The Old West is a common theme in U.S. hauntings. This period was one of violence and tragedy with many leading a very difficult life. Remanants from these often bloody times occasionally reveal themselves to those among the living. This seems to be the case at Nevada’s Washoe Club.
Haunted Nevada: The Washoe Club
The prospect of wealth has a way of attracting ruthless, unscrupulous people. This was often the case with the Comstock Lode. This would be the first major location for silver mining in the United States, and it didn’t go unnoticed. Many flocked to the area seeking their fortune. Those who weren’t killed accidentally while performing backbreaking labor in the mines faced a rough and tumble lifestyle on the surface.
The Washoe Club was constructed in 1862 during the height of the silver rush. It was initially used as an office building. A saloon opened up on the first floor and continues to operate to this day. The business claims to be the “oldest saloon in Virginia City.”
A millionaire’s club relocated to the Washoe Club’s second floor after its original location across the street burned down. This elite group included newly wealthy individuals who were looking for a good time. They drank excessively and hung around with prostitutes. Some of the most notable members of the group included Mark Twain and Ulysses S. Grant.
Paranormal Activity at the Washoe Club
The paranormal TV show Ghost Adventures visited the Washoe Club twice, once for a special Ghost Adventures documentary film which originally aired on Sci-Fi Channel on July 25th, 2007 and again for their December 4th, 2009 episode.
In the documentary, the Ghost Adventures team spoke with Darlene, manager of the Silver Queen and long-time resident. She shared the story of a female ghost who roams the building. Guests and employees can feel her presence and she has appeared in photographs (click here to jump to the photograph segment).
According to lead investigator Zak Bagans, Darlene shared more details during a phone interview than she did on camera. She said that the female ghost was a prostitute who slit her wrists in room 11.
Both the documentary and the episode are interesting because the return visit produces some strange responses that, if genuine, indicate awareness of the living world. EVP experts Mark and Debby Constantino told the Ghost Adventures team that they captured EVPs that mention Zak and fellow investigator Nick Groff’s names prior to their second visit.
Other paranormal groups have explored the Washoe Club. Empathic Paranormal created a collection of EVPs captured at the location. See the video below for the highlights.
Empathic Paranormal’s EVP session at the Washoe Club
The Washoe Club Today
The Washoe Club still stands, however the building is in need of repair. Donations are accepted, with the first priority being a new roof. Tours are offered as well as ghost hunts (with access based on donation amount). Visitors are welcome to stop by and learn more about the building’s history, which comes with the added possibility of experiencing something paranormal.
Have you been to the Old Washoe Club (or would you like to go)? Share your personal experiences or investigative approach to this location in the comments.