BEWARE THE GHOST OF SACRAMENTO - COLOMA COMMUNITY CENTER
BEWARE THE GHOST OF SACRAMENTO - COLOMA COMMUNITY CENTER
April 25, 2009
BY NANCY BRADLEY
San Francisco Sentinel
SACRAMENTO - The little girl followed Elizabeth Harrison down the stairs, basketball in her hand. Once on the landing she dribbled it a few times before the ball got away from her. Unable to catch it, the ball went in another direction, down the hall. She ran after it and they disappeared through the wall and were gone.
Strangely, folks tell us the wall has been put up since the days she was there as a schoolgirl. Amazingly cute, she is just one of the many spirits at the Access Sacramento (Coloma Community Center) Building in California. Charlie will tell you so. But then again, Charlie knows because he was one of the caretakers of the property when she was there, a clean-up maintenance man. Few are able to see him either.
Such strange things had been happening in the building for years, but it was not until I was asked to do a television show at the station that it was brought to my attention. The management held the information tight for many years, stating they did not want a bunch of â€˜crazy paranormal groups or psychic typesâ€™ mulling around. Indeed it took some time before they trusted me either. But eventually we all became friends as I proved to them that I wasnâ€™t a phony fortune teller, but a reputable psychic seen on CBS and other national television. Over time I was able to show them my ability and sincerity, and convince them that my organization, Gold Rush Ghosts Paranormal Investigations is clearly a scientific organization looking only for proof. And it was then the skeptics and cautious came forward to tell me their stories in hopes I could find answers. â€œWe hear voices late at night when no one is hereâ€ many confided. â€œThings in the office have been moved about when we come back in the morningâ€ they said. â€œWe hear kids laughing and playing ball in the building. There ARE no kids in the building!â€
I had encountered Charlie when I did the initial television show, a roly-poly jovial man who sometime in his life was relieved of the hair on the top of his head. He appeared again to me several times in the building as time went on. So it became a game of â€˜what do you want me to do?â€™ with the staff, and my suggestion was to allow our crew into the building over-night when no one would be around to do our investigation. I suggested we set up our cameras and bring our most experienced crew. They agreed and everything was set for a Sunday night.
The history of the building is interesting. The block long brick building sits in the middle of one of the oldest and most beautiful residential areas in Sacramento. It sticks out like a thumb, but not in a bad way. It was originally built in 1921 as the neighborhoods Elmhurst School. The following year the building went under a major expansion and was renamed the Coloma School. It remained an Elementary school for many years, a safe place where parents could keep an eye on their kids and those of their neighbors. As the city grew, other schools built, it was no longer needed in that capacity. In 1979 the city purchased the building, and in 1981 it became the Coloma Community Center. Many events are held in the building, and of course Sacramentoâ€™s own television station broadcasts from this site.
I was not in the best of moods the night of the investigation because a few nights before one of my darling cats had died. Joining us on this investigation would be Elizabeth Harrison, head investigator with Gold Rush Ghosts and one who has some inside information. Harrison works in the building. Also scheduled to be with us were Robin King, my daughter, Cat Noble, Rodney Roberts, Robert Reppert, all crew of Gold Rush Ghosts Paranormal Investigations. Harrison has been the producer of two of my television shows for years and knows her way around this studio. I figured I would let the crew do most of the work because I was not really into it. Liz was anxious to get the investigation going anyway, to see exactly what we could pick up as far as energy so she could share that with the board.
It turned out to be a cold night, windy. The feeling of impending rain was clearly in the air. Robin shared her clichÃ©â€™ that it â€œFeels like the calm before the stormâ€ and I assured her that is the most wonderful time for an investigation, negative ions are everywhere, ectoplasmic energy flowing easily.
Generally speaking negative ions are molecules that thrive in certain environments. You more often feel them when in the mountains, on the beach, around waterfalls, and clearly the energy levels heighten before and during rain storms, environment permitting. Negative Ions increase the flow of oxygen to the brain, and are non-harmful, in fact, helpful to everything that takes in air on the planet. Negative Ions are odorless and invisible, yet they produce reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin. Wonder why you feel less stress when out in nature or around a body of water? BINGO! And so conditions were right for this investigation and the crew was anxious to see what would transpire.
As the layout of the building, itâ€™s best to park cars to the side entrance, climb up the outside stairs after which a glass door will guide you into the foyer. Once inside there are three steps down, and then a sharp turn to the right if you donâ€™t want to hit the wall. The first door you see is the camera room where shows are broadcast, and inside it, the control room. Systematically we decide to start our investigations here, in the broadcast studio and the control room, where we placed cameras strategically in both rooms so we could monitor any activity from our vantage points. Orbs filled the screen immediately, heightening anticipation. We are on to something here. We would review the activity again later through our recording devices.
Leaving this to record, we headed for the theatre area, down the hall and in the back of the building, as there had been many reports from employees of the building concerning lots of strange noises and unexplained activity going on there. We are told that no one wants to go into the theatre area or behind the stage when alone. It is clearly spooky at night, a place set off all by itself, remote.
