With scouting missions, you really don’t know what will occur or if you will be successful with a scouting mission. For example. Someone calls and says…”hey, Paul, you should check out the F Street Boarding house, I heard that it’s haunted.” Key words: “I heard”. This person says they heard it was haunted, second hand information. With a scouting mission, you round up a team and check to see if the place is haunted or not. Sometimes you will have success, sometimes not. If there is success, then you can determine if you want to conduct another investigation into the area. This October 6, 2007, Saturday, I gathered my team at Starbucks on Howe ’bout Arden. I gave my briefing on Leonard Lake and Charles Ng. Basically what I said is that Leonard Lake was a survivalist, he built an underground bunker underneath his ranch home. He thought there would be a nuclear holocaust and by kidnapping women and bringing the women to his bunker, he and Charles could repopulate the world. Instead, they took 25 women to this underground bunker, tied them up, sexually assaulted them, tortured them and killed them. These heinous crimes were caught on video. When the seasoned detectives saw the videos, they were appalled at the ghastly sights. Leonard committed suicide, while his buddy Charles went up to Canada and killed 8 more people before getting arrested. He was extradited back to California, where he now sits on deathrow. I had Michele Stump – paranormal investigator/researcher fill in any gaps to my story and had Chris Grissom – video technician/paranormal investigator chime in on any key points of these serial killers.
Let’s take a roll call: Paul Dale Roberts – Lead Investigator – Ghostwriter; Jenna DeLaughter – Paranormal Investigator-in-Training; Holly DeLaughter – Sensitive/paranormal investigator; Angel Kesti – Paranormal Investigator-in-Training; Stefanie Belson – Sensitive – Paranormal Investigator in Training; Donna Reynolds – Sensitive, Paranormal Investigator, Chris Grissom – video technician, paranormal investigator, Michele Stump – Researcher, Paranormal Investigator. What is unique about this team, two of our sensitives are Wiccans, Donna Reynolds with the Sacred Fire Circle and Stefanie Belson with Luna Grove, she is a heredity witch and her mother was considered a healer.
Angel Kesti volunteered to drive us all in her van, while Holly and her daughter Jenna wanted to follow us to the various sites. Before, I went on this mission to the unknown, I received a visit from a sensitive named Kathryn Newbold who gave me some insight about this trip and felt positive results would occur. After my visit with Kathryn, I knew this would be a good scouting mission. I made sure there were plenty of snacks for this trip and picked up Ritz crackers, Farmer John ham, salami, pepperjack cheese, Pepsi. When I was getting these snacks, Melissa who works at Bel-Air and knows that I am a ghost hunter assisted me with my groceries and said she wanted to relate a story to me. She said that when her mother died in May 07, she heard the sound of keys. When her mother was alive, she would always jingle keys. It was as if her mother was keeping an eye on her. Melissa’s sister also thought she saw her mother immediately after her demise. Melissa and her sister haven’t experienced any more manifestations of their mother or any key jingling. Melissa felt by telling me this story, I would be the one person to understand her story. I completely understood, because when my mother passed away, my father saw my mother glide down the hallway and after that never experienced anything again. Most likely Melissa’s mom and my own mother went into the light and are in a better place now.
Sorry, about that, sometimes I get wrapped up in other stories and get a little bit off track to the now-and-then story about this road trip to the town of Wilseyville, where Leonard Lake owned a ranch with a torture chamber bunker. On our ride to Wilseyville, we kept thinking how Hollywood horror movies always have a group of people on a road trip in a van, heading out to some small town, laughing all the way down the road, telling stories, then bad things start happening. On our trip to Wilseyville, we almost ran out of gas, our cell phones were dead, even my Verizon was dead in some parts of the trip and I was looking around for my ‘network’ and they were no where around. We almost hit a mother deer and her two calves as they crossed the street, we almost got stuck on a muddy hillside and we went around a lot of curves pretty fast zipping through a stop sign that popped out of no where. Some of the locales of Wilseyville looked somewhat odd and I kept thinking of that weird guy in Texas Chainsaw Massacre that would always clean your windshield, even after you tell him to stop, while the driver is trying to get directions. Finally we did locate 2 local cops and they never even heard of Leonard Lake. As we continue through these winding roads…did I just see a sign to the Crystal Lake camping site? No, just my imagination, I watch too many horror movies!
