Jump to content


Click Here To Visit Our Sponsor


Photo

EconoLodge in Gorman, California (Grapevine)


  • Please log in to reply
28 replies to this topic

#1 mlitsonata

mlitsonata

    Junior Villager

  • New Member
  • PipPip
  • 23 posts

Posted 08 February 2010 - 08:58 AM

Ok, I didn't want to add this one but I just have too.

I work at the EconoLodge in Gorman, California. We're on the Gorman Post Road, but you really don't need the exact address because were just about the only thing in Gorman, other than a few houses, gas stations and fast food places.

This hotel, which was previously known as the Caravan Motor Inn, was built by the Ralphs family of Ralphs supermarkets, in the late 1960s. But I've learned that there has been some type of lodging either one or very near this property since the 1860s. Also, the movie Thelma and Louise was filmed here in 1991, but that is just neat history and has nothing to do with the haunting.

I spend a lot of nights here at the motel and, although I have only good feelings about the place, I have sometime heard things that I can't explain. I also see movement regularly at the corner of my vision or sometimes it will just feel heavy were I am. I've only stayed in one of the rooms (when I was snowed in here), and I thought I heard some breathing and it felt a bit heavy. This was the room were Thelma and Louise was filmed, room 222 upstairs. It's a balcony room but we don't usually rent it out because 1. it's upstairs, and 2. it needs a little work. The rooms on the first floor were fully renovated but not all of the rooms on the 2nd.

Anyway, the most unusual experience was when it snowed a couple of weeks ago. It was a pretty heavy snow, several inches, and the 5 Freeway was closed down. The restaurants attached to the building and next door were also closed because the employees couldn't get in. We didn't have any guests at the time - so it was just me and another employee alone in the hotel. We were taking turns keeping an eye on the place and it was late, so she went to sleep.

I was bored so I decided to walk around and I heard some people talking. I thought that maybe one of the restaurants had opened after all, so I went to take a look. They were both closed and chained. I shook the doors and looked through the windows but they were completely dark. Then I realized that a guest must have left a TV on, or I was hearing my co-workers TV. I starting walking down the 1st floor hall, toward my co-workers room, 127. By the time I got to 110 I realized that the talking was getting fainter - it couldn't be my co-worker. So I turned around and went back toward the lobby. I was about to start opening rooms when I realized that the snow had taken out the satellite dishes!!! We didn't have any television or internet working in the building all day! It couldn't be a television! But I was the only person in the hotel that was awake, and there was no TV, so where was I hearing these voice?

I walked around more trying to cage where the sound was coming from, and I came to realize that it was the loudest in the lobby. I stood there and listened to it for close to ten minutes, and this is after the 5+ minutes of searching, when it finally grew more faint and disappeared. I was never able to make out any of the conversation and couldn't tell how many voices - but sounded like a man and a woman at least.

This morning, toward the end of another graveyard shift, I went to set up the continental breakfast in the lobby. As I was setting up I heard some tapping coming from inside the lobby. It was VERY clear, and went on for quite a while. I took a look around, tried to find any drafts, and tried to find any hanging chains that could tap against metal - because that's what it sounded like - metal on metal - but I found no explanation for the sound. And of course, this was the first time I've heard it, having spent many many nights here before. I thought maybe it was a guest, but there was no one in the halls and it wasn't the type of sound that would have been loud enough for me to hear if it was coming from one of the rooms.

Basically, I have no idea what I'm hearing and seeing here. And without any explanation, the only other explanation that I have is that it may be haunted. But also, I've never felt scared here. This place was made by a family that had lived on the property for generations and it was made with love. That is the only feeling I've ever gotten here.

So I'm writing this to find out if any past guests remember this place, and did you have any experiences?

PS - Gorman is on the 5 Freeway between Santa Clarita and Bakersfield, it is at the summit of what people call "The Grapevine", and near the beginning of the 138 (Ave. D) to Lancaster/Palmdale.

