Hotel Leger is an historic hotel nestled in the former mining town known as Mokelumne (Moke) Hills. Rumors of hauntings surround the history of this quaint hotel. The old building has worn many hats over the years - it served as both a courthouse and a prison, and it's speculated that hangings took place behind the property. Owner George Leger was rumored to have been assassinated in the hotel, and was thought to have died in the room of his namesake (aka Room 7). A "lady in white" is reportedly seen in Room 2, mourning her deceased child. Room 3 is presumably haunted by the ghost of a boy who's often seen playing by the fireplace. These two entities may be the ghosts of a woman and boy who purportedly perished in a fire that destroyed part of the building. Guests flock form near and far to explore this "haunted" hotel in the hopes of having their own paranormal experience.
We were lucky enough to reserve the three most popularly haunted rooms - 1, 2, and 7 (George's Room). Once we checked in, we opted to explore the nearby cemetery which holds the Leger family graves while we still had some daylight on our side. We used our new H2 digital recorder, as well as a multi-spectrum camcorder and UV/IR camera. Once back at the hotel, we decided to investigate "George's Room" first. We used our K2 meters, digital EMF detector, UV/IR camcorder, multi-spectrum camera, night vision (IR) camcorder, voice recorders, PX, and a laser grid. Next, we moved on to Room 2. We conducted numerous EVP sessions, and attempted to use a Ouija board to communicate with any present entities. In Room 1, we employed the same methods. Unfortunately, during the course of the investigation the downstairs bar was in full swing, so our recordings were completely contaminated. The walls between the rooms were paper thin, so aside from the blaring music and general din of the bar, we captured quite a few shouts and ramblings from nearby guests.
Not surprisingly, we weren't able to catch any EVPs during the investigation. The only unusual K2 activity occurred, strangely, after the guests next door accidentally set the fire alarm off with their smoky fireplace. Could the spirits who reportedly died in a fire have been "awakened" by this disturbance? We got K2 hit after K2 hit as the devices were set down in Room 2, yet we feel that the energy may have been residual, or synthetic, as our questions weren't clearly being answered. In the room next door, Room 3, there was also K2 activity, but it had very consistent peaks, indicating that it was picking up on some mechanical device possibly below the room.
After the investigation, we poured over every entry in the Leger guestbook and found quite a pattern regarding guest stays. Most guests divulged that: A) They were attracted to the hotel because of its haunted history, but B) Didn't encounter any paranormal activity, and C) Were certain to return so that they could attempt to get a glimpse of George. It's possible that the Leger Hotel has been labeled "haunted" in order to attract tourists to the sleepy town of Moke Hills. However, if you're a history buff, or appreciate unique rooms furnished with beautiful antiques, then you may not care that George remains elusive!
Most of the haunted activity that hotel guests claim to have experienced can easily be explained by natural causes. The hotel is very old and you can hear people on the other side of the hotel walking across the wooden floor. The beds shake as people walk by. Whispering is easily heard throughout the hall. Plumbing makes unusual noises. There are numerous historic hotels throughout the foothills of California left over from the Gold Rush era. Many of them have the similar history of being burned down and rebuilt. You'll find the same story of a haunting in each one. It's clear that claiming to be haunted is a selling mechanism for these hotels; it's what draws most of their visitors. Please keep that in mind when visiting places like this.