The Sonora Inn

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This 1896 hotel is haunted by a ghostly girl who has been since bouncing a ball in various parts of the building. The elevator is also haunted, and has been known to move from floor to floor of its own accord.

(Submitted by Callum Swift)

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Geographic Information

160 South Washington Street
Sonora, CA
United States

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37.983165, -120.38250970000001
Tuolumne County, California
Nearest Towns:
Sonora, CA (0.1 mi.)
East Sonora, CA (1.2 mi.)
Jamestown, CA (3.0 mi.)
Columbia, CA (3.8 mi.)
Tuttletown, CA (4.2 mi.)
Mono Vista, CA (6.2 mi.)
Soulsbyville, CA (6.5 mi.)
Tuolumne City, CA (7.8 mi.)
Cedar Ridge, CA (8.1 mi.)
Chinese Camp, CA (8.2 mi.)


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  1. Hello, I had an experience when My family and I stayed at the Sonora Inn, It was around July-August 2015. We stayed on the second floor I don’t recall the room number we stayed in. So, I checked into our room while my wife, daughter and mother-in-law were out shopping. After checking in, I began walking to the room, it was on the second floor and the elevator was down for repairs. So I had to take the stairs, I start walking up the stairs and instantly get the feeling of being nauseated, dizzy and a feeling of anxiety. I just blew it off at the time to just being tired or possible coming down with something since they had a lot of smoke around the area due to the wildfires. I entered the room (room had two beds to be noted for later on) I laid down and watched tv about an hour later until my wife texted me that they were down stairs. I exited the room and walked down to the first floor to head outside to grab our luggage. Once I left the second floor the nauseated, dizzy and anxiety feelings instantly went away, I thought to myself “that was weird” and again blew it off. I grabbed the luggage from my car and went back to the room and the feelings would come back. I asked my family once I got into the room how they were feeling and they were fine. These feelings continued throughout the evening. When the night came and we went to bed, my daughter (2 years old) had gotten up a couple of times during the night and would sit on the floor and seemed to be playing with someone that wasn’t there; I would tell her to go back to bed and she would. Around 3 0’ clock in the morning I felt a tug on my side of the bed were my back was facing I assumed my daughter must of gotten off the other bed and wanted to sleep next to her dad. So I reached over and felt a head of what felt like a small child (like my daughters) I put my hand under the arm (armpit) to grab her, but realized I needed to use my other arm as well to lift her. So I attempted to move my other arm and was unable to because my daughter was asleep on it. I turned towards where this child or something the size of a child was and nothing/ no one was there anymore. It freaked me out a bit.

    • I am here right now and am experiencing that same dizzy feeling. I suffer from vertigo so it’s a definite sensation of my equilibrium being off. Our room is 240 and I pray I’m not in your room where you experienced something in your bed! I did not know this place was haunted until I look to see when check in time was. So I googled Sonora inn and first thing that came up was Sonora inn haunted.

  2. We are staying there right now on the second floor and having a birthday party for my 2 year old. As we are talking someone starts jiggling the door handle to get in and starts knocking on the door. I looked out the keep hole and nobody is there so I opened it and o key I outside. I close the door and someone is now kicking the door hard.i open the door again and nobody is there. I am a huge skeptic of aliens and Ghosts but this was as real as it gets. All nine of us heard and saw the door handle jiggling. Maybe the little girl that haunts this floor wanted to come to the party. Even better is now the power has gone out 4 times since then and when my wife and daughter went outside the only light in the whole building was on in the room that some lady killed herself in trying to set her cheating husband on fire in only to kill herself in the process. Spooky

  3. Hello, Well I arrived on Monday in August for a business trip, best thing about hotel is the staff and upper deck view; Breakfast was nice.

    I got home from my trip yesterday and still feel a little unsettled from energies at the hotel.

    Incidents 2nd floor room 226:
    First day in room I took some pictures of the hotel and noticed an orb in my room, photo attached on second floor so wasn’t reflection from the street and lampshade reflection was on wall, I was 10 feet back taking pic, head and arms visible in window on right side.

    Door noises first night, keys moving on dresser first night, phone alarm goes off 1/2 early for some reason, no timers were set, no calendar alerts were set nor was alarm set to go off at 4:30a but 5A! Lastly, and this might sound stupid, but I, the entire time I was there felt a presence, especially going up stairs from lobby to the second floor like something was walking with me or like I was being watched and in my room, I didn’t feel that, however, it was just a strange unsettling feeling. Had to completely open the blinds and open window during the day to feel better.

    The last night there I ended up having to sleep with all the lights on after an incident before bed. I was watching a movie late on my phone and wasn’t tired, however, during the movie, my phone went black, yes, the battery was fine, then I saw an image of a wrinkled old man, laying down very slowly onto a pillow. Wasn’t camera doing a self pic, anyway I’m about 25 years younger and was laying still; maybe he was being considerate and telling me it was time to goto bed for my long drive tomorrow. See attached photo of first experience.

    Think I won’t stay downtown again if I visit, very very old hotels, which are nice and maintained, however I really would like to be the only person/spirit in my room.

