Paranormal Travels, Tonopah, Nevada

Sherri Granato By Sherri Granato, 30th Jul 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Paranormal>Ghosts & Spirits

The town of Tonopah is located halfway between Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada. The silver and gold boom of the early1900's quickly breathed life into the small community. The Mizpah Hotel opened to the public in 1907 to accommodate the miners. According to the thousands of visitors who have stayed at the famously haunted Mizpah Hotel over the years, it is not uncommon to see a ghost miner or the spirit of the lady in red.

The Ghosts of the Wild West Live at the Haunted Mizpah Hotel

There is nothing particularly scary about an old miner walking around a specific premise; that is unless he has been deceased for 70 years, and he is in your hotel room opening and closing the window all night. According to the thousands of visitors who have stayed at the famously haunted Mizpah Hotel over the years, this is in no way an abnormal event. In fact most of these guests have come to expect ghostly anomalies and highly spirited apparitions that surround the historic hotel and many have come to enjoy the eerie atmosphere that encompasses the historic stone and brick building.

The town of Tonopah is located halfway between Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada at highway routes 6 and 95. The silver and gold boom of the early1900's quickly breathed life into the small community, and with this unexpected boom brought a need for a watering hole, and a place for a hard working miner to rest his weary head out of the elements at night so that he could prepare for the next day's dawn to dusk laboring efforts of extracting precious metals from the earth to make a living that was nothing short of rugged.

The Mizpah Hotel opened her doors to the public in 1907 to accommodate the miners and anyone else who needed a hot meal or soft feathered bed to sleep off a day's hard work. Billed as the most impressive hotel from San Francisco to Denver, and rightfully so as the Mizpah left no stone unturned when it came to the best of the best for their guests. The grand hotel offered electric lights, steam heat, artfully crafted ceiling fans in each room, an elegant dining room, and fully stocked bar with the best whiskey on the planet, and a full scale casino that was like no other in its time.

Once word spread, miners weren't the only guests of the five-story Victorian-style hotel that put Tonopah on the map. High stakes gamblers, high-falluting businessmen and other weary travelers sore from the rough rides of the stagecoaches and early Ford motor cars often stopped in for a meal, a chance at lady luck, and a night's rest. Female workers were also a large part of the energized atmosphere at the Mizpah Hotel. Despite the times, prostitutes were capable of being self reliant due to earnings from working by tending to the miner's needs after a hard day of picking away at the gold and silver veins. These women were tough, but the busy hotel allowed for them to live a life of relative ease.

It is believed that a few of the prostitutes still walk the halls of the hotel in search of work still today. The Lady in Red is a highly active ghost, and is spotted the most by visitors. Men often report that she has touched their hair or they feel slight tingles from where she has brushed against them. Her perfume wafting through the hotel is undeniable, and she is sometimes seen talking to an old miner. It is believed that the Lady in Red was murdered by a jealous boyfriend who beat her and then strangled her after she exited a room on the sixth floor of the hotel.

Another apparition that has been seen by only a few visitors and paranormal investigators appears to the human eye as a woman, but hazy and greenish blue. She vanishes just as fast as you catch sight of her. Several older men have been seen walking throughout the hotel, but they disappear through walls and thin air. A few of these ghosts are dressed in their best finery; others are obviously gold and silver miners. A few active spirits that wish to be seen will appear at the foot of the beds where guests are sleeping.

Back in its heyday, before the Mizpah fell into a state of shambles I had the pleasure of dining at the restaurant before it closed its doors in early 2000. The ghost stories were part of the conversation at almost every table as everyone waited in hopes of spotting the Lady in Red. Unfortunately we witnessed nothing, but the staff informed us that she normally came out at night, and we were still several hours away from darkness. Sadly, the empty building lost the previous luster that it once embodied due to a lack of patrons and care. The new owners Fred and Nancy Cline plan to bring life back to the Mizpah, and that includes a casino, bar, hotel, restaurant, a full staff, and several ghostly guests that will entertain guests in the event that boredom strikes while staying at the historic hotel.

If history repeats itself, no bathtub will be safe at the Mizpah Hotel, at least not from an elected official who has been deceased for many decades, but remains highly spirited, especially when there is a bathroom involved. According to records the politician died in the hotel on the night of a Nevada state election. Attempting to hide his death, his aides kept his body on blocks of ice in a bathtub while waiting until after he'd won re-election before making the announcement that he would not be holding office due to his most recent quieted state of being. Prior to the hotel closing in 2000, guests could almost expect to see the politician laughing near one of the bathtubs found in the fifty-room hotel.

The typical basement is creepy in any situation, but at the Mizpah Hotel you can add in a total fear fest of highly eerie and creepy circumstances right down to the 11-year-old dirty laundry that remains in a giant heap where it was left when the hotel closed down in 2000. Dark corners filled with cobwebs add to the creepiness, as does the replica of an old mineshaft, once used to entertain guests. Apparitions of miners are a regular occurrence in the extremely large basement, but if you try to follow them they will walk right through a wall to remove themselves from your peering eyes. Tonopah, Nevada can with no doubt be added onto the list as being a big part of the Wild West, and the Mizpah Hotel had its share of wild and ruddy guests. One legend has it that Wyatt Earp and Jack Dempsey once worked at the hotel, but no supporting evidence has shown this to be a fact. However there are two rooms at the hotel that features these two legends names.

Location: Main Street and Brougher Avenue, Tonopah, Nevada


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Meet the author

author avatar Sherri Granato
Sherri has lived in several haunted properties, including a morgue turned basement apartment. Instead of fearing the paranormal, she has opted to embrace, investigate and understand it.

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