10 Spooky Places That Go Bump In the Night

by Paul Sebesta

Halloween is just around the corner and with it ... some places that just don't seem right. Take these stories for what they are and they are sure to leave you fascinated. Here are ten of Nevada's spookiest spots.

   The Demon Boy of Fox Ridge Park

(c) Henderson Press

- Fox Ridge Park, Henderson
This unassuming suburban park is home to the horrifying ghost of a boy killed by a drunk driver. Fox Ridge Park on the eastern limits of Henderson has been the subject of many paranormal investigations since then, and while stories regarding what exactly happened to the little boy are sketchy, something strange definitely seems to be going on.

The most focused area of the park seems to be the swing set. Most encounters happen the same way. The demon boy appears late at night usually between 11pm and 2am. Visitors who approach will notice the swing moving on its own. That's the best case scenario and the most common. Let's say that luck is on your side and the phantom boy decides to show. He'll usually first appear on the swing as a sweet little kid in overalls, but those brave enough to approach him, or look him in the eye suddenly wish they hadn't. The boy's face contorts into the face of a demon before he disappears, leaving the visitor with a terrifying image engrained in their head.

The demon boy isn't the only resident specter here. A series of nebular mists also roam the park at night along with a mysterious lady in white who wanders aimlessly near the swing set. Nobody quite knows who she is, but many believe she may be the mother of the boy killed. Guests on the Haunted Vegas Tours have come back with some very bizarre imagery after visits to Fox Ridge and have captured all three ghosts on their cameras. Whoever they are and whatever the case, nobody is quite sure why this modern-day suburban park is so haunted.

   "Frank" and "Marilyn" at the Cal Neva Lodge

- Cal-Neva Lodge, Crystal Bay
Nestled in the tall pines on the north shore of Lake Tahoe is a state line resort that overlooks one of the most idyllic vistas in the world. The Cal-Neva Lodge is made famous by its Stateline Pool, a swimming pool divided in half by the border of California and Nevada. It also comes with a darker history popularized by several movie star legends. The spooky hauntings of the Cal Neva are brought on by two of its ghosts who are synonymously famous in the afterlife as they were in real life -- the ghosts that the owners lovingly call "Frank" and "Marilyn."

The legend of the Cal Neva begins in 1960 when Frank Sinatra bought the lodge in the hopes of turning the resort into a world-class destination where he could entertain his guests lavishly outside of Las Vegas. He also wanted a place where he could bring his famous Rat Pack to get away from the everyday goings-on in Sin City. Sinatra even constructed tunnels so that he and his Rat Pack could move unnoticed between the casino floor and the privacy of their cabins. Frank eventually built a nightclub that rivaled anything he had in Las Vegas and it instantly became a hit.

All had been well for a few years until Sinatra granted Mafia don Sam Giancana access to the Cal-Neva. He allowed Giancana to stay in one of the lodge's chalets, even though he knew that the man was one of the undesirables listed in Nevada's Black Book - a list of people who were permanently banned from any of the state's casinos. In 1963, Frank was forced to give up ownership of the Cal-Neva as well as his shares of property in Las Vegas for his blatant disregard of the state's gaming commission. Some historians say this was the gut punch that broke the celebrity for years to come.

Marilyn Monroe has another, less-enjoyable connection to the Cal-Neva. Monroe died in Los Angeles in 1962, but a week before her death, Marilyn sought solace at the Cal-Neva Lodge with the help of her friend, good old "Blue Eyes." Rumors of her affair with the Kennedy Brothers tore her apart emotionally and many of her calls to both men were left unanswered. Those who saw her at the lodge claim that she spent her last days in a drug-induced stupor, alone in the cabin and the million dollar view that Sinatra had assigned to her. Marilyn went south to her Brentwood home where she apparently died of an overdose of sleeping pills.

Cabin #3, or "Marilyn's Cabin," at the Cal-Neva Lodge was personally assigned to the actress by Sinatra himself.

