Monday, July 10, 2017

Deadwoods Ghosts by Paty Jager

Have you ever experienced a ghost? Thought you might have seen one? Or even felt that cold whisper of air or the feeling you weren't alone?

Fairmont Hotel
Last month I attended the Wild Deadwood Reads Reader/Author event in Deadwood, South Dakota. You can read more about it here. It was a fun-filled weekend of sightseeing and attending events with readers. While I enjoyed the bus ride and games up to the 1880's train ride and the train itself was a unique peek into how characters set in my historical books would have ridden the rails; and I had fun watching the crowd and the bull riders at the PBR rodeo; I would have to say my favorite event of the weekend was our ghost tour through The Historic Fairmont Hotel Brothel.

To start with, the man giving the tour was a showman. He had us all sit at a long table in a room with memorabilia covering the walls and told us stories of the brothels, the clientele, and the woman who lived in the building.

There were three buildings on the block that were all connected on the second floors. This floor and
the third floor were the brothels. Men would enter the barber shop in the basement as if getting a shave and a haircut, exit the back, and take a back staircase to the second floor. There they were led into a "meeting" room. Here they visited with the ladies and made their choice if they didn't already have one in mind.

On the second floor, they could also move from one brothel to the next if they preferred a woman who worked for a different place.

The sad thing about these poor woman was that drinking, drugs, and getting involved with the wrong man usually ended up with them dead- either by someone else or their own doing.

The owner of the hotel told a story of how he purchased the hotel, and because he had no where else
Are those ghosts in the upper left corner?
to live, and was slowly renovating, he  lived in the big three story building all by himself for several years. He had incidents where he would wake because it felt like someone was pulling his arm, or someone had sat on his bed. Others who visited and slept on the bed had similar occurrences. He also saw a woman named Maggie several times. She had fallen in with the wrong man, discovered she was pregnant and he was married. She sat on the window ledge and pushed- killing herself and the baby. In the photos he took of her, you see her extended belly. He has one photo where his sister was in the room talking about the man, who was a prominent citizen in the day in Deadwood, and you see ghostly hands around his sister's throat. Were the photos doctored? Or does Maggie's ghost haunt the building?

I didn't see Maggie, but in one of my photos there is a shadow that doesn't fit anyone who was in the room and a flash of light in another.
shadow is looking through the door.

The way the man told stories and prepared our minds to "see" things that may or may not have been there was a definite art. Some walked around saying they could feel something in that corner or they saw the boy the man talked about in one hall. Did they? Or are they more susceptible to ideas put in their heads?

I do believe in ghosts. I've had two encounters in my life that can't be explained any other way. And I do believe there are ghosts who have not left this plane due to circumstances they can't control.

But did I see ghosts or was I as gullible as the rest of the people who paid money to walk through a dark building? ;) Join us in Deadwood next June and you can see if there really are ghosts.

Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 32+ novels, a dozen novellas, and a passel of short stories of murder mystery, western romance, and action adventure. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters.

This is what readers have to say about the Letters of Fate series- “...filled with romance, adventure and twists and turns.” “What a refreshing and well written love story of fate and hope!”

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Melissa Keir said...

What fun! I would love to go! Can you email me the link so I can check out the sign up?

I've had experiences with ghosts myself, but I do agree that the mind can be very susceptible when primed.

Diana McCollum said...

Great post, Paty! Sounds like you had a great time in Deadwood! THe tour you went on sounds fascinating. I've felt ghostly presence in a house i was visiting once. But the most chilling experience was when my Dad passed away at home. I came up to Bend to visit. By that time his cancer had him bedridden at home. I was when he passed. Mom and Dad lived on a street where the houses have 1 to 3 acre lots. the house doesn't have bushes or places to hide and there is a really long drive way out to the road. Dad passed we were all standing around the bed and not a minute later the doorbell rings. I went right away to answer it. Nobody was there! Nobody was anywhere on the street or driveway. When the Hospice nurse came she said it is not unusual to have odd circumstances surrounding a passing. I am convinced it was Dad's spirit leaving the house for his next journey.

Paty Jager said...

Hi Melissa, Yes, I'll email you the info.

Hi Diana, That is interesting about your dad and his passing. The whole thought and process of ghosts intrigues me. Thanks for stopping in!