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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The ghosts of Springville Inn

Located east of Porterville in Tulare County, nestled in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, is the small town of Springville. Since 1911 the Springville Inn has been at the heart of the town. The town itself has been around since 1849 when pioneers settled the area. The Inn itself was built with the coming of the railroad to Springville. At that time it was known as the Wilkinson Hotel. Unfortunately during construction, the owners went broke and were forced to sell the property. An addition was done to the building in 1972, which holds all the rooms of the hotel. The original building is now a restaurant on the bottom floor and a bar/ dance hall on the second.

The Springville Inn has four ghosts that wander only the original building built in 1911. They have not been seen in the hotel nor in an addition to the restaurant that was done in 1979. A local historian states that there was no coroner or morgue in Springville, so bodies were placed upstairs on ice before being transported to Porterville.

No one truly knows the identities of the ghosts as records from the area are incomplete. But the workers at the Inn have given them nicknames. There is the "Young Man" who appears to be a handsome logger in his twenties. There is the "Little Girl" who is around eight years of age and wearing an old fashioned clothes. The "Woman", very beautiful with long blond hair and wearing a dress. And finally the "Old Man".

The "Young Man" is seen mostly around the bar and what was the location of the original staircase. He is known to be a flirt, and will brush up against women to make his presence known. Not much is known about him, other that he was a logger and was said to have been shot outside the Inn. He was carried into the hotel where he bled to death. He had also been seen walking hand in hand with the "Little Girl" but not recently.

As for the "Little Girl", she was last seen by an employee who was washing dishes. The employee saw the girl watching her from a mirror. She turned around and no one was there. Frightened, she ask the owners to remove the mirror and the "Little Girl" hasn't been seen since.

The "Woman" is usually seen floating on the balcony surrounding the penthouse or seen wandering the second floor hallways in the main building. Not much is known about her.

Finally, the "Old Man" mostly keeps himself to the kitchen, but has had the most contact with past and current employees. He has been seen staring up or down into the dumbwaiter joining the lower and upper kitchens. The staff feel that he is watching over them and is not shy as he frequently makes himself seen.

I had a chance to investigate the Springville Inn several years ago with a group and had a great time there. I actually had a few experiences of my own when I was there. While having dinner in the restaurant, I noticed out of the corner of my eye a blond woman walking outside. She walked past one window, but did not appear in the second one after the three feet of wall separating the two. Not really sure what happened, but the walkway that she was on is several feet above the street and the windows where I saw her were nowhere near the stairs to get to the street. This could have been the "Woman", but I honestly didn't get a good look at her.

The other incident happened after dinner while I was waiting for the rest of the group to arrive. I was watching TV in one of the rooms, when suddenly a cabinet door swung open. I got up to investigate the door, thinking maybe the hinge was broken. I open and closed it several times but the hinge was in working order. I thought maybe someone was trying to say hi to me, but remembered that the ghosts haunted the original building only. I mentioned this later to one of the employees and they said that people have had strange experiences in the rooms. One even complained of seeing sparkling lights on the ceiling. They thought it was coming from cars outside, but upon checking there were none there. Even after closing the curtains the strange lights still were seen. The person then left the next morning after canceling the rest of their stay there.

The Springville Inn is a great place to visit and the staff was more than accommodating and if not busy will gladly tell you any stories they might know. If you are looking for a weekend getaway and want something different I'd definitely recommend taking the two hour drive to Springville and staying at the Inn. Not only is it a wonderful little town, but it's nestled in the Sierra Nevadas and minutes from the Giant Sequoia National Monument. For more info on the Inn as well as a bit of history of the surrounding area, here's the Inn's website.


Chris Hangsleben said...

I'm intrigued to say the least. I love stuff like this. Nice story. Made me want to visit.

Anonymous said...