Despite their unfortunate dealings here, Frank and Marilyn are content spirits and two of Nevada's most active and well-known ghosts. Of the two resident specters, Frank is the more powerful presence. During one afternoon rehearsal in the showroom, a member of the group made a joke about the ghosts of Frank and Marilyn. As soon as he said "ghost sightings are stupid," the equipment stopped working. Frank tends to show himself whenever somebody questions the stories of the Cal-Neva ghosts. Frank still likes to sing too, as many encounters involve the sounds of disembodied song and laughter, "almost as if he was entertaining an audience." As for Marilyn, she picks and chooses her appearances, still shy in the afterlife as she was in real life. The most famous incident recalls a man who spotted the ghost of Marilyn walking up the steps of the Stateline Pool, her favorite hangout, then vanishing before his eyes. Marilyn's cabin still stands at the Cal-Neva along with the same million-dollar view that humbled her. Some people regularly come and stay there in hopes of communicating with her and many say they have. Nine out of psychics who've stayed in the cabin claim that Marilyn is quite happy to stay at the lodge indefinitely. With views like these, how can we blame her?

   The Men in Black

"It was light at night and I was traveling along
In the Desert in Nevada and I was all alone
I was tired and hungry and I was Vegas bound
When out of the sky came a light with no sound ..."
-- Johnny Sands

- Blue Diamond Highway, Lathrop Wells
No, there wasn't anything bone-chilling about the movie "Men in Black" but this incident was. Rather than another tale of ghosts and scary hauntings, this tale derives from one of the most bizarre cases to date. In 1976, 30-year old country music singer Johnny Sands was traveling on the Blue Diamond Highway outside of Pahrump headed southbound to Las Vegas around 10:30 pm when he noticed a "cigar-shaped aircraft" that looked like "the Goodyear blimp, only longer." He didn't pay much attention to it until his car suddenly stalled and wouldn't start. He got out to look under the hood when he saw the craft hovering a thousand feet above him. He describes the craft as having "a ring around the middle with a bunch of round portholes."

As the craft landed, Sands tried to move but was paralyzed, and could only watch as two strange-looking men walked toward him, clad in silver and black uniforms. Sands is extremely descriptive in his encounter and claim that the men were about "five feet seven inches tall" and completely hairless, lacking any eyebrows with small "pugish" noses. He was adamant that their mouths "never opened." and told his interviewers ...

"The face was wrinkled. Now, bodywise, he looked as fit as a 21-year-old but in his face, facial structure -- I don't know, something gave me the idea this guy was 300 or 400 years old. It's a very powerful face, a very powerful set of eyes. He's not so ugly as he is powerful looking ..."

Later Sands would say "the eyes remind you of a flashlight, they shine right at you when they looked at you." The beings' strangest feature were what appeared to be "gills" under the ears and here's where things get even more strange. The humanoids spoke to Sands with speakers on their chests and they told him that their thoughts were being translated into English via the devices. Although he could tell that the voice came from the man's "body," the mouth did not move at all.

The humanoids began a series of interrogation questions. Sands recalls that the voice of his questioner was echo-like and the words were strung out, slow, and almost mechanically with noticeable spacing between each word. The one standing closest to him started with,
"What are you doing here?"

Sands told him that he was an entertainer and was headed to Las Vegas to do a show. The other being interrupted with ...
"Why are there so many people in Las Vegas?"

Sands replied that it was a tourist town and that people from all over the world visit Las Vegas. Next, they asked a cursing, and somewhat frightening question.
"What is your means of communication?

Sands told them that he didn't understand the question, but in frustration, the humanoid blurted irately, "Answer the question!" He repeated that he didn't understand. With this, the humanoid stared blankly at his companion for "two or three minutes" and then suddenly turned, touching Sands's left hand with his own. The humanoid stared blankly at him and said,

"Don't say anything about this meeting. We know where you are and will see you again."

