Scene & Heard: Ghost Hunters

Scaring up ghosts is not as easy as it looks.

By Sarah Mirk June 29, 2011 Published in the July 2011 issue of Portland Monthly

Place The basement beneath Mama Mia Trattoria, Southwest Second Avenue

Time Late Saturday night

Scene The kitchen crew tugs off marinara-stained aprons and scrapes the last cheese-encrusted plates. But in the 125-year-old building’s basement, a small team prepares to meet the next shift’s guests: ghosts.

Situation After a series of equipment failures, Mama Mia owner Lisa Schroeder fears the building is haunted by several spirits.

Team Professional psychic medium and “intuitive consultant” John Ulrich; brothers Kurt and Darrin Page, founders of Portland Paranormal Investigations

Gear Video cameras. Ulrich carries a flask of home-blessed holy water on his belt and a knife in his pocket, in case “things go badly.” He adds that he has been attacked and scratched by spirits in the past.

Surprising Décor Tip On seeing the many mirrors in the restaurant upstairs, Ulrich says, “If this was my house, I’d break all of these.” Mirrors, he notes, could serve as portals to other worlds.

What Happens Very little. In the early morning hours, Kurt Page simply says: “Things were taken, things were left, and things were moved.”

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