Since my first book to be released is a ghost story, I've decided to periodically share on my blog some of my favorite ghost stories or haunted places to visit. I'm convinced that I saw a ghost once, but I'll post about that experience later. So, without further adieu, here is Ghost Stories, Post #1.
A few years ago, my husband and I spent a night in Jamestown, California with our two young sons. We were traveling from Yosemite National Park to San Francisco and it was the perfect stopping point. Jamestown was a booming gold rush town back in the 1850's. Countless people came to the town--chasing their American dreams of striking it rich. It's also famous as a railroad town and has a great railroad museum. We got to ride one of the old trains while we were there! Let me just say that the drive through the mountains to get to Jamestown was AMAZING! (If not slightly nauseating.)
In the late 1800's, the Jamestown Hotel--I believe it was formerly called the National Hotel--was built. It has been through multiple fires and at one time was converted to the Motherlode Hospital. Although it has now been renovated into a bed and breakfast, some of the ghosts from the hotel/hospital's past still reside there.
So, being the AWESOME parents that we are, we decided to spend a night in the haunted hotel...again, who doesn't like to periodically have the crap scared out of them? And who doesn't stay in haunted hotels with two young children?
The hotel is small--only a handful of guest rooms--and the staff goes home at night, leaving you alone with the resident ghosts. The rooms aren't big, but they're fun because they're decorated as if you took a step back into the 1800's. Ours had old photographs on the walls, worn wallpaper and antique furniture. Our kids slept on an actual trundle bed that pulled out from underneath our bigger bed.
One of our favorite parts of the room was the bathroom. It sported an antique vanity, a clawfoot tub, and one of those old toilets that you flush by pulling a string above your head.
Did we see any ghosts during our stay at the Jamestown Hotel? Nope. BUT, at one point I left the room to choose a book from the hotel's "library"--don't plan on finding a TV in your room--and I totally psyched myself out. The floors are creaky, the hallways are dimly lit, and there are very few other guests. By the time I got back to the room, I was convinced I was being followed. It was enough to produce that creepy, crawly feeling that starts at the base of your spine and works its way up to your head. I didn't leave the room again until morning. I'm getting the shivers just thinking about it. Yikes!
In case you decide to have your own stay in the Jamestown Hotel, here are two of the hotel's ghosts and their stories:
Legend says that Flora came to Jamestown and fell in love with one of the local miners. He was shot and killed in some sort of drunken argument the day they were supposed to marry. Distraught, Flora shut herself in her room for days, her cries never ceasing. When she finally quieted, the staff entered her room to check on her. They found her sitting in a chair, still in her wedding dress, and dead of a broken heart. Flora is known as a mischievous ghost and likes to mess around with the hotel guests and staff--throwing things from shelves, emptying suitcases, flickering lights, and slamming doors.
Legend says that Mary came to town during the hotel's brief time as a hospital. No one knew where she had come from or what her story was. It soon became apparent that she was pregnant, but her delivery did not go as hoped. Mary and her baby died during childbirth and were buried in the local cemetery. Staff and guests insist they can still hear Mary's moans coming from Room 7.
Until next time...watch out for ghosts!