Whoa..whoa.…..why am I jumping ahead of myself and telling you about the Leonard Lake/Charles Ng investigation, when I didn’t tell you about our mini-investigation of The Leger? Before, we started roughing it, we stopped at The Leger www.hotelleger.com ‘Miami of the Sierra’, 8304 Main Street – Mokelumne Hill, CA 95245. Michele Stump our researcher blurts out…”hey, that the Leger, it’s reputed to be haunted!” I tell everyone, let’s make a pitstop. I introduce myself to Jane Canty, owner of The Leger and she gave us a personal tour of the hotel and explained the history of the hotel to all of us. She even opened up the wine cellar and we were able to explore this area of the hotel. The Leger has been featured on the Discovery Channel. Jane explains that sometimes keys wind up missing, there are blue orbs that are seen. There is a spirit that everyone calls ‘George’. The hotel once burned down and it was rebuilt. As I was walking around this hotel, Angel Kesti was telling me about her own experiences, she now lives in a haunted house and she constantly hears footsteps. Angel is very much aware of hauntings and gives me her insight to this hotel. Jane shows us George’s room and George’s portrait. George’s room is Room 7. At one time a ghost-hunting group came to investigate and their camera tripod was mysteriously thrown to the ground. While we were taking digital photos, many of the investigators were capturing orbs on their photos. Holly, a sensitive was focused on the Leonard Lake investigation and while driving to The Leger had to tell me that she was getting images of Leonard Lake and Charles Ng partying with girls that they would meet at local bars in Jackson and driving them up to Leonard’s ranch in Wilseyville. She was having a hard time getting these images out of her mind. I talked with a gentleman that was staying in the hotel and he looked at me and says…”did you know that Black Bart used to stay in this hotel, I think I am staying in the room he stayed at!” Jane Canty mentions the legends that stayed in this hotel, but never indicates that Black Bart stayed here.
As we continued with our tour of The Leger, I was told stories by Jane Canty about Rosa Leger, that wore a long white dress and she was a very proper person, she is sometimes seen at this hotel. Jane feels that there are 3 entities in this hotel. Jane provided email copies from some of her guests and as I was looking over one of the emails, a guest says that he heard an electrical buzzing while in bed and felt something touching his legs, it felt like bread crumbs landing on his leg and then felt electrical charges on his body. Another patron in Room 7, said she felt something pushing on her legs while she was trying to sleep, she was very scared from this experience. Some guests have heard the sound of children giggling in various rooms of the hotel. Another email, a patron experienced a ‘shadow person’ gliding from one area of the room towards the window and disappeared. Other patrons describe objects moving around, the smell of old aftershave mingled with copper, a woman’s hair lifted from her scalp and suspended in mid-air in front of family witnesses. It appears from these emails, that many patrons experience paranormal activities in this old historical hotel.
As I explored this hotel, there are jail bars on the bottom windows. The hotel was once a jail and courthouse. The lavish banquet room was once the old courthouse. There was a fire in the hotel in 1875. I was taken to Room 11, which is known to be haunted by a female phantom. The HPI team were telling me they were capturing orb pictures in Room 7 and in and around the hallway. Stefanie was feeling a lot of human activity in the hallways. Patrons have said that they have heard a little girl crying in Room 3 or in Suite #1. Luminaries such as Grover Cleveland, Mark Twain and the bandit Joaquin Murriata have stayed in this hotel. When Jane told me that Joaquin Murriata stayed in this hotel, the image came in my mind of the wanted poster of Joaquin, it read: “Wanted, the head of Joaquin Murriata and the hand of 3-Finger Jack!” Joaquin did lose his head, when he was killed. Teddy Roosevelt of the Rough Riders once stayed here too. Jane says that she thinks there are 3 entities in this hotel, but by looking at the patron’s emails, there seems to be a whole lot more. The history of this hotel is amazing. There was a hanging tree out back. So a criminal could be heard in the courthouse, land himself in jail and later hanged out back at the hanging tree. How convenient for the criminal. As I entered the cellar, I was told that patrons feel there is a teenage boy that haunts the cellar, something tragic happened to this boy in the cellar and not too many people want to stay in this cellar long. The place does feel quite creepy as I visually surveyed this underground dwelling.
