But that doesn't mean I believe in them. I had one incident that changed my perspective on spirits though. Years ago, The Daily Californian, a newspaper in El Cajon, assigned me to write a series of travel stories and one involved driving to Riverside to stay overnight at a place called The Mission Inn.

This property has been described many ways but it is fantasy and whimsy woven into architecture. Life-size figurines rotate through the clock tower, hidden stairways and balconeys are everywhere. There was even a huge Buddha that you could sit in his lap and have your picture taken.

I was booked into a room, had done my dining review and started to go to sleep. Every time I closed my eyes, I felt someone right in front of me. Every single time. For hours. I turned every light on, then every light off. Nothing would make it go away. At 2:30am, I gave up and checked out. I left the hotel and drove all the way back to San Diego arriving just before dawn.

I still don't know what was in that room with me but I felt it and it was there. And I don't believe in ghosts. After that experience, I did decide that maybe energy gets trapped. That is what my gut feeling was from that hotel room, something was trapped and I was the way out.

So when a friend with a camera and I decided to try to add a video to a story I was writing on the Eagle Mine last week and came upon a similar scene, I wasn't stunned. My cameraman was. He ran out of the mine and the only video we have is the ground as he is running. I did the story without visuals but he says when he lifted the camera, he saw someone standing behind me.

I wasn't scared but when he took off, he took the light. We were in an abandoned gold mine trying to get video and all of a sudden I was plunged into darkness with "something" behind me. I felt it as soon as we entered an area called the "hoist room."

That's my ghost story. SD

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