The two men then trooped off and disappeared in a flash of light, the whole encounter lasting about ten minutes. Sands's car restarted and he drove on to Las Vegas.

The musician never kept quiet about his experience. In fact, the front-page headline of the January 31, 1976 Las Vegas Sun wrote, UFO CREWMEN GRILL MUSICIAN. In his own curiosity, Sands contacted APRO (the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization) in Tucson, Arizona, hoping to shed some light on his ordeal, but nothing ever came out of it. Later in his sixties, Nolen Associates of Las Vegas had asked him if he was willing to submit a voice analysis, a stress test, and a polygraph test with a hypnotist of their choice. With "nothing to hide," Sands passed all three. The firm concludes,

"He's not telling a lie about any of it. Every word he has told me is true."

   The Last Camp of the Donner Party

- Rattlesnake Mountain, Southwest Reno
The story of the ill-fated Donner Party is the stuff of legends and their story in and of itself is bone-chilling enough, but there's a little-known fact about the party though that begins here in Nevada. Before their final ascent into the Sierra Nevada, the Donners camped at the base of Rattlesnake Mountain in late fall of 1846. Little did they know that this site would be their last contented camp fire before their wayward journey into the mountains.

Not familiar with this? You're not alone. This final campsite sits in a small, unassuming suburban Reno neighborhood - so ambiguous that even few Reno residents are actually aware of its location. In an effort to bring light to this hidden piece of history, the State Historical Preservation Society installed Marker 253 in 2001 on a narrow patch of grass immediately next to a line of townhomes. This site would come to be known as Donner Party Park. The marker was supposed to bring remembrance to the Donners' contented campsite, but with its installation came a flurry of spooky activity.

Those who are familiar with the site say there is something strange "and not quite right" about Donner Party Park. Many who've stopped to read the marker have had one or more experiences that they can't explain. Several people who live in the neighborhood have reported seeing a little girl walking near the marker, sometimes apathetically, and almost always in a state of confusion. Ethereal mists have been reported on balmy, summer nights. While some swear that this occurrence is nothing more than sweat from the damp, irrigated grass, others disagree. Residents have also seen shadows bounced off the walls of the mountainside in the form of silhouettes nestled around a campfire. Other reports include the sighting of an unknown lady in white, disembodied voices emanating from the mountainside, and cold mists accompanied with the feeling of sadness. The most chilling encounter occurred in 2002, when a girl visiting the marker heard a gnarled and malevolent groan coming from the mountainside. Within seconds, a "raggedy old man" appeared out of the stumps of an old Cottonwood tree and started towards her. She became very ill and overcome with a strong feeling of sadness and depression and ran back to her car vowing to never return to Marker 253.

Historically, the only death that occurred at this site was William Pike in 1846 - a member of the Donner Party itself. To this day, Pike's death remains a mystery. Some historians believe that Pike shot himself accidentally while collecting firewood. Others speculate that he was murdered by the party to save precious resources for their long trip ahead. Is it possible that William Pike still haunts the site today? If so, could he be bothered by the abundant growth of suburbia around Rattlesnake Mountain? Or perhaps the problem is the very marker itself -- a monument that honors the Donner Party but fails to remember the death of William Pike. Even so, what explanations can we offer from the sightings of the little girl, or the benevolent lady in white who wanders aimlessly around Marker 253? Many of the answers may lie beneath the marker itself and the well-manicured lawns of the Donner Springs neighborhood of south Reno. Sleep tight in suburbia tonight!

   "Black Jake" Davis

- Six Mile Canyon, Flowery Range
While the thought of a ghost roaming an unlit, twisty canyon road at night is enough for us grip the wheel at ten and two, the notion is made even more bone-chilling when the ghost decides to scream and sprout a pair of horrifying wings! Hooked?