#2 dancinmiriam

dancinmiriam

    Villager

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 150 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Magical Redwoods
  • Interests:Classical ballet, Flamenco, Classical Indian (heck, any classical dance form-though Ballet is my muse and my profession); religious studies; history;paranormal and spiritual studies.

Posted 08 February 2010 - 04:28 PM

I had to read the story when I saw 'Gorman', as I grew up in L.A. and my family took regular day trips (poor man's vacation) back in the 60's and often, when my dad and I would take one of these trips we would stop in Gorman. I cannot say if I remember anything paranormal, but something about the place always stuck with me - we always stopped in a diner/restaurant (Denny's style) that (as I recall) was attached to the only hotel (I'd have to say it was on the right side of the freeway if you were going the direction leaving L.A. (north? - northeast?) and it was nestled up into the hill - it seemed as though the whole town was nestled up into the hills there. Would love to hear more - and will post any rememberings as they come to me (I'd say we frequented this place between 1967-1976 ish. The Caravan Inn sounds awfully familiar? Go by any other name??
I see dance being used as communication between body and soul, to express what is too deep, too fine, for words. ~ Ruth St. Denis

#3 mlitsonata

mlitsonata

    Junior Villager

  • New Member
  • PipPip
  • 23 posts

Posted 10 February 2010 - 09:17 AM

Yup, that's the place! I know it was called the Caravan Motor Inn from at least December 1970 (I have a newspaper article mentioning it by that name) until the late 1990s when it was sold to the current owners. Before that it had several names going back to the 1850s.

I was reading up on the history of the area and found a looooong history of the place, including a few deaths here. The info I'm writing here is according to the Frazier Mountain Historical Society and the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society.

According to them Gorman has the "unique honor" of being one of the "oldest continuously used roadside rest stops in California". It was commonly used by various Indian tribes when this small bit of land was a Tataviam village called Kulshra'jek. When the Spanish arrived they began using the trail that passed by the village right away and in the 1770's the spanish explorer Capt. Pedro Fages noted passing the village. The indian residents moved with the foundation of nearby Fort Tejon in the 1840s (still standing and open to the public as a museum and park).

The first white settler here was Charles Johnson and his wife Soledad Girado in the 1850s. Charles died here and the estate became known as "Rancho la Viuda", "Widow's Station" and "The Widow's Ranch". A traveler in 1855 mentioned the widow and her four children at the ranch who provided for the needs of travelers. The Johnson's moved shortly after that and the Reed family had moved in by 1857. The estate was renamed "Reeds Rancho". That year the strangest earthquake to ever hit California was centered at Fort Tejon. The adobe home of Reeds Rancho (supposedly on the site of the current hotel), collapsed and the large beams of the roof fell on a woman who died. Reeds Rancho was listed on maps as offering accomodations to travelers.

In the mid-1860's James Gorman moved onto the property with his wife Johanna O'Keefe. The built a new home on the spot (for sure the same spot as the current hotel, so this is the earliest confirmed building here). Mr. Gorman had rooms upstairs for guests and a large dining room downstairs. James died in 1876 on the road home to "Gorman" from Los Angeles, and their daughter died a year later, at the hotel.

By this time the ranch/estate was called "Gorman's Station" which Johanna ran until she died here in 1889. Fort Tejon shut down shortly after that and mining became popular in nearby Hungry Valley and Frazier Mountain (where I live), and Gorman Station became the popular entertainment spot for the miners. In the 1890's a woman named Mary Austin wrote "We took dinner at 'Hell', a supply station and hostelry, known sometimes as 'Gorman'."

The Gorman's sold the property to the Ralphs family (of Ralphs Supermarkets) in 1898. The Ralphe's family continued the tradition and improved the site by adding a Greyhound Station, a restaurant and an early Standard Oil gas station (the first to not be located near a railroad) in 1923. The road had finally been paved in 1919. The history says that they also "provided dormitories for employees and cabins for travelers". Charles Lindberg stayed here in 1930 to test fly a new glider here called the Albatross.

