The ghosts are still evident and ‘hanging around’ Main Street in Placerville , CA., (the town formerly known as Old Hangtown) which is in the heart of the Gold Rush Country. Placerville has the ghastly distinction of conducting and completing the most hangings in all the gold rush country in the 1800’s, sometimes executing as many as five or more people a day. Obviously because so many people lost their lives prematurely in shootings, hangings, claim jumping and just plain illness in those days, the town is full of ghosts and spirits, some wishing to redeem themselves or to offer unsaid words having had their lives cut short at the end of ropes or for other reasons. Many came ‘out west’ to find their riches in gold. Few succeeded in that goal. Some of the ghosts that remain are widows, ladies of the evening, tired miners and storekeepers. Some are drunks, some are misfits, and some just ‘hang’ around because they feel a kinship to the town they once knew Being the author of the book GOLD RUSH GHOSTS and then the sequel INCREDIBLE WORLD OF GOLD RUSH GHOSTS which identified the ghosts in the gold rush country and featured many of the old buildings and their ghostly inhabitants from the 1800’s, it opened up this part of the country to excited ghost hunters and paranormal groups looking for that lost spirit that they might encounter. However, a few weeks ago, once again the ghosts came ‘a callin’’ and as always, they did not disappoint.
It was a rainy night when I was contacted by Mel and Kari Guthrie who had made the decision to open a bakery on this historic Main Street . Their long time dream, they were excited about setting up shop and calling their new business the “Cuppa Coffee, Cakes and More Bakery.” They went into this venture with love, anticipation and more enthusiasm than most people have when going into such a venture.
And then it happened!
“ Nancy could you and GOLD RUSH GHOSTS INTERNATIONAL PARANORMAL INVESTIGATIONS come and see what is going on here?” Kari Guthrie asked. She spoke openly about paper towels running off their rack without hands helping them, toilet paper falling or being pushed or thrown off the shelf, pictures falling off the walls when no one was near them, and having their CD changer skipping around and doing odd things which it did not do in other locations and for no apparent reason. They wondered, “Do you think we have a visitor or two?” Without even responding I knew they did, so I set a date to investigate and then started to put a crew together.
Offering to take the lead in this investigation would be Judy Cooper, seasoned investigator with our group. With her would be Laura Martucci and Cindy Wingard, both GRG investigators along with GRG owner Robert Reppert and of course me. Coming along on this investigation at my invite would be Doug Noble, a writer of note, and Dave and Karen Mace, two of my long time friends and respected paranormal investigators. We all felt the increased activity on Main Street was enhanced at this time as spirits do not like things to change, and not only was this building going through changes as the new owners set up shop, but the Hangman’s Tree bar right across the street had recently closed its doors for good, leaving not only tipsy patrons from this era looking for another place to ‘hang out’, (sorry pun), but the old dusty ghostly gold rush miners that were in need of a drink as well. The place the Hangman’s Bar is located is the original site of the old hangman’s tree from the 1800’s, the tree that’s limbs helped choke out the last breath of many a man looking for gold. Creepily, the roots and stock of that tree can still be seen under the crawl space under the building. I had observed for myself when the bar closed just a few months ago, that the ghostly activity on Main Street took a giant leap forward, and this was confirmed by several store owners who contacted me wondering what to do about the increase of activity.
We arrived at the bakery about 6:00 pm on a Sunday night and started putting up our equipment, making sure that we had stable cameras in all the rooms, the piano area, the oven and bakery cash area, the foyer as well as the storage area, the closet and bathroom. Our meters showed an increased amount of activity in the bathroom as we set up cameras in that room so we could watch the activity from our television screen secured in the waiting area. Reppert felt as if something unseen was trying to ‘trip’ him while setting equipment in that room. He made the decision then to set up the motion-activated alarm system that he invented in that room as well, to be used in conjunction with the camera and his sturdy tripod. This would immediately alert us to any activity should anything of paranormal significance move in front of the camera. Cooper, as was her responsibility as head investigator went to fulfilling the job of finding where all the lighting and other electrical outlets were so we did not confuse the meter reading with electrical currents, something all responsible paranormal groups do as standard procedure. After mapping out the place, Laura Martucci and Cindy Wingard took the hand held meters and went all around inside the building avoiding those places identified as having electrical currents, and gathering meter readings. The heaviest readings were in the bathroom and closet, as well as a chair in the entry behind where we had placed the TV for switching from room to room so everyone could see the activity. Dave Mace would handle the FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared Camera) which would detect footsteps and monitor heat changes. All was ready to go. We turned on the TV and waited to see what transpired.
The Guthrie’s and the guests they had invited along for the adventure were not disappointed as they gathered around the television screen which quickly produced orbs and strange forms. This assured them that ghosts or some other strange activity was clearly present. Our investigators continued to circle the rooms to see if they could secure photos and meter readings of activity.
