“I have people who really love living next to graveyards,” said real estate broker Deborah Woodroe of Woodroe Realty in Medina, New York. “They have quiet

Has anyone ever been to a haunted place?

A few years ago, I had the pleasure to spend the night alone in a “haunted” hotel in California’s Gold Rush country. It was built around 1870 and at one-time part of it was the area court house and jail. I verified through several historic documents that numerous deaths had occurred there and close by, not to mention gold rush hangings right in the rear courtyard area.

It was nearing their slow season in the fall and the owners invited me to stay if I wanted. I arranged for a date and returned with a small suitcase. The town only had a few hundred people so by 5:00 PM, everything was closed. I had to drive out of town for dinner. I didn’t plan it, but there was a full moon on the night I stayed which turned out to be fortuitous since I decided to go for a walk through the town towards the two old cemeteries.

The owners stayed in the office until about 9:00 PM and then they went home. There were no other employees or hotel guests. Before leaving they gave me the coded access to the front door. I must say there wasn’t much to do. The only television was in the bar, which I didn’t have access to. I did have access to the rest of the hotel, including all the rooms. There are 13 total. (Really)

I walked around and investigated the hotel for a while, and then went and sat in the downstairs lobby for a while. I could see the old west style building across the street and noticed not a single person or car came down the street. Since everything seemed quiet I decided to walk around town a bit.

I suppose with the old buildings, deserted streets and full moon, I was starting to creep myself out a little. I walked around for about half an hour and then decided I was more afraid of critters than gold rush spirits. I returned to the hotel and let myself in.

I was getting tired but wanted to make sure no one had returned to the hotel so I did another walk through. After that I went to my room to settle in. I read for a while and started to get sleepy. Just as I was about to lay down I noticed a tapping sound coming from an old wood cabinet in the corner. I kept hearing with an occasional creek from one of the hinges. I was feeling a little spooked at this point but if I was going to get any sleep I would have to deal with it. I got up and opened the doors and found there was nothing inside. It was just an antique decorator piece. I have no idea what was making the noises.

I returned to bed and attempted to go to sleep. After about 10 minutes, I heard what sounded like 4 footsteps coming down the hall, then a bang, like someone fell. The building is old and every floor board and door squeaks or creeks. All the doors look like they hang crooked due to the building settling over time. Whatever I heard, didn’t sound like an old house sound.

I forced myself to get up and get dressed and went out to look in the hall. I literally opened every room door and looked inside. As I approached the stairs and light from down stairs cast my shadow on the wall which startled me. I had to laugh because it made me jump. After completing a search of the upstairs, I searched the first floor and found nothing.

I returned to my room and eventually went to sleep. I woke up once around 3:00 AM when the full moon had moved and was flooding super bright light into my room. I did get up just long enough to check out the surrealistic view outside and then went back to sleep.

I had stayed at the hotel several times before with groups of people and previous stays always seemed more active. I had guests tell me about hearing children playing in the hall, and items being moved only to return later. Â I had even experienced a brief viewing of a woman standing in the room I stayed in this night. Unfortunately, this stay was fairly uneventful. If I get the chance, I will do it again and see if things change.