Every town has its ghosts
In this respect, Mokelumne Hill has not resisted keeping up with the Joneses. And all of the ghosts, it seems, are located at the Hotel Leger.
To beef up the image of Old Mok, not to mention stimulating its nascent tourist potential, a tract or brochure has been introduced: Places to See and People to Meet in Mokelumne Hill. Just to add a certain panache and a flair for the romantic, the pamphlet has proven a chip off the "Psychic Reader's" block:
"The ghost of Leger, who was assassinated in the Hotel in 1879, has been seen in the saloon and in many of the Hotel's thirteen rooms, which are furnished in period antiques. Other ghosts in the Hotel include the Lady in White in Room 2 and a young boy in Room 3."
An item in the Calaveras Chronicle casts doubt on the authenticity of Leger's assassination. George Leger died March 13, 1879, but not from a bullet fired into him: "Mokelumne Hill mourns. The public has suffered an irreparable loss and the entire community joins in an universal lamentation. George W. Leger, one of our oldest and most esteemed fellow townsmen, one of the noblest men that ever breathed the air of heaven, is dead. He expired Thursday afternoon after a short illness of two days, regretted and mourned by all who will read this paper. We frankly admit that we are not adequate to the task of writing a fitting tribute to the memory of the deceased."
George Leger's grave is located in the Protestant cemetery. At right is a picture of Louise Leger's tombstone (click for a larger image.)
More recent, and possibly more authentic, claims of ghostly sightings describe George Leger wandering. Room 7, a woman crying for her child.
In Room 2, and a child playing by the fireplace in Room 3. A former owner of the Hotel Leger describes seeing smoke and fire in the bar area multiple times when no fire was present upon closer inspection.
Come visit us and decide for yourself!
HAD A GHOSTLY EXPERIENCE AT THE HOTEL LEGER?
Whether you "believe" or not, the following guest experiences are unusual, to say the least. Maybe there's a rationale explanation - you be the judge!
We'd love to hear from you -- send us an email with your story: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be sure to check the Stockton Record article and Letters from Guests, too!
Room 6 - June 9 2014
"We (family of 4) stayed in Room 6, which is apparently one of the few non-haunted rooms, though I'm not sure I can confirm this since I had a very strange experience in this room. As for the haunted factor, I'm not so sure that room wasn't haunted. We heard what sounded like someone on the roof walking around, even though there's no floor above us, but that was nothing compared to what happened as I was alone in the room and turning down the beds, while my family was downstairs eating. I'd left my iphone on the dresser. As I finished turning down the beds and placing one back on the frame, I felt sort of woozy. I didn't think much of it, but went back downstairs to join the family for dinner. As we were at dinner, I was looking through some photos of Columbia State Park and the last photo was of me turning down the bed. It was completely freaky. I showed my husband who tried to come up with scientific explanations (including me somehow accidentally setting a timer), to no avail. Though it's impossible to prove anything, I have a feeling there's a mischievous spirit in that room. The hotel itself seems to have good vibes, nothing evil that I could detect."
Room 8 - October 7, 2012
"We stayed at the Hotel Leger on 10/07/2012, our wedding night. We arrived at 11:15pm, after a long drive. The manager was very hospitable. She gave us the key to our room (room 8), as well as the key to room 7, "George's room." She explained to us that the hotel was nearly empty, and she thought we might enjoy using the shower in room 7, since all we had was a tub. I knew about the ghost stories surrounding room 7, so we decided not to use the shower. We went upstairs and looked around, taking pictures in our roon, as well as in George's. There were no strange "vibes", no creepy feelings. I have felt nausea and dizziness associated with ghostly energy in other haunted places, but not in this hotel. It was calm and peaceful. After soaking in the tub, we were convinced we would have an uneventful, good night's sleep.
It was hard to fall asleep. The bed was "antique" sized (as expected) and the room was stuffy because it was a hot night and the window wouldn't open for us. We slept with just a sheet on us. The last thing I remember was saying, "I'm never going to be able to fall asleep." Then we were both asleep.
I was startled awake by three slow knocks on the headboard, directly above my head. Our headboard was free-standing in the middle of the room, and there was no mistaking the sound. It was not a wall. It echoed in the bed. Instead of being afraid, I felt annoyed. I turned over and made a mental note to tell John about it in the morning, then fell back to sleep.
