleries, boutiques, restaurants, and bars. You are also within walking distance of the Rose Quarter, where concerts, performances, and various shows are held, as well as the home to the NBA team ‘The Blazers’.

If you want to experience some of the finest landscape that beautiful Oregon has to offer, then Washington Park is just a short bike, bus, or drive away.

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