  4. My Husband and I stayed here a few years ago. Our experiences were as follows..pillows being pulled out from under our heads. Feeling someone sitting on the edge of the bed and seeing a Woman standing behind the bed holding up a dress like she was showing it to us. All this happened around 2:00 am. We left and never have been back.

  5. Shaun Johnson Night Auditor The Sonora Inn  |  

    I work Night Audit/ Front Desk at the Sonora Inn.
    Early yesterday morning, (07.17.21), around 3:00 a.m. One of our cameras in basement captured some really strange orb footage, I will be attempting to post whatever i can shortly, once you see it
    you too will be saying, “WTF” is that.,
    Stay Tuned and prepare to be intrigued….

  6. We stayed in rooms 200 & 202 which have a conjoined door. Room 200 has a closet with a luggage rack and ironing board. The door was barely left open, around 2am the ironing board fell out of the door and crashed onto the floor. I could have sworn this ironing board was leaning against the wall when I opened the door earlier in the day. Hmmmm

  7. I grew up in Sonora and my father was the maintenance person for the old hotel and the newer one across the street. I know of the little girl in the main hotel. Across the street in an upstairs room a man played Russian roulette and died in the room. My father had to clean the room soon after it was cleared. In the old hotel my father told me about the tower. He said it was haunted. I stayed in that room and had experiences there. The basement was where my father’s office was located and there is a wall with tons of signatures and autographs of famous people/musician’s. Lots of memories there and stories. Most are true. They have a sister hotel near Yosemite. That was also a place where famous murder happened of a mom, her daughter and a friend. The maintenance guy was the murderer and came from a famous family who’s son was kidnapped.

    • I would like to know more about the man who played Russian Roulette in the hotel across the street. I stayed in that hotel/motel in 1997, upstairs in the very corner room and had many experiences. Its now called the Lumberjack hotel. I wonder if it’s still haunted after all the renovation?

    • Also, In the early 90s, my roommate at the time, worked at the front desk of the old hotel and would tell me of all the haunted stuff she personally dealt with. That is exactly why I stayed at the Motel behind it, figuring it was more modern and no spooks. Boy, was I wrong.

  8. We stayed in room 234 and there was definitely a presence! We captured footage ( two videos) of a “bouncing orb” going down the hallway and stopping in front of our room. I went online and compared it to others who had posted at the Sonora Inn and the orb was very similar. Also weird things happened in our room. I shut the bathroom door tightly and it opened by itself. Also I was washing my face and looked back for the towel I just saw and it had vanished. Went back in early am and it was back? I could barely sleep and felt unsettled for half the day after after experiencing all this paranormal activity. The hotel and staff are very nice but I won’t be going back to stay in downtown Sonora.

  9. My mother booked this hotel so we can watch the jumping frog jubilee happening nearby this weekend. She booked room 236. I was unaware of all the paranormal hauntings attached to the hotel. I knew the hotel was old, but did not want to assume the hotel was haunted because of its age. Not every old hotel is haunted. That all changed.

    I just woke up from a possession dream at 1:23 am. The dream itself was odd, taking place in a hotel. In the dream, I tried 3 times to fall asleep but kept calling in the softest voice for help since “something” was trying to take over. The ones to notice my cries for help was my mother and sister. The sleeping arrangements in the dream matched the ones in real life. After being unable to sleep, I stood up stating I will just stay awake. I then noticed above the bed was a mirror. Looking into the mirror was my face yet not my face. With the right eye somewhat squinted, straight reddish brown hair ( I have natural curls) and a round full face. I specifically said to whoever it was that it is my body and to leave me alone. Stuff about God was said and I remember some man’s voice saying that Catherine sees a light, she’s going to it.

    As soon as I woke up, my mouth is wide open as wide as it could, completely dry. As I lay in bed trying to process what just happened and noticed the sleeping arrangements matched the dream hit even closer of what just occured. About seven minutes later my mom wakes up to use the bathroom and of course I immediately tell her of this. Her response? Oh yes the hotel is haunted, I didn’t tell you guys since I never looked into the stories because I did not want to scare myself or you and your sister.

    I’m not a big church person, haven’t been for a few years. However, after tonight’s experience, I think the church will be seeing me every Sunday. I just wish whoever Catherine was, that she found peace and actually moved on.

  10. Recently stayed here for a work trip for 4 nights, room 203, the far end room. No sightings, but I felt off the entire stay. The bathroom scared me particularly. An old vintage tub, yellow tile. It sounds ridiculous but I kept thinking about how I felt someone definitely died in it. The room itself is small. Bed is very old. There’s an old vintage chair in the room aiming at the bed. I woke up in the middle of the night sweating profusely. I had the air conditioning set at 66 degrees because it was hot that week in Sonora. Anyway I woke up sweating and opened my eyes and just had a sense I was being watched from the old chair in the room. I stayed here for 4 nights alone and one of the nights I thought I heard voices in the room. So I cranked up my white noise machine to block out the paranoia.

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Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.