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A Long Day at the Brookdale Lodge

Maria Eivers of H.P.I. Paranormal

By: Maria Eivers of H.P.I. Paranormal

I attended the H.P.I. Northern CA Paranormal Conference 2007 at the Brookdale Lodge in Brookdale CA. this past weekend, (supposedly one of the most haunted sites in California). I had never attended any such thing in the past, though I do believe in Ghosts and Spirits. I always had my reasons for not attending any such event in the past; firstly, I always thought that only insane people would do such a thing and secondly with some of my past experiences with the spirits, I didn’t want to be put into a situation where the dead were being invited to the party. But being optimistic, I was actually excited about attending. I avoided any research on the Hotel, as I didn’t want anything to taint my paranormal adventure.

Well, my first reason to avoid a Paranormal Conference I now know to be false. Everyone I met was very nice, and I learned quit a few things about myself I did not know. All my life I have suffered from sudden anxiety and at times overcome with strange emotions that I could not explain. I have unintentionally run into some spirits who literally showed me exactly how they were feeling. I have also had times when I have known that things have happened to people before I was told (not a fun feeling). So, I found myself with a group that I could share my stories and experiences with and not get the “look”…you know the one…the blank stare of “oh my god she’s loosing it”. I never new exactly what it was that I had, until someone gave me a new word in my vocabulary, empath. It was explained to me that it was a psychic gift…I was thinking, I don’t remember unwrapping this gift while sitting under the Christmas Tree…what kind of gift is “empathic”. Ok, at least I was happy to know I wasn’t the only one who had this “gift”, and some have it worse than me. Then I was told that with all the psychic energy that was at the Hotel for the Conference, I might be a bit more sensitive than usual…Greeeaaat! So, ok, I think I can embrace this as a gift, maybe even work with it. I figured, we are in a haunted hotel, with psychics ready to draw out the energy…let’s see what I can do with this. So, I opened myself up....the rest of the evening was a bit emotional.

Have you heard this one before?….an empath walks into a bar…Ok, I went into the bar at the hotel to close out my tab…yes, a huge tab of $6.00. I was standing there waiting. Someone came over and was standing a bar stool away from, he was not a happy camper…as a matter of fact, he was very upset, bordering on angry...the feeling gave me goose flesh. Now, the angry feeling was not the freakiest part, the fact that no one was actually there completely blew my mind. So, I looked at the bartender, and asked her for another drink before closing out my tab. I grabbed my drink and left the man, still there and still upset…about what who knows, and I wasn’t going to stay there to find out.

Many of the speakers at the conference all spoke of there experiences, many of them being from Paranormal Investigative groups. One of the speakers was Nancy Bradley, a well known psychic. I found myself listening intently to every word she had to say. After she was done speaking I had a chance to talk to her briefly, unlike most people, I wasn’t really trying to find out anything about myself, I wanted to know more about her and her experience. Also, talking to here was another woman. She was asking Nancy about her career and where she thought it might go…then the conversation turned to past lives. Ok, this I had to get in on. I briefly asked her what she saw for me in regards to my past life. She absolutely floored me with two words… “Civil War”. I did not ask anymore, because frankly that was enough for me in regards to the “freak out factor” Keep in mind, Nancy Bradley knows nothing about me. Now, why would the words “Civil War” make my jaw drop. Well, ever since I was a kid, I have been fascinated with the American Civil War. Every report I ever did, that would allow me, had something to do with the Civil War….My President report was on Lincoln, my report on a famous woman was Clara Barton…I did a report on the influences the Civil War had on modern medical practices. When I was 20, I joined a Civil War Reenactment Group…I knew no one in the group, I just saw them at a Park and joined on the spot. I think the creepiest thing for me was when I went to Virginia to tour the Civil War Battlefields...we came to this one spot known as the Horseshoe…the problem was that it was not the first time I had been there…I started to have an anxiety attack and had to leave.