The history written by the historical societies really only goes up to the 1930s. I think it was around that time that the old hotel was built - by looking at the architecture of the building in the old post cards. That old building was for sure torn down and this one was built on its foundation in the late 1960s. Maybe 67 or 68.

So from the history I know for sure of the following deaths here:

Charles Johnson - about 1850
A woman, Mrs. Reed? - 1857
James Gorman (actually died on the road to Gorman) - 1876
Miss Gorman (daughter of James) - 1877
Johanna O'Keefe Gorman - 1889

I'm going to see if I can find anything in any of the local newspapers as well.

#4 dancinmiriam

dancinmiriam

    Villager

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 150 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Magical Redwoods
  • Interests:Classical ballet, Flamenco, Classical Indian (heck, any classical dance form-though Ballet is my muse and my profession); religious studies; history;paranormal and spiritual studies.

Posted 10 February 2010 - 12:35 PM

Thank you so much for that research - memories of that time (60's/70's) with my family and taking our poor man's vacations, are so vivid - love hearing from folks living in that area. Not to hijack the thread by bringing up another - but are you the poster re: the Hart Mansion? Living at Frazier Mountain (gosh, I haven't heard that name in 25-30 years!) you are probably familiar with all the area around Newhall (or whatever they call it now)/Castaic etc. which brings to mind another cool spot often visited by my family back in the day - Vasquez Rocks. One of my favorite spots to go explore - we always found some old blank bullet, Star Trek script, or leftover prop from a Western. I spent one of my most memorable birthdays there exploring with my friends. Do you know of any paranormal goings on or perhaps history of possible goings on at Vasquez? I'd be happy to start a separate thread for that. But, do keep us posted on the Gorman hotel happenings. Sounds like it's probably benign - maybe past owners checking in?
I see dance being used as communication between body and soul, to express what is too deep, too fine, for words. ~ Ruth St. Denis

#5 mlitsonata

mlitsonata

    Junior Villager

  • New Member
  • PipPip
  • 23 posts

Posted 14 February 2010 - 12:48 AM

Yes, I am the guy that wrote the bit on the Hart Mansion and yes #2 I'm very familiar with Vasquez Rocks! Although I haven't been there in several years and I haven't heard of anything paranormal there. But it is VERY cool. I only have three historical tidbits about that place.

1. It was named after a famous outlaw of the mid to late 1800's named Tiburcio Vasquez. A cousin of my family, James Nurton Angel, had been a sheriff somewhere up north and had chased after him for quite a long time - but didn't catch him. He was caught however, and hung, in San Jose, California. Several of my ancestors were present at his hanging as I'm descended from several founding families of that city - including the Haun, Guerraz, White (White Road) and Robinson families. I would think that if anyone was haunting that place, it would be Tiburcio, since it was supposed to have been his hideout area - but then he didn't die there so who knows.

2. The film "Werewolf in London" with Spring Byington filmed the opening scenes in Vasquez. Or they used a backdrop painted from the famous rocks - either way the very distinctive structure is clearly scene in the opening shots. That was in 1936 I think? Something like that.

3. The first Flintstones movie was filmed there, the entire Bedrock town was built with trees, cars, everything. They allowed visitors to tour the set when filming was down, and it was left up for quite a while afterward. I visited the set and walked around inside the houses, it was great. That was in the early 90s? and the last time I was at Vasquez.

- Dale

PS - will for sure keep you posted on anything else I hear about the hotel. I'm not going to start another thread for Vasquez because I don't know of any happenings there. But if you've heard anything, please do!

#6 mlitsonata

mlitsonata

    Junior Villager

  • New Member
  • PipPip
  • 23 posts

Posted 05 July 2010 - 10:29 AM

I just have a few updates on the hotel. Nothing really new paranormal, just the usual odd feelings - especially at night - and sounds that I can't explain. But no complaints from guests. With the exception of local construction or road works (in for local jobs) guests usually only stay for a very short time, to get some sleep after a long drive on the freeway. So our guests generally don't get a chance to really "experience" our little hotel.