Then it happened again. Three slow, quiet knocks. I remember looking up at the headboard, thinking, "knock it off!" and I turned towards John and attempted to go back to sleep. Shortly after, it did it again. As I opened my eyes, I decided I should wake John. That's when I felt the sheet pull down around my backside, as if someone sat down on the bed right next to me, or they tucked the sheet under the mattress. I leaned towards John, determined to wake him up. I shook him as he lay on his back, breathing hard, sound asleep. I realized I was not even touching him. I started to panic, and I pounded my fists on him and screamed so loud my throat hurt. He did not move. I decided I must be asleep, and when I looked back to where I had been lying, I saw myself lying there. I gasped and felt like I was jerked awake. I sat straight up in bed. I assumed I awoke John, because he sat up, too. But his eyes were closed, and he fell back down. I tried to touch him, and I could not feel him. I felt like I was a ghost. I felt like I had to escape the place I had entered, back to consciousness. It was like being held underwater as you try to swim your way to the surface. I was terrified. It took all my energy as I tried desperately to wake up, to "come back" to reality. I believe I was being "held down" in the realm that ghosts inhabit, experiencing their fear of not "existing" on our plane. I finally gave up. That was when she spoke to me.
A calming female voice said a name, loud and clear. I repeated it. "Eva?" I was gently corrected. "No, Edie." I repeated it. She said approvingly, "yes!" Then she said a last name. I repeated it. She corrected me. Three times, I repeated it wrong. I felt like a student that kept getting the wrong answer (I have no idea what the name was). She finally gave up on me, dismissed it as unimportant. She said in a happy, bubbly voice, "Well, your room is haunted by a ghost named Edie, and she says hello!" Her voice trailed off at the end, and I woke as soon as there was silence. John woke at the same moment. It was about 430 am. He asked how I slept. I told him everything. He had no memory of anything except waking at that moment. I threw the sheet off me, and still felt something on me. I was lying on my back, and there was a pillowcase lying on my stomach. I grabbed the pillow from beneath my head. The pillowcase was off of it. That was unnerving. I fell back to sleep and slept soundly for 3 hours. John decided to stay awake; he said he felt compelled to keep unwanted visitors away from me. It worked, but he paid a price.
When we got up and around, John said he felt like he was in a fog. He looked disoriented and he said he felt nauseous and dizzy. He stared at a map for 10 minutes only to realize he couldn't remember what he was staring at, or why. He was not himself. He actually worried me. He wasn't finishing sentences, and he was forgetting words. He said, "We need to leave." An hour or so down the road, he said he felt like a cloud was lifted and he felt his energy returning. He has never been affected by spiritual energy, but he was convinced the ghosts were attaching to him, or sapping his energy somehow.
We looked at our pictures. There are orbs in almost every single one. Prior to this trip, orbs were never a part of my photography experiences (and I'm a photography nut). I will send you a few. They are almost always surrounding John, moving with him. And in one photo in the banquet room, a blue "thing" was on the far wall. We eliminated light refraction, but have no other explanation. We took a picture of the jail bars and a light seems to be pouring out from within, over the bars.
I researched my experiences. One website said there was a ghost named "Edith" at the hotel. I'm guessing that was Edie. Another person said they felt their sheets get tucked in, then they felt paralyzed. A skeptic dimissed that as "sleep paralysis". Too close to my experience to dismiss. Still another person said they have experienced "out-of-body experiences" when ghosts were present (not at this hotel). It's as if ghosts pull us into their world while we are in a vulnerable state of unconsciousness. They want us to visit them, instead of wasting their energy trying to get our attention on our plane.
I am glad I had such a unique experience at the Hotel Leger, and I wouldn't trade that night for anything. But I think any curiosity about the spirit world is now more than satisfied!"
Room 7 - October 1, 2010
"Sometime after midnight, I was laying on the bed with the lights on and my door open (I was in Mr. Leger's room). I dozed off and what seemed like a minute or two after dozing off, my bedroom door quietly closed and latched. I did not hear anyone retreating which, as you know, you could easily hear and no one was there. Sounds rather mild but it did scare me."
Rooms 1, 2 - December 2008
We stayed at the very creepy Hotel Leger this past December. You may remember us as the group of 4 younger guests and the ones who checked out about 3 hours after we had checked in. We had all took about two weeks of vacation road tripping up and down the California coast staying at the said-to-be most haunted hotels inside the most haunted rooms in celebrating my sister's 18th birthday. We really planned out which hotels were the most haunted according to online websites and forums. We barely came across Hotel Leger when looking online; only about a sentence or two was published on a website. Hotel Leger was one of our last stops in our haunted exhibition and no other hotel on our list convinced us that ghost were real.
