Monday, August 31, 2009

Humboldt City, Part 1

Yearning for another investigation, Rebecca and I discussed going to the town of Unionville, NV. After doing a bit of research and talking with a friend who had recently been there, it sounded as if the current residents were very protective of the area and didn't really want anyone poking around. I had seen another ghost town on the map that was on the way, so we changed our plans. We were now going to Humboldt City, NV. I hooked up the tent trailer and went to pick up Rebecca.
Humboldt City was a small mining town NE of Lovelock, NV. It was established in 1860. At it's peak in 1863, it is said to have had a population of 500 with about 200 structures.
We hit the highway around 11am. It was a beautiful day for a road trip. We drove for a couple of hours and decided to grab some lunch in Lovelock. A very quaint little town. The Cowpoke Cafe seemed to be the hot spot on this particular Saturday, so we parked our rig and went inside. This place was packed! We placed our order then found a table outside. The burgers were so-so, but the fries were great! Real potatoes! After lunch, we topped off the gas tank and made our way back to the highway.
We came to our exit, then proceeded to drive right past our turn off. Once we found a place to turn the rig around, (I haven't quite got the hang of backing up the trailer yet.) we made our way back to the turn off and began our journey up the canyon.
In the beginning, it was your typical desert landscape, but the further up we went, the more beautiful it became. Trees, lots of old, old trees. It had become an oasis nestled in the canyon, invisible from the highway.

A stone cabin revealed itself to our right, then another structure to our left. We had reached our destination! We chose a spot in the shade of a big tree for the trailer. Now for the challenge of getting it there. After many attempts at backing it up under the tree, Rebecca suggested backing further up the canyon, then swinging up under the tree. Why didn't I think of that? Piece of cake!

Once we had our camp situated, it was time to do our initial walk through. I grabbed my camera and Rebecca went to get hers. It wasn't where she thought it was. Oops. After searching through her belongings a couple of times, Rebecca finally succumbed to the fact that it had been left at home.

After looking at all of our options, it was decided to drive down the canyon until we had phone service, then call G. and see if he was up for a drive. We told him how beautiful it was there and how much he would like it. Oh, and where to find the camera. He said yes!! Papa G. you're the best! Rebecca, you are so lucky! I'll put the coffee on.

We began our walk through in the first cabin. The roof was starting to collapse so we had to pay careful attention not to run into the beams. It was good sized for a cabin of that time. Most miners had no family with them and housing was generally minimal. There was nothing to be seen, just a hole in the center of the roof indicating that a stove had was occupied that space. Moving on to the second building, it seemed to have more of a "feel" to it for me. Maybe it was because there were still items in it.

A broken sink, bed springs and a wood burning stove. I found it interesting that the entrance to the mine was directly outside the back door. As if this man didn't want anyone to see what he was pulling out of there. It gave a whole new meaning to "working from home". From here, we decided to drive further up the canyon to see if there were more existing structures. We found only partial walls and fireplaces that indicated at least 20 homes that once were.

After returning to camp, we walked down to explore a single grave that we had noticed on the way up. This area was the only place that I noticed grass. It was the perfect resting place. The marker indicated that this man had passed in 1991. Only 42 yrs old. A hunter? A miner? Nature lover? We'll never know. What I do know is that he has one of the best resting places that I've ever seen.

Papa G. arrived with Rebecca's camera and voice recorder and we gave him a tour of the area. I think he liked it as much as we did. He and Rebecca took a stroll up the canyon. I had to return to camp as I had left the stove on with our coffee.
The sun began to set. The mountains came alive in the most magnificent way. The colors were incredible.

I did my best to capture it with my camera. Not only did the mountains come alive, so did the crickets. I found myself totally surrounded by their sound. It was a bit disorienting at first. Kind of like the feeling you get when your ears start ringing. What is this going to do to the chances of catching an EVP? Maybe they'll go to sleep later.

Rebecca and G. returned from their walk, we shared our appreciation for the area and expressed a desire to return for a weekend. We extended an invitation to G. to stay over with us. I think he wanted to, but the teenagers were at home so he needed to get back. He filled his coffee cup, said his farewell and left us to do our thing.
At this point, our thing was to take a little nap so that we could be fresh in the wee hours of the morning.

To see more photos, go to the myspace site.

