Eureka! Ghosts from the Gold Rush

Ghost ‘doctor’ offers an analysis of Auburn
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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Dr. Jeff Dwyer featured some spots in Auburn in his book, “Gold Rush Ghosts.” According to Dwyer, one particular hotbed of activity was the Placer County Courthouse. He said he heard slamming jail doors and felt something push up against him in the basement, which used to be the jail. He believed the presence may have been the ghost of a former guard. “Every town has a certain lot of ghost stories circulating, but there is a lot of historical information that validates stories. That gives credibility to the strange things that are happening in the town,” Dwyer said. “(Ghosts from the Gold Rush Era) are so strongly attached because of the passion of the whole era. A lot of them didn’t find gold and had to resort to criminal activities.” Dwyer said he uses a psychic method, supported by the use of technical equipment. He said his first encounter with a ghost was at 13. While his most recent visitation was from a former patient, Dwyer said not all ghost encounters are as positive. “I’ve had some experiences that could be interpreted as hostile. I’ve been kicked, scratched, slapped and pushed. They were just trying to get my attention,” Dwyer said. Even with those experiences taken into account, Dwyer said it is important to remember that a ghost can’t actually hurt you. Dwyer also works as a cardiology doctor. He said many of his colleagues are supportive of his work as a paranormal investigator. “My colleagues think it’s great. I work with a lot of doctors that believe themselves. A lot of physicians do believe in ghosts,” Dwyer said. According to Dwyer, there are four main reasons ghosts stick around: they don’t know they are dead, are fearful of moving on, are staying behind to protect something or someone or simply put, they like it here. Dwyer said probably nothing would convince a true skeptic of the presence of ghosts, aside from an encounter of their own. If anyone should encounter a ghost, Dwyer said he has one main piece of advice. “Remain calm and make the most of the experience,” Dwyer said. Reach Sara Seyydin at