As we entered the room we could hear voices coming from behind the curtain at stage level. We checked it out, and no one was there. Always on top of things, Rodney got out his handy EVP to record and we were not disappointed. Robin asked: â€œWho are you?â€, and there was an immediate response, â€œSTOP! We are rehearsing.â€ Even without the paranormal equipment, we were all able to hear children laughing, seemingly at play, very rambunctious, and then footsteps ushering them away from the stage.
According to Harrisonâ€™s records, â€œWhen we went to the stage area/auditorium we immediately got bizarre readings on Rodneyâ€™s recorder. Besides that, we clearly heard the voices without our equipment, with just the naked ear. Those voices were not from our group.â€ Knowing we were the only persons in the building besides the janitor, who was not on this floor, we were quite aware at this point that we had spirit and ghost activity. Everyone grabbed equipment as the meter readings raced around, moving from place to place. I took note of the time, 10:30 pm. Interestingly, as we head for the stairs that lead to the stage, our stand-up camera teeters, ready to go over. Reppert runs back just in time to grab it before it hits the ground. HUM! The readings increase and are incredible on our hand held EMF Meters, ranging from 1 to 100, consistently, with a temperature range of 62-78. It is now midnight.
Hearing kids running from the auditorium/stage area to the direction of the stairs, Harrison was inclined to follow them. An accomplished photographer she was anxious to set her camera on the stairs in hopes of catching them on film. After completing what we could in the theatre area, we all decided to follow her to the stairs to â€˜set up shopâ€™. It was clearly a place of possible interesting activity, and Harrison spoke of hearing the â€œgiggle of a little girl.â€ We laughed and noted â€˜at least the kids around here are happy.â€™ We set the equipment on the staircase close to the side of the studio exit doors where we thought we had heard the giddiness of children prior. It was decided that King and Harrison should sit on the stairs as the children seemed to be most drawn to them. I quickly felt a presence brush past me. As I zeroed in on the names, the two most prominent kids in spirit were Amy and Sarah. I felt my legs to my elbows go cold (It was very humid in the building because it was closed up for the night), so there was no draft from anywhere. Harrison was certain she felt entities next to her and Robin, and she said to them, â€œLets go play on the stairsâ€ (Obviously something they would not be encouraged to do in life!) Soon as she addressed the children the meter readings went crazy. â€œWeâ€™ve made some kids happy!â€ she stated. Always practical, I looked for electrical sources that could have caused this rise in meter activity. There was none. Anxiously making good on her promise, Harrison walked up and down the stairs a few times, and was sure she felt at least one child playing along, curious about her. As she went from step to step, walking up and down the stairs, we could hear what appeared to be other footsteps following her, and this activity was backed up by our recorders. Checking back later, we felt extremely lucky to also record orbs going down the stairs and then turning around and going back up, followed by another orb. In the audio there is the little girlâ€™s giggle. An amazing photo was to come from this part of the investigation and we send it along to you. Is it just shadows on a cold night? Or could it be a spirit child? We will leave it up to you.
At 2:00 am we were tired and knew it was time to wrap up. Back into the broadcast and control room we checked our monitors for activity. Amazingly the orbs were even more active now and we would analyze them later. They would be recorded for all time on our DVD, and later used on our television show. Tired, but encouraged by what we found, the crew packed up, headed for their cars and home to get a last little bit of possible sleep before the sun came up. There would be much to tell the folks at the Coloma Community Center when we reported back with our evidence.
Besides a successful investigation, the night proved to be a heartfelt one for me. All the way back to my office, 30 miles, I could not help but think of ZahZah, our cat that had just died of old age. Most of you know that I am a complete animal lover and that I make it a point to even feed the rats that live under our deck. Nothing goes hungry around here, and I run an animal rescue (Bandit/Beardog Rescue) named after two of my deceased dogs, and support several non-kill shelters and rescues. It has always seemed so unfair to me that animals do not live as long as people, always a heartache losing them.
As we pulled in to the office and got out of the truck, a pitiful little kitten appeared. It had been hiding under the bushes, frightened and wet. He made a feeble cry, and collapsed at my feet. Lost, deserted, cold, underfed, and needing, I picked him up and cradled him into my arms, taking him under my sweater. No animal should become a spirit before itâ€™s time, and I remarked how heartless could anyone be to ditch a kitten or ANY animal, a trusting needing soul that needs you. These are certainly people without conscience. I took the little one inside the office with me, warmed the little guy up, and it gratefully ate all the food I had to give it. Happily feeling a little more secure now, the kitten went to sleep on my lap as I checked the messages on the computer. What a beautiful ending for a night I had not looked forward to.
Tippy has a permanent home with me now, and he takes his place next to my other 8 cats and two dogs. Blessings in strange places when you least expect them, when your heart is hurting, and when you most need it. Blessings!