Caryn Haller

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January 29, 2013
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Signing for Dake House book Feb. 17

Dake House owner Martha Williams has always known there were spirits in the house, but has never seen one herself.

"There's been strange odors like someone smoking in the house, and nobody smokes," she said. "The first thing I really remember is the day my father died. An ususal amount of snow fell off the roof and hit me in the head. The way the roof is built, it was unusual for that to happen."

Williams' experiences and others are included in Carson City author Sandie La Nae's book, "The Victorian Past and Haunted Present of the Dake House."

A book signing is 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 17 at Antiques Plus located at 2242 Main Street in Genoa.

"I've always thought this house was special," Williams said. "You feel protected in this house like nothing's going to get you here."

As a lifelong intuitive psychic, La Nae is a member of the paranormal investigations group Thin Veil Investigators, established in 2005.

This ghost hunting team has conducted investigations in private and public buildings, as well as exclusive locations such as Sutro Tunnel in Dayton, Buckland's Station by Silver Springs and an 1870s morgue in Virginia City.

The Dake House was built in 1862 by Charles Dake, Genoa's first undertaker.

"He lived there until 1909 when he sold it to Theodore Hawkins who was a Pony Express rider," 58-year-old La Nae said.

It has also served as a post office and justice of the peace office.

Williams' mother, Bernice Huber, bought the house in 1962 and raised her family there. Williams turned the house into Antiques Plus in 1997.

"The Victorian Past and Haunted Present of the Dake House" has 45 chapters discusing the history of the Dake House, Williams, Thin Veil Investigators and their findings, and stories from customers who have encountered spirits.

"One story is of a man who walked upstairs. He was looking out the window and got slapped," La Nae said. "Since 2005 we've been able to investigate the place so a lot of the book is our paranormal findings."

One of their findings is of an alleged haunted portrait of roses on a table.

"When people try to buy this painting it would fall off the wall or disappear entirely," La Nae said. "I went in there and saw a lady holding the painting. She told me it was hers and asked Martha to please never sell it. A lot of antique stores are filled with spirits who are attached to their items."

Williams listened and took the painting off the market.

"It's still hanging here. The last time something happened was about eight years ago," Williams said. "Now I figure it wants to stay here. It can stay as long as it leaves me alone."

La Nae self-published the book Jan. 10 after four months of working on it.

"It's a prominent historical location and I wanted people to know where it's at. And I wanted to share our findings with people who are interested in the paranormal field. If they are interested in the paranormal field they might want to go in and try finding the spirits themselves."

The Dake House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

"It's got some nice history in it, and that's fascinating in itself. If you're into architecture, it's a Gothic Victorian-style house that was real popular from the 1860s to 1900."

La Nae has published five other books on paranormal topics, as well as one on the psychic properties of stones.

"The Victorian Past and Haunted Present of the Dake House" is available on Amazon Kindle or

For more information, call La Nae at 883-9387.

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The Record Courier Updated Feb 18, 2013 04:55PM Published Jan 29, 2013 04:10PM Copyright 2013 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.