From Part I: After dinner (and a brief mini grid intention-setting in our hotel room using the crystals and tools that I had brought with me), our host from Haunted Hotels of America, Clay Johnson, then briefly reviewed the events to follow – the rooms that we would be investigating and some of the history of the hotel – who we might encounter, who we might “talk” to, and their stories. We broke into groups, secured our gear, turned on our flashlights and made our way to the first room of the night.
In our first room, our investigator was Karl Pfeiffer. Karl explained quite a bit about the Estes Method, how the spirit box works, and his own method for investigating. He has a calm energy and a confidence about the spirit box that helped us all to relax. We all introduced ourselves to whatever spirits might be in the room, and then Karl led us through a meditation to prepare our energy to communicate with spirit.
We started with a general calling out to spirit, to see if anyone was in the room that wanted to communicate. We all had our own equipment, and we waited for a response. He then asked for a knock back, and knocked on the wall. At that point, we all heard a deep knock on the side of the room looking out over the river. After a quick check out the window, there was no one on the outside of the building, so that knock remains unexplained. Karl then turned on the spirit box for us to ask questions. The quickest and easiest way to explain the spirit box is that while it does sound like a radio scanning frequencies, you will hear short bursts of partial words, but when spirit communicates, the voice sort of “floats” above the scanning, and carries across several frequencies. We began by asking for a name, and then how many spirits were in the room. At that time, we heard several voices come through, all saying different numbers! It was exciting and a bit overwhelming, as it sounded at one point to have up to 15 voices calling out numbers one right after the other. Since it was the very beginning of the night, we didn’t get a ton of answers from the spirit box, but we did get a really good understanding of how it works. And that knock! That impressed me.
Our second room was led by Connor Randall. Immediately, we all noticed that the lights were dimmed and there was one light lit with a red bulb, and the light in the bathroom on the other side of the room was lit by a purple bulb. Connor explained about the color spectrum, and also mentioned that there was a study done among children that had “imaginary friends” and when asked what color they were, the children answered overwhelmingly that they were purple. This led to him lighting the room the way he did. He also had various devices set up, and a digital recorder, and we began asking a series of questions, and then listening to the playback of the recordings. At one point, Connor asked if the spirits had anything to say to “Dawn” (the woman responsible for saving the hotel from destruction) and upon playback, a clear but quiet “thank you” was heard in response. Also, Conner asked if the spirit could hum – the previous group captured humming. Conner hummed a brief two-tone hum, and immediately after, when we listened to the recording, another hum was captured echoing him exactly on the recorder! During the communication, my K2 (EMF detector) laying on the bed was redlining, which was either in response to spirit, or someone in the room had their cell phone on. (It’s generally agreed to turn your cellphones to airplane mode to avoid interference with the equipment.) We did ask everyone in the room, who stated their cellphones were set to airplane mode, so that looked promising, and to actually get an EVP was really compelling.
Our third area of the hotel was led by the ladies from WASP. They have a fun and lively energy, often teasing and gently provoking spirit to respond. Since the third area was the Bordello, they asked questions of the spirit directly pertaining to their job, and their lifestyle. For a virtual video tour of the Bordello shot by none other than Ty Gowen, visit here: Ty Gowen at the Occidental Hotel – Bordello Tour. The WASP ladies had a Flir camera (a thermographic camera that senses infrared radiation), which I was hesitant to use (since I knew that once I used it, I would want it!). There were three different rooms in this area of the hotel, and we set up in different rooms. The legends of the haunting in this area involved a young girl (daughter of one of the prostitutes) who supposedly died of cholera and often surprises visitors by appearing. We didn’t get much as a group in that area, but I had a private K2 session in one of the bedrooms (Karl’s room for the weekend, the one that gave Ty “the creeps” in the video). A spirit and I “visited” about my crystals and stones that I had in my bag. The K2 seemed to respond with varying degrees of reaction and levels based on my questions. I explained what the name of each stone was, and then asked if the spirit liked each one, and watched the K2 for reaction. I had about a 5 minute “conversation” with the spirit (she particularly liked my larimar stone) and then we were asked to switch rooms. I said “goodbye, ma’am, and thank you” and my K2 pegged at red for about 5 long seconds, and then we moved on.
The final room for investigation was in the Owen Wister room with Ty Gowen. Ty explained the hotel room’s history and then made us all laugh by talking about his experience with the previous group. They had a REM pod (a circular device that lights up and makes a loud sound when the antenna is touched) set up in the bathroom area of this suite, and every time Ty started talking to the previous group, the REM pod would go off LOUDLY, basically interrupting Ty every time he spoke. He explained that the spirit was being plain rude, and told him so during the last group’s time in the suite. He also let us know that he had a session of flashlight communication with a spirit in that room – about 15 minutes long, and they got some key points from her. Texas and Ohio were of some interest, and she basically gave the group a task involving the guest book and finding someone in that guest book who either was known to this spirit, or she wanted to give them a message. The group before us went downstairs to work on that task, and invited this female spirit to join them. We discussed the various stones that I had with me, and Ty pulled some runes to get further instruction/guidance for the spirit that the previous group was working with. It was a fairly quiet room, as I sensed that the spirit in that room was busily interacting with the previous group and they were enjoying the task that she gave them.
After the groups were completed with their cycle through the rooms, we all gathered in the saloon for a highly anticipated experiment showcasing the Estes Method.
First up on the machine was Karl. Conner did the questioning. One particularly significant moment was when Conner stood up to approach Karl to bring him out of the experiment, and Karl said “Sit down. You need to sit down.” Karl was seated in a rocking chair, and Conner was about 10 feet away, there was no way that Karl could have known that Conner had just stood up. Conner also asked questions hoping that “Eddie” (a spirit from the Stanley Hotel) would show up. Conner asked “If this is Eddie, what did you smell like?” and Karl responded “Feet”. Eddie was well known for presenting a significant body odor when he would visit them at the Stanley Hotel, so this sounded a lot like Eddie’s humor. For Karl to have that response and not know that Conner was asking about Eddie, let alone the odor, was impressive. After about 30 minutes, they then switched seats and Conner began communicating. The experiment went on for over an hour, and during it, there were many “goosebump” moments, when the responses seemed very directly related to the questions that were being asked. At the end of the session, all 5 investigators revealed that they had written single words on a piece of paper and were carrying them all evening, and were hoping that the words would come through during the session. While the specific words didn’t come through, the intelligent responses were amazing to witness.
All in all, I am absolutely convinced that the Occidental has some paranormal activity. From EVPs to K2 interaction to responsive knocks, combined with a successful Estes Method session, it was a phenomenal weekend.