One of the perks of managing the Nevada Ghost and Paranormal Series is that I get to visit historic locations and gain access to places that normally weren’t open to the public, such as The Richardson House. Because the home is so expensive to rent (it has seven bedrooms), not many can experience its splendor.

Built in the late 1880s by lumber baron, Warren Richardson, for his beloved wife Maggie, this two-story Victorian mansion perches on the hillside just above downtown Truckee, Calif., a stop on the nation’s first transcontinental railroad. For years, stories have circulated about the ghosts who call the Richardson House their home.

  • Unseen, young boys laugh and talk upstairs.
  • The light fixture in “Christine’s Room” (the room was named by the current owners) goes on and off at will.
  • One spirit sits on the antiques—witnesses have detailed seeing a depression in the upholstery that regains its shape after a time, as if someone (or something) has stood.

Today, a white picket fence surrounds the quaint house, now painted a muted yellow. Inside, the home’s furnished with beautiful antiques (none original to the Richardsons). Beautiful woodwork, from the polished dark banister and large sliding partitions to the carved art spanning the hallway, shows the care taken in this building’s construction.

Years ago when I visited the mansion, I sat on the top stair waiting for the caretaker to return. Alone, I hoped for a supernatural encounter. I prayed for protection and asked to be opened to spirit communication. In the quiet, I waited. Nothing happened. However, for some reason, I became transfixed, staring at the stairs under me.

Two days later, while walking in the desert hills behind my home, I watched a movie play in my mind. It was a strange, yet familiar setting. A woman wearing a forest green/black plaid, bustled skirt with a white high-necked blouse. She climbed a staircase, looking down toward her feet. Her face hidden from view. I noted her neat, brunette hair, tidily pinned back into a bun above the nape of her neck. Her hand grazed the polished banister as she ascended.

Just then, I realized why the mind movie was familiar: It was the Richardson House staircase and the movie played from the vantage of the top step. I stopped walking and watched her in my mind as she continued up the flight. Slowly she ascended and upon reaching the landing, she walked right through me.

That explained my intense focus on the stairs when I’d visited the mansion. I’d seen the woman, but my conscious brain didn’t realize it.

One of my recurring frustrations is that I can “see” spirits a few hours or days after I’ve encountered them. What bothers me most about my delayed ability is that I miss the opportunities to interact with them.

Does this happen to any of you?