Well the legend of "Black Jake" Davis is a colorful one beginning in Virginia City. For one, Davis led a double life and something of a peculiar one. He arrived on the Comstock in 1859 and set up a livery stable in Gold Hill, and in his spare time, he robbed stagecoaches, trains, and bullion wagons on nearby Geiger Grade. He later built a small bullion mill in Six Mile Canyon to melt down the stolen gold. Jake then sold some material as legitimate gold bars and buried his proceeds so people wouldn't catch up on how rich he was. Finally in 1870 his bad deeds had caught up to him and he was arrested for trying to rob a westbound train to Verdi. In 1875, Davis was paroled but two years later he was shot in the back during another robbery attempt.

Now on to the good stuff. Legend has it that the outlaw's cache of buried gold coins is still in the canyon and that's where things get interesting. "Black Jake" is a unique phantom and one of two dozen who roam the hills, streets and buildings in the Virginia City area. Davis, though, is a terrifying one that almost always appears to lone travelers in the twisty confines of Six Mile Canyon. In contrast to the surrounding high desert scrub, Six Canyon is carpeted in a forest of cottonwood trees and a setting that is pitch black when the sun goes down. Davis usually appears to curiosity seekers, especially those who are purposely hunting for his gold cache. Treasure seekers, or even avid rock collectors digging through the canyon's many tailings piles, rarely make it very far.

An encounter with Jake usually goes something like this ...

Things start out normally and Jake takes on the appearance of a preoccupied, white figure before suddenly (and without warning!) overwhelming us with a bloodcurdling scream. If that wasn't enough, Jake sprouts two bat-like wings and rises into the air and flies directly toward us, disappearing before our eyes. What's worse is that his appearance is always unannounced and never in one spot. Even if Jake doesn't make an appearance, the overall feel of the canyon leaves a residual creepy feeling. To make matters worse, Jake's appearances are completely random and he's been encountered throughout the length of the canyon so you're never safe from his wrath. Fortunately, Jake doesn't appear too often, but those who have been unlucky enough to experience his terror opt to never drive Six Mile Canyon again.

In the words of one local: "Six Mile after dark? No way."

   Clark & Carol: The Deceased Lovers at the Pioneer Saloon

- Goodsprings, Clark County

Nevada spawns yet another tragic celebrity love story, this one being so melancholy that its effects are still strong some seventy five years later. The Pioneer Saloon, located just thirty miles southwest of Las Vegas, is one of the oldest bars in the state, and a for-sure hotbed of spooky goings-on. Bartenders, owners, and just about everybody who steps foot inside this musty old tavern swears they are being watched by not one or two, but four resident specters who've have vowed to make this place home.

One of the Pioneer's four spirits is the ghost of a friendly prospector. This is a man thought to have been caught cheating cards while others speculate he was an innocent bystander who was killed in a gunfight around 1915. To this day his identity has never been confirmed. In the afterlife, he's a classic prankster who doesn't mind making his presence known throughout the establishment. The saloon's most famous visitor is a man once named Paul Coski - a nice name for an otherwise drunken lowlife who harassed the place. A framed coroner's report of Coski's death hangs on the wall of the saloon and serves the dual purpose of telling the building's history and for covering up real bulletholes acquired during the gun fight. According to the coroner, Coski "could whip up men in Good Springs and made a practice of doing the same once in a while when he got to drinking." His ghost is keen to frightening patrons by slugging men and spying on the ladies. Ladies, bring a partner when using the facilities!

However, the coup d 'etat of the Pioneer comes when you near the rear of the saloon to a fanciful red wall decorated in black & white framed photos of two of Hollywood's dreamiest couples. Welcome to the Lombard Tribute Wall. In 1942, it's here where the one and only Clark Gable drank himself into a stupor at the bar as he waited to hear the fate of his wife, Hollywood leading lady and the love of his life, Carole Lombard. A few short hours before Gable's arrival, Lombard's plane went down in a fiery crash atop Mt. Potosi. It took days for search crews to scour the rough terrain before they finally recovered her body.