Next: Part 2, The Investigation

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Miner's Cabin, Gold Hill, NV

April 2009

We couldn't wait to get back to Gold Hill and into the Miner's Cabin! We reserved it for Sat. night, April 11th. We had heard that it was pretty active. We were 140 years and 4 days from the day of a fire that claimed 35 (confirmed) lives in the Yellow Jacket Mine.

On April 7, 1869, a fire broke out at the 800 ft. level of the mine. It is believed that a candle had been placed too close to a wooden support beam that eventually caught fire. Due to all of the air shafts that fueled the flames, the area had to be sealed off. It has been stated that it smoldered for months. Anyone in that area or below it was trapped.
The Miner's Lodge was used for rest between shifts and to get cleaned up. Now, the cabin can be a two bedroom cabin or a door can be closed in the center to turn it into 2 separate units.
Rebecca, Jessie and I met at the cabin around 3pm. We unloaded all of the gear, put batteries on the chargers, then drove down to the cemetery. My hopes were to find some headstones of miners who had died in the fire.

That way we would have some actual names to work with during the investigation. Unfortunately, a lot of the older parts of the cemetery have rotted away. I could not find any names of miners. I imagine the miners did not have the funds or the family to mark their graves with stone markers. Still, it was interesting to wander around the area. We decided to get something to eat while it was still early and we had choices. We actually got to sit down, enjoy a burger and fries and each others conversation. A lot more filling than the dried mangoes of our last visit. When we arrived back at the cabin, we busied ourselves with set up. Deciding the best place to put cameras and the voice recorders. We still had some daylight, so we walked down to the actual mine. We took quite a few photos, most of which proved to be innocuous. However, I did find two that made me say, "Hmmm". Do I see what I think I see? Is my brain matrixing? Help me out here.

We made our way back to the cabin, tried to find something on the T.V. to help kill some time. It was Easter weekend so we ended up watching an old traditional "Jesus" film. We took out the EMF and KII meters and did a sweep. We came across a spot in the bookcase that made the EMF meter go crazy, however, the KII did not react at all. With the kitchen being in the other side of the wall, we concluded that it must be wiring of some sort. I found it interesting that the KII registered nothing. We began the investigation around 11pm, in unit 19. We immediately noticed that this room was at least 10 degrees cooler than the rest of the cabin. Between the music coming from the bar and people leaving the establishment, there was just no "feel" to this room. We spent 30 min. in this room, then decided to move to unit 18. As we continued to investigate we, again, felt nothing out the ordinary. In reviewing the video footage, there was a light that I just can't figure out. Knowing that Jessie was the only one facing the wall, and watching the reflection of the light from her camera, I just cannot see how it could have come from her. I later, found out that Rebecca had taken a photo of me and caught an orb on this very same wall.

Once the bar closed and everyone had gone, we moved to the Great Room. Since we had captured a decent EVP in there on our last visit, we were hoping to get more of the same. We noticed right away that the iron doors to the bar were open and shuffling could be heard inside. Rebecca sat down, while Jessie and I stayed back. The bartender emerged. Rebecca said "Hello" and this man walked towards her until he was about 4 inches from her face. At this point, I felt a need to make my presence known as well. In his intoxicated state, he let us know that we had startled him. (A cleaned up version). His ride arrived and we finally had the place to ourselves. Jessie saw a light move across her camera frame twice. I haven't seen the footage as of this date. That was the extent of activity.
It was getting late, so we returned to the cabin. I was looking out of the window towards the mine, I thought I saw a light. I pointed it out to Rebecca, who also saw it, we decided to investigate. Jessie, already in bed, didn't want to be left alone. She crawled out of bed to join us. It turned out to be a reflection on a boat that was being stored not far from the cabin. We also noticed how loud the heater to the cabin was when it ignited. How the sound, as it bounced off of the mountain, could be mistaken as sounds coming from the mine.
We decided to let the voice recorders run as we slept. I, later, discovered that one of the recorders had crashed and we lost 7 hrs of audio. I DO NOT recommend the RCA RPS5120-A digital voice recorder. This is the second one that has crashed. It appears to be fine, then when you try to load the files into the computer, they are corrupted.
All in all, the Miner's Cabin was pretty uneventful. Still we had a great time.
Next stop....Unionville, NV.