But I have found out a couple of things, just in the last week, regarding more recent deaths to add to the list above. There have been two deaths here in the last few years - one violent. The first was an older man. He had come in, sick, perhaps with cancer or something similar, with his wife. They had come off the freeway because he wasn't feeling well. By morning he had died in his sleep. I don't know what room they were in, but he was most likely given one of the first floor rooms toward the front - because we do not have an elevator. We try to only give these rooms to older guests so they don't have to go up the stairs and don't have far to walk. I don't know when this was exactly, but it was while the current owners were here - so within the last 8 years.

The second was about two years ago. Apparently a man had killed his wife somewhere in the south. I remember reading an article about this and I want to say he was from Atlanta, Georgia, but I'm not 100% sure. After he murder he was on the run and was tracked down to our hotel! Apparently he was just on the road and stopped in here like most of our guests. The police surrounded the hotel and had him under siege. Quite a bit of excitement for our little place, normally very quiet! Really, the place is like Mayberry. Anyway, the hotel was evacuated and the police invaded - they broke out the windows in his room and tossed in tear gas. Apparently it sprayed red dye everywhere. When they entered they discovered that the man had shot himself in the stomach. He was still alive and they took him away in an ambulance, was DOA when they arrived at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial in Valencia, 45 minutes away. So our hotel was the last place he had stayed. His room was #123, on the first floor toward the back of the hotel - facing the road (not the freeway). Because of the red dye tear gas, broken glass and the shooting - the room was completely re-done.

So that's the update, two more deaths to add to the list above. I'm sure there have been many more in all of those years between the century of 1900 to 2000. It's just the nature of any hotel were so many people stay.

#7 mlitsonata

mlitsonata

    Junior Villager

  • New Member
  • PipPip
  • 23 posts

Posted 05 July 2010 - 01:49 PM

Another update:

I was just talking with the maid who has worked here for six years and she said she will not stay the night here. She usually works alone cleaning the rooms since it is a fairly small place. She said that just today, after our guests had all checked out, she heard people talking toward the back of the hall - but no one was back there. She said she also hears doors open and close, which I have also heard but have written off in the past. She only works during the day, but what the has experienced during broad daylight has been enough for her to stay way at night.

She also confirmed the story about the shooting in room 123 which happened June 11, 2009 - but the info was not correct and the correct info lead me to find original newspaper accounts. The man was from Kansas City, Kansas not Atlanta, Georgia. I had that wrong. The mans name was Franklin Grammer and he actually survived the attempted suicide. A newspaper account from June 12 says that he was taken to a hospital in Mission Hills (even farther than Henry Mayo in Valencia) and that he was expected to recover. Another account from June 29 says that he had plead guilty to the murder of his wife in Kansas City, and therefore was still alive and recovered from his wounds. The maid remembers that no one wanted to set feet in the room for a month afterward, they all believed the man had died. But since he didn't I'll remove him from the list.

However, there was another suicide! Seven years ago she worked at the Best Rest Inn in Lebec, one mile north of us. It was late May 2003 (about the 24th), she remembers because her birthday is May 31. A man committed suicide in one of the upstairs rooms here at the Gorman EconoLodge. She doesn't know which one (since she didn't work here), but I can't help but wonder if it was 222 - where I have stayed and heard breathing. The air always feels thick back there. Then a week later, on her birthday, a woman parked her car here behind our hotel in Gorman, and walked to the Best Rest Inn in Lebec where her husband (who worked in San Francisco, but lived in San Bernardino) was staying. She shot her husband and then herself. Our maid discovered the scene and had to stay until 8pm that night, missing her birthday party in Los Angeles. Although people were staying in the rooms around theirs, #109, no one heard the shots during the night. She remembered the date and place of the suicide here in Gorman because of the close proximity to the incident at her hotel in Lebec a week later. So here is the full list to date:

Charles Johnson - about 1850
A woman, Mrs. Reed? - 1857 Earthquake, fallen beam
James Gorman (resident, died on road to Gorman) - 1876
Miss Gorman (daughter of James) - 1877
Johanna O'Keefe Gorman - 1889
[# of deaths between 1889 and 2003 are unknown]
Suicide upstairs - late May 2003
Man - natural causes - about 2006

#8 mlitsonata

mlitsonata

    Junior Villager

  • New Member
  • PipPip
  • 23 posts

Posted 07 July 2010 - 05:06 AM

Another weird sound tonight. It's 2:57AM, and happened just a few minutes ago. Both of the attached restaurants are closed of course, but we do have several guests in tonight. One of the guests called and asked for some extra pillows. I got them, went to their room and knocked. I don't think they heard me knock, so I sat outside for a few moments waiting. This was on the first floor, just outside room 107.

That's when I heard this peculiar sound. I've never heard it before and I don't even know how to describe exactly, other than a quick clacking - almost what you might expect from a wooden Victorian toy with two pieces of wood that a baby slaps together quickly - an early rattle. The sound was coming from the direction of the lobby. There are guests in some of the rooms between were I stood and the lobby - but the sound was loud and clear, sharp, not muffled. It wasn't coming from inside any of the rooms and none of the rooms doors were open, as I had just walked by them. There was no one in the lobby, I had just come from there and we have few people coming in at this hour.

I knocked again and they heard me this time and quickly answered. I gave them the pillows, said goodnight and quickly walked to the lobby. This was just 30 to 45 seconds after I heard the sound and the lobby was clear, no one in the foyer. I walked quickly into the office area attached to the lobby and looked at the security cameras - no one outside either.

I have no clue at all what the sound was. I've been here close to 10 months now? and I've never heard anything like this before. I can't think of anything in the hotel that would make such a sound. Yet another unexplained experience. But I do love this place :)

#9 dancinmiriam

dancinmiriam

    Villager

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 150 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Magical Redwoods
  • Interests:Classical ballet, Flamenco, Classical Indian (heck, any classical dance form-though Ballet is my muse and my profession); religious studies; history;paranormal and spiritual studies.

Posted 07 July 2010 - 01:42 PM

Thank you, Dale, for keeping us updated on the goings on - each time you post, these places from my childhood and young adulthood come vividly back to me. When you mentioned the hospitals, I went back to a couple of eventful moments spent at Henry Mayo myself, and imagine the hospital in Mission Hills was the one my niece was born in (I was at her birth 26 years ago - wow, hadn't done the math till now, yikes!) And, Lebec! wow, a town ONLY locals would know. I keep telling my kids about L.A. and So. Cal. and point out to them scenes in movies with Vasquez Rocks where I used to spend so many days. One of these days, we take a trip down to see the old stomping grounds, we will make sure and stop by in Gorman. Perhaps you will be able to recommend a room to make believers out of them! Keep on posting.
I see dance being used as communication between body and soul, to express what is too deep, too fine, for words. ~ Ruth St. Denis

#10 mlitsonata

mlitsonata

    Junior Villager

  • New Member
  • PipPip
  • 23 posts

Posted 10 July 2010 - 04:21 PM

Henry Mayo was a terrible hospital, although I've heard it's improved in recent years. We avoided having to go there whenever possible and so my son was born at the hospital in Mission Hills in 1998.

As far as recommending a room, that's hard to say. I've only stayed in one - Room 222 - and I did have a bit of an experience in that room once. I felt like someone whispered in my ear. But if you don't experience anything there, then you can at least know that it is the room where the movie "Thelma and Louise" was filmed in 1991. In the film, our hotel was the first one that they stopped at. As the one girl... can't remember her name... hung out around the pool Susan Sarandon called her husband on the phone upstairs. That was room 222 and the reason why I picked that room when I was snowed in here a few months ago.

