Media Life: Ghost is bonus for Old Town Auburn trick or treaters

Christian Valley singer-dulcimer player wins big in Scotland
By: Gus Thomson/Media Life
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Trick or treaters will get a chance to test out their paranormal ghost sensitivity this coming Halloween in Old Town Auburn. Believe it or not, one particular building has been brimming lately with those spooky ghost vibes. Gloria Quinan of Commercial Street’s Classic Travel said she has been seeing and experiencing things phantasmagorical since moving earlier this year into an 1850s building with what she has been told is a white-gowned spiritual presence by the name of Estelle. Estelle was the moniker the paranormal investigator said the ghost had given during a check of the building’s nooks and crannies for a spiritual presence. What the investigator found was more “Scooby Doo” than “Amityville Horror,” but a story nonetheless for trick or treaters to ponder as they approach 337 Commercial Street. According to Quinan, the previous business owner lasted a month before fleeing after sensing someone pushing her down a flight of stairs. As Quinan was getting settled in her business’s new Old Town location, a docent came by on a tour and mentioned it’s believed that a morgue once was housed in the building or in the vicinity. Later, a psychic investigator dropped by and looked around for half an hour. Energy noticed The investigator felt several “energies” in the 160-year-old building, including what was dubbed a “benign” presence of a woman from the 1800s who loved what Quinan had done to the building, she said. “I was told that I would never have problems with negative energies because of Estelle,” Quinan said. Over the last several months, Quinan said she has experienced plenty of strange and unexplainable occurrences, including coming in one morning to find paper shooting out a printer. “I’ve had people say they get chills when they come in here,” Quinan added. The investigator went so far as to suggest there were bones buried below the building and that the ghostly presence couldn’t leave until they were exhumed. But there are no plans to dig or exhume, Quinan said. Instead, she’ll be joining other participating businesses in Old Town between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Wednesday and sharing not only treats, but the thrill of a ghostly presence. Winner in Scotland Christian Valley’s Elizabeth Townshend proved that a Californian can wade into some heavy Gaelic competition in Scotland and return with some serious hardware. Townshend took part in international competition in Scotland’s Royal National Mod – five days of competition that promotes the Gaelic language, Gaelic sports and Gaelic music. Townshend came away with the trophy for first place in the self-accompaniment. She sang in the Gaelic language and accompanied herself on mountain dulcimer. To top it off, she and the group of Californians she took part in the festival with were featured on the Scottish BBC TV telecast as well as BBC radio. The Mod was founded in 1891 and, with the exception of one year during World War II, been an important cultural event every year since then. Back home in California, Townshend will be sharing some of her winning songs at the Auburn Presbyterian Church Christmas Craft Faire on Nov. 10 and at Auburn City Hall for the Dec. 13 Auburn in Winter reception. Media Life’s Gus Thomson can be reached at Also hear Thomson most Fridays at 6 p.m. on Dave Rosenthal’s drive-time radio show on KAHI 950 AM. He’s also a regular guest on Capital Public Radio’s “Insight.” And you can catch up with Thomson on Twitter at AJ_Media_Life.