Saturday, November 22, 2014

#GhostHunt 9 for new book: Spruce Lodge in South Fork, CO

All this fall, winter, and early spring, we're engaged in our latest book project -- haunted hotels in western and mountainous Colorado -- and we're using our blog to share highlights about our visits (and ghost hunts) to each location. You can click on the tab just under our blog banner called "New WIP Ghost Hunt Book" for more context and a bit of backstory about the project.

This week's account is at the Spruce Lodge in South Fork, CO. 

No shortage of paranormal activity in this 90-year-old building -- ghostly touches, dogs and cats reacting strongly to unseen presences, lots of invisible footsteps, multiple apparition sightings including shadow people and full-body apparitions, electrical anomalies, cold spots, moving objects, and ghostly voices plus groans, sighs, and whispers.

But first a S/O to lodge co-owner Dee Plucinski, who gave us the run of much of the main lodge.

Even though accounts also occur in the basement and ground floor of the facility, we spent most of our time in two “unoccupied” upstairs guestrooms in the original log building. That worked for us, since all the paranormal activity has taken place in the main lodge.

We performed a sweep of the hall and rooms with our EMF meter, gathering baseline readings: 515 mG in the north end of the hallway, and 460mG in the south. (EMF stands for Electromagnetic Field, and ghosts are said to manipulate this energy as a way to manifest or communicate.)The Baxterville Room ranged from 450-470mG, and the Galbreath ranged from the 330s-360s, except the wardrobe which rose to 560mG when we opened the door.
Baxterville Room

When we returned to the Baxterville Room to start our session, that door had closed – a commonly reported paranormal occurrence at the lodge. We tested the open door at various positions, but it remained stationary.

We began with an EVP session, recording our spirit box interactions, including general queries and our request to dim the flashlight we’d placed on the bed as a means of communication. Nothing happened. Lots of audio feedback and squelching sounds from the spirit box, but nothing intelligible – until we later reduced the interference and analyzed what remained.

That’s when we discovered a woman’s voice saying “we’ll see” when we asked for the flashlight dimming (in real time, the EMF meter had jumped up 90mG). Also, after asking the spirits to identify themselves, we received immediate EVP replies on the EchoVox spirit box of “Hyacinthe,” “Betty,” and “Frederick.” (EVP stands for Electronic Voice Phenomenon, sometimes occurring on audio recordings but can also be generated through a spirit box. Our EchoVox generates only random sounds -- no words -- and it's up to a spirit to assemble and create intelligible responses.) Two other words became clear when we asked who was there: “Kym,” who stood in the room, and “Dee,” the lodge owner who, at the time, worked the restaurant below us. Sometimes spirits can seem so literal! 

EVP saying "Dee"

On the recording, we also heard ourselves arguing whether or not to continue because of the squelching, followed by a woman telling us “please talk” and a different woman saying “speak.”

 EVP saying "Please talk"

Mark headed to the Galbreath Room down the hall while Kym packed up the camcorder. For a fleeting moment, she had the impression of a quill pen and inkwell on the table next to the bed. Curious, since the lodge has a reputation for revealing images from a bygone era. (Dee's husband Rob, the other owner, once saw a blonde woman wearing a teal-colored shirt and blue pants sitting on a pool table in the building’s basement. There is no pool table in that particular space, but the room did serve as a pool hall in years past.)

In the hallway, we’d noticed a mannequin wearing an old-fashioned white nightgown, parasol propped up beside it. We snapped a picture because it looked cool (more on that later).

Once in the Galbreath Room, we didn’t encounter the squelch on the spirit box, nor could we hear much else that made sense. But on request, the flashlight did dim about 25 percent, and on later analysis we found we'd captured the word “flashlight” as an EVP. 

We also detected several other words in analysis – “three” (when we’d asked how many were in the room) and “Dagwood.” And then came a final name in a voice like nothing we’d heard before, distinct and unmistakable: “DeQuin” (emphasis on the first syllable). It made no sense to us at first until we searched the Internet and discovered DeQuin is both a given and surname of European origin.

EVP saying "DeQuin"

Note position of parasol
in these two photos
As promised, back to the parasol.

After we left the Galbreath Room, we noticed the parasol now lying on the floor next to the mannequin, which stood a mere ten feet from the open guestroom door where we had worked. Neither one of us had heard it fall, nor had either of us touched the dress or parasol.

Did our footsteps jar it loose? Maybe.

Maybe not. The lodge has a recurring history of physical objects that move inexplicably.


The weekend after Thanksgiving, we share highlights of our visit to the Fairlamb House in Delta, CO, where previous owners used to have a skeleton (yes, literally a skeleton) in the attic.

Don't forget you can follow along during our investigations as we live-tweet from Twitter @writeinthethick. You can check out our Facebook page for updates about dates and times. And you can subscribe to our YouTube "Ghost Hunt Findings" channel to see video clips from our investigations.

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