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Date Posted: 16:12:09 08/14/03 Thu
Author: Marge Cunningham
Subject: Re: Vineyard house in Ca
In reply to: kaitie 's message, "Re: Vineyard house in Ca" on 18:58:35 12/13/02 Fri

>I don't know who will receive this message, the threads are a few months old at least, but I am writing about The Vineyard House. I had the good fortune to spend the night there once, in 1994. It was in the last week of August, beautiful weather in Coloma and thereabouts, and my husband and I were the only guests and then we learned the only (living) people in the house that night. We stayed in the Lola Montez Room. What a beautiful place it was. We had read about it before we stayed there, and were expecting ghosts, I suppose. (There is a lot written about the house, in any book on "California Haunted Houses.") I took it as a sign, of what I didn't know, when I walked into the Lola Montez room and found a portrait of a 19th century woman over the bed. This painting was the same one (a copy, for sure) that had hung in my parents' home in Chicago all the years of my life there growing up in the 50's-60's. I found this very unsettling. Anyway, we went out for the evening and returned about 11 PM, had to let ourselves in (we had a key) and we were the only ones there. I can't explain the feeling, but we were terrified. We never slept that night, and my husband swears that he heard something in the hall around 2 AM, and then knocking or tapping on the bedroom door. I spent the night with my head under the covers, I was so afraid. But of what? Anyway, the next morning dawned finally, bright and beautiful, and I went down for breakfast. I thought twice about leaving my camera in the room, but I did it anyway. I had taken lots of pictures on that trip, Mono Lake and the Sierras and of course pictures of The Vineyard House, and I wanted them for an article I hoped to write...so when the roll of film came out completely blank, I couldn't explain it because that never had happened before or since with my otherwise very reliable Nikon. I thought the ghost, whoever it is, and the owner that morning over breakfast told my husband that it was the late Mrs. Chalmers, exposed my film. We've not been back to Coloma since, although I would have loved to at least drive by the place, try to sneak a photo! But I guess that's not to be, at least for now.

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