The cigarette holes that Gable created as he passed out from drink are still on display in the cherrywood bar top. It's no surprise that psychics have made contact with the spirits of both Carole Lombard and Clark Gable. Carol likes to frequent the ladies' room and considering how shy she was in life, her ghost is one of the most active in the saloon. Female patrons encounter her quite often and she isn't shy to share the mirrors or her perfume. Clark doesn't appear very often, but when he does he's almost always present at the bar still waiting in exhaustion to hear word of his wife. He's also been sighted at the Tribute Wall alone and despondantly looking up at the pictures. Ironically, both Clark and Carol never appear side by side almost as if they've been eternally locked away from another. Through an event called "The Haunted Lockdown," guests to the Pioneer are offered a chance to spend a night and put their own ghost-hunting skills to the test.

   The Eviscerated Timber Kate

- North Carson City
Nevada's State Capitol is one of the state's oldest communities and a small city rich in history ... and rich in the supernatural. Carson City's ghost community most often resides in the town's historic "westside district" of historic mansions built at the height of the Comstock era. While almost all of these historic homes report their fair share of spooky stuffs, it is the story of Carson's most boisterous establishment that separates this tale from most others in Nevada. This one's a roller coaster.

Enter Timber Kate: a heavy-set lady who was part of a boisterous saloon act with her female lover, Bella Rawhide. The two women performed live sex acts in various honky-tonks throughout the west - Spokane, Butte, Cheyenne, and eventually Carson City. The ladies performed at the Bee Hive Whorehouse, a shady establishment which at the time was the largest brothel in Nevada and barely set far enough away from Carson's proper west district. Bella was a young and foolish romantic who eventually fell in love with a mischievous guy by the name of Tug Daniels. (I couldn't make these names up if I tried.) After Bella and Tug ran away together, Timber Kate underwent a bizarre change, resorting to dressing like a man in white tights and lifting weights on stage. At this time she usually ended her show doing a weird striptease.

In 1880, Bella and Tug met up with Kate for a "friendly reunion" in Carson City and Kate was all too happy to attend. The result was anything but and a showdown ensued. Tug pulled a knife and without reason, cut open Kate's belly "from her crotch to her naval." Kate collapsed and died in excruciating pain on the whorehouse floor as Bella ran away in fear. Tug escaped and was never seen again. Later in 1882, Bella's heavy conscious became too much to bear and she killed herself by drinking a liter of cleaning fluid.

As brutal a death as she had endured, we can bet the ghost of Timber Kate is as restless as ever. Residents of north Carson City have seen her frightening ghost walking the streets of downtown Carson. The site of the old Bee Hive Whorehouse is the parking lot for the Carson Nugget and Cactus Jack's Casino right across from the U.S. Mint Building. And we'll bet the thousands of us who've walked this lot and ice-skated here have had little knowledge that we were standing on top of the site of one of Nevada's most brutal killings.

I took this photo a few years back, ironically within an earshot of where Kate was murdered. This is looking south on Carson Street right in front of the Carson Nugget. Here is the photo magnified after much scrupulation ...

Is it a play of light, or did I capture one of Carson City's most frightening phantoms? Timber Kate is described as a tall, bloated woman with straggly red hair and dirty leggings. Most of the time she appears with a macabre, featureless face and almost staggers away as if injured when approached. Kate has never harmed anyone, but her horrible appearance is enough to send a few nightmares our way! Sleep tight.

   Lena & The Old Washoe Club

- Virginia City
The discovery of the fabulous Comstock Lode set the stage for what would become "The Richest Place on Earth." Virginia City began as a small camp that quickly boomed as the hotspot on any map of the West. In fact, it was this fabulous strike that sent men reeling to this once empty landscape with brand new opportunities. With a booming city and growing empires, it was here that men and the newly-rich could live out their wildest fantasies at their very own gentleman's club.