Next on the list of activities for the Paranormal Conference was a séance led by Nancy Bradley (www.NancyBradley.org) in the old log cabin. The cabin is supposedly filled with spiritual energy. So, they placed about 65-70 of us into this cabin, forming a circle around the room, leaving the center of the floor open. The stone fireplace was going with large flames. I stood near the fireplace…a spot where Nancy said the energy was the strongest. People were blinding me with their cameras, all hoping to catch some spiritual phenomenon. The lights were turned off…but the flashes continued to light the room, and blind me. The séance started, but the flash bulbs became too much for me. I found a log that was turned upright and I decided to sit there. I put my hand over my eyes to shield me from the flashing. Eventually the flashing calmed down. Nancy would point out were she felt energy and would describe what she saw. My friend, Shannon McCabe (President of H.P.I. Paranormal) was on the floor a few feet away from me. She started feeling anxious like she was having an asthma attack. Nancy came over to check the energy and felt, that where Shannon was sitting, a man had been hurt very badly in this spot. Roger, a Brookdale Lodge employee, confirmed that he had fallen through the floor in this very spot! He had hurt his leg badly and is now cruising around the Lodge in a scooter. At this point I was sitting on the log…half listening to Nancy…I had my eyes slightly closed…and I was saying under my breath… “If there is anyone here that needs help, I am here for you”. I said this over and over under my breath…then it hit suddenly and quickly. I was overwhelmed with a feeling of anxiety and fright…I began to shake and cry…my heart was pounding so fast, I thought it was going to fly out of my chest. My body became weak. I was trying to get someone’s attention. Finally, I felt my friends, Shannon and Carol Gillis of H.P.I. lifting me up and comforting me. My legs were so weak I could hardly walk. As they took me away from the fire place, the anxiety and fear began to lessen and my strength began to return. They took me outside into the rainy night air. After a few moments, against the advice of my friends, I returned to the cabin…not because I wanted to, but because I had to. At this point, no one wanted to leave my side, and I was happy to have them there.

Once the séance was over, I saw my friend Shannon talking to another woman…the woman was asking about the person who had the anxiety attack. Shannon told the lady that it was me. The lady turned out to be another psychic (Anne from H.P.I. Paranormal). She told me she was feeling energy next to the wood pile, almost exactly where I had been sitting. She asked if I was OK with standing there…she assured me that she could keep me grounded. So, I stood with my back to the wood pile, Anne took my hands and told me to breathe in through my nose and out my mouth and clear my mind. No sooner did I do that I was hit with that feeling again….anxious, scared, confused…I began to cry uncontrollably. Anne talked to me to calm me down…but it wasn’t me that needed to be calmed. She pulled me a few inches away from the wood pile. She asked me to picture whoever it was in my mind. Then, I saw her…a young girl…blond shoulder length hair with a small bow on the right side. She was wearing a white dress that went just below here knees…the dress had a light blue sash around the waste…she had stockings and shoes that buckled. She was confused, she didn’t know what was happening and she wanted her mother. Anne asked me some questions, but at this point I was concentrating on the girl…she kept crying for her mother…I remember her saying that “everything used to be so big, now it all looks small”…then I remember Anne asking for a song or something along those lines…all I got from the girl was “into the night”. I don’t think the girl liked Anne interrupting. I began crying hysterically again…that is when Anne pulled me away and had me count to ten…then the girl was gone. I can still hear her in my head, and it makes me even more curious about this little person that was so sad and wanted her mother so badly. (Was this the ghost of Sarah that Maria was channeling?! Maria knew nothing of Sarah, but explained her just like anyone that had seen Sarah running through the Brookdale Lodge!- H.P.I.)

After the séance we all waited around for the hotel to close down so that we could break up into smaller groups and explore. A band was playing in the Fireside room. I went in to check it out. The music was a bit strange, but the people “dancing” to it were ever stranger. I was looking around the room, when I felt someone staring at us all. It took me a moment to figure out where it was coming from…I looked up into the balcony that ran along the conference room…again, I couldn’t see him, but I knew he was there. I got the feeling it was the same man from the bar…but now he was looking down on us all. Soon the hotel was closed and the investigation was on. During the investigation, I only felt something twice…in the Mermaid room, we were not alone…and then in the Conference room. The man in the Conference room was the same man that I had felt in the bar earlier, then he watched over us in the Fireside room. This time he was annoyed…like he was getting tired of us being around. There was a smaller area, a hallway of sorts, in Conference Room that had a bar in it. The opening to this room was covered by a sheet…several people in our group “rushed” into that room at once. A couple of them came out feeling “anxious”…one even coughing. I took a deep breath and went in going to the farthest corner of the room. Everyone was talking at once…the room was narrow and dark. I could feel the man’s anxiety…he was feeling “crowded”. Everyone started coming to my end of the room…including the man. As he got closer, my anxiety grew. I didn’t tell anyone at the time (because enough weird stuff had already happened to me)…but the man went right past me…exiting the room via the back wall, all he wanted was to be alone.

Well, finally the night was over and it was time to go back to the hotel room…I was exhausted. Shannon, Carol and I went back to our honeymoon cabin. We put together a make-shift bed for me on the floor of the room next to the fireplace and the jacuzzi. I got into the bed, the best bed ever! I took a few deep breaths…closed off my mind…and covered my head with the blanket. I had had enough of the spirit world for one night.