For more W.I.G.S. go to:

Gold Hill, Nevada

February 2009

Craving more experience in investigating the paranormal, Rebecca and I decided to take W.I.G.S. to the Gold Hill Hotel.

Located in Storey County, 1 mile south from Virginia City, the Gold Hill Hotel is promoted to be the oldest hotel in Nevada. Existing since sometime prior to 1862. We reserved rooms 4 and 5, which are reported to be the most active. Jessie was unable to attend, so it was just Rebecca and myself. This turned out to be perfect since the rooms were very small. We had to work around each other just to move around the beds. I'm not going to go into the whole investigation here, it can be seen on the two other websites. We did catch a couple of light anomalies and one EVP. We were in the Great Room, just chatting with each other. We were talking about the "Jacket pull" on Ghost Hunters and asking ourselves, "Why take such a risk of alienating your fan base by pulling such a hokie stunt?" The reponse is interesting.

I'm including a cleaned up version as well.

We wrapped things up around 1:30am and went to sleep. All in all, the Gold Hill Hotel didn't offer much in evidence of the paranormal, but we did get one EVP. It was a great learning experience and more importantly, it was a lot of fun!

Our next stop...the Miner's Lodge!

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Friday, August 14, 2009

My House...Again

January 2009

Christmas has come and gone. We must have been good as we all received awesome gifts. Rebecca was given a new Sony Cybershot with Nightshot, Jessie a Sony Handycam, also with Nightshot and I received a KII meter from my daughter, Brandi. I was totally surprised! I know there is a lot of controversy regarding this tool, but it is going to be so fun having this in our "toolbox". Our arsenal is getting better all the time. Since we received such cool gifts, we decided to investigate my house again. That and the fact that Ivan, my cat, had started acting strange again. He, for what ever reason, would not walk on the floor. I could actually see him plot out a route that did not involve the floor. When there was no other way, he would run as fast as he could to his target. He has never acted this way. I was setting up my camcorder upstairs, I kept hearing all these ooohs and aaahs coming from Rebecca and Jessie downstairs. I went down to see what was going on. They were comparing their pictures with the Nightshot feature. I took a look and was amazed at the quality and clarity of their pictures. All I could say was, "Awesome". We did the investigation and called it a night. I reviewed all of the evidence and came up with nothing. The best result of the night was that I became the proud, new owner of a Sony Handycam with a 30 gig hard drive and yes, it has Nightshot!! It has Super Nightshot!! I decided to play with my new toy. I was checking out the difference between Nightshot and Super Nightshot, playing with manual focus versus auto- focus and just happened to catch some footage of an orb like object in the bathroom. As I've said before, I'm not big on orbs but cannot explain this anomaly. I was standing still, the heater was not blowing and I haven't seen any flying insects in my house. It's pretty cold in Reno right now so there aren't many insects around. "It" goes through the frame 3 times.

Our next stop....The Gold Hill Hotel, Gold Hill, NV.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My House

November 2008

I have known for a couple of years that there is a "spirit" in my house. I have heard it say my name when I was just about to fall asleep. I heard it so clearly that I responded both times, only to find myself alone. Then my cat started acting strange. He would come into the bathroom, go behind the door, stand up on his hind legs and reach up as far as he could. I would look to see if I needed to clean up dust-bunnies or maybe send an insect back outside. There was nothing there.
When I bought my first digital voice recorder, I set it up in the bathroom and let it record while I slept. Out of 4 1/2 hours of audio, I heard a child's voice singing a little song. To me it sounds like, "I like to play...water". I have no children in my home nor are there any children as neighbors.

