There are some places that people like so much that they just can’t seem to leave. The Cary House Hotel on Main Street seems to be one of those places.
Built in 1847 by William Cary, the hotel, located at 300 Main St., served not only those passing through Placerville but miners as well. In 1856, the hotel burned down and was replaced by a three-story brick building. In the 1900s a fourth floor was added. And a rarity for Gold Rush era hotel has an elevator that was added in 1926.
For those who enjoy great ambiance and elegance, the Cary House is for you. Just one step through its door and you are taken back in time. The woodwork and the stained glass in the lobby are eye-catching.
But, for many who stay there, there is much more than meets the eye.
Employees and visitors over the years have reported strange occurrences that include the sighting of a cat in Room 220, a ghost named Stan who likes to hang out in the lobby of the hotel, objects move around in guest rooms. In all, there are reportedly four ghost who inhabit the hotel.
On Sunday night, California Haunts Paranormal Investigation Team psychic Ann Bender, 35, of Elk Grove, sat in the lobby preparing to lead an investigation in the hotel. Suddenly, she looked back over her right shoulder and said, “Well, hello.”
Could this have been the famous Stan who was stabbed on the stairs by a jealous husband after he insulted the man’s wife?
“It was a very heavy whisper,” she said. “I envision him with a mustache, a lot of gray hair and a heavy beard. He would have been one who went out mining but would come here to rest up. He certainly had deep wrinkles. “
As Bender communicated with the ghost in the lobby, other investigators were walking around the building taking electromagnetic frequency meter readings, testing the levels of electricity within the building to see if they could find something that seemed to be out of place.
“They use the EMF detectors to try detect changes in EMF fields,” said lead investigator David Bende of Elk Grove. “One of the theories is entities in order to manifest must draw upon some type of energy source whether it s light energy, heat energy or EMF fields. So if an investigator can detect a change, that, coupled with a photograph or maybe a temperature change, could indicate there being something there.”
As Ann made her way up the stairs, she stopped at the first step on the third floor before going up to the fourth floor.
“Someone had a heart attack right here,” she said, pointing to the first step. “He was on the left side of the stairwell when it happened. He’s uncomfortable with people stepping on here.”
Ann said she felt the strongest ghosts in the building are that of a woman and the man in the lobby.
“He would have been a permanent fixture here,” she said. “He looks after the building but he started out as miner who came in here to get cleaned up and then go back into the city with his findings. He hit it really big and he loved it here. He would have been one who had them order special things in.”
Ann also talked about the woman she saw on the stairway who was dressed in white and had short hair.
“It looks like a white nightgown,” she said. “She had short, curly hair. It doesn’t match the time period of the dress that I see her in. So I don’t know if it she is a guest from later time period.”
Back down on the main floor, Ann made her way to a back dining area where she said she saw shadows on the walls. During a dowsing rod session, where she asked the ghosts questions and they seemingly answered via moving the rods, Ann saw shadows moving around. She and another investigator also noticed a very cold spot which seemed to settle near the table.
As Ann made her way into an empty room that resembled a room with dance floor with a bar in the corner. Investigator Janelle Loberg-Cardoso, 34, of Sacramento, said she saw a dark shadow in the corner near the bar. As there is frosted window near the bar, investigators went out, in front of the window to try to recreate the shadow but could not.
“It was really dark, darker than your black shirt,” she said. “I saw the black shadow pass on the west side of the bar. I haven’t seen anything like that, so it was cool.”
As the investigation concluded, all present said it had been interesting but the recordings, meter readings and pictures would have to be analyzed. Once that was done, a conclusion could be made.