McMenamins Music

1624 N.W. Glisan, Portland, OR 97209

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Oregon chapter of MUFON and McMenamins History present...

The Ernest Harps Mystery: Haunted by Poltergeist, Possessed by the Devil, or a Telekinetic?

Paranormal Pub
Presented by NW Portland historian Dr. Tanya Lyn March

6 p.m. doors, 7 p.m. event
Minor with parent or guardian

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The Ernest Harps Mystery: Haunted by Poltergeist, Possessed by the Devil, or a Telekinetic?

Ernest Harps, the 11-year-old resident of NW Marshall Street in Portland, appeared on the front page of newspapers in 1909 due to the unexplainable happenings that swirled around the child. Each report theorized on the source of the young man's bizarre abilities.

The focus of this paranormal pub lecture will be on the seven-day wonder Ernest Harps, or perhaps his poltergeist playmate. Hundreds of Portlanders witnessed the Ernest Harps antics -- ministers, spiritualists, reporters and doctors all attempted to explain the unexplained. Many adults had hoped to channel the boy's powers and use him as a conduit to the other side.

On October 28, 1909, the Harps' home became the epicenter of a force that wrecked 546 Marshall Street (pre 1930 address). For four hours that afternoon, witnesses watched furniture, kitchen items, brick-a-brack, books, framed pictures, a neighboring woodpile move as if they were "things of life." Every item in the living areas of the seven-room, two-story house "participated in the odd locomotion." Two thousand curious people (including reporters) apparently paraded into the house to watch. The unexplained phenomena followed the young boy from room to room. Police had to be called to clear the spectators out of the home. Theories for the occurrences included: occult powers, electrical storm, localized earthquake, "the devil in him," a funny power to defy gravity, levitation, poltergeist, hobgoblins, a medium... The owner of the house refused to let the boy stay another night in the home rented by his grandparents. Ernest moved in with his mother Annie at the hotel where she cleaned rooms only to be kidnapped a few days later by prominent local physicians and an alienist intent on harnessing or debunking the boy's skills. On April 10, 1910, 11-year-old Ernest was "given into the hands of a spiritualist to be trained as a medium."

About the Speaker
St. Johns resident Tanya Lyn March, ghost historian, has been gathering ghost narratives and crime stories from homeowners, alienists, ephemera collectors and ancient newspapers for years. Dr. March received her doctoral degree in Urban Studies from Portland State University in 2010, focusing on historic preservation and community development. She has a master's degree in Historic Preservation from Columbia University and is raising two sons. She is currently working on a book about homefront experiences of children who lived in the Guild's Lake Courts war housing in Northwest Portland during World War II. She is the owner of Slabtown Tours LLC, assists on museum exhibits, and writes history pieces for the Northwest Examiner.

Paranormal Pub

Paranormal Pub

Join us once a month to hear from experts in unexplainable phenomena - think UFOs, extraterrestrials, Bigfoot, ESP, ghosts and beyond. Come have a beer and a burger handcrafted beverage, concessions, and/or a slice of pizza, settle in and learn something new from a curated line-up of scholars, experiencers and others.

According to Wikipedia: "Paranormal events are phenomena described in popular culture, folklore and other non-scientific bodies of knowledge, whose existence within these contexts is described to lie beyond normal experience or scientific explanation.

A paranormal phenomenon is different from hypothetical concepts such as dark matter and dark energy. Unlike paranormal phenomena, these hypothetical concepts are based on empirical observations and experimental data gained through the scientific method.

The most notable paranormal beliefs include those that pertain to ghosts, extraterrestrial life, unidentified flying objects, psychic abilities or extrasensory perception and cryptids."

We thank the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) for coordinating and hosting this programming at the historic Mission Theater.

(Reminder: This event is not eligible for the "Attend a History Pub" Passport experience stamp.)


About Mission Theater

Featuring Music, Movies & Events

Our historic Mission Theater in Northwest Portland features special movie screenings, live music, engaging talks, select sports event screenings and other fun experiences—join us for the next event! We’ve installed a much larger screen & a thundering new sound system, and have space for you to either sit or stand.  

Food and Drinks at the Mission
We’ve got a full bar, pizza, salad and concessions for you to enjoy.

Theater pricing and policies 
•  All shows are 21 and over unless accompanied by a parent or guardian, or unless stated otherwise.
•  Doors will open approximately 30 minutes before show time, unless stated otherwise.
•  Admission is $2 for adults and children for shows starting before 5pm, $4 for adults and $3 for children after 5pm, unless stated otherwise.
•  Daily ticket specials only apply to standard movies and are not available for special screenings or events.

Accommodations Closed Captioning 

Our theater offers a quality entertainment experience for deaf, hard of hearing and vision impaired guests. Our movie showings are closed captioned, and we offer individual Captiview closed caption devices that sit in your seat’s cupholder. In addition, we offer two types of headphones: hearing impaired headphones that amplify the dialogue, or visual impaired headphones that describe the scenery and action. Just inquire before showtime to use any of these devices.

Please note: Mission Theater is wheelchair accessible.


Menu  Dietary Restrictions  Catering

We’ll serve you a meal or a snack to enjoy while you sit and take in the feature film. Enjoy pizza by the slice or whole pie, salads and movie concessions – along with both non-alcoholic beverages and our own handcrafted ales, wines, hard cider and beer (plus guest taps).


The location that serves as one of McMenamins favorite neighborhood theater pubs was the locus of great spiritual zeal beginning in the 1890s. That's when the Swedish Evangelical Mission established its church here....

From a church to a theater-pub, the Mission's history ain't exactly saintly. Click here for more info!

Hold your Private Event at the Mission Theater

Weddings  Meetings  Social Events

The Mission Theater (ca. 1912) offers historic splendor in the heart of Northwest Portland. The preserved balcony, ornate finishes, woodwork, high ceilings and grand stage all make for a magnificent and memorable wedding venue. Our catering, staff, and sweeping area for a dance floor add the desirable detail to your big day.

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