Murder, Mayhem & Oddities of St. Johns

Mub shot of Martha Bower age 42 11, 2, 1905. Life for Murder.
Born and raised in St. Johns Martha Bowers involved her sister in a 1903 tale of adultery and murder San Francisco. File under crazy vacation.

Murder, Mayhem & Oddities - St. Johns, PDX

Tour Description

Experience St. Johns’ paranormal, peculiar, and criminal heritage as we take to the streets to converse about the history that is left out of the history books. We will take our guests to locations where the spirits are known to be less than peaceful. This is a walking tour with steep grades. Bring your rain gear and walking shoes and use a restroom before you join the tour. Gear up to learn about cautionary tales including Elizabeth Huff Byars' murderous daughters, Thelma A. Taylor's ghost, the theater poltergeist, the Doppelganger, and the local contestants in eugenists Better Baby Contest. Uncover jaw dropping mysteries and gain insights into the perplexing past 


We start by the Cathedral Park sign on the corner of N. Edison & N. Pittsburg.  This tour is not accessible.  We will walk from a residential neighborhood that was once the orcrads of the Byer family and then loop back to the start point along the St. Johns’ mainstreet. 

Local Highlights 

St. Johns Bridge: This historic bridge completed in 1931 is a symbol of the neighborhood and offers stunning views of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers.

Cathedral Park: A beautiful park located directly below the St. Johns Bridge. It features a boat ramp, a dog off-leash area, a hiking trail, and a natural habitat wetland sanctuary.

St. Johns Twin Cinemas: opened as the Venetian Theater, 1926.  The vaudeville ghost haunted the previous theater structure and with an astral presence for over a 100 years. He has settled by all accounts less than peacefully into the new theater.  


Living tour guests: $20 Thanks to a partnership with The St. Johns Boosters, Venture Portland, and Prosper Portland this tour is offered at a reduced rate.
Ghosts tour guests with death certificate free.


Our evening tours are not for the faint of heart or those under the age of 12. This tour is offered on the Third Saturday of each month at 7pm.  Reach out to our team if you are interested in this tour and can not attend on the currency offered tours; we can often add additional dates to our current offerings.

Please arrive 15 minutes prior to start time. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing that are appropriate for the weather. It’s a good idea to bring a hat, sunglasses, and a jacket or umbrella if there’s a chance of rain.  We allow friendly leashed dogs on our tours. There are no refunds for no shows. Tours run rain or shine.  We can often accommodate a friend if the walking tour you booked is sold out. You should receive a text for your tour guide in advance of the tour.  If you will be arriving late, reply to the text so that the guide can direct you to a meet up location at a later stop point on the tour.

Parking and Transportation 

The parking is free in this area.

Roosevelt Student Thelma Taylor's killer leads police to her body. Cover Story Oregonian August 12, 1949.