The Saratoga Sun -

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Haunting in the Platte


Zachary Laux

A flicker of someone whizzing by the corner of your eye. A knife levitating in the air, then dropping on the counter. An opaque being staring, smiling at you.

These are some of the sights those who entered the Pine Lodge in Encampment have reported seeing. These people say the Pine Lodge is defiantly haunted, making it one of several ghostly places in Carbon County.

"The hauntings are definitely more than rumor," said Jimmy Ramirez, a previous owner of the building. "Everybody that worked for me had seen them."

Rameriez purchased the Pine Lodge October 1978 and ran the business until 2007.

The ghosts he and his employees reportedly worked with usually determined when closing time was, Rameriez said.

He said, as he and his employees began closing up, cleaning and putting things away, was usually the time the Pine Lodge ghosts would make an appearance.

"We would start to see and hear weird things, and that's when we would say 'OK, it's time to go.' " he said.

Ramirez said he often had an "eire" feeling when closing for the night, and sometimes swore someone was behind him. But every time he turned around, nothing was there.

Ramirez said his employees once saw a knife sitting on a counter top levitate in the air, before suddenly dropping to the ground.

Ramirez and his employees also heard pots and pans clanking and doors slamming without any kown reason. Ramirez said he is convinced the place was haunted.

"I think it is more than rumor because I really did see something and I really did see all of that," he said. "It was pretty for real."

The Pine Lodge building, constructed in the early 1900s first served as a mortuary. The structuer later became a hard ware store, before being converted to a bar and grill in 1969 by Bill and Ruth Kirkwood, Ramirez said.

Employees of the Pine Lodge were not the only to experience strange pheromone at the Pine Lodge. Jim Shepard, who was a local handyman in Encampment several years ago, said he saw a white, opaque figure inside the Pine Lodge while doing construction work.

"The guy I was with asked me to grab a wrench, I went around the corner and there she was," Shepard said.

Shepard described the figure as an 18 -or-19-year-old girl wearing attire from the 1900s. He said the figure smiled at him before instantly disappearing.

"I could see right through her and the wall behind her. ... She looked at me, smiled and she was gone," Shepard said. "I just about ran over the guy I was with to get the hell out of there."

Shepard, a believer in the supernatural, said he has seen other phenomenon, but the encounter with the teen-aged ghost was the first time he saw anything in the Platte Valley.

Ghost sightings in Saratoga seem to be less frequent than in Rawlins or Encampment, but Halloween has always been a time for mischief for children, according to historical documents.

In the 1920s, a common way for boys to pass the time was tipping outhouses, door face down.

In the 1940s, kids would go to an old house at the edge of town, and make strange noises to scare people passing by.

Between the 30s and 40s, a group of kids managed to lift a buggy on top of the roof of the building that is now Second Impressions.


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