The town of Downieville was first established as a result of the gold rush in 1849. Gold was discovered where the town sits to this day, and was named after Major William Downie, the town’s founder. The town grew at an alarming rate over the years, and hotels were in high demand.
The Gold Rush Dies…Downieville Remains
But what most people don’t know, and what staff members do not openly discuss is that many visitors of the inn believe it is haunted. Some speculate the ghost that haunts the inn is the former owner from the days of the California gold rush. But recent visitor Maggie knows what truly haunts the Downieville River Inn, and is convinced that many will think she is crazy for what she has to say.
“I spent many summers in Downieville growing up,” she explained.
“So when I got married and started a family, I vowed to show my kids the place where I spent my summers when I was their age. My daughter, Zoey, is five now, so I decided to bring her on a mini vacation while my husband started a new development project. I always thought the Downieville River Inn was so charming and so historic, I knew that’s where we would stay once we got to town,” she smiled.
The Nightly Visitor
“We got in late our first night, so we watch tv and went to bed. The next morning I had an interesting conversation with my daughter.
“’Mommy, why did you let that little man into our room with us last night?’ Zoey asked over her bowl of cereal.
“’What little man, what are you talking about?’ I asked with a bemused laugh.
‘The little man with the funny hat…he crawled onto my bed and whispered things in my ear and it tickled.’
“’You must have been dreaming sweetie—finish your breakfast,’ I replied.
“Zoey shook her head but dropped the subject, and I just assumed that she had a strange dream, being in a bed that wasn’t hers. The following night I woke up needing a glass of water,” Maggie said. “I was about to crawl out of bed when I heard this faint whispering.
“I got some water and went back to bed but told the manager about the noise the following day. ’Could you just get the guests next door to turn the volume down a little?’ I remember asking, but the manager insisted that nobody was staying in that room—nobody was checked into the inn but my daughter and me.
“I woke up the sound of faint footsteps on our third night in town. This time I thought that Zoey had snuck out of bed to play with her toys or something,” Maggie said, exasperated. Knowing she would lie if I didn’t catch her in the act, I very slowly reached for the lamp beside my bed. When light flooded the room, I thought I was imagining things for a moment.
“There, hovering by Zoey as she slept was this shadowy thing with a bulbous head. I gasped in shock, and the creature slipped down the side of the bed and out of view. I tore that room to pieces, looking for that creepy thing…but I never found him. When I asked Zoey to describe the ‘little man’ she had mentioned before, she described what I saw to a T.
“I will be taking Zoey back to visit Downieville someday when she is older…but next time, we will stay in the next town over,” Maggie whispered.
121 River St
Downieville, CA 95936
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