Luckily the predicted storm that was going to white out the Sierras never materialized Friday night and out ghost hunt investigation of the Truckee Hotel was on!
I made it into a family fun weekend and brought half the clan along (the others were not abandoned...but were with their dad).
The Truckee Hotel dates back to the 1870s and houses 37 guest rooms. It is comfortable and quaint and has, thankfully, not fallen victim to the awful modernization that happens to many such historic buildings.
Bathrooms and tubs are still down the hallway and the rooms still have the sinks and the towels for when you head back to your room.
We found from our initial research and introduction to the hotel that several murders have occurred there over the years, including the awful death of a young girl who was killed in the bathtub on our floor.
Her ghost is one of the most commonly seen and heard spirits dwelling in the hotel. We didn't know it upon check in, but the room where we stayed apparently is the room where the kidnapped girl was taken just before being killed by her abductor just down the hall.
There were three of us on the investigation, plus a bonus junior ghost hunter in my almost 11-year-old daughter. She joined us for the first part of the evening/night.
She conducted EVP sessions with us (the capturing of voices on recording devices that cannot be accounted for by people speaking in the room at the time, on a radio or television, down the hall, etc.). EVPs are undeniable and have been captured literally since the advent of recording capabilities.
She watches GHOST HUNTERS with me and was so excited to be on her first official hunt! We know from the research of documented cases that oftentimes the ghosts of children feel the most at ease with their still living counterparts. She's the same age as the girl when she was killed.
We conducted mainly EVP sessions as well as watching for unexplained EMF (electromagnetic fields) fluctuations which are believed to be related to spiritual activity.
EVPs are the cornerstone of an investigation. Capturing spirit voices is easier than most people might like to think. A $40 recorder from the local electronics store is all you need...and like anything else, patience. But don't be surprised if you capture voices on your first try!
We are still reviewing the mountains of evidence we recorded.
But here are a few oddities that happened to us. Our group leader was touched on the head and poked in the ribs by something that wasn't there. The poke in the ribs came immediately following a request for a spirit to make its presence known to him.
We ALL also heard the unmistakable sounds of a child in the hallway of the 4th floor. It sounded like it was right behind us, it was that close. I can only describe it as an unhappy child--the kind of shrieking whine you might hear if a child was made to do something they didn't want to do. No words. Just a moan of discontent, if you will.
It seemed odd to us that there wasn't a child in the hall when we heard this. And we debunked it being Little Miss Gingy because when the guys heard it, she was with Sarah and quiet as can be. And when Sarah heard the same sound down the hallway, I was with the baby and she was drinking her milk and almost asleep. The older kids were quiet as well at both times.
We verified with the hotel lobby that there were no children staying on the 4th floor AT ALL and we never saw one child (other than our 3) in the entire hotel, on ANY of the 4 floors.
I get frustrated when people DEMAND PROOF of the paranormal, even offering one million dollars for solid evidence (is the voice of my deceased mother calling my name--and captured on tape--enough evidence for these types?). Was this child's voice proof of a ghost? Nope. But the fact that it happened on the SAME FLOOR where a girl was dragged against her will and subsequently murdered, and outside the room where she was kept by her kidnapper, and that it coincides with countless eyewitnesses (both guests and employees) who see and hear a little girl running up and down the hallways of the 4th floor?
That's pretty hard to debunk in my opinion.
But I don't do this to prove anything to the hardcore skeptics. I feel sorry for them. They wouldn't believe it if an army of ghosts lifted their bed and tossed them onto the street below, so why bother with them?
We know we have several EVPs from the investigation, and that is with 90% of the evidence still to be reviewed.
From Jon being touched several times, to him hearing clearly the voice of a man saying "Get out...GO!" in the room where a man lived for 40 years, to the EVPs, to the child's voice on the 4thfloor, to all the witnesses I spoke with (many of them employees who were VERY MUCH skeptics to the whole "ghost" thing), I am convinced beyond ANY doubt that the Truckee Hotel is haunted.
For those of you who are into haunted hotels, I would recommend staying on the 4th floor on your next trip to Truckee, California. The Truckee Hotel--and its many spirits--await you.