From the notes of our investigators:
JUDY COOPER: “Immediately when I approached the first closet off to the left as you are walking into the building I felt something strange. I made it a point to walk into that closet and when I did I had an ominous feeling. What happened was strange, and I will tell you this rarely happens to me. I actually got spooked! I knew from the many investigations that I have been on that someone in spirit was right behind me and another right beside me. I know this because there is no denying that feeling. I had walked right into the spirits, and when I gathered myself, I asked them to communicate with me, hoping for EVP which we could analyze later. I definitely felt a presence in there and I want to note that it was the smallest room in the store. Most buildings here date back to the 1800’s and of course that makes it clearly the perfect place for spirits to hang out. I was most impressed with that room and it was easily the major place that I felt presence that night.”
LAURA MARTUCCI: “I felt immediately that there were spirits standing by the employee door. The interesting aspect was that we could not use the EMF equipment not only because of the size of the area, but because of all the electrical currents and water pipes that were everywhere which made it almost impossible to get readings. We found that the walls were painted in enamel which further made it hard to get photos inside the building. I feel it important that when we do our television show (INVESTIGATING THE UNKNOWN WITH GOLD RUSH GHOSTS ~ the 2nd Wednesday night at 8:00 pm on Channel 17), about this bakery, it will be interesting to the viewers to note the obstacles that you can encounter because of the environment. I feel this is important information for up and coming paranormal investigators to note as well. Luckily, when I asked her Nancy confirmed that the employee door exhibited a lot of paranormal energy, and we were able to secure photos of it.”
CINDY WINGARD: “The major thing that I noticed was the storage room when we first came into the building. I felt cold while standing in front of the door.” (This is often a sign of ghostly presence as ghosts and spirits do not have blood in their bodies to produce heat). Cindy continued: “I did try to take photos to see if we could pick up something but did not get anything at that site on film. I was able to secure on film orbs near the floor when everyone was up front and not in this part of the building. I was trying to take some photos of the storage room when the alarm went off in the bathroom noting that something tripped the alarm. I immediately made my way to the bathroom and noticed that the hook lock hanging on the door was swinging as if someone had hit it. There was no one near or in the bathroom and I had not touched the door frame where the latch was located. I called Laura over to see if she could remember bumping the latch and she could not. She actually stopped the latch from moving and while we stood there it started swinging again for several minutes, longer than it should have swung on a normal basis.
I tried using the wands in the bakery part of the building as there was a lot of electrical wiring on the walls and near the floor making it hard to use the meters. The wands crossed without me moving them.” (This is an indication that spirit is around as copper wands are a magnet for ectoplasm.”)
(Ah, as usual, Spirits move around as we of the living do, making it hard to catch things on camera or tape. But we did venture on.)
From the notes of DAVE MACE: “Early in the evening using the FLIR I had discovered three circular cold spots about fist size on the restroom floor.
There was no apparent reason for the spots and they eventually faded away but reformed in a different pattern. Even more interesting was something I observed with the FLIR near the front of the store. Between a chair and lamp, I noticed a motion that appeared to be mist like and about the size of a human. It was a very faint image indicating minimal temperature difference with the surrounding area.
Nancy looked over my shoulder and confirmed my suspicions saying, ‘There is an entity there.’ I took several photos with the FLIR in hopes the figure might be visible for later evaluation.” (They are and you will see them here in this article.”)
FROM ME: “As I never allow an investigation to go on longer that three hours, (if you are going to get activity it will be there right away and dissipate the longer you are there trying to interplay with already existing energy and activity), I asked the crew to pull up equipment and get ready to wrap up and take the equipment to the truck. Just as I did this and as the Guthrie’s and their guests were still watching the TV for activity, the alarm that was set up in the restroom went off, startling the guests. Mace and Reppert were able to confirm that there were no humans (at least LIVE humans) in the bathroom so there was no reason for the alarm to be activated. There are no windows in the restroom so lights from the cars outside could not have set it off either. Later evaluation of EVP’s in the Bakery would bring up the words, “I AM HERE” and “RUSSELL WHERE ARE YOU?”
All in a days work. Since this investigation the Guthrie’s have decided NOT to open their bakery, stating family reasons. For all you ghost enthusiasts that want to check it out, the location is: 442 Main Street in Placerville , CA . Perhaps you might want to inquire about opening your own business there. Yes or no, Happy Ghost Hunting!
The books INCREDIBLE WORLD OF GOLD RUSH GHOSTS and BE A GHOSTBUSTER WITH GOLD RUSH GHOSTS are available through HAUNTEDAMERICATOURS.COM, thought my web and in major bookstores across the world.
The Celebrities Psychic NANCY BRADLEY is one of the top ten Psychics and Life Coaches in the world. She is the best selling author of many books, among them THE INCREDIBLE WORLD OF GOLD RUSH GHOSTS, BE A GHOST BUSTER WITH INVESTIGATING THE UNKNOWN (her television show) and BIZARRE AND GHOSTLY TALES FOR THE CAMPFIRE. She currently lives in the Sacramento area with her husband, her 7 cats and two dogs where she conducts Readings and Life Coaching Sessions and teaches psychic development classes. She is a regular on Good Day Sacramento, Channel #31, KMAX.
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