California’s Ghosts

Hello, readers. I am thrilled that The Indie Spot has been selected as a stop on indie author Rebecca Reilly’s blog tour. Please give a warm welcome to my guest.

 California’s Ghosts

The Ghoulish Research Behind Rebecca Reilly’s Haunting Megan

According to local legend, a bevy of mountain lodge websites, and men drinking at a Placerville tavern, there is no shortage of ghosts in California’s Gold Country.

“I saw this skinny kid walkin’ in front of me down Bull Creek Trail.  I thought he was lost.  Then, he turned and looked right at me.”  The 280-pound construction worker shuddered and gulped his beer.  “He didn’t have any eyeballs.  Swear to God—only holes where his eyes shoulda been.  Freaked me out.”

“I gotta better one than that,” a guy three stools down joined the conversation.  “My sister’s boy, they live in this hundred-year-old house in Coloma.  Well, one night he woke up, and he was floating a foot above his bed.  No lie.  Just floating.  A ghost was holding him up.  Couldn’t see anything or anyone, but he said he could feel hands just holding him in the air.”

“He was high, alright,” his barstool neighbor interjected, “but I don’t think ghosts had anything to do with it.”

Skeptic or believer, tales of ghostly hauntings send shivers up even the bravest spines.  While researching material for Haunting Megan, I came across a myriad of similar stories told by people with no connection to one another.  I used those narratives to help form a picture, or set of rules, to realistically portray ghosts in my novel.

Location is important.  In many ghost sightings, the person died, often tragically, at the place he or she haunts.  But that is not always the case.  Sometimes, the place of haunting holds a significant meaning other than death to the ghost.  Birth, tragedy, or in some cases, happy memories are linked to a spirit that died elsewhere.

Sight, smell, touch, and hearing are the senses most often affected by ghosts who visit the living.  Odors, from sweet-smelling perfume to putrid stench, often accompany a sighting.  Sometimes the smell acts as a precursor to an appearance, but some people report that the ghost leaves an aroma behind when he or she leaves.

Ghosts can cause minor annoyances like the interruption of electrical currents.  Many stories include the turning on and off of lights, radios, or computers.  Room temperature often drops when ghosts appear.  Small objects can move or fly across the room.  Ghosts have been blamed for hiding objects, too.

Ghosts usually wear outfits befitting the time they reportedly lived.  Though often portrayed as floating in the movies, many sightings report spirits walking as they would have done when alive (including using a cane or hobbling).  Flying tends to occur when ghosts seemingly feel intense emotion such as anger, fear, or frustration.

If ghost hunting interests you, you may want to visit one or more of these California Gold Country sites:

The Cary House

300 Main Street

Placerville, CA

The ghost of a man is said to haunt the lobby and some people claim a cat is haunting room 220. It is said there are four separate ghosts in the building.

Hotel Jeffery

5001 Main Street

Coulterville, CA

Reportedly haunted by an old miner from the hotel’s gold rush days, this man is just one of the many ghosts reportedly spied at the hotel. The hotel plays up its haunted reputation and apparently rents out “ghost detecting kits” that you can reserve with your stay.

Holbrooke Hotel

212 West Main Street

Grass Valley CA

There are a variety of ghostly rumors that surround this place, including the sighting of an unfortunate gambler who slit his own throat with a straight razor in one of the rooms. Several different full-body apparitions appear throughout the hotel and people claim to hear a variety of ghostly noises, including children playing and rattling and banging noises coming from one of the women’s bathrooms.

National Exchange Hotel

211 Broad St.

Nevada City, CA

This is considered to be the oldest operating hotel in California, and possibly in all the West. Established in 1856, it has been in continuous operation except for a brief period where it was closed down due to fire damage and repaired.  People have reported seeing full body apparitions of men dressed in old-fashioned clothing sitting in the lobby and smoking cigars.  Some claim to have seen the figure of a woman in Victorian era dress gliding through the bar area.  The piano is said to sometimes play at night and people have reported hearing other strange noises and to have felt cold spots.