Okay, now I want more! I bought a video camera, making sure that it had a "night" feature, set it up in the hallway facing into the bathroom. When I reviewed the video, I saw what appeared to be a shadowy figure that looked like a small child peering out of the tub. Unfortunately, my video camera was not what I had hoped it would be. I learned an expensive lesson, "night mode" and "night shot" are two different things. There was horrible pixilation and auto-focusing going on in the video. I was able to capture a still from the video that shows the figure. The photo of the bathroom shows that there is nothing in the center of the tub that could have created the shape.
I tried to recreate it after seeing the figure. Again, I set up the camera and tripod but I just couldn't get the same effect. I called my W.I.G.S. buddy, Rebecca, and invited her to come over for an investigation. She jumped on it! Grabbed her digital voice recorder, jumped in the car and came over. Camera?!? Oops! Needless to say, Rebecca did a lot of EVP work that night. EVP stands for "Electronic Voice Phenomena". It is sound that is not audible with your ears but can be heard on an electronic device, such as a voice recorder.
We tried ro recreate the shadow again. We could make a shadow but it went down the side of the tub as well. The tripod. We could not get just the "head" shape. I was snapping photos left and right. (How many photos can I take of my bathroom?) Rebecca was asking questions like, "can you knock on the wall?", "what is your name?" and "is this your home?". I had set up the video camera in the bathroom, as well as the voice recorder. After a couple of hours we decided to call it a night. It was a great time. When I reviewed the video footage, I found nothing. When listening to the voice recording, I was totally amazed! We had more EVPs. How exciting is that?! Rebecca had asked if the spirit could knock three times. There were three faint knocks. There were two times that a voice said something while we were chatting with each other. I am unable to discern what is said.

Then Rebecca asked, "Is this your home?". A child's voice responds with, "No, it's pa..'s". I'm not sure if it says "papa's", "pawa's" or "pada's". My name is Paula. When I recall how little ones pronounce my name, it could be pawa or pada. It's definitely a two syllable word.

I had sent the first EVP to Debby and Mark Constantino to see if they could help me clean it up. Mark and Debby are well-known EVP Specialists. They were very nice and did so. What they heard was, "My house...Mother". Thank you Mark and Debby for the help! There is more to come from my house but that's it for now.

For more W.I.G.S. go to:

Monday, August 10, 2009

Austin Ghost Walk

October 2008

I go to Austin, Texas each year to visit my daughter, Brandi, My son-in-law, Michael and my grandchildren, Tristan, Shaylee and Jaden.
This year Brandi and I went on the Austin Ghost Walk in downtown Austin. It was a great evening for Brandi and I. I can't begin to tell you of the places that we went. All I know is that our guide walked very quickly and talked really fast. We did go into the lobby of the Hilton Hotel, which was quite impressive. The story, told by our guide, was that the building is inhabited by the ghosts of two cleaning personnel and a man who committed suicide by jumping from the 16th floor. Luckily, there was a gift shop there,as Brandi's camera batteries died. She said they were fresh. It's a mystery.
Our guide lead us to the Driskill Hotel. What a beautiful place! Our guide recited a tale of a woman who can still be seen entering a room in an older part of the hotel, arms full of shopping bags. I would have loved to have been able to see a room or two. Unfortunately, we were only allowed access to the lobby. Very rich.
The last stop on the tour was the O'Henry House. The story told is of a child who died of whooping cough. The mother of this child was so heartbroken, that she would not leave the dead child for 2 or 3 days. It is said that sometimes you will see the indentation of her body where she sat on the bed. Since we were outside, no one was able to see this phenomena.
I did not catch any anomalies at any of these sites. However, Brandi did take some interesting photos.
At the O'Henry House, Brandi's photo shows "orbs" on a window of the house and on the tree in the center. I'm not big on orbs but do find it interesting since Brandi and I were pretty much side by side taking pictures. Her photos show orbs and mine do not. If there was dust or insects flying around, you would think that they would be in my photos as well. What do you think?
Brandi had another interesting photo of a window of one of the buildings we went to.
In the second pane down on the right side of the lower left window, I see the image of a face. Whether my brain is matrixing or not, I can't say. All I know is that I see a face. You decide.
It was a great mother-daughter evening for two ghost hunters. Can't wait to see what we do next year!
For more W.I.G.S. go to:

