The Original Portland Eccentric
A century before Portland became a capital of quirk, the unconventional wife of a congressman shook up Stumptown with her mystical quests and outrageous out-of-body experiences.
Illustrations by Jonathan Hill
During Portland’s Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition of 1905, Lucy Rose Mallory's soul purportedly left her body and floated around the conference hall. Mallory, sixty-one, had a history of psychic episodes. She had begun experimenting with astral projection — out-of-body experiences — as a child in southwestern Oregon in the 1850s, and the lifelong interest culminated in the incorporeal travel she described as “one remarkable experience” at the 1905 Exposition. When her soul and body separated, she claimed she was aware of both selves simultaneously. Her claim was grandiose, but Lucy Mallory wasn't the only one who corroborated it.
After trying in vain to get anyone at the Exposition to notice her, Lucy's spirit left that location and ended up with a woman in an unidentified local kitchen. “Can you see me?” Lucy cried. “I am here in spirit.” The woman didn’t notice. Spirit-Lucy mustered all her strength and tried again to get her attention, which appar…
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