The ‘Friendly Ghost' of the National Hotel

Saddle up for Gold Country and, just maybe, have a chance meeting with Flo.

VISIT ANY HISTORIC SITE... along Highway 49, or points near the famous Gold Country thoroughfare, and you'll immediately become familiar with the gentle creak of a built-long-ago plank sidewalk, or a mysterious breeze making a lace curtain move, or the flicker of a flame in a handblown oil lamp. There are many experiences that tickle the senses in a region that still has oodles of 1800s-ness to it, and while most experiences can be traced to an origin — the door was left open, creating the curtain-blowing breeze — a few moments do tend to astound visitors. That is, if you're visiting a location that not only boasts its own ghost, but a spirit that is described as "friendly" (a lovely thing for any entity to be, be they a phantom or of this human plane).

THE NATIONAL HOTEL & RESTAURANT... in Jamestown is home to one such storied resident, who even has a friendly, easy-to-remember handle: Flo. Whether Flo will make her presence known to a guest during their overnight at the 1859 inn is a big question mark, but visitors have shared tales of slamming doors and "clothing being dumped from suitcases onto the floor..." Fascinating stuff, and perhaps especially in October, when wraith-whimsical matters are on many a mind. And while a number of stay-over spots around the Golden State are rumored to have a spectral presence, Flo rightly has her very own page on the National's official site. 

EAGER TO SEE... if she'll pay you a visit? There are nine guest rooms in the antique-filled building, and a buffet breakfast is a part of your stay. A bonus? You're right on Main Street, which is highly walkable, so you and your BFF can take an after-dinner stroll and discuss what you might do, in the night, should you see the light in your private bath flicker on and/or off. Another bonus? Jamestown is but a 15-minute drive from Columbia State Historic Park, which is a vintage slice of ye olde California, through and through, if you want to up the historical end of your getaway (in addition to the potentially ghosty end). Ready to see if the phantom Flo crosses your Jamestown path? Your journey starts here, and that's in October or any time of the year, as ghosts, like people, don't always stick to the calendar.

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