Bower's Mansion

October 2008

Rebecca came up with the idea of going to the Bower's Mansion ghost walk. I invited my friend, Jessie, to go with us, as she wanted to join up with W.I.G.S. We loaded up the cameras and were on our way.
Bower's Mansion is located in Washoe Valley, which is about 20 miles south of Reno. It is believed to be "visited" by the spirit of Eilley Bowers.
The grounds are beautiful, with lots of trees and an outdoor pool that's filled by a natural hot spring. We were escorted around the mansion and then went inside. I love old houses! I, being new at ghost hunting, busied myself with snapping photo after photo. I missed a lot of what was being said. I do remember part of the story of how Eilley loved this home but eventually lost it. It is believed that the love she had for this home is what brought her spirit back.There was also a photograph of Eilley that has a small child in the background. It is said that Eilley had lost a child and it's spirit was caught in the photo. My understanding is that these were referred to as "spirit" photos and were quite popular at the time.When I think about the process of photography in those days, it's amazing to me that there were still people willing to create a hoax for the love of money. I have read that most of these types of photos were just that, a hoax. Wouldn't I love to catch a spirit on film with that kind of clarity!
The group that we were in was pretty big, so we were not allowed to go upstairs. So sad, it looked so inviting. I photographed the part of the landing that I could see. In later review, I discovered that one of the photos had a bluish mist.These pictures were taken just seconds apart. I really want to go upstairs! Next time, let's get into the last group. Maybe it will be smaller. I can only hope.
There was also a mist type photo in the dining room.
Once again, these were taken seconds apart.

We left the house and made the climb (huff, huff, huff, really need to quit smoking) up to the family cemetery. By now it was getting pretty dark but I was able to get more familiar with the "night mode" feature in my camera. You must be veewwy, veewwy still
All in all, we had a good time and met some nice people. We have plans to return in the winter months when it's quiet and business is slow.

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TMCC Paranormal Conference

October 2008
My friend Rebecca had invited me to attend a paranormal conference hosted by Truckee Meadows Community College. As we are both interested in the paranormal, it was a definite YES. The conference was being held at the Cal-Neva Lodge, Lake Tahoe, Ca. It was an all day affair with speakers, dinner,and the opportunity to investigate. What more could a would be "ghost hunter" ask for?
The speakers began with Bill Brown, a local newscaster. He shared his experiences of a couple of investigations that he had covered. None of the equipment worked for him, so we were unable to see any of the footage that he had planned to show.
The women that lectured on photography, Anne and Sharon Leong, were very informative and quite entertaining. I went into this with no concept of the theory of light and now I have a bit of it.
Then came the medium.... I am very skeptical of mediums. Still am.
The last speaker , Janice Oberding, was definitely my favorite. She is an historian, as well as a ghost hunter. She shared the history of the lodge, of which I had no clue. The Cal-Neva Lodge had once been owned by Frank Sinatra. It was frequented by many stars of the times. Marilyn Monroe spent quite a bit of time there and it is rumoured that she had tried to commit suicide there two weeks before her death in California.
Then it was dinner....Yeahhh!
Now it was time to start our investigating. We were placed into groups of 15+ and sent to our first location. Our group went to Frank's cabin. Boy, was it small!! Due to the size of the group, five of us ended up in the closet. "Frank, are you in here? Give us a sign of your presence". I didn't think that Frank Sinatra would be hanging out in the closet and since we found no evidence saying otherwise, I have to assume this to be so.
Next, we went to room 101. Supposedly someone had committed suicide in this room. While it offered more space than the cabin, it proved uneventful as well. On to the showroom.
The medium, Vicky Gay, conducted a seance with the only results being experience by her. Need I say more?
Off to the tunnel. Back in the day, there was a tunnel that connected some of the cabins to the showroom. It is located beneath the casino floor and on this night, there was a wedding party in the room above us. We could hear people laughing and dancing and whatever else they were doing. My feeling was that it was a waste of time. There was no way that we would be able to pick up anything in the way of EVPs. I decided to step outside for a smoke. Guess what!?! I was wrong. I did pick up an EVP. Lesson learned... do the investigating anyway. I have concluded that if a "spirit" wants to communicate with you, they will! Regardless of the conditions.
That last location was Marilyn's cabin. Not much investigating but a good opportunity to hear more from Janice.
All in all, it was a lot of fun. My only complaint was the size of the groups. There was no way to know if a sound came from someone in the group or from someone who may have wanted to communicate.

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Sunday, August 9, 2009


Welcome to the W.I.G.S Blog.

W.I.G.S. has decided to start another blog with Blogspot. We have experienced some problems with video at Myspace and want to be able to share those videos with others interested in the paranormal field. We are going to post our older investigations, along with photos and video from those investigations. We hope that you will enjoy your time here. Please share any comments that you may have. Northern Nevada is full of ghost stories. There are still many ghost towns and haunted locations left over from the “Gold Boom” in the 1800’s. We will share our findings with you as we investigate.

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