Cary House Hotel

More From Placerville More From California

A rather cheeky, but dedicated male concierge can still flirt!

A spectral staff member can’t stand mediocrity.

Former spectral guests are now full-time residents; inadvertently scaring.



The Historic Cary House Hotel has been described on their website as being “‘The Jewel of Placerville’, nestled in the heart of the California Gold Country offering comfort and authenticity.”

Tom and I went to Placerville on the Sunday after Thanksgiving to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Placerville is an old Gold Rush town that is a great blend of well restored buildings that are homes to many small businesses.

The 1857 Historic Cary House Hotel caught our eye right away. We loved its large, 4 floored brick structure, with a balcony that stretched across the second floor facing Main Street; a very sturdy, handsome hotel indeed.

We noticed that the inside hotel lobby is truly a blast from the past, with the original check-in area, and beautiful wood work every where. The grand banquet and social event room is in the back of the first floor. The 1857 grand staircase leads up to the other floors. The original elevator still works but only can hold two people at a time.

Their motto: “Historic Ambiance Modern Amenities – Every guest is a legend.”

Every one of their rooms has its own theme. While the rooms were aimed at the well-to-do in 1857, The Historic Cary House Hotel offers a variety of rooms, from simpler room with a bathroom, to full suites, with rooms in between. All rooms have the “Historic Ambiance.”

Modern Amenities -All the rooms have the amenities that their guests enjoy. Many have kitchenettes. All have free WIFI, fridge, Cable TV, air conditioning, to name a few.

We found that the staff truly treats their guests with legendary terrific service, being very helpful, paying attention to the needs of people.



Because of the prime location where The Historic Cary House Hotel now stands, The Eldorado Hotel and Saloon built of logs was constructed on this spot in 1849 at the height of the California Gold Rush era.

An added bonus is that the guests could see the hangings done on the hanging tree located just across the street on what was a vacant lot from the 2nd floor balcony if they so desired.

The Hotel was also a Wells Fargo office where bags of silver and gold were stacked on the front porch of the hotel; waiting to be picked up by Wells Fargo Bank drivers. In the mid-1850’s, a devastating fire in Placerville burned The Eldorado Hotel and Saloon down, with the exception of the floor boards in the basement area that were under the front porch.

The same mistake wasn’t made again when rebuilding Placerville. The new 3 story hotel establishment, now called The Cary Hotel that arose on this spot was made of brick on the outside with beautiful woodwork and craftsmanship saved for the interior lobby, public areas, some of the rooms, staircases and ceilings.

It was a grander hotel aimed at the prosperous travelers, miners who found some gold/silver and merchants. Other people who stayed here had business in town and stayed as well with their families while they worked here.

Many well-known people enjoyed their stay throughout the eras, including: Black Bart, Mark Twain, Buffalo Bill, Levi Straus, John Studebaker, Horace Greeley, Ulysses Grant, Lola Montez, Bette Davis and Elvis Presley.

During the 1920s, the owner discovered piles of gold dust in the basement area under the front porch, that had fallen down the cracks of the porch from the bags of gold so long ago. The gold dust paid for most of the construction cost for the fourth floor.

During the next 122 years, this fine hotel changed names as new owners took over. It became The Placerville Hotel, then changed to the Raffles Hotel. The name of the hotel changed back to The Cary House Hotel during the 1970s. This old treasure has been fortunate to have owners throughout the years that were willing to invest money in its upkeep. It was never allowed to slide into disrepair. The owners added bathrooms in the guest rooms, and other needed amenities like WIFI for guests.

They used to offer a continental breakfast, that included cold cereal, but a spirit resident, possibly a former employee was very upset that the cereal was in a plastic bag inside a box; perhaps wanting a more upscale breakfast. They now only offer really good coffee and tea! Coupons are offered for dinner at local eateries.

There is a lovely bar area and places in the hotel to hold a variety of events. The joint is jumping during the weekends with live music in the bar.



Guests who love a resort, a fancy hotel, an inn while alive, sometimes come and visit or stay as an after-life resident, especially if they died there. There are several former guests who enjoy this old hotel. A few never checked out; having expired here probably from the various epidemics that blew through Placerville.

Businessman Mr. Arnold Weiderman and his wife and young daughter lived at the hotel. During the big flu epidemic, Arnold died, and his wife and daughter moved back to family out of California. Another whole family died from the flu as well at The Historic Cary House Hotel. Children who die from illness or accident, sometimes like to stay in a place that they felt love, were comfortable and familiar with.

Spirits sometimes appear as children to enjoy the good times they had in a structure. Spirits of people who were murdered sometimes decide to stay in the structure where they were killed. A gambler was murdered in the Cary House Hotel.

During the 1800s, women would be brought into the hotel as a sexual amenity that was offered on request; a very common practice in the west, and mid-west, and in other parts of America as well. Miners who scored big in their efforts would pay for a woman to help celebrate his good fortune. Lonely guests also asked. It was a hard occupation that often led to the death of the prostitute.

Like in many western towns, there were underground tunnels that were used to transport goods and ladies. There is a prostitute who still visits her favorite place to work with her favorite client; some think it is Stanley Devine.

There are possibly two reasons for Stanley Devine’s haunting of The Cary House Hotel and his old bar stomping grounds. People who loved their job while alive, try to continue in their duties despite being dead, especially if it was a quick/unexpected death.

