Who wants to hear a ghost story?

So, today was my day to relax. I got a few chores done but largely I was just chill… with the house to myself & no reason to even get out of my pajamas so I worked on a crochet cardigan for a friend and watched Mr. Ballen on YouTube. No artwork today, the upstairs was just too hot to spend any time up there.


So I’m watching the ghost stories on Mr Ballen’s YouTube channel & I’m reminded of my weird experience. Now I am not a believer in ghosts. Even now. But I know there are incidents that just can’t be explained. In the mid 90’s my parents managed a motel in South Lake Tahoe. We had just had our son & had just bought a business nearby that needed a lot of work so we often spent nights at their apartment at the motel & helped out as we worked on our building & while mom babysat. The building, while no longer standing, was not an old building so we ruled out the ‘old building electro magnetic’ theory & while the managers apartment was two story, we rarely put anyone in the room close to the apartment unless the place was booked (which was rare, maybe 6 to 8 times a year). Four bedrooms & two bathrooms were upstairs, accessible by two staircases while the living room, kitchen, dining room & back office were downstairs adjacent to the lobby.

It started with hearing someone walking upstairs. It didn’t take long to realize it was happening when no one was upstairs and no one was in an upstairs room anywhere near the apartment. Not only did we all hear it when we were downstairs, we also heard the footsteps when we were sleeping upstairs. We would hear the footsteps in the hallway & they would start from the furthest point of the upstairs hallway & then stop outside the bedroom door. Ok, at the time it was a strange anomaly that we couldn’t explain but nothing more than that. It kept happening about every other day/night. Then one night we were all in the living room watching something on tv. It was around the time of the OJ Simpson trial so it may have been that. We’re all facing the tv next to the fireplace & behind the couch was the back stairs which included a landing. Moms dog would smile at people when he saw them for the first time and he suddenly he sat up from where he was sitting, stared at the stairway, wagged his tail and smiled while looking at the staircase landing. We all turned… nothing was there. It was beyond creepy considering the footsteps.

All of that continued & we all began to get the feeling that whatever was there was not friendly. I, personally, felt something that just felt evil any time I heard the footsteps. Things didn’t move, nothing was missing it just felt like a “presence“.


One night my husband & I were sleeping upstairs when, in the middle of the night, I happened to be awake & I heard it walking in the hallway. I was facing the wall where the door was & I heard the footsteps walk from the hall … to the bedroom door & into the bedroom. It walked from the door, past the foot of the bed and right behind me. The sounds were unmistakable as was that feeling you get when someone walks up behind you. I quickly roll over to face the sound/feeling/whatever it was & everything just stopped. The footsteps ended, the feeling of someone else in the room… everything stopped. That was the moment that challenged my belief system.

It never got better or worse. Eventually the owner, our friend, sold the property to one of the large corporations for the room rights. They demolished the motel & added the number of rooms to an existing property. (Welcome to more of the ‘Keep Tahoe Blue’ movement than just the bumper sticker) I would love to have brought a paranormal team there to explain or disprove anything but it wasn’t to be. Now there was something else that was odd. Back then small motels would put room rates on their signs. Mom & Dad had no control over the owners decision on room rates but that didn’t stop a privately owned property across & up the road from them from complaining directly to them about advertising a lower rate than them, or something like that. They explained that they were simply doing what the owner asked & they were welcome to contact him. Next thing they knew a bucket of fish heads appeared at the back door. Frankly, we all laughed about it & the idiots never did it again.


I still don’t believe in ghosts. The house I spent more time in than any other was built using bricks reclaimed from the death row area of San Quentin. We’ve found interesting markings on some of the bricks & neither we, the original owner or the new owner has ever experienced anything in that house. The closest I’ve ever come, since that motel, is this photo I took in the ghost town of Bodie. It was over a year after I had rendered the image to sepia… that’s all I did to it in photoshop, when I used it as my Facebook profile picture & my daughter asked if I had photoshopped in the ghost. I asked her what the hell she was talking about and when it was pointed out to me… I couldn’t unsee it. 😳 You tell me if you can spot what my daughter finally saw.




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