Vast miles of desert dotted with glittering gambling Meccas, Nevada is a study in contradiction. In between the "loneliest stretch of highway in America" that spans Vegas to Reno are crumbling ghost towns, built on the back of thousands of immigrant miners and "soiled doves". The ghosts aren't just in the old mining towns, however - they can be found in the casinos as well. Any state that has slot machines in the grocery stores must have a few restless spirits. And then there is beautiful Lake Tahoe. Have you ever seen the Godfather part II? Poor, stupid, Fredo Corleone ends up deep deep in the icy lake, and the real lake holds just as many elusive secrets.
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Gold Hill (Just south of Virginia City) - The Gold Hill Motel
The local mine was unfortunately a site of a mining disaster. So, here we go with the weirdness: A cigar smoking gentleman, William (theorized to be a former owner who perished in a fire), and a red haired woman (and former chambermaid) who smells of rose scented perfume ("Rosie", of course) have been seen at this "oldest hotel in Nevada". Orbs have been seen floating about by paranormal investigators, and the spirits of long dead miners inhabit the "Miner's cabin". The owner says unplugged alarm clocks have been known to buzz every hour on the hour. The nearby Yellow Jacket Mine is also said to be haunted. As I live only 30 minutes away, I really don't have a good excuse not to check it out soon - I'll update you when I do.
Carson City - Bliss Mansion Bed & Breakfast Inn
Said to be built on an old graveyard, ghosts supposedly abound. 710 West Robinson Street Tel: 702-883-1976
Bay - Cal-Neva Resort and Casino
Oh, the stories this place could tell. The Cal-Neva is the oldest standing casino in the US. Along the shores of beautiful and infinitely deep lake Tahoe, this resort was once owned by "ol' Blue Eyes" Frank Sinatra - until, that is, he was forced out of ownership due to his alleged affiliations with organized crime.
Lake Tahoe has a long history with
organized crime figures. Anyone who has seen "The Godfather II" can see a
fictionalized version of the area in the 1950's and 60's. Once when Jacques
Cousteau wanted to send a motorized submersible camera into the lakes icy
depths, a stop was quickly put on the mission by some powerful people. You see,
it is so deep, so cold,- so crystal clear, that there were a few people that
were worried that a guy wearing concrete shoes,
swimming with the fishes, if you will - might pop into the camera's sights. Therefore, even
though the technology is there, no one knows exactly how deep the lake is or what secrets it
Back to the Cal-Neva and the hauntings
therein: The Cal-Neva was an illegal gambling
joint, as well as a guest lodge, when it was built in 1926. A few years later it obtained one of
the first casino licenses, and thus became a very popular place to go. A who's who of
celebrities and the wealthy flocked there. The star status was only elevated a notch in the
1960's, when Sinatra bought the resort. His Rat Pack acquaintances, including the Kennedys and
Marilyn Monroe, were frequent visitors to the Cal-Neva. Marilyn had her very own cabin. A week
prior to her death, she took an overdose in the cabin. The man friend that was visiting her that
day - Robert Kennedy - had to be helicopter out before he was discovered as poking the most
famous blonde in history. The heli pad, as well as a secret tunnel that led from the showroom to
a closet in the Marilyn Cabin, was put in by Sinatra to mask an era that had more secrets than it
did poker chips.
The historic hotel closed for three years
in the 1980's but was resurrected by a
businessman who restored it to it's former glory. This same businessman is now going to tear
down the historic cabins, including the Marilyn Cabin, to build lakefront condos on the lucrative
real estate surrounding the Cal-Neva, but that's another story for another day...
When the hotel re-opened, it had a few visitors that appeared to never have left.
Immediately after reopening, a security guard saw a filmy, sobbing figure in the hallway that he
described as Marilyn Monroe. Frank is said to still wander the secret tunnel.
Boulder City - Boulder Dam Hotel
- Located in Boulder City, a planned city that was the home of the Hoover Dam workers, the hotel was built for and housed wealthy sight seers who came to see the massive dam project in the 1930's. After the dam was built, interest waned and the hotel suffered. Finally after the suicide of hotel investor Raymond Spillsbury the hotel closed it's doors.
After several owners, the hotel was renovated in the early 1980's. at that time the spirit of Raymond, possibly disturbed by the remodel, is said to have started bothering the staff. Feelings of someone grabbing at them, and flickers of a presence out of the corner of their eye, were commonplace. The basement is especially uncomfortable to staff. A psychic said that she believed someone was buried there. The current owner has his office in that basement, and one night he smelled cigarette smoke. When he looked up, he saw a man smoking, who vanished.
