Reported in the Daily Alta California – December 12, 1859
We have been aware for some weeks past that there were rumors of a ghost having been seen at Lyons’ Ranch, situated on the Mountain road, about four miles from town; but have not been able to gather the particulars until this week. Lyons’ Ranch, it will be remembered, was formerly the property of Jim Lyons, who assassinated one of the Blakely brothers there, after having sold the property to them. It is now owned and occupied by Mr. Gilkey. It appears that some five or six miners, with Mr. Gilkey’s permission, were in the habit of sleeping in the barn attached to the ranch, but have now abandoned their lodgings, in consequence of having their slumbers disturbed by the pranks of a ghost. According to their story, it appeared to them in the shape of a huge man, about sixteen feet high, who arose from amidst the hay piled up in the barn and tossed bales around as if they were light as feathers in his grasp. The story goes that this unwelcome visitor, on several occasions, chased the lodgers from the barn, making giant strides after the fugitives. On one occasion, one of the men fired at the ghost, but the ball had no effect. The upshot of the story is, that his ghostship remains master of the field (or rather the barn). It is rumored, that some gentlemen of this place, who are deeply interested in the subject of spiritualism, intend paying a visit to the barn some fine night, for the purpose of questioning the ghost, and ascertaining whether it is a “spirit of health, or goblin damn’d.” The investigation will doubtless be highly interesting and we await the result with most intense anxiety. – Sonora Age.