My hope is that Jessica, Haunting Megan’s primary ghost, gives you chills and makes you think.  Happy reading!

Rebecca Reilly is a pastor and has worked in ministry for over thirty years. A passionate reader and writer, Rebecca took on four wildly different genres for her first five books – a murder mystery at sea (Into Dark Waters), a humorous look at sex and marriage (Diary of a Christian Woman: How I Used 50 Shades of Grey to Spice Up My Marriage), a children’s chapter book on bullying and self-esteem (The Geek Club under the name Becky Reilly), and two picture books (Jammers and His Flying Bed Adventure and Heart of a Kitty). She returned to the mystery/romantic suspense genre for her sixth book (Haunting Megan), and is currently working on a non-fiction manuscript, Christian Sex and Marriage—It’s Complicated!  Visit Rebecca’s Amazon Author Page at, and follow her on Facebook (, Twitter (, Goodreads, and at


Author Bio

Rebecca has an innate belief that if she dreams about something, she can accomplish it. Prompted by that sense of adventure, Rebecca pursued careers as a pastor, a health coach, a massage therapist, a Zumba instructor, a musical theater director/producer, and a writer – all at the same time.

An avid reader, Rebecca begins each morning in the hot tub with a good book. She then wakes her muscles and her creativity with a long trail run, grabs a cup of coffee and gets to work.

Rebecca took on five wildly different genres for her first seven books – a murder mystery at sea (Into Dark Waters), a humorous look at sex and marriage (Diary of a Christian Woman: How I Used 50 Shades of Grey to Spice Up My Marriage), a children’s chapter book on bullying and self-esteem (The Geek Club under the pen name Becky Reilly), and two picture books (Jammers and His Flying Bed Adventure and Heart of a Kitty). She returned to the romantic suspense genre for her sixth book (Haunting Megan).  Her current project (summer 2015 release date) is a non-fiction work called Christian Sex and Marriage—It’s Complicated!

Rebecca has been happily married for thirty-one years, is the mother of two, grandmother of one, and lives in Northern California. You can follow Rebecca on Facebook (, Twitter (, Goodreads, and at Contact Rebecca at

Contact Info


Web Page:

Twitter: @RebeccaReillyL


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28 thoughts on “California’s Ghosts

  1. Robin Chambers

    An interesting life and an interesting blog, which backs up a realization I had some time ago: that to a large extent each person’s ‘reality’ is a figment of his or her imagination. Certainly some of the best flights of fancy worth suspending disbelief for concern ghosts, and chills up the spine. You have piqued my curiosity with this tantalizing blog, and I look forward to finding out what tomorrow brings… 🙂


  2. jinlobify

    Ghost tales are a favorite of mine too, but I don’t like telling them before I go to bed, or my dream will be filled with them. 🙂 Thank you Beem for hosting.


  3. Shirley Harris-Slaughter

    Congratulations Rebecca Reilly, I reposted this blog on my FB and twitter page, then I can go back to it later. Thanks Beem for another good post.


  4. 4willspublishing

    Yes, I like scary movies but you lost me with the eyball-less guy, Rebecca! I look forward to this read, just have to ensure hubby is home with me when I do. #NotAfraidOfHumans #AfraidOfMonstersAndAllThingsScary

    Beem, what can I say that I don’t say allllllll the time to you? Maybe I should come up with new ways of saying THANK YOU!


  5. Leslie Arndt

    Becky, we had a ghost that lived in our house in San Jose. He routinely haunted me in my dreams, always trying to kill me with a knife or smother me with a pillow, and I would scream a blood-curdling scream in my sleep. Freaked John out every time, until John even saw him one night and tried to kick him, instead kicking a chair into the wall! Never saw him again after we moved out of that house. Makes us wonder what transpired in that house before we bought it!


  6. Stacey Gregersen

    I enjoyed Haunting Megan as well as your other books. i will read a scary book but refuse to see scary movies! They freak me out!


  7. Marlena H.

    I love a good ghost story!! 🙂 Great post, Rebecca!! Thank you so much, Beem, for hosting Rebecca and showing your incredible support!!



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