Tales of a Haunted Truckee
Halloween is almost upon us and it is time again for stories of a spooky nature. Truckee was a town of the wild west. It was reported by historian Robert O’Brien that “Truckee went its own independent way and promptly became a juvenile delinquent among the California mountain towns.” Are you ready for some ghost stories?
Donner State Memorial Park
One of the first legends of Truckee is the Donner Party. The notorious party was trapped in Truckee because of an early October storm. The tale is made famous by the party’s resort to cannibalism to survive. Tamsen was the wife of George Donner, the organizer of the party. When rescuers finally came, George was too weak from infection and starvation to travel and Tamsen neglected rescue to stay behind with him. It was a fatal choice. They both died, but Tamsen’s body was claimed to never be found. It is said that her spirit haunts the place that brought her death. Guests of the Donner State Memorial Park have seen a weird, yellowish figure floating above the ground.
The Truckee Hotel has seen a lot of activity from the living world and beyond. Since 1873, the hotel has welcomed stagecoach guests on their travels across California. After three name changes, a great fire, and thousands of guests, there is one things that has stayed: the ghosts. The first is of a little girl that was murdered in a bathtub on the fourth floor. Guests hear her running down the halls at night, maybe to escape her assailants. The next is the Lady in Red. Architect Ron Gaunt, a 20-plus year Truckee resident, walked in to one of the hotel rooms and instantly felt a cold chill. “There was a woman in a red dress, long velvet, definitely not of this time-period. She walked into another room, with no doors or windows, and disappeared,” said Gaunt. “I saw the person clear as day. Then she was gone. The hairs stood up on my arms, a chill went down my spine.”
The owners, employees, and guests at the Squeeze In have always felt and eerie presence. Most activity occurs early in the morning towards the back of the restaurant. Beyond a creepy feeling, employees have heard whistling and have had the music turn on all on its own. Owner Misty Young recounts her ghostly encounters: “One morning, I witnessed the toilet paper rolls in the bathroom spinning super fast and there was no wind or explanation why! I was so scared, I turned and ran out the back door till one of the kitchen guys arrived. On another particularly busy day, table 7 had just left, and it was the only open table, and a pot of cheese sauce went flying across the entire restaurant to splatter on the opposite wall. If the table had been occupied it would have been a catastrophe.”