Las Vegas - The Hilton (*Dead Elvis #1)
Formerly The International Hotel (not to be confused with the Flamingo Hilton) the Las Vegas Hilton boasts the 30th floor "Elvis Presley Suite", which is, of course, haunted by a dead Elvis - this one sporting one of his signature leather studded jumpsuits.
Las Vegas - The Flamingo Hilton Hotel and Casino (*Dead Elvis #2)
A youthful dead Elvis is said to haunt the Flamingo Hilton. Also, any Mafia enthusiast can tell you who Bugsy Siegal was. The man who took a dusty little isolated town named Las Vegas, Nevada and turned it into a gambling metropolis, was snuffed out in his girlfriend's Beverly Hills home in 1947. Bugsy's hotel, The Flamingo, is a throwback to the infancy of sin city. Opened in 1946, the hotel hemorrhaged money it's first year. thus bringing about Bugsy's untimely demise. Sprinkled with Bugsy Siegal memorial plaques and artwork, the casino is still a place where Bugsy is said to visit on occasion.
Ghost Tours of Nevada: offers tours of Vegas, Reno, (and Virginia City starting 5/06) prices range from $32-$57, depending on location
Haunted Vegas Tour and Show
Reno Mystery History Ghost Walk
City - Annual Kit Carson Trail Ghost Walk
Given every year in October. For more information, please call (775) 687-7410 or 1-800-NEVADA-1. 13th annual tour, 2005 leaves from Nevada State Museum at 600 N Carson St. Saturday, Oct. 22nd only. Tours leave every 30 minutes from 9:30 AM until 2:30 PM, with a choice of "The Superstitious Walk" (St. Theresa's Church, the Yerington, Bliss Bungalow, more) or "The Spells Walk" (Brougher-Bath Mansion, Clemens home, Brewery Arts Center, more). Adults: $15, Children 6-12 $10 (under 6 are free). from Reno Gazette Journal
Reno - Park Lane Mall
A very specific haunting, a young woman who was murdered here in the downstairs ladies room in the late 70's is said to appear on the 3rd Saturday of the month at 9 pm. 310 East Plumb Lane
Fallon - Grimes Point Archeological Area
Winning one of our "Zappa" awards, this area has cryptic
writing on some of the rocks, left by the Shoshone Indians, that sends
visitors into a sort of "trance" within hours of viewing if they quietly
contemplate life while sitting on the rocks. Also, "glowing figures" are seen
walking about on moonless nights on the Loop Trail, and people have claimed to
have seen them on the 'cave tour' that is there. Can you say...
"nuclear waste dump nearby?"... East of Fallon on Hwy 50
Virginia City - Mackay Mansion
This old Virginia City home can be toured during the week for a small fee. Built by one of the barons of industry who saw to it that the nearby Chollar mine was stripped of it's huge wealth of silver, it's foundations are cracked by a too-close dynamite blast of years past. Encased in the iconic old painted lady are a few ghosts. A servant woman has been seen busily flitting about in an otherworldly fit of cleanliness; whereas on the third floor a less industrious female ghost lies about when she is spotted. An older male who used to live here prior to his death has also been seen sitting in his favorite spot in life: the kitchen. Unfortunately, the kitchen is no longer open to tours, and houses the guard dogs during the daily tours. Located on D street, can be reached by the main street in town ('C street' or hwy 341) by a steep staircase.
Boulder City - The Hoover Dam
- The tremendous dam, built in 1931-1935, was a watery or concrete grave to 96 workers. Electrocuted, crushed, drowned, and blown up, only one of the 96 seems to still be around. Spotted at times by workers, he mouths words to them as he floats among the generators. He also is blamed for nuts that loosen themselves. A later casualty of the dam, Bill Higgins, fell to his death in 1983. Workers say that Bill still walks around doing his job, as if he hasn't realized he died. A former coworker of Higgins swears he heard Higgins voice say "hold the elevator for me" one afternoon long after his friend had died.
Las Vegas, Nevada Aqua Air Systems formerly the Redd Foxx estate- 5460 S. Eastern
If you're a child of the 1970's, then no doubt you know Redd Foxx from the TV show "Sanford and Son". Also seen in the movie "Harlem Nights", Foxx was once a dishwasher in a restaurant in Hell's Kitchen with none other than Malcolm X. After an illustrious career in show business, Foxx felt cheated by life when he was left behind by Hollywood with little money in his old age. After an IRS investigation, Foxx was forced to sell his fairly modest Las Vegas home just months before his death.