Michele Stump and I, did some more exploring near and around The Leger, we stopped over at the Town Hall on 1901 Main Street and the Adams & Company/I.O.O.F. Hall, we discovered that The Leger was built in 1875 and it was built on the site of Hotel de France. Hotel de France was built on this site in 1851.
Some of the sensitives reported feeling a woman’s presence, a sad lamenting sensation, or hearing people talking in the larger rooms.
I talked with Celeste Garamendi, an employee of the hotel and she tells me that one night while cleaning up the bar area, the grate fell to the floor fell on its own. Her sister Cherie who also works at the hotel had her arms full and the doors mysteriously opened by itself, allowing her to enter the other room without opening the doors herself. Wow!! The Leger is a place that we definitely need to come back and do a full blown all night investigation as I related this to Shannon ‘Ms. Macabre’ McCabe, President of HPI on my cell phone. Shannon was working the information booth at the Northern California Renaissance Fair this day and told me she met my father Paul M. Roberts and his wife Cindy Anderson/Roberts who also attended the Renaissance Fair near Hollister. Shannon enjoyed hearing about my scouting mission and was completely fascinated with our experiences at The Leger. This report not only was being related to Shannon McCabe, but also to R.V. Scheide of the News and Review who is incorporating this story in his HPI Halloween story.
Back on the road again and we were heading for Schaads Lake Road/Blue Mountain Road where supposingly Leonard Lake and Charles Ng deposited some of the charred bones of their victims and took the lives of some of their victims near and around this area. What was unusual is that Stefanie related to everyone in the van that she felt like the cabin with the big cinder block was Leonard Lake’s ranch home, she got this strange sensation as we passed it. Well, during this same time Holly, another sensitive was telling her daughter in her car she was feeling the same thing about this ranch house that we were passing. Both sensitives felt the same thing passing this ranch house and were in two separate vehicles! That was amazing! As we explored the area, I didn’t pick up anything on my Listen Up sound enhancer device. Holly feels she needs to investigate this one location and starts snapping pictures and when we look at her digital photo, it looks like the beginning stages of a full body apparition near a tree! The photo is incredibly strange! Holly takes a second photo of the same area and the photo is normal, it’s just a picture of the tree and surrounding bushes.
We stayed up in this area for a while exploring and saw a strange man in a blue pick-up with a woman in the passenger seat. The woman would not make eye contact with us, but the strange looking man driving was staring at all of us. We all thought he had a crazy look on his face and that creeped us out more than any ghosts. It was time to look for a gas station. We found that gas station at Jackson. We decided to make one more stop. We stopped at the National Hotel in Jackson and I introduced myself to the owner. I told her I was a journalist with HPI and she smiled and said…”I know who you are.” (because I wrote an article about National Hotel in regard to an all night HPI investigation at this hotel). I asked her if I could bring my team up and explore the hotel. She looks at me and smiles again…”Paul, you are welcome to do whatever you want, have fun.” So, I took the team up to the various rooms and we snapped many pictures and tried to capture some EVPs, before heading home. The EVPs have not all been analyzed yet and I am still getting photographs sent to me for this article.
Angel told me that when she was driving home, she thought she may have brought a ghost home with her, because as she was driving, she heard a woman in the backseat of her van yell…’aaaggh!’ in her ear. She was concerned about this. I explained to her that most ghosts are harmless and she probably has nothing to worry about, but to keep me informed. The only ghost in recorded American history that has ever been connected to a death, is known as The Bell Witch. When I was driving home, I don’t think I had any ghosts in my car, but I thought about what happened this day and listened to ‘Knocking on Heaven’s Door’ by Bob Dylan. I kept thinking this turned out to be a very good scouting mission with some spectacular results! Now, I must go over the evidence. Before I close this article, make sure to be on the lookout for Shannon McCabe and Nancy Bradley’s DVD documentary Ghost Girls, for more information go to www.nancybradley.org and see Shannon’s interview at Haunted America Tours at www.hauntedamericatours.net Well, I guess that winds up another investigation into the paranormal! Before I go though…Holly cracks me up, when I call her cell phone, she has a specific ring tone for me…’Mr. Crowley by Ozzie Osbourne!’ She’s a real card!