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The Delta King

Old Sactamento, CA

The Delta King is the sister ship of the Delta Queen.  She has lived a full life.  During WWII she served to haul the injured back and forth from Pearl Harbor as YFB 55.  Another blip in history, she caught fire in the San Francisco Bay and partially sank.  Alas, she rose again and was restored to serve as a Hotel, Restaurant, meeting place, and upscale Bar in Old Sacramento.

Investigation Date:  January 13, 2006

Location:  The Delta King, 1000 Front St. Sacramento, CA  95814

Members present:  Dave, Casey, Ann, Mike, and 3 Delta King staff.

Reason for investigation:  Since the ship has been opened as a hotel, restaurant, bar, theater, and banquet hall, there have been odd occurrences.  Regularly, when various people go in to “turn down” the bed in Room 436, they are sure a man walks in

the room behind them.  When the women have turned around, nobody is there.  Throughout the ship, from the bar to the hotel desk, an apparition of a little girl has been seen and heard playing and laughing.  On the top deck wet foot prints of a little girl can be seen from time to time in summer, in the same location.


A few deaths have occurred on and around the ship.  This includes the common-law wife of actor Paul Bern, Dorothy Millette.  Both died days apart and under mysterious circumstances.  Mr. Bern had just married again to Jean Harlow, while fully supporting Dorothy. The King & Queen of the River is a great reference book written by Stan Garvey.  The book is available for purchase on the ship and provides excellent history.


On my walk through during the preliminary, I was overwhelmed by a large fire near the kitchen area.  I also encountered massive WWII Pearl Harbor war panic in the same location.  I took several interesting photographs in these locations.  There had been no cooking in the kitchen all day.

The Investigation:  The team arrived at 9:30 pm and set up our equipment.  We began another walk through, photography, and more interviews.  The ship is extremely huge.  Our team divided to perform tasks in various areas of the ship and regrouped once every hour.  The kitchen and rear of the ship had no evidence or impressions by any of our equipment.  However the Fort Sutter room felt heavy upon entering.  This room was left for last.  We sat in Room 436 for over an hour and found no evidence of any activity.  We did experience fast battery drain.  A group that visited the theater found no evidence there, but feet weird. Their batteries went dead very fast.  The Captains room was different.  I stood were the captain of the ship would have stood. As a team member walked up the stairs, I felt an eerie ice cold breeze.  I moved and let the team member “feel” the icy area.   I sat and listened to the silence.  The next instant I felt like something tackled me.  I stood and left the room.  When I stepped outside I saw and heard something splash in to the water.  Next I saw something white float by me.  I took photos, but what I saw is not on the photos.  About that time, I sat down to re-group myself.  I had to be calm to continue to lead the team and conduct my first lead investigation.



Back in the captain’s room, EMF readings were not reliable, due to old ship wiring.  Room temperature changed in certain areas. Photography showed nothing that couldn’t be explained as dust.  The bar does demonstrate moving dust orbs on photographs. Personally, I liked the bar area and would love to go back as a customer.  Below this area is the Fort Sutter Room. It was now 1:00 am and 5 of us enter the Fort Sutter Room. One to film, and four to sit in a circle.  Our objective was to try another  approach to figure out what the entire team has felt, but can’t explain.


While sitting quietly four different people made themselves known to all of us. (And during this time, I took continuous temperature readings of the room and of our immediate location.)  In the NE corner was a woman.  In the NW corner was a little girl.  She quickly moved to sit on Sabrina’s lap.   Behind me, in the SE corner, was a man pretending to be the captain of the ship.  To my left was the man with a head injury from Pearl Harbor.  He was in the kitchen area on our preliminary exam. The temperature began to drop slowly at first, then suddenly 10 degrees Fahrenheit.  We were all freezing.  Sabrina guided us to try and make contact with what seemed to be the extreme suffering of hundreds of people from Pearl Harbor.  She then had all of us imagine a light for anybody present to cross over.  I can’t describe the feeling each of us experienced next.  But afterwards, the room was 15 degrees warmer and felt light.  The video of this entire event revealed nothing that couldn’t be called dust. But we were all exhausted beyond words.


We packed up for the night and promised the great staff at the Delta King we would return to go over our findings.


*Note - due to constant ship noise, EVP was very limited.

Historical highlights:


The Delta King is one of the oldest steamboats still in operation in the United States.  It was built in Stockton from 1924 – 1927, with steel shipped from Europe.  A passenger, Dorothy, vanished from the ship days after her husband’s death in Hollywood. Jean Harlow was having an affair with her husband and buried Dorothy’s body when it was found around a week later.  The ship was enlisted under a different name.  It was used for three trips to transport victims of Pearl Harbor up the river to the hospital.  (Unknown to us at the time of the investigation.)


There was a large fire, involving the Delta King, in San Francisco’s harbor.  The ship has been land-locked since 1985.

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Delta King

History