The Bordello

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Old house built in 1887, former saloon and brothel with very active paranormal activity. Everything from chairs being moved to figures of men and women sighted around the house. Not too bothersome but definitely present. History records suggest a bar fight leading to a stabbing in the saloon in the early 1900’s. Also, because this building was right on the water at the time (before the 880 was built) sailors would often come to the bordello for drinks and “fun”. This would eventually lead to what is known as shanghaiing of sailors. They would be dragged down to the basement and shipped off to work on other ships.I wouldn’t doubt it if some died down there. I personally do not go into the basement alone because it is scary as all hell. Cold cement walls and a small cellar in the back. No thank you. There has been local ghost hunters that have come and recorded video. Many have had success communicating via flashlight. Asking yes or no questions with a flash of light as a response. Over all pretty friendly ghosts who enjoy my old jazz records. Definitely haunted.

(Submitted by Theresa S.)

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Geographic Information

1247 E. 12th st.
Oakland, CA
United States

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37.7894003, -122.2483282
Alameda County, California
Nearest Towns:
Oakland, CA (1.6 mi.)
Alameda, CA (1.7 mi.)
Piedmont, CA (2.6 mi.)
Emeryville, CA (3.5 mi.)
Berkeley, CA (5.8 mi.)
San Leandro, CA (6.7 mi.)
Orinda, CA (7.1 mi.)
Moraga, CA (7.2 mi.)
Albany, CA (7.3 mi.)
Kensington, CA (8.5 mi.)


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Comments (6)

  1. I rented an apartment in the old bordello in 2002-2003. Definitely a spooky/charming place. Overall my unit felt pretty cozy, but the hallway was super spooky. I always felt like I was seeing people in the hallway. Tools used to go missing and show up in random places. I also used to receive mysterious presents (sequins and pieces of sparkly costume jewelry). They’d show up in my apartment from nowhere. I scrubbed and painted every corner of that place when I moved in, so I know that they weren’t there to begin with. Overall impression of the place was that it is occupied by quite a few spirits, but they are all quite friendly and happy to share the place with new tenants.

  2. I’ve been to this place several times, I used to go there after my night classes at Laney College. There are always great parties in this place, it has 2 stages so there is always live music, I sang there a couple of times. In the basement there is a space for private, more intimate parties. Apparently this place was not only where you got Shanghaied, but at some point was part of the underground to run slaves into freedom, and they used the basement to hide the fleeing slaves. Upstairs there are rooms for rent accessible trough a long hallway. The owner is a nice older man who has been there for ever. There is lots of old memorabilia in the place all over the walls. It is said that jack london hanged around here. Did I see any paranormal activity? Not anything too obvious, but I did get an eery feeling when sitting in the front room, I kept looking over my shoulder and several times thought I’ve seen someone in the huge mirror, but there was no one, I attributed it to the dim lighting and the many party favors I had.

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Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.