Place: Donner Pass

Location:  Truckee, CA

Date of Investigation: 8/22/09


Donner Pass is a mountain pass in the northern Sierra Nevada, located above Donner Lake about nine miles west of Truckee, California. It has a steep approach from the east and a gradual approach from the west.

In the spring of 1846, a group of nearly 90 emigrants left Springfield, Illinois, and headed west. Led by brothers Jacob and George Donner, the group attempted to take a new and supposedly shorter route to California. They soon encountered rough terrain and numerous delays, and they eventually became trapped by heavy snowfall high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Purportedly reduced to cannibalism to survive through the winter, only half of the original group reached California the following year. Their story quickly spread, and before long the term “Donner Party” became synonymous with one of humanity’s most ingrained taboos.

Reported Activity:

Reported Apparitions and voices and stories about the monument site, people having their clothes tugged on, others getting images in pictures. We walked all over the monument site, took a lot of pictures.

Our Investigation:

Investigation was inconclusive. The only feeling we gathered was is was a nice place, birds chirping, flowers blooming, not scary at all. By this time we left felt we felt sad, were the spirits speaking to us? There is no way to tell. The people that suffered that winter went through more than anyone could possibly stand today, yet they did, and many lived through it.  The members of the wagon party lost children day after day, had entire families torn apart, and ate their own family members just to stay alive. One child wrote a letter after she escaped the winter telling how horrible it was to kill her pet dog for its meat, but by then they went days without eating. The children of the Donner Party stopped complaining and stopped asking for food. It is no wonder something stayed behind at these campsites.