#11 coredump

coredump

    Junior Villager

  • New Member
  • PipPip
  • 10 posts

Posted 15 September 2010 - 11:18 AM

Any updates to the EconoLodge in Gorman?

I belong to a paranormal investigation team located in Antelope Valley and Tehachapi and we would be interested in performing an investigating at the location.

Omni Paranormal Society
www.omniparanormal.com

#12 mlitsonata

mlitsonata

    Junior Villager

  • New Member
  • PipPip
  • 23 posts

Posted 15 September 2010 - 12:29 PM

I haven't experienced anything new at the hotel in a while, other than the usual thought that you have just seen someone or something move just out of view. Hard to say how often that is. I really don't know how the owners would feel about an investigation at the hotel, but I'll bring up the subject the next time I talk to them and see what happens.

Any updates to the EconoLodge in Gorman?

I belong to a paranormal investigation team located in Antelope Valley and Tehachapi and we would be interested in performing an investigating at the location.

Omni Paranormal Society
www.omniparanormal.com



#13 mlitsonata

mlitsonata

    Junior Villager

  • New Member
  • PipPip
  • 23 posts

Posted 17 September 2010 - 08:19 AM

Update:

I'm working the end of a graveyard shift, it's 6AM and get off in an hour. The guests in room 119 just asked if there was any water running upstairs, she said the water was turning on and off all night - the woman who shared the room with her agreed. I suppose she didn't complain about another guest, because who would keep turning water off and on all night. The only water upstairs comes from the bathrooms of the rooms and we have not had any problems with them or the plumbing. No one was in any of those rooms last night, nor was anyone in either of the rooms on either side of 119 (117 and 121).

Funny that nothing has happened for so long until just a couple of days after someone asked for an update, lol. I haven't had a chance to ask about an investigation here yet, but will.

#14 coredump

coredump

    Junior Villager

  • New Member
  • PipPip
  • 10 posts

Posted 17 September 2010 - 08:54 AM

It could be a leaking toliet in an adjacent room. One way to test for this is to place a dye tablet or food coloring in the toliet tanks and see if any dye shows up in the bowl.

Omni Paranormal Society is comprised of both skeptics and believers and one thing we do is try to de-bunk possible paranormal activity. But sometimes we cant :kitty:

Thanks for the update and keep us posted!!!

Omni Paranormal Society
www.omniparanormal.com

#15 mlitsonata

mlitsonata

    Junior Villager

  • New Member
  • PipPip
  • 23 posts

Posted 22 October 2010 - 07:23 AM

It could be a leaking toliet in an adjacent room. One way to test for this is to place a dye tablet or food coloring in the toliet tanks and see if any dye shows up in the bowl.


Could be, but we haven't had any problems before or since.

I actually wanted to make a quick note for the night. I guess came in really late, at about 3:30 AM, and randomly mentioned that she thought the place might be haunted. I laughed it off and didn't really comment.

Later, a few minutes ago, at about 5:05AM, I was standing at the front desk and watching the TV that we have back here. The front doors were in my view, right behind the TV. I saw them open a few inches and close. Actually, I should say that I saw them close, kind of a slam (they had been closed all night) and at first I thought that a guest (who had a 4AM wake up call) had left, but I was amazed that I hadn't noticed him and he hadn't checked out. There was no one in the lobby so I looked at the security camera which shows the entire outside right in front of the entrance, and there was no one there either. I walked around to the front door and there was no one around.

Perhaps it was just the weather, but the doors are a little heavy and the wind would have to be pretty strong to move them as much as they did - and I've never had the wind open the doors in the past - at least not that I've noticed. Also, still regularly think I see someone walk past in the corner of my eye - but never full on. It's so frequent that I don't bother mentioning it each time here - and besides I'm not sure if it's anything. Maybe they are just reflections on my glasses or... a bug that has wondered in, who knows. Just thought I would mention.

PS - I asked the manager about having an investigation. She was fine with it but had to ask the owners. I haven't heard anything, I'll ask again.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users