 

Brookdale Lodge

Set under stately giant redwoods, in the Santa Cruz Mountains, you will find the world famous Brookdale Lodge.

Original Brookdale Lodge

The original lodge was built in 1890 by Judge J.H. Logan at the site of the Grover lumber mill. In the early 1920's, Dr. F. K. Camp built the beautiful dining room with the natural brook running through it. A feature in Ripley's Believe It or Not served to make the Brookdale Lodge world famous. Throughout the years, the Brookdale Lodge has hosted a number of notable guests: movie stars, music celebrities and a U.S. President.

It was in the '40's and '50's that the lodge entered its most intriguing period, becoming a home for gangsters and other shady characters. Secret passageways and hidden rooms were installed throughout the lodge and rumors of buried bodies under the floor began to circulate. Also during this time, six year old Sarah Logan, the niece of the lodge owner, drowned in the dining room creek. It's her ghost that is most often seen at the Brookdale. But Sarah wasn't the only watery death at the lodge. In 1972, a 13 year old girl drowned in the kidney shaped pool above the mermaid room forcing its closure.

The Manifestations
Over the years there have been many sightings of little Sarah Logan. She is often seen in a white and blue Sunday dress walking through the lobby or near the fireplace between the lounge and Brookroom. She has also been seen playing on the balcony of the Brookroom, an area off limits to visitors and guests, and sitting beside the fire in the Fireside Room.

Some have even been approached by the crying Sarah asking if they could help her find her mother. As they turn to look for the little girl's mother, Sarah vanishes. The sightings aren't limited to visitors. The owners of Brookdale Lodge have also seen Sarah running about the lodges' lobby. From their description, Sarah was, "very clear, like a whole person" and wore a 1940's style formal dress. She ran silently across the lobby for about five seconds before disappearing through the office window. The owners must have been quite "spooked" because soon after the they hired several priests and psychics to try and rid the lodge of its spirits.

The niece isn't the only paranormal activity visitors to the lodge have experienced. In the Mermaid Room visitors have experienced hearing voices, the clinking of glasses, and soft music when the room was empty. The jukebox located here has been known to turn itself on and off when nobody is near it.

When the Brookroom is empty you can sometimes hear glasses and plates clinking and people talking as if dozens of ghostly diners are having a meal. A ghostly woman, has been seen walking over the brook as if supported by a bridge removed long ago. Psychics speculate that she is the mother of Sarah Logan returned to find her daughter. The smell of gardenias often permeates the room at night although there are no gardenias in the Brookroom or the lodge. Could this be the perfume of Sarah's mother?


Big band music has been heard playing faintly in the Fireside Room and in the Pool Room. People have also reported cold spots, presences, and even being touched by unseen forces in the Pool Room.

Late at night doors slam and footsteps are often heard in empty rooms. They are particularly loud from the second floor conference room. Many have reported strange smells and having a sense that the room is full of people when it is empty. Psychics have identified one of the conference room spirits as a man by the name of George. He is a lumberjack and has also been encountered behind the lodge at a place where in the lodge's early years they chopped wood for its many fireplaces.

In the 1970's a wing of motel rooms was built over the spot where once stood the lodge's camping cabins. Room 46 of the motel wing is reported to be very haunted. A woman who worked at the lodge in exchange for lodging has reported that at night objects and shapes would fly across the room. Ghostly ballroom dancers would swirl around leering at her as they floated by. Ghosts would materialize around her bed, their faces sometimes vague and sometimes very very clear. One of the ghosts was a little boy, perhaps 12 or 13 years old, another was a man with his eye hanging loose on his cheek, and still another was a man with a knife wound across his face. Not all of her experiences in room 46 were visual. She also reports that once she felt somebody sit on the edge of her bed and stroke her arm.

The current owners have been told by psychics that, in all, there are 49 spirits in residence at the Brookdale. Enough to make it more than worth a visit.

In addition to it's paranormal interest, the Brookdale Lodge is centrally located to all the attractions and activities of the Santa Cruz mountains and a nice place to stay. If you are just driving through I recommend you stop for their very nice Sunday champagne brunch in the Brookroom. (9:30 - 2 PM)

http://www.hauntedbay.com/features/BrookdaleLodge.shtml

For More Information

Brookdale Lodge
11570 Highway 9
P.O. Box 903
Brookdale, California 95007
831-338-6433


For information regarding H.P.I. Paranormal and future conferences, check out their web site at: www.HPIparanormal.net


 

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