1862: "The Millionaire's Club." Ever since its construction this place was always full. Steady patrons soon became regulars at the Old Washoe Club by bellying up to the bar as they contently discussed how to expand their growing empires. To lay off some of life's stresses, "Bucking the Tiger" with a game of Faro and carousing with ladies of the night were all-too-common norms at the Washoe. And, like any good VIP hangout, the club had its secrets. The club was originally built with one entrance, but builders added two "secret" rear exits where prostitutes could roam freely in and out for business purposes. Though it might seem like just another regular tavern on C Street, we learn that the goings-on at the Washoe Club have a sudden, darker undertone. Although the lower floor was open to anybody on the street, it was the upper floor that was exclusive to members of the Millionaire's Club. Simply put: what happened in the Millionaire's Club stayed in the Millionaire's Club.

The Washoe Club's most famous ghost, the "Lady in Blue" (Lena) stems from the shady goings-on in the Millionaire's Club over one hundred and fifty years ago. Lena is the ghost of a prostitute who tragically met her maker in life during a business deal in the upstairs of the building. The legend goes that Lena was raped and in a fit of desperation ran, tripped, and broke her neck as she tumbled violently down the club's famous spiral staircase. Today, she usually appears at the top of the staircase despondently looking down as if she's been eternally confined to the upper floor. Lena's never appeared in the bar or the lower floor of the building and is shy around male guests.

Out of every haunt we've discussed on this list, Lena could be the most fascinating because she is so elusive. The Club made its first (and most famous) TV debut with the Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures. The show made two exclusive trips to the Old Washoe Club in an effort to make contact with its ghosts. On each visit Lena refused to make any contact with the all-male crew and a female cast member was finally brought in in an effort to make contact with her. She eventually appeared after Zach and the boys left the building and only after much trust had been established between the two ladies.

The most fascinating footage of the Club's famed spirits is a video filmed during the crew's return visit to the Washoe Club. The footage clearly shows a male apparition casually striding across the room in front of them. Psychics were called in to make contact with the ghost, but nothing was ever made. On a whim of luck, the crew managed to catch some very eerie EVP in which we can clearly hear the word "Zach," the show's primary host. Is it possible that he remembered Zach from a previous visit and die he make an appearance just to prove them wrong? While the spirit's identity is unknown, many claim that he is the ghost of an unlucky millionaire killed in a knife fight on the upper floor. Owners of the Washoe have been attacked by this angry man.

In addition to Lena and this mysterious entity, the Washoe Club houses two more spirits. Some patrons have also spied the ghost of a scared little girl on the lower floor who in life was run over by a stagecoach. Townspeople brought the little girl inside, but she died on the barroom floor within minutes from her injuries.

It's the third ghost, however, that raises the roof on this place. Arrive here at 9pm and you have a good chance of encountering the ghost of an old prospector. In the afterlife, he makes himself right at home by snatching unattended drinks from the bar. Unaware patrons who find themselves sitting in "his" seat often find themselves on the receiving end of a short, but stern slug on the shoulder! Go ahead. We dare you. (His seat is hard to miss. Look for it at the far left end of the bar.) Modern-day bartenders have become so accustomed to him that they leave a full shot of bourbon on the bar before closing down for the night. Come morning, the glass is always empty. Whiskey drinking, shoulder slugging, barstool tipping and more, this ghost has a soft side as well. It seems that he also has his eye on the ladies. Plenty of witnesses have seen the front door actually swing open for women as they enter the bar. Look out gentlemen of the present!

Virginia City itself is rife with ghostly activity and could itself earn the #3 spot, but with four resident phantoms each with its own backstory, we feel that the Old Washoe Club itself embodies many of the stories that took place here in one building. To this day the upstairs of the Washoe Club is closed to the public due to "renovations," but many believe it's to protect the ones who've permenantly called this place home from us. Or us from them?

