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Haunted Train Car?

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#1 DeepRedBells



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Posted 13 November 2006 - 12:05 PM

I'm new to the site. I've really enjoyed reading here so far.

My parents are both scientists and lifelong members of a skeptic society, so if anything I have been raised to be skeptical about the paranormal. But I have had a few experiences that really make me question my upbringing. I resisted it for years, but now (in my late 30's) I'm looking back and reflecting... the "it's in your head" explanations just don't add up.

For example, here is something that happened a few years ago. My husband is really into electric streetcars, and there's a museum about 60 miles from us in Rio Vista, CA that we are members of. It's out in the country and they have big barns of old train cars and equipment to visit.

On this visit, my daughter was about a year and a half old so she was toddling, and you had to stick right with her on the big train cars. My husband was showing her something and I wandered ahead to the next car. It was a private railcar with a deck on the back, inside was decorated in Art Deco style. It was gorgeous with intricate woodwork and the inside was like a cocktail lounge with plush chairs and little tables so that people could gather, smoke, and enjoy a party as they rode.

I entered the car to admire the decor, but I found it oppressively quiet. I sat in one of the chairs for a few minutes, but then I stood up to wait. I didn't really think about it but I just didn't like sitting there and that wasn't like me (I tend to sit given the chance). So I was waiting for hubby and daughter, and getting anxious. It seemed to be taking them a long time. Visually it was beautiful in there, but it felt so still in that car, like I was in a sealed box, and I didn't like it.

Finally I saw them coming toward the car and I waved. They started to board, and I was already thinking that I didn't want my daughter to come in - not really understanding why I felt that way, but my mommy instincts were making me really anxious. I was standing next to one of the little tables and I started to call at my husband to stop, when all of a sudden the table fell on my leg, really hard. I think I said something like, 'Honey, ---OUCH!' When I looked down at my leg, though, the table was right where it should be. But I could feel it on my leg...and it was bolted to the floor. I could actually feel the sensation of the table on my leg. But there's no way it could have fallen, and I could feel it even as I was looking at it standing upright bolted to the floor.

I went from zero to sixty in an instant. I ran towards my husband and screamed for them to get off the train. It was the creepiest feeling ever.

Every time we've been there since that train car has been closed to the public! It's the Western Railway Museum in Rio Vista, CA. I have heard that they use this car for private parties.

With railcars, sometimes you can find out their history because there are so many rail buffs out there. My husband and I looked into this railcar. It was on the Salt Lake & Utah line according to http://www.utahrails...tah-history.php. Now, they didn't have any very specific info on this railcar, but the site did say that it there were a lot of accidents on this rail line:

The Orem was notorious for having bad accidents. Fortunately most of these involved freight trains. The 51, for example, was demolished in a cornfield meet with steam engine No. 26; it was rebuilt into the 52 and in 1942 again met disaster and was never rebuilt. Most of the freight motors showed signs of bad treatment. There were probably no less than ten accidents which involved either fatalities or serious injuries, to say nothing of completely mangling the equipment involved. Toward the last days, the road was in such poor shape that the line car would pull a trailer, or a passenger motor would be in such poor condition that a freight motor would pull it over the line to keep the schedule.

But I can't find anything specific to this car. We went back to this museum at Halloween, and it was locked up. I spent sometime outside the car looking in and mostly feeling/seeing nothing (just a little nervousness that I chalk up to my own feelings of anticipation). But when I was there, I had very very strong dejavu - I don't know if that is the word because I had dreamed something particular about the moment just a few weeks prior (it involved my daughter and something she said - when she said it, the memory of the dream was triggered and I watched it play out EXACTLY as I remembered from the dream for about a minute).

So I don't know what to think, and I wanted to share this because it's the weirdest thing that has ever happened to me, and yet I can't bring myself to even tell my friends in real life.

#2 Holly


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Posted 13 November 2006 - 01:16 PM

Welcome, welcome to GV!

Your experience is so well written, I could literally see every single thing you were describing. Even felt it all right along with you.

DeepRedBells, I don't know that I have any advice for you with this one...you're already doing with I would have suggested. I do know that I would like to help you find some info about this particular train car and I have a friend who is very much into train history/memorablia, etc. She's just brilliant on the topic, so I would like to send your post to her (if that's okay with you) and we'll see if she can help.

Just one question...How do you identify a particular railcar? Is there a number assigned to it?
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#3 Moonstruck


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Posted 13 November 2006 - 01:18 PM

Hi and welcome to GV,

Well, you have found the right place to get some ideas and thoughts on what might have made you feel uncomfrotable about this particular train. I have a couple of questions:

Have you ever asked the museum personnel why the train is locked now and why it wasn't the day you visited? And, if they have had any complaints from visiters touring or rented this train for a party. It may seem odd to ask someone this question, but as I always say, what have you got to lose? Perhaps they might open up and give you additional information.

