Book offers a ghost hunters guide

By From page B6 | June 04, 2014

Haunted HotelsBook: “Haunted Hotels of the California Gold Country”

Author: Nancy K. Williams

Publisher: Haunted America, a division of The History Press, 2014, 160 pages, softcover and e-book versions

From Stan, the Cary House’s ghostly desk clerk, to the more than 30 apparitions at the National Hotel  in Jackson to the faithful and lovesick Eleanor of the Murphy’s Hotel, “Haunted Hotels of the California Gold Country” provides a lively and historical guide to ghost hunters everywhere.

Each chapter profiles a different town in the Gold Country from Nevada City to Coulterville, giving a history of the town’s development before moving into the haunts. The results of investigations by paranormal groups are provided and vintage hotel photographs contrast with current photographs by the author’s daughter to provide a perspective of time.

Some of the stories, such as Lyle the tidy ghost at the Groveland Hotel are amusing; others like that of the pregnant Mary Rose at the Jamestown Hotel are tragic, but all of the stories capture the flavor and the fever of the Gold Country when gold was king and towns were booming.

Author Nancy K. Williams now lives in Evergreen, Colo. where she is working on a book about haunted hotels in Colorado’s historic towns. She lived in Granite Bay for more than 30 years and spent much time exploring the Gold Country. She has been published in Sierra Heritage, the Denver Post and the Sacramento Bee.

The book is a promise Williams kept to her husband, who loved exploring the history of the Gold Country with her.

“I think the most enjoyable part of the book or article process is the research — finding out everything I can about a place — what happened there, who lived there … Who might be hanging around through the centuries and why,” said Williams.

“The Mother Lode is full of fascinating stories and plenty of tragedy as life could be so hard,” said Williams. “I think learning about the people who came, their triumphs and defeats, enriches the experience when we visit today. I hope the book helps increase the appreciation of this historic region.”

“Haunted Hotels of the California Gold Country” is available in both paperback and e-book versions at,, Barnes and Noble and at other retailers where books are sold.

Wendy Schultz

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