Rattlesnake Dick Barter was a notorious highway man in Gold Country, California. Dick Barter in 1850 met up with the Mexican Robin Hood aka the Robin Hood of El Dorado. Yes, he met up with the notorious Joaquin Murrieta Carrillo. Many people do not realize, but Joaquin was the inspiration for Zorro. Joaquin on a few occasions teamed up with Three Finger Jack. Joaquin lost his head and Three Finger Jack lost his hand with the 3 fingers. For a while, both the head and the hand were on display for all of the townsfolk to gape at.
Rattlesnake Dick Barter also met up with Black Bart aka Charles Earl Bowles, the Gentleman Bandit. Dick and Black Bart robbed a stage coach together in Placer County. When the Wells Fargo Road Agents got wind of this, they sought harder to find Black Bart the Poet. They eventually found Black Bart. Black Bart found himself doing time in San Quentin Prison. Dick Barter was still a free man. Dick was busy taking off the gold transport off stage coaches. Not only was he upsetting the Wells Fargo Road Agents, but he also caught the eye of the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Rattlesnake Dick Barter was born in 1833 in Quebec and found himself in Auburn, California.
My wife Deanna Jaxine Stinson was born in Auburn, California and she remembers to this day of feeling a ghost in a peach orchard in Auburn. The sensation was strong and it was like she stepped backward into time. It was known that Rattlesnake Dick Barter buried a cache full of gold in a peach orchard. Is it possible that Deanna, a sensitive picked up on the spirit of Rattlesnake?
Misty Langford of Placerville says that at 3:00 a.m. she saw a tall cowboy wearing a long coat. From his long coat he pulled out a tied up bag. The bag looked like it had coins inside. Misty was shocked to see this man and as she stared at him, she noticed she could see right through him. It was an ethereal apparition. The man looked at her and walked away, right through a wall of a building. Misty has no explanation for it, but feels she saw Rattlesnake Dick Barter. Misty described the ghost that she saw to an Auburn historian and the Auburn historian said that she described Rattlesnake Dick Barter to a tee.
Rattlesnake Dick Barter stopped over at many places in Northern California from Galt to Marysville to Truckee. It was said he stole a prospector’s mule in Truckee. There are many other reports that his ghost is seen in some of these locations. Ned Samuel of Yuba City claims to have seen the ghost of Rattlesnake Dick Barter at the Silver Dollar Saloon in Marysville. Ned Samuel is a self proclaimed psychic and says that he has also seen Vigil Earp’s ghost at Tombstone, Arizona and the ghost of H.H. Holmes at the location of his murder castle. H.H. Holmes was known as America’s first serial killers and he was also known as Herman Webster Mudgett aka Dr. Henry Howard Holmes. H.H. Holmes was born in 1861 and had several wives. Ned says he also encountered two of the wives of H.H. Holmes. Ned loves visiting historical Old West sites and during his visits, he will be visited by ghosts of the 1800 era. A few of the ghosts that make their presence known to Ned are famous in their own right. When Ned visited areas of Oklahoma, he was visited by the ghost of US Marshall Bass Reeves. Bass Reeves was the inspiration for the Lone Ranger. The one thing that unnerved Ned is when he saw the ghost of Rattlesnake Dick Barter. Rattlesnake tried to whisper something in his ear and the voice sounded demonic to Ned. The voice of Rattlesnake shook Ned to the core of his soul. Ned has no idea what Rattlesnake was saying to him.
Rattlesnake Dick Barter tried to have an honest life by panning for gold along the American River, but everyone kept blaming him for every theft. Dick got tired of it and decided to go back and start robbing people again. He became the Pirate of Placer. It was legend that no jail could hold Rattlesnake Dick Barter. When the shootout that ended Dick’s life came about, two of Sheriff Bogg’s deputies were injured. A bullet hit Rattlesnake and took his life. His lifeless body was displayed at the Masonic Hall’s doorsteps for the townsfolk to see. Rattlesnake was 26 years old. The gold that Rattlesnake took from the Wells Fargo Stage Coaches in 1856 was never recovered.
Cynthia Tyler from Loomis says that she once saw the ghost of Rattlesnake Dick Barter and he was pointing North. Cynthia to this day wonders if Rattlesnake was trying to point towards his buried gold? Cynthia tried to go back to the location where she saw Rattlesnake, but can’t seem to remember the exact location.
Paul Dale Roberts, HPI Esoteric Detective
aka The Demon Warrior
Halo Paranormal Investigations (HPI International)