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Ghost searchers to probe Nevada City hotel

When “Robber Baron” Charles Crocker visited the Sierra after the Gold Rush, he often bunked at the U.S. Hotel in Nevada City, according to the proprietor.

Step into the second-floor room facing Broad Street, and you may get a whiff of something the famous railroad tycoon left behind ” or at least, some people think so.

“Very frequently, you come in this room and smell cigar smoke for no reason,” sdaid owner Katie Bennett.



With a strict no-smoking policy, Bennett has never been able to find the perpetrator. She says it’s the ghost of Crocker, who loved his stogies.

Bennett believes other ghosts, orbs and strange occurrences have occurred routinely since she started running the B&B with the red door above the Fur Traders five years ago.




Sound ridiculous? A group of people calling themselves skeptics aim to catch the spirits on tape.

This Sunday, the NorCal Paranormal Investigators from Sacramento will stay at the U.S. Hotel all night to record whatever they may see.

“We’re probably the biggest skeptics,” lead investigator Doug Carnahan said. “That’s why we do our documentation, and we debunk a lot of stuff.”

He cited one case where a ghost supposedly was turning lights on and off, according to a woman. Alas, it turned out to be bad wiring.

Though calling himself a skeptic, Carnahan got interested in the early 1980s when, he said, a ghost was pushing him around ” literally ” in his Fremont apartment.

One of the NorCal Paranormal team members is Teresa Dell, a psychic who became interested in the U.S. Hotel after allegedly running into spirits at the B&B during a stay last December.

One came during a shower “where I was tapped on the back of the thigh,” Dell said.

Others occurred when she got out of the shower and when she was toweling off.

“If this were not real, I would not be so deeply involved in it,” Dell said.

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