I use to work at the inn quite a while ago. One thing for sure there is no little girl. The young man is very, very active. He hangs out in the bar and runs up and down the stairs, which to some people can be nerve wracking but when you've worked there for so long will get annoying. I never ran into the woman, but a dishwasher quit after seeing her up stairs. Now for the old man, yes he's active, but is he nice? NO! He hid the lock to the walk in so many times, pushed barstools down up stairs, broke glass, knocked inside the walk in to where you think you locked in someone, and attempted to push not only me but a fellow co-worker down the stairs. The young guy, you get a great vibe from him. The old man, once you sense him you feel like just quitting on the spot it's that bad. So here is whats up with the inn, just giving you guys an inside look from a former employee. FYI theyre 20 times more active in the mornings and afternoons.

Anonymous said...

I rented in Springville for a year. Its a very nice community. It's a Ghost town by 6pm. Would love the town as a retirement stay. ReL close by the river too great for the summer. I worked swings. I use to for a good river dipping almost every day before going to work.

Marcie Brunelle said...

I lived in Springville from 1980 to 2001. I myself have felt an unseen hand brush my lower leg in an upward motion and lifting the hem of my dress on the staircase in the rear of the hotel. I've also heard and seen female guests commenting on someone doing the same to them.

J Wagner said...

The Springville Inn. I worked at the Inn a couple different times, as a dishwasher when I was youngster (teenager) and later as a cook/chef. I also spent many hours after work in the hotel. Living in Springville also meant going to the bar and dances as a young man.
My first experience with something I couldn’t explain was with the dumb waiter. It was located in the kitchen (downstairs) and went upstairs to a room set up as a prep room for upstair events. This upstairs room also had an area for employees to change into work attire. It was during one of my first nights working as a dishwasher, we had already closed up for the night and I was upstairs changing my clothes when I heard the dumb waiter start moving, I had already checked to make sure it was downstairs for the night. I immediately went over to the dumb waiter and it was still down stairs.while I was looking down the shaft I felt a surreal twist in perception. I heard distant music and laughter I also felt the presence of a hand on my back, seemingly trying to push me into the shaft, although it had no real force. A couple nights later, I was downstairs waiting for the dumb waiter to come down, we had had a diner party upstairs and the dumb waiter was loaded with dishes. As I looked up to see the progress of the slow moving waiter, two plates fell out and down the shaft they came, missing my head by mere inches. All the dishes where stacked and in buss bins. How they fell out at the exact moment I looked was a little disturbing. Another time I was waiting for it to come down, my fellow dishwasher was upstairs loading it and I was downstairs unloading. As I was waiting for it to come down I felt my body being grabbed by something not there and felt it trying to push me into the shaft so that the dumb waiter would smash me when it came to a stop. I had other incidents with this machine over the years that I worked at the Springville Inn similar to this but I never saw anything or anyone.
The upstairs had the prep area room, this room had a door with glass in it so you could see if someone was on the other side coming out, it was after a long night of work that I was going into this room to change into my regular clothes that I saw her the first time. She was blonde and although I couldn’t make out any discernible facial features, she had the aura of attractive. I must admit this scared me more than my first scares with the dumb waiter. Only the owner, and myself where in the building, I saw her a couple different times upstairs and on the old staircase. I saw here once during a dance upstairs when I wasn’t working. Approximately 80+ people where upstairs dancing and carrying on when I saw her dancing by herself in the corner by the door into the prep area. She was mainly twirling around and then would do a bouncy step step and back into a twirl. I asked my friend if they saw her and they didn’t.
The old staircase was nothing special unless you felt like someone was pushing you down them or trying to trip you so that you could fall down them. Also sometimes you could feel hot air on your neck like someone was breathing on you.
The old walk-in refrigerator was also weird, it almost always felt like someone was in there with you. Many times I’ve seen fellow employees come out deathly white, some not saying anything but quit right on the spot to others saying they where molested by someone they couldn’t see. I personally never felt molested but I was locked in there a few times with what seemed like someone else in there with me. Lights would flicker and beating on the door was only heard by the dishwasher if they where nearby. Every time this happened, the door was not actually locked. People opening the door would look confused as you said it was locked, and them stating it was open and unlocked. I found this to be the scariest area in the restaurant.