Holbrooke Hotel to host Travel Channel’s ‘The Dead Files’ | TheUnion.com
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Holbrooke Hotel to host Travel Channel’s ‘The Dead Files’

Hilary Steinmetz, a volunteer with the Doris Foley Library in Nevada City, is interviewed by the star of "The Dead Files" at the library.
Submitted Photo |

There is some kind of “presence” lurking on the bottom floor of Grass Valley’s Holbrooke Hotel, according to hotel manager Dennae Cromer.

“When I go downstairs and I’m by myself, I don’t feel alone, ever,” Cromer said. “And different people say different things happen in their rooms, and feel a presence.”

The 154-year-old hotel has been an iconic building in Grass Valley since the mid-19th century, having housed notable guests such as Mark Twain, U.S. Pres­i­dent Ulysses S. Grant, and cowboy outlaw Black Bart.



Throughout the establishment’s lengthy local history, rumors have surfaced that otherworldly spirits haunt the hotel.

Investigators from the Travel Channel show “The Dead Files” currently are seeking to substantiate whether those paranormal claims are true or not.




The Dead Files is an American paranormal television series that features psychic medium Amy Allan and former New York Police Department homicide detective Steve DiSchiavi, who investigate locations that are reported to be haunted.

“They’re going to look for ghosts,” said Cromer. “Amy sees ghosts, and she’ll come at night to walk the whole hotel, and nobody can be in the building except for her and her cameraman … We want to find out if they’re good ghosts or helpful ghosts, and that’s what she’s going to tell us.”

Allan and DiSchiavi explore each case individually, and then meet at the end of the episode to compare their findings with the owner of the location.

Holbrooke Hotel staff have already reported signs of ghosts in the hallways and rooms of the establishment, tugging on the feet of guests and unplugging electrical sockets.

Amber Fraiser has worked with the hotel as a housekeeping manager for three years and said she had an encounter that made her scream.

“I experienced my hair being pulled in room 10,” said Fraiser. “I screamed because I thought something bit me, but I had someone look and there was nothing there. Something really wanted to get my attention.”

Staff member April Hanes said a guest recently complained about a ghost sitting on top of them as they slept, and a pet that she says seemed to have problems in one of the rooms.

“The dog was uneasy all night,” Hanes said. “It wouldn’t rest or lay down, and the man wrote on a note that he felt a cool breeze all night.”

Though the show’s air date has not been confirmed, television crews shot footage at the hotel on Monday and Thursday, and will have their final shoot on Sunday in the hotel’s library and saloon, which will be closed at 5 p.m.

Cromer says Allan and DiSchiavi will host their “big reveal” that day to notify the hotel whether or not they believe there are ghosts living in their midst.

“People might come to the hotel more because they’re curious about the ghosts,” Cromer said. “Some people have little meters and they come and they search on their own. A little girl came in and wanted to explore the whole building about three months ago. So I think this show might bring more people into the hotel.”

To contact Staff Writer Ivan Natividad, email inatividad@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.


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