Next time you are there, try to take some photos and post them on this site for some thoughts and opinions. We would like to see it.

I am a little skeptical at times and explain a lot of things away but in doing so, I started to miss some unique opportunities to that could have been presented to me. The more you navigate on this site the more you will now what I mean. I too can't just explain certain things away and the more I think of the possiblities, the more sensative I get.

My thoughts regarding your train experience are that there could have been spirits from past fatalities on that particular car. And they sound negative. Trust your instincts.

Take care

#4 DeepRedBells



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Posted 13 November 2006 - 03:45 PM

Thanks for the replies! I feel like I have no where to turn with this whole experience (although hubby is supportive, he was there). I emailed the museum after it happened and asked them something technical (i.e., non-threatening) and threw in at the end that I wondered if anyone had ever expressed anything about that railcar like it might be haunted. They never responded.

It's car #751 from the Salt Lake & Utah line. I've been able to find it listed (on the site I linked before). The only story connected with this car is that they say chairs kept disappearing off the observation platform, so eventually the rail line stopped putting chairs on the back. But this is their explanation:

Perhaps one reason for SL&U's reluctance to put them [there were 2 observation cars, 751 & 752]on the line was the fact that farmers delighted in throwing off the chairs on the observation platform as the train sped past their farms; this informal gift shop problem was not solved until SL&U arbitrarily removed all seats from the platforms.

...or maybe something doesn't want anyone on the railcar?

I do have some pictures from the day we went back, so let me dig those up.

#5 DeepRedBells



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Posted 13 November 2006 - 04:08 PM

I made them thumbnails so you can click and see the huge ones if you like. I hope this is the right place to post these. Let me know if I'm posting against etiquette...I have to admit I didn't lurk very long here, just last night. I've been looking for a site like this and this is the first I've seen that is pretty big and active, not one group's personal site. I was all worked up and just wanted to get this story out.

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I guess I only had 2 pics on the camera. I should have taken more!

One thing that was weird was that there were huge, heavy chains hanging underneath the car, and they were moving. Each link was about the length of my forearm, and although there was a breeze, they didn't seem that easy to move. I should have taken a picture of that.

Next time I'll do better. I was pretty chicken to bring this up with anyone at the museum. What can I say, I was brought up to be a skeptic and it's hard to overcome the feeling that you'll look foolish. I need to develop a thicker skin about these things. :wow:

#6 squirrelgardens


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Posted 13 November 2006 - 05:53 PM

Thank you so very much for this post. I am a member of various rail passenger groups and historical train buff.

Am going to reread all of your posts and then click onto the link. This subject of the paranormal facinates me.

I grew up near Baraboo, Wisconsin where the Ringling family had their first winter circus city. The museum now houses serveral circus wagons and train cars from the early years among many of the other artifacts. It has been said that the wagons and train cars have an aura. Both items would have been loaded onto the Circus Train that until recently ran through several states. Some tragic accidents had occured on these train routes to circus parades and shows. Who knows what residual energy is still there.

See the posts on another thread about this. Elephants can bee heard near Devils Lake State Park....not far from where the original Circus Farm was.

Thanks for the interesting posts.

Edited by squirrelgardens, 13 November 2006 - 05:55 PM.

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#7 Laurie Ann

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 07:09 PM

Welcome, DeepRedBells. I was very intrigued by your story! And like Holly, I too felt as though I was right there with you. I think it's very odd that after your incident, they shut the car off to the public (except for private parties). I loved the pics you posted also...thank you! We do love pictures here, as you'll soon find out! I'm so glad you joined here, you're definately going to find out that you're going to fit in just fine. Thank you for sharing your experience, and thank goodness you weren't hurt too badly! Welcome again! :)
~Women are angels...and when someone breaks our wings, we simply continue to fly...on a broomstick. We're flexible like that.~

#8 angelicus



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Posted 13 November 2006 - 07:35 PM

Welcome, Deepredbells:

Your description of the Art Deco railcar was most definitely a "The Shining" moment,
particularly the ballroom scene in the film.

Perhaps you could ask the personnel at the museum if they received
reports from the private parties of unusual events/activities.

This railcar must have been used by politicians during their various
campaigns. Given it was the Prohibition era, I'm sure a great deal
of bootleg liquor was consumed. That's what I envisioned as I read your
encounter with the phantom table accident. I feel that is a residual
haunting replaying itself like a movie over and over. I can just imagine
your shock looking at a table "in the real world" yet feeling the
pain of the table falling on you. :)

This just proves that it only takes one significant event to make a believer
out of a skeptic.


#9 Moonstruck


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Posted 14 November 2006 - 12:53 PM

Fantastic pictures Deepredbells. What a beautiful car. Eerie too. Keep us posted.

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