Saturday, November 8, 2014

#GhostHunt No. 7 for new book: Linda Goodman's Miracle Inn (formerly Last Dollar Inn)

All this fall 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 time, we report on Linda Goodman’s Miracle Inn (formerly Last Dollar Inn) in Cripple Creek.

But first a S/O to Jason Barton and Sofia Balas, the charming and welcoming owners of the inn. We found them to be as much of a class act as their lovely haunted digs.

The inn gets its new name from former owner Linda Goodman, a psychic and author much engaged with spiritual and other worldly dimensions. And her room is one of the most haunted locations on the premises. But then, so are the other rooms on the second floor nearby, one of which once served as Nikola Tesla's boarding room for a time. Perhaps just as intriguing is the notion that the basement may be a portal to other dimensions. (We didn't visit that underground vicinity for the book since it's not open to guests. Can't blame the owners: wouldn't want anyone to wander off!) The premises have reports of full-body apparitions, footsteps, ghostly touches, and moving objects.

Goodman's stained-glass window
Jason and Sofia told us the inn’s paranormal activity occurred in the original building to the west of a newer adjoining addition, primarily in the upstairs guestrooms and hallway. We hoped to conduct our first investigation in the Linda Goodman Room. Just the night before, alas, those accommodations became occupied by a last-minute booking. We still had two rooms with recent reported activity down that hallway, so we started in the Womack Room right next to Goodman’s former quarters.

The EMF baseline registered 440-460mG, same as the adjacent hallway. We turned on a flashlight and asked spirits to create a flicker or turn it off. At that moment, the EMF jumped to 620 mG, but the flashlight remained steady.

We then asked the apparition reported to have walked through the closet door in that room to show itself or give us a sign. No takers.

We had better luck with the EchoVox Spirit Box, which spit out a continuous stream of words. On later EVP analysis, we discovered multiple words that related directly to the hotel: “Sofia” (clearly our innkeeper’s name) twice – once in a man’s voice and once in a woman’s – and then “house … forever” in a woman’s voice, and also the name “Linda.” Toward the end of the session, we heard “done” three times. At the time of the original recording, we had only heard “leave” clearly, which we took as a dismissal.

So we packed up our gear and moved into the Leland Feitz Room, where Nikola Tesla had once stayed. Our baseline EMF readings were 490-500s mG.  We also had a 50 percent battery drain in our voice recorder within minutes (ironic, since it was Tesla's room!) Not uncommon in investigations where there is a strong paranormal presence. Our camcorder shut down twice – that is unusual.
Our Spirit Box was strangely quiet compared to the previous room, only giving us the words "baseball" and "help Feitz" (rhyming with "feats" instead of “fights,” so maybe not the right name – unless his name was also sometimes pronounced the other way by folks who don't/didn't know German pronunciation). We heard a few other utterances, including possible names, but we couldn't confirm or agree on what they said. Later EVP analysis revealed nothing more.
Feitz Room (Tesla's former digs)
We flipped on the flashlight – but it wouldn’t respond. Mark took it into the hall and tore it apart, checked the batteries, and reassembled. This time it worked but no spirits responded to our requests to dim or turn it off.
Leaving the flashlight on, we returned to the Womack Room. Bam, the light turned off. Thinking we had faulty equipment, Mark stepped back into the hall again and the flashlight worked. He stepped back into the Womack Room. Dead. Back into the hall again, on. Back in the Womack Room, dead. We decided this deserved another EVP session. We asked if spirits were messing with our equipment and got an immediate “yeah.” (We had no other malfunctions using this flashlight in our subsequent investigations.) We heard nothing else definitive from the EchoVox until we returned home and analyzed the recording, where we discovered a woman’s voice saying, “flash[-something]” and later a man’s voice declaring “enough of this.”

Personally, we hadn’t had enough of this, but we seemed to have worn out our welcome for that session. When we earlier asked the closet door apparition for a sign, maybe we got one after all through the recurring electrical anomalies.
Next week, we share highlights of our visit to another Cripple Creek location, the Hotel St. Nicholas – a former hospital and still hosting ghostly residents from that earlier era!

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.

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