Nevada: A Ghost Town State
Nevada’s Haunted Deserts and Ghost Towns
Named the third most haunted state in the country, just behind Ohio and followed by Nebraska, desert-ridden Nevada truly pulls its own weight when it comes to paranormal hotspots and ghostly encounters. Something about the wildness of the Nevada desert draws people and spirits alike in, so we’ve decided to compile a list of a few haunted ghost towns in the Nevada desert for you to investigate right on your computer or phone!
Known as the ‘Silver Trails Territory,’ this region of Nevada is known for being an otherworldly destination. Home to Death Valley, a multitude of state parks, and ghost towns, the area offers an eerie backdrop to the mystical and mysterious stories that come forth from the desert.
Rhyolite – A Golden Opportunity
One of these so-called ghost towns is Rhyolite, in Beatty, home to the Montgomery-Shoshone mine and its promises of gold-filled quartz. Once claims were made in 1904, word traveled, and the town immediately boomed. Buildings started to spring up all over. There were hotels, stores, electric plants, foundries, a school, and even a miner’s union hospital! One of the original prospectors, Bob Montgomery, stated that he could pull upwards of $10,000 a day from the mine. It was later sold to Charles Schwab for two to six million dollars. In 1907, the town started to fall financially. In the next few years, mines started closing and banks failed. By 1910 the production at the mills had slowed and there were just over 600 residents left living in Rhyolite. The once jumping energy of the town had slowed to a desperate crawl, and by 1911 the Montgomery-Shoshone mill was closed permanently.
In 1916, electricity to the town was shut off, and the town of Rhyolite fell dark. The town is now filled with the skeletons of buildings once used in a town of 4,000, white sand-blasted rock structures protruding from the Nevada desert. But inside this ghost-town is a cemetery containing remains of those who thrived in the booming mining town of Rhyolite, years before us. Most of the cemetery markers are just human-shaped piles of rock from the area, creating the eerie vibe that paranormal enthusiasts crave. Reports from the cemetery include orbs and disembodied voices and sounds. Many of the burial sites do not have tombstones and leave an air of mystery as to who is buried below. The majority of the graves are completely unmarked in Rhyolite, but one can guess that they contain the very first residents of Rhyolite; the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed miners, hoping to make a better life for themselves and their families.
Belmont – A Manson Family Hideout
Another wind-swept town, Belmont ghost town is a more popular abandoned site in Nevada. Like many historic cities in The Silver State, the once-bustling and grand city of Belmont has dwindled down into nothing more than creaky buildings and tumbleweeds. Following a silver strike in 1865, the boom of Belmont continued to flourish for many years. Strikes dwindled for a few years, but picked up again in the 1870s, and it was during this time that the town’s population hit 2,000 residents. The town boasted four stores, five restaurants, a bank, a school, and a blacksmith shop. The boom was short-lived, and by 1887 most of the mines had shut down. It’s such a strange thing to think about how a mining town lives only as long as the ores beneath it. While Belmont is completely off-grid, there are still a couple of small antique and jewelry shops located within the ghost-town. So, what does Charles Manson have to do with Belmont? Read on to find out!
When bodies were being searched for by authorities at Manson’s hideout in Death Valley, a haunting clue was left behind at the old Nye County Courthouse in Belmont.
On a first-floor door frame, a simple patch of graffiti is marked, carrying haunting overtones. Many of the residents of central Nevada claim that the mark was left by the cultists of the Manson ‘family,’ or even by Charlie himself. The graffiti itself reads ‘Charlie Manson + Family 1969,’ with a peace symbol replacing the ‘o’ in Manson. Years of rumors of unmarked graves in the area have also brought about reports of paranormal activity occurring in and around the ghost-town, including sightings of apparitions, loud bangs, and orbs that speak to visitors floating throughout the town.
Goldfield’s Ghostly Residents
A ghost-town filled to the brim with actual ghosts, Goldfield was a boomtown due to the discovery of gold in the area in 1902. The town’s mines produced more than $86 million dollars’ worth of gold in their early days, but in 1923 most of the town was destroyed by a large fire. Fortunately for history’s sake, many of the buildings survived the fire, including the ever-so-haunted Goldfield Hotel.
So, who (or what) roams the empty halls in the Goldfield Hotel? Legend has it that room 109 is haunted by a pregnant lady-of-the-night named Elizabeth. Supposedly she was left chained to a radiator by George Winfield, the hotel’s original owner. He had gotten her pregnant, and wanting to uphold his reputation, worried she’d tell, he chained her up and trapped her until she gave birth in the room, her newborn being thrown down into a mine shaft on which the hotel was built over. Elizabeth was then left to die in the room. Since then, many visitors to Goldfield have reported seeing her in the room. They also feel her strong, ghostly presence. People hear loud cries from a baby, and sobs from the mother-to-be whose life was cut tragically short. Ghosts of small children are also seen playing on the lobby staircase, and there’s even a spirit who stabs visitors to the hotel. George Winfield himself has also been an apparition, his soul oozing with the guilt for the crimes he committed in life. Speaking of haunted hotels, check out our article about the Clown Motel and the Mizpah here!
The town of Goldfield also houses a haunted schoolhouse, where the spirit of a young female student is said to still wander around the halls.
Featured Image Courtesy of Snappy Goat