An Elvis Presley impersonator, who had actually met Foxx while he lived, bought the home. The rather eccentric Elvis look alike lived there with his uncle, and they reported having lights flip on and off by themselves, and a sliding glass door opening on it's own. Awww, sookie sookie, crowed the psedo-Elvis as he put the home up for sale.
Now an air conditioning company office, employees say that the vertical blinds blow about as if someone has brushed by them. The glass door that faux-Elvis had trouble with also opened itself to a new audience, and was even replaced with a regular door to try and squelch the unnerving phenomena. The wooden door opens up on it's own as well.
Morbid Tourist Tip: Virginia City's 1869 Territorial Prison and Wax Museum houses a virtual execution. Drop a coin into the slot and see a quivering dummy get a big fat dose of 10,000 volts.
Virginia City -
Grosh Brothers Goods
This Virginia City antique store has had most unusual occurrences, including deafening piano music with no player at the piano, the earthquake-like shaking of interior lights and a scent of lavender that comes from seemingly nowhere. C Street
City -The Pioneer Emporium
A rack of belts started swinging in unison for no apparent reason one day in this leather and gift shop. Other strange occurrences include a floating transparent anomaly, a phantom in black who reeks of cigar smoke, a malevolent being who shoved an employee, objects that move themselves - including an incredibly creepy story of a Victorian doll that moved about on it's own, unexplainable whispers, and doors that fling themselves open. 144 South C Street
Las Vegas, Nevada - Union Plaza Hotel and Casino -
The showgirls at this Fremont Street casino are haunted by the ghost of a lighting man who killed himself years ago. They say he lurks in the corners of their dressing rooms "a cloud like figure", and tampers with the shows. Lights will blink, staff states, during performances. One staff said she saw someone in the lighting booth when she returned to the stage to pick something up very late at night. Upon investigating, the booth was empty, even though someone would've had to pass by her to leave the area.
Harry Houdini is said to mess with stage hands during Houdini enthusiast Dixie Dooley's recreations of Houdini's tricks at the casino. They have reported people shoving them through the curtains, only to find no one there.
Dayton - Mia's Swiss Restaurant
Ghost are said to be in the cellar of Mia's, but unfortunately details are hard to find. Nearby Gold Canyon Steakhouse is supposedly haunted as well. 65 Pike Street
Virginia City - The Old Washoe Club
Originally "The Millionaire's Club", the Washoe is home to a country and western bar, and has the unique old "saloon" setting that is so prevalent in this unique western town. Back in the town's hey day the upstairs, like many places here, was a brothel. One unlucky prostitute, or "soiled dove" as they were so quaintly referred to, met her maker at the hands of a client one day in the 1870's. "Lena" still likes pop in once in awhile, standing on the spiral staircase with her blonde hair and period clothing. A child was murdered in the basement, and her ghost has been seen in a second story bedroom. Paranormal investigators have said the most "activity" can be found in the back of the barroom, where shows were put on in the old days. Women have complained of being "touched" by unseen hands in the ladies room (yet another case in the saga of pervert ghosts that is seen all over the country for some reason). There is a spirit of a man who has been seen sitting at the bar, reeking of ether. Other accounts talk about a little girl in a blue lacy dress that also has been seen in peoples homes on C street. Hwy 341, or C street (775)847 7210
Morbid Tourist Tip: Visit Primm, Nevada to see the bullet ridden Bonnie and Clyde Death Car. Located at the Primm Valley Resort: 35 miles west of Las Vegas on I-15, on CA/NV border. Admission is free.
Austin - The International Hotel
Open until recently, this Nevada ghost town hotel was moved board by board from Virginia City. A ghost named Tommy is said to be heard walking around in the upstairs at night. The only lodging in town is a nearby RV park. Located on highway 50, the loneliest road in America
Stewart - Stewart Indian School
The ruins of this old school is haunted by the specters of children playing, and by the spirit of a man nicknamed "The Superintendent" who is seen in the basement, and emits a bad smell. He is seen often standing in front of the fireplace, shivering with a blanket over him. The school was used by the government to strip the Native American children of their heritage and "Americanize" them from 1890-1930. Stewart is located just south of Carson City, NV.
Reno - South Virginia Street
South Virginia near the Truckee river is said to be tormented by the screams of young children when it is quiet (which, after a huge population boom, probably never happens on this main city street). A group of American Indian children were reportedly buried somewhere along here after dying of chicken pox.
