The stories behind the 8 most haunted places in Nevada

The story behind the 8 most haunted places in Nevada

(Photo courtesy of Canva)

By Aleza Freeman

October 27, 2023

When it comes to poltergeists and paranormal activity, Nevada is a hot spot for cold spots and other mysterious anomalies.

Apparently, the skeletons in the Silver State’s closet still have stories to tell.

These ghosts tell stories of murder, mayhem, and heartbreak, while others are just living their best afterlives. Some ghost stories are so juicy that Virginia City, Carson City, and Las Vegas offer haunted walking tours, while the railroads in Ely and Virginia City bust out their haunted ghost trains around Halloween.

Are you a paranormal enthusiast thinking about busting some ghosts? From bars and restaurants to hotels and houses, here are eight of the most haunted places in Nevada.

The Mizpah Hotel – Tonopah

The story behind the 8 most haunted places in Nevada

(Photo courtesy of The Mizpah Hotel)

When erected in 1907, the Mizpah Hotel was one of the state’s first luxury hotels. It is still an iconic, fascinating, and highly rated place to stay in Tonopah. It is also home to the state’s most popular ghost: The Lady in Red. As the story goes, this call girl with a heart of gold was murdered in her fifth-floor suite by a jealous patron (or maybe his wife) and modern-day male guests have reported hearing her frisky spirit whisper in their ear, according to the state’s tourism bureau. Guests have also reported hearing the sounds of playful children in the hallways.

You can read about visitor’s various apparitional encounters in the hotel’s guest book.

Pioneer Saloon – Goodsprings

Southern Nevada’s oldest bar, opened in 1913, The Pioneer Saloon in Goodsprings lays claim to a slew of ghosts, including that of ex-miner Paul Coski, who was shot to death in 1915 for cheating at poker. Customers and employees have also reported strange activity at night, like hearing a mysterious woman crying in the bathroom, experiencing objects being inexplicably misplaced, and seeing apparitions.

Aspiring paranormal investigators and the supernaturally curious may enjoy the saloon’s haunted lockdown tour, a chance to stay overnight and undertake your own investigation of the saloon like an official ghostbuster.

The Nevada Governor’s Mansion – Carson City

As if the job of governor isn’t stressful enough, those who are fortunate enough to score the gig have to share their neoclassical digs with ghosts. According to HauntedHouses.com, the mansion, built in 1909, is haunted by a woman and a young girl, possibly the mansion’s first “first lady” Una Dickerson and her daughter June. Staff and guests back up this story, even reportedly seeing an apparition of June, while others have heard the footsteps of a man ascending the staircase.

The mansion is one of 48 stops on the historic 2.5-mile Kit Carson Trail. Each summer marks the start of a new season of guided ghost tours, which brings participants to the 1800s-era Victorian-style mansions, hotels, museums, and churches on Carson City’s haunted west side.

Wengert Mansion – Downtown Las Vegas

The story behind the 8 most haunted places in Nevada

(Photo courtesy of Zak Bagan)

Don’t let the charming architecture of this Tudor Revival home fool you. The ghosts at Wengert Mansion are said to be so malicious that visitors have to sign waivers. Built in 1938 and tucked amid strip malls and law offices on East Charleston Boulevard, just south of the Las Vegas Arts District, it is now a haunted museum, belonging to Zak Bagan, host of the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures.

A tour of this demonic dwelling promises creepy hallways, secret passages, and Bagan’s chilling collection of creepy, cursed artifacts—possibly a black-cloaked figure passing through a closed door (and clowns).

Virginia City Cemetery – Virginia City

The story behind the 8 most haunted places in Nevada

(Photo courtesy of Virginia City Railroad)

Virginia City is like a hub for ghosts. They’ve been spotted at businesses all over town, including Piper’s Opera House, the Gold Hill Hotel, the Silver Queen Hotel, and MacKay Mansion. But what better place to find a captive audience of ghosts than a cemetery?

Located on a hill at the north end of town, the Virginia City Cemetery contains 19th-century graves of people from all walks of life, including mothers who died in childbirth and the victims of mining accidents and murder. Some of these folks are resting in peace while others seem a bit restless, according to HauntedHouses.com. Visitors have reported seeing a man, woman, and child, describing their clothing in detail as well as a glowing gravestone.

Virginia City celebrates its haunted heritage with several ghost tours and paranormal events throughout October, including a Victorian Halloween ball and a haunted saloon crawl.

Yellow Jacket Mine – Gold Hill

What happens when 35 miners die in a horrific mine fire? According to legend, you get a mine haunted by ghosts. It started in 1869, when an unattended lamp sparked an uncontrollable fire 800 feet below the earth during shift change in the Yellow Jacket, Kentuck, and Crown Point mines. Very few miners survived and the mine is now supposedly haunted by 11 ghosts.

The miner’s cabin where the men were housed when they entered and exited the mine is located near the mine’s headframe. Brave visitors can book the apartment-style cabin through the Gold Hill Hotel.

Westgate Hotel – Las Vegas

Talk about a ghost of Las Vegas’ past. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the hotel’s own blog, The Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino (formerly the Las Vegas Hilton and before that the International Hotel), is haunted by the “King” Elvis Presley. An apparition of the hound dog himself has been spotted lounging backstage at the resort’s International Theater and roaming the upper-floor hallways of the resort. As the hotel’s headliner between 1969 and 1976, Elvis performed in the historic theater and stayed in a 5,000-square-foot suite on the 30th floor—now known as the “Elvis Suite.”

Elvis sightings are common in Las Vegas. Usually, however, they’re tribute artists, not ghosts.

Middlegate Station – Fallon

Apparently, even ghosts get tired—especially when they’re riding their ghost horses in the middle of nowhere. At Middlegate Station near Fallon, formerly Sagebrush Saloon and Inn, customers have claimed to hear footsteps and knocking sounds believed to be made by the ghosts of worn-out Pony Express riders inquiring about getting a room.

No doubt these 19th-century apparitions have also noticed the hundreds of shoes hanging from a tree 2.4 miles east of Middlegate Station. There’s not much else for a ghost to see on Highway 50, also known as the Loneliest Road in America.

  • Aleza Freeman

    Aleza Freeman is a Las Vegas native and award-winning journalist with two decades of experience writing and editing lifestyle, travel, entertainment, and human interest stories in Nevada. Her work has appeared in AARP magazine, Haute Living and Nevada Magazine.

CATEGORIES: COMMUNITY | LOCAL HISTORY

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