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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Empire Mine



I've written about my relationship with Northern California, specifically Nevada County (where I lived), many times.  It is still one of the most haunted places I've ever been.  I often believe that this is because the entire county was built on top of one of the most profitable gold mines in history:  Empire Mine.  

I have been to Empire Mine more times than I can count.  Each time that I went my abilities had improved drastically and I experienced more and more.  I don't know how many acres the property has but to me the place is huge.  On the grounds you will find an historic mansion, beautiful gardens with a pool and fountains, a very old greenhouse, ruins of homes that burned down, a few shacks where workers used to live, and the mining yard.

Each time that I went I noticed one very interesting thing happen.  Within fifteen minutes of being there I would be drained so much of my energy that I would have to sit down to rest many times.  This is unusual for me since I am a person who hikes for over an hour every single day in mountainous areas. I could walk for days.  So why was it that I would be so exhausted after walking a very short time on very flat land?  I believe it to be the many spirits residing there.  When I go into haunted places (i.e. Waverly Hills) I have to pack lots of sugary treats and other food to keep my energy up.  Spirits simply zap my energy in no time.  At Empire Mine, however, I felt that this scenario was taken to the extreme.  Never had I been that exhausted before.  I would shake, become dizzy and nauseous, and so fatigued that I simply couldn't move an inch.  I would have to sit down on the gravel right where I stood.  It was scary.

The last time I went to Empire Mine I was with my mother.  She was visiting from Kentucky the October before I moved to Germany.  Knowing that she possesses very similar gifts to mine I convinced her to go to the mine to see what she thought.  We walked the grounds, experienced the excessive fatigue, and explored areas more thoroughly than I ever had before.  We found a small decrepit house hidden in the shallow woods and I immediately knew that there were spirits there.  We read the sign outside of the home and learned that it used to house a Chinese family over the course of a few generations.  I knew that there were two spirits in there, both female.  I walked slowly up to the door and placed my palms on the peeling wood.  I felt both of the girls becoming restless and nervous.  We walked the entire perimeter of the place, looking into windows, and whispering to each other about what we found.  I saw the girls hiding in a room connected to what I assumed was the living room.  They would occasionally peer out of their hiding place to look at me but would quickly retreat back into their safe spot.  I wanted desperately to go inside that house.  I still do.

We walked the mining yard after that and I saw the spirits of dirt covered men all over.  They all looked tired, borderline angry, and all of them ignored me.  They walked in and out of the buildings as if they were simply carrying on with their day to day duties back in the 1800's.  It was surreal.  We eventually found ourselves standing at the mouth of the mine shaft.  We stared for what seemed like hours down that shaft and I felt glued to that very spot.  If it wasn't blocked off  with a gate I honestly think I would have tried to climb down there.  I heard voices and cries of sorrow.  I saw dozens of eyes staring up at me through the darkness of the tunnel.  I had horrible goosebumps and I even felt someone grab my arm and touch the back of my neck.  It was exhilarating and frightening.  I felt like I was looking into the entrance of the underworld.  I sometimes wonder if it was in a way.

I sometimes dream about the mine shaft.  I always just stand at the top and watch as hundreds of tortured souls try to climb their way up to me with bloodied fingers and hollow eyes.  I always wake up before they can reach me.  Recently I have started used the mine as a way to reach the lower world when practicing shamanic journeying.  It's never too horribly scary but I do encounter many spirits as I descend lower and lower into the earth.  Naturally, I think about Empire Mine on occasion.  I miss it and wonder what's going on there.  I miss having the opportunity to be able to visit the grounds whenever I like.  Like many people who straddle two worlds and stay halfway in the shadows, I yearn to go back just to see what's there and to explore some more.  Maybe one day I will have the chance.

Thank you for reading my blog. 

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