Well, we were the only guests there that night and we had reserved rooms 2 & 7. We arrived pretty late that night, around 9 or 10pm and immediately felt that the whole surrounding area was very creepy yet the hotel was very warm and nice inside the bar area. Once we had brought our luggage upstairs we noticed both of our rooms were pretty distant and we decided to switch out room 7 for room 1. We walked down stairs and had dinner then we went back up and changed in to our pajamas and decided to start playing the Ouija board (which we brought with us the whole trip). Ghost hunting and paranormal activity interests me and my sister, but our boyfriends who were with us of course don't exactly believe in it. We turned off all the lights and still nothing happened. Meanwhile, the entire time we were there, everyone had a really odd feeling about the entire situation of us being the only guest in the little town of Mokelumne Hill and the weird vibe the hotel itself was giving us. After being fed up and unconvinced that the hotel was really haunted, we went to try playing the Ouija board again, this time in room 1. We shut off the lights and had the fireplace going. We sat around the coffee table and started playing. It's known that if you take pictures of haunted locations with a digital camera, you can sometimes see "orbs", so we were snapping pictures the whole time. The board game started working very slowly once we were in room 1. When my boyfriend put down the camera, that's when the board started moving more quickly. This is when it gets scary, within about 3 minutes of my sister and I playing, the board spelt " LAVE NOW" and a burst of fire had rose up dramatically from the fireplace and stayed up for about a minute or two. Now, most people would say after reading this that it was probably a spark, or wood normally does this from time to time. NO, THIS WAS NOT LIKE THAT AT ALL. Yes, "Leave" was misspelled, but of course we knew what it meant lol. We all toppled on each other to the loveseat closest to the wall in pure fear. One of the guys and I then heard the sound of a door upstairs closing, again no other guest were there that night. After a few seconds of realizing what had happened, I and my sister continued to use the Ouija board. With our hands shaking, we asked, "Was that you who made the fire go up?" It replied with "yes". We then asked, “Can you give us some time to pack our bags and leave?" again the board spelt "yes". So without hesitation, we all stuck together and first packed up our stuff in room 1 then went on to room 2 and gathered everything in there as well. We rushed downstairs and just in time we saw the rest of the hotel staff walking out the door getting ready to leave for the night. Very strange coincidence. Everyone was shaken yet the hotel staff listened as if they'd heard the story before and it was nothing out of the ordinary for them.
After realizing what had really happened, my sister and I were extremely upset that we didn't stay longer but we couldn't convince the guys to go back in.
We ended up driving down a few miles to the closest town and the first normal hotel that we saw we went in to check availability. With our luck, the hotel clerk told us that hotel was haunted as well due to the paranormal investigators that use the conference room after investigating hotels like Hotel Leger! So we went across the street and ended up staying at some shabby little motel.
Me and my sister, as well as our mom plan on coming and visiting the Hotel Leger again, very soon. Unforttunately the guys will never step in that town again, but I and my sister can't wait to go back and actually spend the whole night. Our mom is so excited and we all can't wait to see what else we experience from this very haunted hotel! It sounds like we had a bad time but all in all this is what we wanted to get out of our whole vacation, and we were very pleased to convince the boys that haunted places do exist.
Can't wait to come back,
Kali, Jenn, Rich, and Josh
Rooms 11/12 - January 29, 2006
First of all, we just wanted to thank you for a very enjoyable stay with you. The atmosphere was very laid back and welcoming and the staff made you feel very comfortable. For my wife's birthday, she wanted to stay in a "haunted hotel." As family, we like to visit historical and haunted places. We read about the Hotel Leger in the book "Gold Rush Ghosts" and decided to stop by while we searched different places in the area. My wife was in there for five minutes and decided that this is where she wanted to stay. During our stay several strange and interesting things happened.
1. My suede slippers were under the bed. When I went to put them on, they were wet inside. No water on the floor or on the outside of the shoes. The wetness went totally around the inside, not just on the soles.
2. My daughter quite often, through out the night, felt something tickling the bottom of her foot.
3. After we started to settle into the room, a penny hit and rolled across the floor in room 11 and the next day it was a nickel.
4. As we were getting ready to leave, we could not find my older son's shoe. We tore through both rooms 11 and 12, under and on the beds, in the bathroom, under and behind the furniture, no shoe. My wife said something to the effect of "We appreciate your sense of humor but we really have to go. Would you please give us back the shoe." I turned to look at her as if she was crazy when I saw the shoe in the middle of the floor in room 12. I had just looked there before she said that and that shoe was not there.
I, myself, am not a true believer in ghosts, although not a skeptic, I do know that except for the tickling, these things did happen. The whole family is looking forward to a return trip along with my grandmother who was very excited about our story.
Again, thank you for a pleasant weekend,
Sometime in 2005
"I would like to share a ghost encounter that I experienced several years ago at
the Hotel Leger. I have family that lives in Moke Hill, and about 4 or 5 years
ago we visited and my dad and I were walking by the hotel on the opposite side
of the street. We heard a door open and looked up to see who was there. When we
looked up we realized that no one was there, only a pair of boots walking across
the deck. The boots had opened the 2nd door from the left and traveled 3 doors
over. Then the door opened, the boots went inside and the door closed. My dad
and I looked at each other in astonishment and discussed what had happened. He
saw the exact thing I had seen, so we knew it was real. I hope this has some
relevance or if people have experienced something like this? I know there have
been ghost stories, but what about boots? Hope this helps. We really like the
hotel and restaurant!"