New Renaissance is a wonderful New Age bookstore and gift shop in NW Portland. You can find all kinds of great things there – from sage bundles for smudging to Christian literature to Tarot decks to clothing. It’s one of our favorite places to go when we are on that side of town. It also happens to be about a block away from a most excellent sushi restaurant.
We’ve visited several times now and every time I walk into the place I am sure of one thing – New Renaissance is haunted.
Now one would think that a place like this – which gets a lot of traffic from mediums, tarot readers, witches and other folk who are more aware of the spiritual realm than most – would have some kind of reputation by now. But I haven’t found any mention of spirits residing there. Yet every time we go in there I am hit by a presence the minute we walk in. It stalks us like a protective dog keeping an eye on strangers encroaching in its territory. I feel cold spots and weird vibes for about the first twenty minutes and I feel mildly nauseous and weak for as long as I’m inside. The minute we leave the building the nausea vanishes and by the time we walk down the short flight of stairs onto the sidewalk I am back to normal.
My Darling has noticed that his ability to sense spirits has increased since we started going to graveyards, so last week we went to try it out at New Renaissance. I wanted to see if he picked up on the same thing I do. Sure enough, as soon as we walked in he started feeling the cold spots and the strange vibration, as well as a smell that he couldn’t place. I’ve smelled it too – kind of an odd, musty, kind of perfumy smell. He didn’t quite get the same sick feeling I do, but he was definitely aware of something there that moved around from place to place within the store.
“We mean you no harm,” he whispered under his breath at one point. The smell disappeared as the entity backed away and went into another part of the store, probably to find other patrons to bother. We didn’t sense anything more until we went to check out.
“What is that strange smell?” A patron asked. She tried to place it. “It’s a little citrusy, but…”
The cashier looked at her. “Oh that. We don’t exactly know. It kind of comes and goes….”
My Darling and I looked at one another. We paid for our things and stepped outside, our belief in the paranormal strengthened once again.
Of course we have no substantial proof, so the question remains….is it us? Or is New Renaissance Bookstore haunted?