Monday, January 28, 2013

Ghosts and Butte County

So something light hearted this week I was thinking…. Mainly because I had such a great weekend with my kids, my best friend and my boyfriend. I mean really is there anything better than laughter, sleep, Sims, tequila, Mexican food, working out, David Tennant and some angsty Torchwood? I think not.

So here we go…

I believe in ghosts, yeah that’s right I said it. I believe in magic, life after death and a whole bunch of things.

But for the purpose of this post I am writing about ghosts. This is spurred because last night I could have sworn for half a second there was a man standing at the edge of the bed, skinny and dark wearing black and white….Could it have been a figment of my imagination? Of course… but it did make me blink and my heart speed up.

I don’t know why, but for some reason they scare the crap out of me. Give me a good slasher film, or a monster pic and I am good to go…But a ghost movie or story? Especially one based on “truth?” Yeah, shivering in my seat, adrenaline coursing through me, scared and excited. Some of my favorite memories are sitting with Turtle on my coach and watching Scariest Places on Earth. Or sitting, covered in blankets with Turtle and Sunshine watching A Haunting and jumping when we heard a scary noise and then laughing at each other.

I watch all types of shows that have the paranormal investigation quality, like Ghost Hunters, School Spirits, GHI, and Destination Truth…. I like to see what happens to people when they actively hunt ghosts. My boyfriend is a non believer and thinks it’s all faked….Well maybe it is, but that doesn’t mean I can’t believe and enjoy myself.

I have had some haunted experiences and I have had friends who have as well. I have stood in the dark or in a daunting place and just known I wasn’t alone.

My best friend, Turtle’s child hood house is haunted and haunted in a kind of scary way…not a Casper the friendly ghost way. She grew up in a house surrounded by a TON of property. If you parked your car and looked out into the darkness you were always 99% sure something was staring back at you and 100% positive you didn’t want to see it.

She called me several times to come get her while we were in high school because she heard a car pull up and, thinking it was her mom, would run out to greet it and ….no car…Spooky right? Now my friends house lay down a one car road far away from main roads or any other houses…Lending to the creepy factors.

She had other scary things happen to her while she lived there, like lights turning on or off by themselves, sounds being heard, knick knacks moving. But the worst was driving away from her house. Many people have shared their experiences with me about this…When you drove away from Turtle’s house the intense feeling of being watched was always there, begging you to turn around and look back. A nagging in your brain would warn you, however, not to… Don’t turn around Renee, my mind would whisper, you don’t want to see what’s there… I mean somethings cannot be un seen.

My own house lay on what I liked to call neutral land. I always felt safe once I stepped through the gates, like even if something nasty had followed me home it would slam up against an invisible barrier. I don’t know if that was my imagination, the walls I had placed up magically, the love my parents had for me…Or if the ground truly refused ghosts, goblins and the eerie from crossing over… I won’t lie…I do have an active imagination.

My hometown I think is probably covered in spirits since it is an old gold mining town.

There is a cemetery near my home called Cherokee Cemetery and some of my creepiest experiences happened there. It is old and the graves are in all states of condition because you can still be actively buried there. But the feelings it gives off are the creepiest, like bugs crawling all over your skin and the feeling of being watched is super intense. The foliage in the back is dark and deep and once you cross the gate it feels otherworldly. I have seen moving shadow people, where there should not be and heard sounds that could not be. In fact the story is that the town sweetheart was murdered and buried there and after wards her murderer burned alive in his own home.

Lake Oroville, when it was created, covered up several small mining towns, including:

Bidwell Bar/Bidwell: a tent “rag city” and all that is left of it is the original bridge and clock tower.

Enterprise/Mountain Spring- another mining town

Bloomer- another mining town

The lake also covered up at least two cemeteries, the bodies not being moved beforehand. These types of towns are called drowned towns or drowned cities and when Lake Oroville is low you can sometimes see roofs and the skeletons of old buildings. I think all children grew up hearing stories of ghosts near the lake and the old mining communities and towns.

There is a road called Oro Dam Blvd, when driving it, down the back way from the Dam, past the old Raquet Ball Club, on more than one occasion my friends and I were chased down by a phantom car. There are not too many placed to turn off or turn into on this road, it’s very winding and very narrow. The head lights will just appear behind you and the car will pace you, far enough away you can’t actually see it, but close enough that it’s frightening. Then either a) they will suddenly vanish, and in a place where there is NOWHERE it could have gone or b) it vanishes right before the rail road bridge.

Plus I SWEAR I have seen the curtains moving on the top floor of Lott Home when I know, no one was in there.  Lott Home is a historical home the city keeps the maintenance on and they use it for tours and functions. Chico has a similar one call Bidwell Mansion...I have been there and it is creepy...But I have never seen or felt anything..It is supposed to be haunted as well.

There is also supposed to be a witches grave in or near the old Pioneer Cemetery, but I have never seen it. Though I have been over that way a few times.

Thursday October 7 1965 there was a horrible accident when two trains collided and people died In the Oro Dam Railroad Disaster. The tunnel is located three miles north of Oroville where Feather River turns east. It is also reported to be haunted, though I have never been there.

I have a love/fear relationship with the ghostly world of the supernatural. The blue twilight, hidden whispers and creaking doors of the paranormal have always frightened and fascinated me. While I don’t want there to be a bump in the night at my house I am always interested in hauntings all over the place.

My most favorite haunted place is Grey Friar’s Cemetery in Edinburgh Scotland. The cemetery is haunted by a dog that doesn’t want to leave his master. Also it is the burial ground for the 17th century Covenanters persecuted by "bloody" George Mackenzie in the Covenanters' Prison. People have been attacked during the nighttime tours of the cemetery and it is considered one of the most haunted places ever. I have listed a link below if you feel like reading some of the stories.

So hopefully this made you think back at all those sounds you were scared of, at night, in your bed…Or maybe of the urban legends and ghost sightings in your own small towns. If you read this through my fb feel free to tell your own story in the fb comments.

Have a great day!


Bidwell Bar,_California

The Oro Dam Railroad Disaster

Grey Friar’s Cemetery

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