Stanley took pride in his job as Desk Clerk/Concierge at The Carey Hotel The entity of a kitchen employee/cook still reports for work, perhaps reliving great memories. People who were flirtatious, practiced randy behavior and seduction, loved alcohol and/or were a sexual tease while alive, often don’t change when they are in spirit form, especially if such behavior led to their downfall or caused their death.

Stanley Devine had a huge sexual appetite and practiced annoying behaviors that eventually led to his death. He had an irresistible attraction to young, blonde women; unmarried or married, flirted too hard, and drank too much. He died when he was shot at the hotel on the central staircase.

Who killed Stanley? Some say it was an angry husband who shot him when Stanley flirted with the husband’s blonde-haired wife. Some say that he was shot by the fiancee of a young woman whom he had gotten into bed with; his lover. Still some claim that Stanley was a player for both women and men, and was shot by a man he had propositioned.



Little Girl Entity

She is dressed in 19th/20th century attire. She could’ve been part of the family that died of the flu, or the daughter of the Weidermans.

Has been seen by staff and guests, playing happily on the central staircase and 2nd floor hallways.

Entity of Mr. Arnold Weiderman

Seen in room 212

Appeared beside the bed of a guest; described as a man with a long beard, who wasn’t scary.

Entity of Wagon Driver

Described by a medium as being a “teamster from the 19th Century.”

Partially appears with his boots, jeans and flannel shirt always from the waist down; perhaps not wanting to scare people.

Entity of Mrs. Weiderman

Lived a full life somewhere else, but came back to the Cary Hotel to be with her husband.

Appears as a woman wearing a flowing blue gown has appeared in rooms 209 and 211.

She likes room 212 as well, and lets her unseen presence be known by emitting the aroma of lavender.

Female Entity

In a meeting room at the hotel, California Haunts Investigation Team made contact with a male spirit, thought to be Stanley. Through dousing rods, the investigator was told that this male was more interested in the female spirit near him in the meeting room. She made herself known and admitted through the dousing rods that she was a prostitute.

Entity of kitchen employee/cook?

A medium reports that there is an entity still living in the old servants’ quarters located near the kitchen on the first floor.

Someone vehemently disapproved of the cold cereal being offered as part of the continental breakfast offering, and had pulled the plastic pouches of cereal from the boxes and had thrown them all over the breakfast room.

A staff member heard someone washing dishes in the kitchen. When he or she came down to say hello, no one was in the kitchen.

Entity of Stan Levine

He is described by medium Nancy Bradley as “a short, stocky balding man with reddish brown hair.”

Apparently, he is still keeping an eye on the staff to be sure they are performing correctly, seeing himself as being an unpaid senior staff member. He goes about his rounds, trying doors, etc. and is cordial to paranormal investigators.

On the 4th floor, a conscientious spectral staff member, probably Stan, shakes each door knob in sequence as he floats down the hall. When the guest quickly opened the door, no one living was seen there. On the second floor, guests have heard an entity walking the hallways, making sure all is well.

Two guests who were checking into the hotel, saw the door to the check in desk open by itself, after the two breathing clerks had left the area. Staff have seen this door open and close by itself as well.

Still goes up and down on the elevator. Stanley patrols the lobby area and first floor.

Stanley has continued to annoy living women, sometimes at The Historic Carey House Hotel, but mostly on the street outside and in the buildings that have bars that he frequented. Likes to pinch women’s bottoms and breasts on occasion. Gently gooses women as well.

Entity of Gambler

The spirit of the man yearning to play cards on the balcony area.

A staff member was out on the balcony off the second floor. He saw a man dressed in Gold Rush era attire sitting at a table, with a deck of cards. Imagine his surprise when this spectre faded away.


Yes Indeed!

The personal experiences of staff, owners and guests for many years point to intelligent spirits still enjoying the Historic Cary House Hotel. Stanley Devine is happy to help the living, by being the unseen concierge.

The staff and owners know that Stan is still working for the Historic Cary House Hotel. While they can’t pay him, they have a male manikin wearing a uniform that Stan would’ve worn in his day, and on top of the manikin is an interesting skull.

The other spirits are good sports about sharing the rooms with the living.

Many experiences have been reported by guests and staff alike, that include the whole paranormal sports package.

Paranormal Investigators have experienced some of the reported occurrences, and caught some hard evidence as well. Stanley Devine is more than willing to communicate with investigators, as well as pinch bottoms of blonde women on the investigation teams on occasion.



The Historic Cary House Hotel
300 Main Street
Placerville, CA 95667


The Historic Cary House Hotel is located right in the heart of Placerville’s historic downtown, near the intersection of Main Street and Sacramento Street.


  • Gold Rush Ghosts of Placerville, Coloma & Georgetown
    By Linda Bottjer
    Publisher Haunted America
  • Eldorado Count Adventures
    Winter 2016 publication
    By Pat Lakey
    pgs 44-47
  • Cary House Hotel Haunting in Room 205 Findings –
  • “California Haunts checks out Cary House”
    by Charlotte Sanchez-Kosa
    Published October 30, 2012 in The Mountain Democrat
    (Retrieved Monday, July 30, 2018)
  • Photos © Tom Carr

Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr

Haunts in Placerville Haunts in California