   Helpless Souls of the Yellowjacket Mine

- Gold Hill Hotel, Gold Hill
Nevada has seen its fair share of mining accidents, but the incident at the Yellowjacket Mine in Gold Hill may have been the worst disaster in state history, so disastrous that it made world headlines.

The morning of April 7, 1869 began like any other ... until somebody cracked the silence with one word that every miner feared: "fire!" In seconds a horrific fire belched from the mine's interior at approximately 7:00 am - trapping thirty six men at the 800 foot level. As it raged on, smoldering timbers collapsed and flooded poisonous air into the Yellow Jacket and two of the other neighboring mines. Although hundreds of men were saved, the survivors were left traumatized, describing the scenes of their fellow miners desperately struggling for life. Those poor thirty six men who weren't hoisted out of the mine were either burned to death, dismembered by falling timbers, or suffocated alive by noxious gases. Dozens more were dragged thirty yards from the mine where most of them died from their injuries. To this day the bodies of those unfortunate souls have never been recovered. When we mix all of these stories together, we have a classic recipe for some very scary encounters.

Today, the town of Gold Hill seems like any other rural Nevada town, decorated in its western ruins and still-standing A-frames. At its center is the Gold Hill Hotel - the oldest hotel in the state, and next to it the tragic, and horribly haunted Yellow Jacket Mine. There are no signs giving away the mine's location, but locals in-the-know respect its privacy. Overnighters to the Gold Hill Hotel can rent two one-room cabins for a small fee, Cabin #18 and Cabin #19, both of which sit right next to the Yellow Jacket. The owners of the hotel do not advertise the cabins for a reason and you must specifically ask about them. Many people have tried, but few have made it through the night.

Cabin #19 was built directly above the mine entrance and bursts with the most activity. A standard night often starts with disturbing whispers followed by macabre disembodied voices that engulf the cabin. For those still not convinced, spirits of the Yellow Jacket take it further by tossing objects across the room, slamming doors, and forcing the visitor out of the cabin with as much force as possible. Visitors have even been assaulted. The cabins are so haunted many paranormal shows have been here and none of the crew members ever made it through the night. Disturbing EVPs have been captured inside Cabin #19 with most of them centered around extreme hatred for the living. Psychics who visit Cabin #19 claim that there is not just one ghost here, but six of them - their bodies never recovered from the fire. You've been warned.

Wow! So could possibly top this creepy spot? Something four stories bigger to be exact.

Honorable Mentions
Before we reveal our Number 1, let's take a few moments to honor the bumpy places that fell just short of the list! Even if you didn't see your favorite haunt on this list, it's probably listed here.

Native Ancestors of Bonnie Springs

- Bonnie Springs Ranch, Clark County

Eureka's Underground Tunnels

- Eureka

Lost Mormon Train of Panaca

- Panaca, Lincoln County

Riverside Hotel

- Downtown Reno

Crystal Peak Cemetery

- Verdi

Bugsy Lives at the Flamingo

- Flamingo Casino Garden, Las Vegas

Red-Headed Whiskey Pete

- Buffalo Bill's, Primm

Abraham Curry and the Capitol Grounds

- Nevada State Capitol, Carson City

1. Goldfield Hotel

No list of Nevada's bone-chilling tales would be complete without it. Many psychics who have visited this place claim that it is one of the seven gateways into the other world and so haunted that it has attracted not one, not two, not three, but four paranormal shows to investigate its restless spirits. It is the Goldfield Hotel.