Reno - Robb Canyon
Four transient's corpses were found here, and ever since spook lights and glowing apparitions have been spotted in the area, and screams heard - usually in the fall on moonless nights. North of I-80 outside of Reno
Virginia City - C street
The ghost of a young girl named Katie who died in the late 1960's is seen running down the street. A bit of a bookworm and a burgeoning writer, 13 year old Katie is said to be running in a heavy coat and baseball cap to the "bookmobile". Accounts of another little girl, from years long ago are also told. These stories are of a child from the silver mining times, possibly hit by a stagecoach, who appears in local homes and shops on C street, usually playing quietly, sometimes looking in at the living. She is wearing a blue dress with lace on it, and has also been spotted in the Old Washoe Club. Hwy 341, C Street
Goldfield - The Goldfield Motel
Said to be one of the states most haunted places, the old hotel in Goldfield has been closed for half a century, but still intrigues locals and ghost hunters alike. Not that there are a lot of locals in this semi - ghost town in Esmerelda county. Said by some paranormalists to be one of seven "portals to the other side", it is, alas, closed for public viewing. Room 109 has a strange story attached: a prostitute was chained to a radiator by the owner, for whatever bizarre reason, until she gave birth to her bastard child, who was immediately tossed down a mine shaft under the building. The prostitute was then left in the room to starve to death. Seems odd no one would hear her in a popular turn of the century hotel in one of Nevada's largest towns at the time, but don't let me be the glimmer of reality here... Anyway, it was featured on a show called "The Scariest Places on Earth", and the girl's ghost supposedly haunts room 109, and the baby can be heard crying some nights. Also, a phantom group of children has been seen in the lobby, and the evil proprietor (Mr. 'chain her to the radiator') George Winfield has been spotted as well. Goldfield is a mostly deserted, once flourishing mining town in rural Nevada, that is almost directly between Vegas and Reno on Hwy 95
Jackpot -Hot springs
A little known fact about Nevada is that there are quite a few hot springs throughout the northern part of the state - the Reno city pool is even heated by geothermal heat instead of electricity. Apparently the one in Jackpot, on the far northern border, had a spa built around it at one point. There was a murder, or murders, and now the area around the hot springs is haunted, by phantom "hoof prints and footprints" that suddenly appear on the path to the spring, as well as cold spots. Jackpot is NE of Elko on the Nevada/Idaho border, on Hwy 93.
Virginia City - Silver Terrace Cemetery
cemeteries at Virginia city seem oddly huge - covering the sagebrush covered
hillsides surrounding the now tiny burg. However, when one pictures Virginia
City in its silver coated hey-day, it's no wonder this rough and tumble mining
community was able to fertilize acres of Sierra Nevada wasteland with dead
miners and whores.
Wrought iron fences poke out of the dust in all directions, as do stone monuments of all shapes and sizes. Mostly paupers graves, with tiny, cracked headstones, adorn the windblown cemetery. One could wander for hours and hours, marveling at the relatively youthful ages of the now long dead. The quiet jingling of the tourist trap town beckons in the distance. An RV park sits bizarrely alongside the rows of graves.
Reports of paranormal phenomena in this cemetery include eerily spinning concrete planters, a ghostly boy and girl in tattered clothing carrying a lantern, and a headstone that glows at night. On my trips to Virginia City and the surrounding cemeteries, I've experienced nothing more paranormal than the odd emptiness of looking down at 10,000 forgotten lives.
Las Vegas - Fremont Street (*Dead Elvis #3)
A portly older dead Elvis has been said to haunt the area, and taking in a few shows.
Las Vegas - Landmark Drugs (*Dead Elvis #4)
Dead Elvis sightings have occurred here, where the king used to pick up his pharmaceuticals. 252 Convention Center Drive
Morbid Tourist Tip: Sam Kinison Death Site. The loud, beret sporting icon of 1980's stand up comedy was tragically killed in a head on collision while traveling from L.A. to Laughlin in 1992 (near Needles, NV). Travel east on I-40 to I-95 (going north); The crash occurred 3-4 miles from the turn.
Did something happen to you you can't explain? A giant lizard in Minnesota? A goat-man in Florida? A time-space wormhole in the Black Rock Desert? Send me your story at:
scarystory @ weirdness . com
(Disclaimer: it is upon the reader of this site to use good judgment in frequenting the places listed herein; it is not the responsibility of the proprietor of ghosttraveller.com if a reader commits an illegal act, such as trespassing, based upon what he or she reads here. It is the reader's responsibility to research the given areas discussed in this forum prior to visiting, and to ensure that it is not illegal to visit said place prior to visiting, or to obtain permission from the owner prior to visiting)
The Shadowlands : an invaluable resource on the net for ghost hunters !!
Weird Travels, The Travel Channel
Travel Channel Secrets, The Travel Channel
"Unexplained Mysteries: America's Most Haunted", ABC
Bruns, Brian David; Comstock Phantoms. 2004, Norocos Press.