Woman has close encounter of another kind on Ghost Walk
November 1, 2005
When Melody Lawrence took Carson City’s recent Ghost Walk for the first time, a chilling encounter gave her second thoughts about a return trip.
Melody and Jim Lawrence enjoy the history and beauty of the classic homes on Carson City’s west side, the subject of the annual Ghost Walk. At the Esser House, at 510 W. Fourth St., she got more than she expected.
The guide was giving a summary of the home and its early residents as Melody Lawrence leaned against a wall at the base of the stairs. When the guide was done speaking, Lawrence turned around and walked into the waiting area to read a Sept. 23, 1906, edition of the Oakland Tribune found between the walls of the home during its 1985 restoration.
She knelt on a blue wingback chair to get a closer look. As she leaned in, she felt a tingle on the back of her neck.
Then, slowly, her string of pearls began to fall from around her neck. She raised her hand and cupped it, as the pearls easily coiled into it.
She looked around to find out who would remove her necklace. No one was there. And when she looked down at the clasp, it was closed.
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“I thought, ‘OK, I’m outta here,'” Lawrence said. “This necklace is not easy to unclasp. I still have goosebumps. I get them anytime I think or talk about this.”
“When (Melody) came back to the courtyard at the museum, she was white as a ghost,” said Joy Evans, special events coordinator for the Carson City Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The Esser House, a Craftsman-style home, now serves as the law offices of Crowell, Susich, Owen and Tackes. Attorney Bob Crowell said they have been in the house 20 years.
“We hear sounds of doors opening and closing, very slowly,” Crowell said. “Water running and radios going on. I have heard the radio. The sounds mostly happen late at night.”
Crowell said he has named the ghost “George,” and in no way feels threatened by its presence.
Crowell said there are 14 employees in the house, but only he and one other have experienced George.
“I’m a skeptic,” fellow attorney Steve Tackes said with a chuckle. “I’ve not ever seen or heard anything.”
There was also an experience in 2004 at the Stewart-Nye Home during the Ghost Walk, according to Evans.
“There was a man and a woman at the back of a group, when someone smacked the man on the backside of the head,” Evans said.
“He turned around to his wife and asked why she did it, and she said, ‘I didn’t do that.'”
Evans said she has not heard of any other experiences on the walk. She has been in charge of the volunteers the past four years and keeps more in tune to things happening.
“I think they’re both very credible (stories),” she said. “It’s good for the Ghost Walk.
“I’ve never had anything happen to me, but I’m not saying their experiences didn’t happen. I look forward to all the Ghost Walks now. It’s very cool.”
The Esser House is the only home highlighted in red on the map given to the Kit Carson Trail Ghost Walk participants. This year was the 13th annual Ghost Walk, themed the “Season of the Witch.”
n Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at email@example.com or 881-1223.
WHAT: Esser House
WHERE: 510 W. Fourth St.
History: Designed, built in 1907 by John Conant for Ernst Paul Esser and Therese Maute Esser, who married in 1897. They had one son, William Maute Esser. Ernst Esser’s father, Matthew, made his living in mining, cattle and mercantile. His mother, Mary (Ernst) Esser was the daughter of pioneer George Ernst.
Ernst Esser died Feb. 13, 1924; Therese sold the home shortly thereafter and moved into the Maute family home at 410 S. Minnesota St.