Today we think of Las Vegas as the end-all, be-all of Nevada megacities. Apparently it never met Goldfield, which once reigned supreme as the largest city in Nevada. This megapolis once held a permanent population of twenty thousand people; a walk through this old mining queen reveals snippets of this. At the height of Goldfield's major boom, construction commenced in 1907 on its most elaborate structure - a four-story hotel that was built to an equally superlative status. The Goldfield Hotel was the largest structure west of the Mississippi River and builders of the hotel spared no expense in its construction: 150 rooms, Tiffany chandeliers, a mahogany stained front lobby, a stained-wood wall interior, leather furniture, and the only elevator in Nevada (at the time). Shortly after its completion, the Hotel came under the ownership of mining magnate George Wingfield. Wingfield was nicknamed "the Caesar of Nevada" and he managed the place in an equal manner. The Hotel fell into disrepair around the 1960s, thirty years after the decline of Goldfield's illustrious boom, and its list of paranormal activity has only increased since then.

What makes the Goldfield Hotel so unique is its consistency and malevolency of its ghostly encounters! The Hotel is home to reportedly several spirits, starting with two mostly harmless ghosts who have been seen by at least a dozen people. These spirits, said to be two male figures, haunt the third floor rooms of the hotel. Both are said to have committed suicide by jumping from the hotel's balcony. Things get ultra violent with a malevolent spirit familiarly named "The Stabber." This violent visitor wanders the old dining room known as the Gold Room and is said to randomly attack those who enter with a large kitchen knife. Although he has never physically harmed anyone, he is said to have frightened many people before immediately disappearing after the "attack." Near the lobby staircase, linger three small spirits including two children and a midget that are said to be pranksters, sneaking up behind people and tapping their backs before giggling and dancing away.

However, the most famous of its spirits is a young woman named Elizabeth. Elizabeth's presence is foretold with a feeling of deep empathy and many people who have visited the Hotel leave with a feeling intense sorrow, and those who actually encounter her, feel deeply connected, almost as if she were a long-lost friend who knew them personally! The most popular legend goes that Elizabeth was a prostitute that George Wingfield "visited" frequently. When she turned up pregnant, she claimed the child was Wingfield's, who for awhile paid her to stay away, fearful of how the scandal might affect his business affairs. However, when she could no longer hide the pregnancy, Wingfield was said to have lured her into Room 109 of the hotel, where he chained her to a radiator, supplied her with food and water and left her there until the child was born. Elizabeth cried out for mercy for days to weeks on end, only to be met with silence. Most say that Elizabeth died in childbirth, while others contend that Wingfield murdered her after the child was born. Either way, her baby was then thrown down a mining shaft.

Afterwards, rumors abounded that Elizabeth continued to visit Wingfield and the sound of a crying child could sometimes be heard coming from the depths of the hotel. To this day, Elizabeth appears as an apparition, described as having long flowing hair, wearing a white gown, and looking terribly sad as she paces the hallways calling out to her child. Room 109 has become the "center" of the Goldfield Hotel and anybody entering the room describes it as being intensely cold and hellishly melancholy. Elizabeth appears on camera quite often, except in Room 109. Perhaps she's grown accustomed to her new, permanent home?

The Goldfield Hotel has been featured on Fox Family TV's, World's Scariest Places (2007), Sci-Fi Channel's Scariest Places on Earth (2008), and three revisits from Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures (2009-2012). Getting access inside the hotel has become extremely difficult and can only be obtained by getting in contact with the property's caretaker named Virginia. Finding Virginia herself is not easy either, as you must inquire with the owner first, a long-time Goldfield local. Virginia has been personally escorting people into the building's increasingly-dilapidated state for over thirty years and takes pride in its history and haunts who has grown a personal attachment to Elizabeth. The owner will not allow access without Virginia strictly for safety and liability reasons. Overnight stays are strictly "at your own risk" and Virginia always warns people ... "don't go up to the fourth floor." Those who are lucky enough to be provided a grand tour of the hotel (and last the night!) will no doubt walk away convinced of its strong paranormal activity.

Nevada is a state of unassuming surprises and Goldfield takes this to a whole new unearthly definition as one of the most haunted places in the world.

Goldfield Hotel: We Salute You!

Author: Paul Sebesta

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